Go Back   Team-BHP > Under the Hood > In-Car Entertainment


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 25th June 2016, 08:01   #1
BHPian
 
ramases6's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 46
Thanked: 13 Times
Default Battery drain problems after ICE install

I have a VW GT TSI car purchased in Feb 2015. I have installed an infotainment system by Caska at about the same time.
I enjoy using the system very much. I was told at installation that there would be no compatibility issues as it was certified so.
During installation, the stock wiring on the car was not disturbed. After functioning well for three months, I found that my car battery was drained and the vehicle needed to be jump started.The vehicle had not been driven for four or five days.

After start, I took the car immediately to the dealer to check whether the car battery was defective or whether there was a problem with the wiring, post fitment of the system. Both checks were negative. The problem of battery drain continued and has occurred about half a dozen times in a year and a half. I have had the Caska system checked thoroughly at factory level. The car wiring, alternator function, battery function etc have also been checked by the VW workshop and are negative. Had left the car at the dealer for more than a week while an exhaustive check was carried out.

I was running out of ideas when an experienced after market infotainment supplier of repute suggested that upgrading the battery
may help. The Technical team at Caska head office had also suggested a change of battery. I was reluctant to do that so far as the battery was satisfactory during testing even as recently as a week ago. The specifications of the battery fitted on my car are 36 AH 175 amp , made by Exide. I was wondering if an upgrade of battery to the next higher rating , 43 AH 543 amp Exide would help in reducing the instances of battery drain. The dimensions of this are the same as the OE battery.

My limited understanding suggests that increasing the battery capacity to 43 AH may not be a problem. Not sure about the effect it would have on the alternator as it would take longer for the charge limiter to cut in. Could it cause the battery to overheat? And what is the implication and effect that the higher 543 amp current mentioned on the proposed battery?

I understand warranty issues. Aside of that, is there merit or otherwise in considering upgrading the battery? I would like to continue using the Caska if there is likely to be no ill effects affecting safety of operation. The aim of the up gradation is only to reduce the downtime due battery drain when parked in the garage for periods up to one week or thereabouts. I have been given to understand that modern cars, even high end ones, drain the battery when not in regular use, that draining of the battery in two to three weeks is not a cause for concern nor indicative of a defective battery.

Am looking forward to hearing your views and guidance too, especially on safety issues if any that could come up. As you can infer, my knowledge of electrical systems on cars is limited. But I can understand issues when explained. Thank you.

Last edited by Rudra Sen : 25th June 2016 at 11:24. Reason: Added paragraph for easier reading
ramases6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th June 2016, 09:57   #2
Distinguished - BHPian
 
arunphilip's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Chennai
Posts: 1,728
Thanked: 4,700 Times
Default re: Battery drain problems after ICE install

Quote:
Originally Posted by ramases6 View Post
The aim of the upgradation is only to reduce the downtime due battery drain when parked in the garage for periods upto one week or thereabouts.
A higher capacity battery will just mask the symptom, it does not address the underlying problem. You have a problem of current leakage somewhere in the circuitry that's been added - either the amp, sub, etc. Maybe one of these components aren't switching off with the ignition, causing slow drain. Or some of the stock wiring was affected during the installation causing a drain. Or its entirely unrelated to your ICE (e.g. sensor switch for the boot lamp is not working, keeping it always on).

Please continue to investigate the problem at hand, and not spend money on a higher capacity battery (you may still have to replace your battery with an equivalent one, if the existing one is too damaged with the repeated deep cycle drains).

I'd suggest you request a mod to move this thread into the ICE section (and rename it to reflect battery drain), so that those gurus can help you in troubleshooting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ramases6 View Post
I have been given to understand that modern cars, even high end ones, drain the battery when not in regular use, that draining of the battery in two to three weeks is not a cause for concern nor indicative of a defective battery.
Modern cars do use the battery when parked, but this is a trickle. Moreover, modern cars have a way of switching into an even lower power mode when unused for some days, to prevent such a drain. It will not drain a battery in just 2-3 weeks. Whoever told you this is probably just trying to avoid the work associated with finding the problem.

For example, I've left my EcoSport unused twice for a full month each time, and the car unlocked and started up without any fuss or difference at all.

