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Discussion Starter #1
After My new to me Spider S4 laid idle for 5 days my new 30 day old battery didn't have enough crank power to start. Very low dim lights. I checked to see if I left anything on and found nothing. While I was using it more on a daily bacis it would start up anywhere every time. Gave it a jump and started right away, tried starting this morning dead again. The few receipts I have from the previous owner shows that the alternator was rebuilt 3 years ago. Any suggestions or advice for trouble shooting would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks and Frustrated,
Chuck
 

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After My new to me Spider S4 laid idle for 5 days my new 30 day old battery didn't have enough crank power to start. Very low dim lights. I checked to see if I left anything on and found nothing. While I was using it more on a daily bacis it would start up anywhere every time. Gave it a jump and started right away, tried starting this morning dead again. The few receipts I have from the previous owner shows that the alternator was rebuilt 3 years ago. Any suggestions or advice for trouble shooting would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks and Frustrated,
Chuck
Morning Chuck, You might check the courtesy lights.They are located down low ,above your feet on the bottom of the dash,drivers side and passengers side..I have had countless cars towed to the shop for this same issue.Left on will kill a battery in no time at all.Also you might check the timer relay for these lights they tend to stay energized and kill the battery also.This relay is the tallest in the fuse panel,when they are stuck on it will be warm to the touch.Good Luck Paul
 

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testing for a parasitic drain

It is not impossible you got sold a dud battery. If you find no parasitic drain, give the battery back
while you are there with the multimeter you might as well check the alternator charge as well: start car and let idle, set meter to 20VDC, connect up to battery poles, it should read 13.8 - 14.4V
 

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If you don't have a multimeter, a simple test is to fully charge the battery, then disconnect one of its cables prior to not using the car for a few days. If it will still start the car five days later, then clearly there had been a parasitic drain. But, of course, this test requires a few days.
 

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If you don't have a multimeter, a simple test is to fully charge the battery, then disconnect one of its cables prior to not using the car for a few days. If it will still start the car five days later, then clearly there had been a parasitic drain. But, of course, this test requires a few days.
If you don't have a multimeter, it's really something you should get as the owner of a classic car. A basic multimeter is $6 at Harbor Freight (I've even seen them free with coupon)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Morning Chuck, You might check the courtesy lights.They are located down low ,above your feet on the bottom of the dash,drivers side and passengers side..I have had countless cars towed to the shop for this same issue.Left on will kill a battery in no time at all.Also you might check the timer relay for these lights they tend to stay energized and kill the battery also.This relay is the tallest in the fuse panel,when they are stuck on it will be warm to the touch.Good Luck Paul
Courtesy lights are inoperable since I owned it and the timer relay was removed already but thanks for your suggestion.
Chuck
 

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Discussion Starter #8
testing for a parasitic drain

It is not impossible you got sold a dud battery. If you find no parasitic drain, give the battery back
while you are there with the multimeter you might as well check the alternator charge as well: start car and let idle, set meter to 20VDC, connect up to battery poles, it should read 13.8 - 14.4V
When you try the battery drain test with a multi-meter on each fuse to see if it drops does that also include all the relays as well?
 

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Try taking off the positive cable and put a multi meter between the cable and the post, make sure that everything is right off. Check and see what voltage is there, you may have to remove all the fuses as well especially if you have a clock or radio, usually both of those are hooked up to constant power but they only draw a minimal amount of amps ( different then voltage, the clock and radio will draw full battery voltage ) Checking amp draw is very hard to do, it requires a special tester, expensive!
Doing a voltage draw test will at least tell you if there is a draw or not, finding it is another story You can also try putting the fuses back in one at a time and see if the draw changes
 

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When you try the battery drain test with a multi-meter on each fuse to see if it drops does that also include all the relays as well?
if you are only getting 20 milliamps (remember that is only 0,020 amps!) then no need to pull a fuse, as you do not have a drain!
What drain does your DVMeter show?

as to your question:
It tells you there is a drain 'somewhere' on that fused circuit.....your wiring diagram will tell you what exactly a specific fuse protects, if there is a relay on the circuit, a switch, a connector plug, or whatever... you then have to trace along and disconnect each item, looking for the drop.

Your alternator can also drain a battery, if an internal diode has gone bad....try disconnecting this from the circuit too.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Good Morning Thanks for the clear explanation unfortunately my multi-meter died on me so I have to buy a new one. Any suggestions for a good meter brand? I also purchased a adjustable Voltage Regulator as mine seemed a bit worn out. The brushes wore unevenly maybe it wasn't installed correctly in any case for $30 it couldn't hurt.
Thanks,
Chuck
 

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Chuck, check to see if the glove compartment light goes out when you close the door. Mine was out of adjustment and remaining ON and I didn't see the light leaking around the door until I happened by the car in the dark. Also, if you have a Spider Veloce with the trouble light on a cord in the glove compartment; either check to see if this light is turned off, or just unplug the light.

Courtesy lights are inoperable since I owned it and the timer relay was removed already but thanks for your suggestion.
Chuck
 

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Make sure your radio is turned all the way off. Don't assume it is off and on trickle (to maintain time and presets) just because the ignition switch is off. