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Old 04-01-2010, 05:30 PM
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Default Current Draw with Car Shut Off

This is a 2004 Altima 3.5L SE. Car still has the original OEM battery. Car sat for about 3-1/2 days, and went to start it and the battery would barely turn over the engine. After 2 or 3 engine rotations it died. Measured the battery voltage and it was ~ 10.6 volts ... dead. First time this has ever happened, and I've let it sit much longer than 3 or 4 days before.

Charged the battery and got the car started. Measured the charging voltage across the battery and it was ~ 14.3 volts @ idle ... normal.

Drove the car for the next 2 or 3 days and the battery seems to start the car fine.

Did a parasitic current draw measurement with an accurate Fluke DVM while the car was off, key out and locked. Current draw was a stable 70 mA.

Does anyone know if 70 mA is normal with the car off, key out and locked up? Seems a little high, but maybe per spec. If 70 mA is normal, then I guess it's time for a new battery. Should get one anyway based on the fact the original is ~ 7 years old.

Last edited by Altima SSS; 04-01-2010 at 05:33 PM.
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Old 04-01-2010, 06:40 PM
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Excellent battery life. Depending on ambient conditions where a person lives, a battery's life can be a lot shorter. 7 years if definitely at the high end of the scale.
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Old 04-02-2010, 03:09 AM
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I to think the battery has seen it's better days.Seven years is a very long time for any battery and my best guess is it has become sulfated.
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Old 04-02-2010, 03:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tech22 View Post
I to think the battery has seen it's better days.Seven years is a very long time for any battery and my best guess is it has become sulfated.
Most definately. I put a new battery in the car last night.

I also did some current draw tests with the car shut off. The current draw was 70 mA approx 20 seconds after hooking up the test meter, and then I checked it about 45 min later and it was down to 15 mA, which is very low and acceptable. 70 mA is kind of high, so I'm glad is went down to 15 mA.

A note to anyone testing the current draw on a newer car. I takes some time for the computers to go into full "sleep mode" after the car is shut off ... I've seen this on another car brand also. So make sure you check it after it sits off for awhile before concluding what the real parasitic current draw level is.

Checked the chargnig system voltage with the new battery and it was 14.3 volts ... normal. I can tell the engine cranks alot faster with the new battery too!
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