Last edited by arunphilip : 25th June 2016 at 10:08.
arunphilip is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 25th June 2016, 11:41   #3
BHPian
 
ramases6's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 46
Thanked: 13 Times
Default

Thank you Mr. Philip. The dealers may not take my request to recheck the car wiring for leaks too kindly as they have toiled over it for a long time. They were nice enough not to cite the warranty clause conditions, neither did they charge me for their effort. And they did it more than once ( three times actually!). A three day inspection by a non VW service centre also failed to unearth the cause. I must add that with the OE system, starting the car after a three day break recently has not been a problem. Have not checked it over a longer period as the downtime of the car has already been excessive.
ramases6 is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 25th June 2016, 12:37   #4
Senior - BHPian
 
R2D2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Punya Nagari
Posts: 1,894
Thanked: 1,139 Times
Default re: Battery drain problems after ICE install

rameses6, you'd be wasting your money by installing a new battery without ascertaining the root cause. That infortainment supplier is leading you up the garden path.

I believe strongly in one thing - if there's a symptom there's got to be a cause.

For vehicle battery drain issues I'd suspect a few culprits:

a) Damaged battery - self discharge due to a short in the cells
b) Faulty wiring directly or indirectly caused by fitting after market accessories
c) Alternator diodes
d) Faulty ignition switch which does not discontinue the power to OEM and aftermarket accessories (permanently in the ACC position)
e) Faulty door/hood/boot switches leaving courtesy lights switched on

I have serious doubts if the workshop actually did a thorough check of your wiring. If they had, they'd have discovered the fault. Electrical issues are not given high priority by anybody until something serious happens.

Though modern cars drain the battery even with the ignition off, it is a very small drain (<0.1A). I have left my car (with an aftermarket HU and 2 amplifiers) parked for 5 months, with the battery connected and it started without hesitation.

What I am trying to say something is wrong somewhere, it's just that the technicians haven't been able to trace the cause, possibly because they didnt try hard enough.

I think you need to get a 2nd/3rd opinion from a competent car electrician.
R2D2 is online now   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 25th June 2016, 13:07   #5
BHPian
 
ramases6's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 46
Thanked: 13 Times
Default Upgrading the car battery on VW Polo GT TSI

Thank you R2D2. Valid points, all of them. You might have experienced that when you handover your car to the Service agency of the dealer, its very impersonal. You can write only the symptoms and the diagnosis is left to them. In any case, I did not even get to have a one on one with the technician/s who worked and checked on my car. They have given a clean chit for the battery, the wiring and the alternator. Also told me there are no leaks and that the original wiring is intact and trouble free. The Caska system, like a few others is a push fit socket that plugs into the integral wire harness in the car. I also remember them ruling out the boot, hood and cabin light faults. I was extended the opportunity to talk to the technicians and the senior service advisor along with the Service Manager in his cabin for nearly half an hour where they assured me that all the tests they could think of were negative. I realised that I should not push the envelope beyond a point.
I concur with you that electrical faults do not get the attention they deserve as they are time consuming. Proof of that is the persistence of the problem for months without an acceptable resolution . Hence the recourse to the alternates that have crossed my mind. I am concerned whether fitting a higher rated battery is likely to have adverse effects on safety of wiring and equipment. The equipment vendor thinks that is unlikely. I wanted more unbiased inputs. That was also one of the reasons for this thread. Regards.

Last edited by ramases6 : 25th June 2016 at 13:21.
ramases6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th June 2016, 18:48   #6
Senior - BHPian
 
R2D2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Punya Nagari
Posts: 1,894
Thanked: 1,139 Times
Default re: Battery drain problems after ICE install

Quote:
Originally Posted by ramases6 View Post
I am concerned whether fitting a higher rated battery is likely to have adverse effects on safety of wiring and equipment. The equipment vendor thinks that is unlikely. I wanted more unbiased inputs. That was also one of the reasons for this thread. Regards.
Well, the primary method of selecting a battery is dimension (DxWxH) followed by capacity (AH). A few AH up or down does not make much of a difference. As I said before, this equipment vendor is offering misleading advice.

Also, if the car is in warranty please ascertain from the dealer if installing a larger battery will impact the warranty in any way.

I but strongly believe a replacement is not necessary unless and until it is proven beyond doubt that the battery is faulty and this mysterious drain is traced. Don't spend your money just yet.
R2D2 is online now   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 25th June 2016, 18:55   #7
Team-BHP Support
 
Jaggu's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 17,752
Thanked: 7,475 Times
Default re: Battery drain problems after ICE install

The battery conking off, is it replicable? Egs: Parked for few days and battery runs out? Or is it totally random?
Jaggu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th June 2016, 19:20   #8
BHPian
 
ramases6's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 46
Thanked: 13 Times
Default

Jaggu,The battery drain out occurs between two and three three days of the car lying idle. That is with the Caska system installed. It takes slightly longer, 4 + with the OE system in place. This makes me suspect the battery. But the dealer checks say that is not the case. The dealer has mentioned that electrical problems would not be covered under the warranty with non standard fitments. At first he said that it voided the entire warranty but saw that it did not sound reasonable. All this is verbal only.
I agree with R2D2 that a precise understanding of what is causing the problem is necessary before proceeding further. That is precisely where I am stuck. And I have tried to do that unsuccessfully with both, the dealer as well as another agency that deals with car electrical systems. With the OE or with the after market system, the battery drains out. The rate of drain is a little different.
ramases6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th June 2016, 19:51   #9
Senior - BHPian
 
R2D2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Punya Nagari
Posts: 1,894
Thanked: 1,139 Times
Default re: Battery drain problems after ICE install

Quote:
Originally Posted by ramases6 View Post
Jaggu,The battery drain out occurs between two and three three days of the car lying idle. That is with the Caska system installed. It takes slightly longer, 4 + with the OE system in place. This makes me suspect the battery
Do one thing, take your battery to an Exide or Amaron dealer and have them test it for you. Since it'll take a few days to monitor (and recharge if required) ask them for a service battery to keep you mobile while they investigate.
R2D2 is online now   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 25th June 2016, 20:44   #10
BHPian
 
ramases6's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 46
Thanked: 13 Times
Default Upgrading the car battery on VW Polo GT TSI

Have done that R2 D2. They have a problem giving me a standby battery! Have been to more than one Exide dealer. Did not consider Amaron seriously as Exide is the standard battery installed. I have just spoken to Batterywale who stock Amaron , no spare battery there either. BTW, the dealer confirmed to me that battery checks are done at the workshop but in my case, considering the problem I was facing, the battery was sent to the Exide dealer who after three days of observation examination opined that there was nothing wrong with the battery. I did not ask for a certificate from them as I was trying to get a handle on the problem. Unfortunately, I do not seem to be any closer to a resolution.
As an aside, the dealers are only interested in selling their battery. One dealer said he would need a full payment, non refundable, while he tested my battery thoroughly. Felt it was an exercise in futility.
Accurate analysis of electrical problems does not seem to find many takers because it is time consuming and laborious work. Hence a lot of self diagnosis if one is stuck with them.

Last edited by ramases6 : 25th June 2016 at 21:04.
ramases6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th June 2016, 20:50   #11
Senior - BHPian
 
R2D2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Punya Nagari
Posts: 1,894
Thanked: 1,139 Times
Default re: Battery drain problems after ICE install

Quote:
Originally Posted by ramases6 View Post
Have done that R2 D2. They have a problem giving me a standby battery! Have been to more than one Exide dealer. Did not consider Amaron seriously as Exide is the standard battery installed. I have just spoken to Batterywale who stock Amaron , no spare battery there either. BTW, the dealer confirmed to me that battery checks are done at the workshop but in my case, considering the problem I was facing, the battery was sent to the Exide dealer who after three days of observation examination opined that there was nothing wrong with the battery. I did not ask for a certificate from them as I was trying to get a handle on the problem. Unfortunately, I do not seem to be any closer to a resolution.
Frankly after reading your responses, it's quite obvious one of them is giving you the run around, and my bet says it's your car dealer.

Last edited by R2D2 : 25th June 2016 at 20:53.
R2D2 is online now   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 25th June 2016, 21:11   #12
BHPian
 
ramases6's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 46
Thanked: 13 Times
Default Upgrading the car battery on VW Polo GT TSI

Maybe. I am looking for a way out. If some one in the know can answer if fitting a higher capacity 43 AH 543 amp battery would not be hazardous in any way, that would allow me to consider it. The standard battery option is always there if I am left with no other safe option.Voiding of the electrical warranty now is secondary to me when weighed against having a reliable car that is safe in spite of non standard fitments. And which gives me great joy driving, both within the city and outside of it. Thank you.

Last edited by ramases6 : 25th June 2016 at 21:30.
ramases6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th June 2016, 00:17   #13
Senior - BHPian
 
khoj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Dilli
Posts: 2,722
Thanked: 1,253 Times
Default re: Battery drain problems after ICE install

You never spoke to the technician and then you did, along with the senior service advisor & the manager.

