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Old 7th January 2009, 10:20   #1
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Default can a loose wire drain the battery?

well guys, thats exactly my query, can a loose wire drain the battery completely?

well the issue in detail is:

i have a scorpio mHawk. i had got this Roots horn installed, everything was fine before that! but just the next day, my driver cleaned the vehicle and the horns stoppd working. infact, they were working but sounding as if it has a sore throat! when inspected, the mechanic told 1 of the 2 horns is not working and he will get both replaced and advised me to come after 3 days since he does not have that horn in stock. he removed the faulty horn, left its wire loose and the other horn is working now. meanwhile, i came home and parked the vehicle. the next day, i did not use the scorpio and today when i tried to open it using the remote, there was no response. i tried many times but it just would not open. i was also suprised to see that the red lock symbol which blinks in the instrument console (immobilizer symbol) was also not blinking. then i opened the door using the key and the alarm sounded (was expected but was not as loud as expected). as soon as i got inside and turned the key, the buzzer stopped but the car would not start. the parking lights, interior lights and horn were not working too.
then i realized that the battery was dead. i removed the battery and gave it to a local battery shop for charging. i will get it back tomorrow evening.

what could be the reason behind this? can the loose wire (from which the faulty horn was removed) drain the battery even when the horns are not used and the car is not running for 1.5 days?
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Old 7th January 2009, 10:47   #2
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If the wire was in touch with any conductor, the battery would have got discharged. The best option would have been to either cut of the tip of the wire as close to the covering as possible or to have it bound up really well with insulation tape; both these methods would have ensured that the wire is isolated.
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Old 7th January 2009, 11:36   #3
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If the ground wire was touching the metal then it would have drained the battery, and if the positive was touching the metal then it would've sparked evrytime you hooted and also affected the battery. In the latter case the fuse should've blown out. Since it didn't, the ground wire must have been touching the metal and drained the battery.

Ideally the electrician should've nipped the exposed ends of the wires and then taped for double-safety till the new hooter was installed.
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Old 7th January 2009, 11:44   #4
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If your wire connection to the battery is loose. Your batter will drain over a period of time.

I have personally experience it.

Cheers
Shrey
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Old 7th January 2009, 12:18   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gd1418 View Post
If the ground wire was touching the metal then it would have drained the battery.
I'm sorry to disagree. The ground wire is supposed to be connected to the metal only. If is is not connected, the circuit won't be completed.

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Originally Posted by gd1418 View Post
if the positive was touching the metal then it would've sparked evrytime you hooted and also affected the battery. In the latter case the fuse should've blown out.
If the positive was touching, then Battery would be drained for sure. I agree with gd1418 that fuse/CB should have acted, before the entire battery got drained.
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Old 7th January 2009, 13:06   #6
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@ whitenight: then what would be the cause buddy? how come the fuse dint act and the battery got drained?
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Old 7th January 2009, 13:22   #7
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Whiteknight is right and yes the battery can get drained if the +ve terminal comes in contact with metal(unpainted). The wire that needs to be insulated (cut/taped) is the +ve terminal from the battery\horn which is in contact with metal. You can then jumpstart your car and the battery will get charged slowly.

ps: Two to three minutes of driving/idling should charge your battery with enough amps to crank.

Just to explain how a horn is wired: In a horn, there are two terminals +ve and -ve. The -ve (ground wire) should be connected to metal and the +ve wire should be connected to a power source (any wire connected to the battery's +ve terminal).
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Old 7th January 2009, 16:32   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteKnight View Post
I'm sorry to disagree. The ground wire is supposed to be connected to the metal only. If is is not connected, the circuit won't be completed.
Totally Offtopic from the horn issue, but was wondering how the circuit gets complete in a car. I mean, none of the metal parts in the car are touching the ground, the rubber tyres should be insulating the car from earth. I know its probably a real dumb question, but what am I missing here?

Last edited by Lalvaz : 7th January 2009 at 16:33.
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Old 7th January 2009, 16:38   #9
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the -ve of the battery is connected to the body metal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lalvaz View Post
Totally Offtopic from the horn issue, but was wondering how the circuit gets complete in a car. I mean, none of the metal parts in the car are touching the ground, the rubber tyres should be insulating the car from earth. I know its probably a real dumb question, but what am I missing here?
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Old 7th January 2009, 18:21   #10
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I think the your both horn are faulty. the second one remained powered and you didn't notice due to its week sound. It finally discharged the battery through the other horns return wire which was touching the metal. He in all probability wired both horn parallel.
If this theory failed then it is something else which drained the battery.

Positive wire touching body will give fireworks till fuse blow. If he has installed horns without a fuse the wire insulation must have melted. Return wire touching will only cause horn to come on.

In maruti cars the horn is hot wired; when you press horn switch the return wire is grounded and horn works. if return wire touched any metal part due faulty installation the horn will blow without any switch on. i consider its the same with your car.

Last edited by gigy : 7th January 2009 at 18:25.
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Old 7th January 2009, 18:41   #11
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The guy should have at least taped the exposed end of the wire; were these additional horns with a separate circuit or did you replace the existing horns with these ones?

If there was a separate circuit, did he install a separate fuse along with the relay?
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Old 8th January 2009, 08:15   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lalvaz View Post
Totally Offtopic from the horn issue, but was wondering how the circuit gets complete in a car.
Cyclops answered already. Battery -ve is connected to Car's metal body. So for any connections, you just need to ground the -ve to the body. Circuit is completed through the car's body to the battery's -ve.

Quote:
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If there was a separate circuit, did he install a separate fuse along with the relay?
My thought too
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Old 8th January 2009, 08:31   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suman View Post
The guy should have at least taped the exposed end of the wire; were these additional horns with a separate circuit or did you replace the existing horns with these ones?

If there was a separate circuit, did he install a separate fuse along with the relay?
no buddy, i did not mess with the original wiring. i replaced the original horns with these on the existing circuit.
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Old 8th January 2009, 09:12   #14
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one is that the +ve wire was touching the body some where , as it was left hanging loose this may have run the battery , what i believe is that as you where using a high intensity roots horn which draws more current may have run down your battery,for i presume that you use your car sparingly and so the battery was not sufficiently charged.Add to this the constant current drawing from the immobilizer must have compounded your problem.
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