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Troubleshooting .78 amp Battery Drain - 2006 Subaru Legacy Outback


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52 replies to this topic

#26 battleborn

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 08:35 PM

Just unhooked the alternatore and it had no impact on the drain.

 

The check engine light and cruise control light issue hasn't resurfaced, so not much I can do on that.

 

Any other ideas? 



#27 battleborn

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 12:26 PM

Well folks, I've pretty much given up on this.

 

Short of installing a battery cut-off switch (and dealing with the resulting hard starts and so on), my only option is to see how long the current battery lasts and replace it with one with more CCA.

 

If anyone has a similar vehicle to mine, I'd be curious to know what your battery drain is, just for comparison.

 

Thanks for all the help! This forum is amazing.



#28 Fairtax4me

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 10:15 PM

Does the new battery still drain within a few days?

#29 battleborn

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 10:29 PM

Not sure yet. She's been driving it every day. Problem first became obvious when it had sat for a couple of days...



#30 Fairtax4me

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 11:01 PM

If pulling every fuse make no difference it's possible some relay elsewhere in the car is still engaged and pulling current, but there shouldn't be many (if any) that don't have a fused power source. And at that, it would have to be part of the circuits that are powered by the 120 amp main fuse. That doesn't handle every circuit in the car, most of them yes, but not all. The headlamp relays, horn relay, fuel pump relay, TCM power, ECM power, BIU, key illumination, hazard module, and power window breakers are not supplied by the main fuse. So unpugging the main fuse kinda sorta rules most of those out. Fuses and relays for all of those are in the under hood panel.
I don't see anything that really stands out looking at wire diagrams. Everything that is supplied by the main fuse has a fuse or relay in the under hood fuse panel. You should be able to isolate a bad circuit elsewhere in the car by removing the fuses and relays in that panel. If none of those fuses made a difference, the only thing I can think of would be a short in the panel itself.

Also a small chance there is a short in the alternator charge lead (the bolt on lead), which should be easy to find by checking the insulation for any signs of chafing or cuts.

Edited by Fairtax4me, 26 February 2013 - 11:06 PM.


#31 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 11:48 PM

might be interesting to have someone monitor the leakage current while someone bounces the car at each corner or pulls, pushes on wire harnesses.



#32 battleborn

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 01:09 AM

Texan, I did a bit of that on my own with no luck...but when I get a chance I'll have a friend help me do it a bit more thoroughly.

 

Fairtax, I'll take another look at the alternator lead, but haven't seen anything obvious yet. Was thinking that I should remove the under hood fuse box and inspect wiring and connections to it. Thanks for the ideas...



#33 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 08:48 AM

OK, I know this is reaching, but you might also try jiggling, vibrating, etc. the ignition locks, steering column, fuse/relay blocks themselve, the 'virgin switch/parking switch , the hazard flasher switch and even the rear hatch.

 

as mentioned before, triple check for any other electrical problem. power windows, brake lights, dome lights, powered antenna booster, etc.



#34 battleborn

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 11:01 AM

OK, I know this is reaching, but you might also try jiggling, vibrating, etc. the ignition locks, steering column, fuse/relay blocks themselve, the 'virgin switch/parking switch , the hazard flasher switch and even the rear hatch.

 

as mentioned before, triple check for any other electrical problem. power windows, brake lights, dome lights, powered antenna booster, etc.

 

Already did the jiggle/shake/slap test, while exhausting my fairly copious vocabulary of swear words.

 

But it wouldn't hurt to give it another shot.

 

Hoping I'll have some time to mess around with it this evening. Will post back with results....



#35 Gloyale

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 11:28 AM

Stereo. Just a hunch. But since it has problems it could be the culprit.

I fought the same issue for weeks. Upgrade Alt wiring, bought new battery, tested alt. no change, sits for 2-3 days, no start.

Turned out to be the memory circuit of my kenwood stereo drawing .45 amps! hooked the memory lead to switched power instead, no problems since.

I know you got the stick radio, but like I said you know it has issues so start there.

Edited by Gloyale, 27 February 2013 - 11:29 AM.


#36 battleborn

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 11:40 AM

Yeah, true...the only reason I haven't taken the stereo out and unplugged it is because I figured that both the memory circuit and main circuit are powered by a fuse. But at this point it's worth a shot.



#37 Cougar

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 09:09 PM

After checking my service data again it looks like I missed a couple of more things that tie to the main fuse besides the main alternator lead. The data shows that fuse panel connection MB-1 ties to the AC relay/fuse holder which may be under the hood. It also ties to fuse SBF-8 which ties to the ABS system. I think that fuse may be under the dash near the fuse panel there but it is separate from the panel.

#38 battleborn

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 12:08 PM

Had to work late last night and didn't get a chance to look at it. Will try and look at it tonight.

 

Cougar, thanks for the tips. Will see if I can find those relays/fuses.



#39 battleborn

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 09:10 PM

After checking my service data again it looks like I missed a couple of more things that tie to the main fuse besides the main alternator lead. The data shows that fuse panel connection MB-1 ties to the AC relay/fuse holder which may be under the hood. It also ties to fuse SBF-8 which ties to the ABS system. I think that fuse may be under the dash near the fuse panel there but it is separate from the panel.

 

Just had a moment of daylight to take a look, but I did verify that SBF-8 is under the hood, and I did pull it during prior checks. There is also an AC relay which is under the hood next to the main fuse box...I have pulled that one before as well with no drop in amp drain.

 

Alternator lead looks fine. No obvious wear or damage.

 

As soon as I get a chance (probably not for the next few days) I'll remove the stereo and see what happens.


Edited by battleborn, 28 February 2013 - 09:11 PM.


#40 Cougar

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 09:30 PM

Along with the AC relay there should be a fuse for that circuit and that needs to be checked.



#41 battleborn

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 03:16 PM

OK, finally got a chance to get back to this. I pulled the SBF-8 fuse and the AC relay. Minimal drop in current, not enough to make a difference. Reading still about .2 amps. 

 

Might get a replacement stereo/climate control off eBay since that needs to be fixed anyway. Other than that, guess I'll keep driving it until the battery goes out again and maybe get an Optima or similar hardy battery in the hopes that it'll hold out for a while.



#42 Cougar

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 09:58 AM

Are you allowing enough time for the systems go into the sleep mode when you get things connected up and before you take the current reading? You might need around 5 minutes for the things to shut down after connection to power is made through the meter. 



#43 battleborn

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 10:35 AM

Yes, should be fine there - that was the cause of my original .78 amp reading in this thread. 

 

Current procedure is to hook a wire to + battery post and to + battery terminal. Clip multimeter leads to same. Wait 5-10 minutes. Disconnect jumper wire. Meter goes to .229 amps (or close to it, fluctuates a bit).



#44 foamman

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 12:42 AM

Had to post here, as I have the same vehicle and the exact same problem.  Your problem is the cd, which you indicated is jammed with a few cd's.  While the car is off, the cd unit, which is always powered, intermittenly will attempt to eject the cds and drains the battery after a day or so.  This was confirmed by my dealer, with no fix available.  My first thought was to just yank the fuse, but like you found, there is no "radio" fuse.  Cute.  That's because the cd and radio are powered by the heater control circuit, which you cannot live without.  So I removed the radio/cd and could see the stuck cd's, but could not figure out how to get them out without complete disection of the unit from the top down, which looks tricky.  I have searched in vain for a plug/wiring diagram, hoping to just cut the cd power wire at the plug, but I can not find that anywhere.  Any one know?

 

A battery disconnect would be the only answer, and not a very good one either.



#45 Cougar

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 08:17 AM

You could install a used replacement CD player since you have already removed the bad one. Ebay is a good place to find used ones at a resonable price. This very thing happened to a friend of mine who purchased a used '05 Outback. The CD player was trying to eject disks and draining the battery.



#46 battleborn

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 09:26 PM

Finally posting back as the issue is resolved! As suggested above, it was the stereo! Replacement unit off of eBay solved the problem.

 

I disassembled the old stereo to get my cd's out and found out that it was a paper label coming off that had jammed the disc. To answer foamman, it can be done, just take your time and mark/label the tiny screws. Trickiest part would be the tiny tension springs, but those could be held with a bit of wire while you were taking it apart. I wasn't careful with mine as I had already purchased and installed the replacement.

 

Thanks to everyone who helped on this thread...this forum rules! End result seems to be that Subarus (of this year at least) have rather odd stereo circuits (probably due to being integrated into the climate control system). If your stereo acts up AND you have a battery drain, pull the old stereo out.



#47 Cougar

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 04:20 PM

I have a friend with an '05 Outback that had the same problem. He replaced his CD unit also with another used one. 



#48 subaruneedpdf

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Posted 07 December 2013 - 05:29 PM

Hi all

 

I am from Australia, I might have something to add out of interest here.

 

2006MY06 Forester NA 2.5 -   The car turned a little sluggishly on startup yesterday, which I noticed, so the problem has drained battery or battery itself has drained over 2 -3 days.

 

Started up this morning, hardly turned then clicking.

Checked volts  - 9.4

removed neg terminal - did amp test but not a proper one with 16 gauge wire, just a bogus test to see if my multi meter was working - got 228 ma, which from posts above I assume is normal for an incorrect drain test.

 

reconnected battery, went and had a coffe looked on the internet etc etc

half an hour later just decided to get a final reading on battery volts-  10. 4 volts... hmm battery is rejuvinating itself? Maybe good after all.

 

Went and had a smoke, couple more coffess, looked on the internet some more.

 

I then decided to do another check, surely my previous checks were wrong,, battery reading 12.2 volts... hmm it really is rejuvenating.

 

 

 

Either way I have never seen a dud battery revive itself, which leads me to beleive the battery is ok?

 

Car still did not have enough juice to turn the engine over, though it turn do a couple of sluggish turns but not enough.

Only thing I did was disconnect the neg terminal, all I can think of is:
--that it reset the computer, and maybe the computer had a short in it (bug) causing a drain?

or

--Battery broken - sitting around normal voltage -- usless under load.

 

Will be interesting to see if the battery charges itself to turn car over , but I kind of doubt it, and I am leaning towards, the second diagnosis, of broke battery.


Edited by subaruneedpdf, 07 December 2013 - 05:32 PM.


#49 Fairtax4me

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Posted 07 December 2013 - 06:12 PM

Batteries often "re-charge" themselves when a drain is removed. The voltage level may increase, but the current available will not. Best to remove the battery and charge it to prevent damage.
If you disconnect the battery - you need to wait 30 minutes to an hour for the computers to go to sleep before taking an amp draw reading.

#50 subaruneedpdf

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 03:12 PM

Batteries often "re-charge" themselves when a drain is removed. The voltage level may increase, but the current available will not. Best to remove the battery and charge it to prevent damage.
If you disconnect the battery - you need to wait 30 minutes to an hour for the computers to go to sleep before taking an amp draw reading.

Thanks, yes it appeared to only gain charge but would not kick the starter over enough.

I put in a new battery.

 

I see many people posting at times saying after a new battery the car will stall.

This happens to me everytime I disconnect the terminals as it must reset the computer.

 

Best thing is to drive the car for about 30km and it relearns the idle.... eventually,  it can be a pain in the city.






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