So, which is it?

For the higher rating battery, do read through the owner's manual. There will be a 'ratings & specifications' or similar chapter. It will give you the alternators maximum charge ratings. If the bigger battery is within that limit, it will be OK to install it. The wiring harnesses are designed for the alternator's maximum specified rating + safety factor.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ramases6 View Post
In any case, I did not even get to have a one on one with the technician/s who worked and checked on my car. ......
......................................... I was extended the opportunity to talk to the technicians and the senior service advisor along with the Service Manager in his cabin for nearly half an hour where they assured me that all the tests they could think of were negative. I realised that I should not push the envelope beyond a point.
.............................I am concerned whether fitting a higher rated battery is likely to have adverse effects on safety of wiring and equipment. The equipment vendor thinks that is unlikely. I wanted more unbiased inputs. That was also one of the reasons for this thread. Regards.



What happens when both the systems are out of the car? Have you tried that yet? if not then do so. Use the car for a week atleast, fortnight preferably without either system and see the results.

While the systems are out have them tested by an independent electronics repair establishment/shop/technician to see if there is a problem of current leakage etc in either of the systems.

This technical team at Caska that you speak of, where are they based? In the factory in China or elsewhere. IIRC in India all there is is an importer in Calcutta with dealers in different parts of the country. I doubt if they have a proper setup, more likely they might have an arrangement at various locations with people owning solder irons, if at all they have any.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ramases6 View Post
With the OE or with the after market system, the battery drains out. The rate of drain is a little different.
khoj is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 26th June 2016, 04:21   #14
BHPian
 
ramases6's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 46
Thanked: 13 Times
Default Upgrading the car battery on VW Polo GT TSI

Khoj, Thank you for your reply. 1.The talk with the technician/s happened while at the Dealer's service centre happened after the car was cleared for handover. It was with them for a week.
2.Spoke to a person from Caska in Kolkatta where I understand their HO is located. I was put on CC with him by the local Caska dealer.
3. I shall read the owners manual for ratings & specifications as suggested.
4.Thank you all once again for your interest and suggestions.
Best Regards

Last edited by ramases6 : 26th June 2016 at 04:38.
ramases6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th June 2016, 08:29   #15
Senior - BHPian
 
graaja's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Coimbatore
Posts: 1,306
Thanked: 2,573 Times
Default re: Battery drain problems after ICE install

Quote:
Originally Posted by ramases6 View Post
...

I have installed an infotainment system by Caska at about the same time.
...

During installation, the stock wiring on the car was not disturbed. After functioning well for three months, I found that my car battery was drained and the vehicle needed to be jump started.The vehicle had not been driven for four or five days.

My limited understanding suggests that increasing the battery capacity to 43 AH may not be a problem. Not sure about the effect it would have on the alternator as it would take longer for the charge limiter to cut in. Could it cause the battery to overheat? And what is the implication and effect that the higher 543 amp current mentioned on the proposed battery? I understand warranty issues. Aside of that, is there merit or otherwise in considering upgrading the battery? I would like to continue using the Caska if there is likely to be no ill effects affecting safety of operation. The aim of the up gradation is only to reduce the downtime due battery drain when parked in the garage for periods up to one week or thereabouts. I have been given to understand that modern cars, even high end ones, drain the battery when not in regular use, that draining of the battery in two to three weeks is not a cause for concern nor indicative of a defective battery.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ramases6 View Post
Jaggu,The battery drain out occurs between two and three three days of the car lying idle. That is with the Caska system installed. It takes slightly longer, 4 + with the OE system in place. This makes me suspect the battery. But the dealer checks say that is not the case. The dealer has mentioned that electrical problems would not be covered under the warranty with non standard fitments. At first he said that it voided the entire warranty but saw that it did not sound reasonable. All this is verbal only.
I agree with R2D2 that a precise understanding of what is causing the problem is necessary before proceeding further. That is precisely where I am stuck. And I have tried to do that unsuccessfully with both, the dealer as well as another agency that deals with car electrical systems. With the OE or with the after market system, the battery drains out. The rate of drain is a little different.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ramases6 View Post
Maybe. I am looking for a way out. If some one in the know can answer if fitting a higher capacity 43 AH 543 amp battery would not be hazardous in any way, that would allow me to consider it. The standard battery option is always there if I am left with no other safe option.Voiding of the electrical warranty now is secondary to me when weighed against having a reliable car that is safe in spite of non standard fitments. And which gives me great joy driving, both within the city and outside of it. Thank you.
First let me answer your main question: Will installing a higher rated battery be hazardous to the car? No. Installing a higher capacity rated battery is not hazardous to the car. Only if the voltage rating changes, it becomes hazardous. Higher capacity is no problem.

Having said that, assuming that the issue is not with the battery, and the issue is with the car, if a 36AH battery drains out in three days, the 43AH battery will drain out in 3.6 days. I have made some assumptions like the battery gets fully charged before you park the car, the charging system in the car is fine etc. So, changing the battery to 43AH is not going to solve your issue. You have to correctly identify what is causing the problem and fix it at the root.

As R2D2 has already pointed out, following are the three possibilities.

1. Battery is faulty and has a high self discharge.
2. There is an abnormal leakage in the system, either from the after market fitment or from one of the OE systems itself. As you have pointed
3. There is a problem with the charging circuit (alternator) because of which the battery is not getting charged when the car is driven.

As you have said the dealers have checked the battery and are saying the battery is fine, for now let us rule out #1.

The best way to rule out #2 is to measure the current discharge from the battery. You can either do a DIY and find out the current drain or take it to a good auto electrician and measure this. If you are fine with DIY, then all you need is a cheap digital multimeter that can measure DC current upto 10A or 20A. You should be able to get such a meter for Rs.500 in SP road, or even Amazon. Here is an example from Amazon.

Mastech Digital Multimeter

Once you have this meter, to measure current, disconnect the -ve terminal from the battery, put the multimeter in current measurement mode, connect the multimeter probes between the -ve terminal of the battery and the cable and measure current. The current should not be more than 50mA. If the current is high, then it means some part of the car is drawing current even when the car is locked. Here is a YouTube video that clearly demonstrates how to debug such an issue.



If you can do the current measurement at least as a DIY and confirm that the current draw is high, then you can take the help of a good car electrician to identify the circuit that is causing the drain by isolating fuses. Remember to lock the car when taking this measurement as the foot well lights and cabin lights get on when the car is unlocked.

There is also a non-invasive way to measure current using a clamp meter. The advantage of using a clamp meter is you do not have to disconnect any wires from the battery. But the meter costs about 3.5K. Here is an example of digital clamp meter that can measure DC current.

Meco 36 DC Clamp Meter

Here are a couple of pictures of the current drain from my Polo GT TSi battery which I measured with a digital clamp meter. Note the polarity of the numbers. A -ve number means the battery is discharging.

With the car locked, the current drain is 0.02A which is 20mA (it changes between 0.02 and 0.03).
Battery drain problems after ICE install-img_20160626_072352022.jpg

With the car unlocked, and cabin and foot well lights on, the current draw is 2.53A.
Battery drain problems after ICE install-img_20160626_072244046.jpg

If you find the current draw is less than 50mA, then either the battery is bad or the alternator circuit is bad. You can check the alternator circuit either by measuring the charging current while the car engine is turned on, or measure battery voltage. For measuring charging current though, a clamp meter will be needed as you will not be able to use a conventional multimeter. If a clamp meter is not available, then just use the regular multimeter and measure the battery voltage while the car is running. On an already fully charged battery, the voltage should be above 13V.

Here are a couple of pictures of the charging current from my car. Note the polarity of the number. A positive number means the battery is charging.

As soon as the engine is turned on, the charging current will be a little high.
Battery drain problems after ICE install-img_20160626_081748108.jpg

And then depending on the level of charge in the battery, the current will come down after some time. This one is after a minute of turning on the car.
Battery drain problems after ICE install-img_20160626_081848753.jpg

Good luck with the troubleshooting effort
graaja is offline   (9) Thanks Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Key remote fob - Battery drain raveesh_k Technical Stuff 15 3rd August 2015 10:41
Battery Drain Issue with Toyota Etios: Boot Light Stays On mroptimist Technical Stuff 13 23rd September 2013 22:05
Does leaving phone charger plugged into 12V socket overnight drain battery? androdev Technical Stuff 27 18th December 2012 22:04
Will this cause battery drain? gbpscars Technical Stuff 15 22nd June 2010 20:55
can a loose wire drain the battery? raj_5004 Technical Stuff 13 8th January 2009 09:12


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 17:17.

Copyright 2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks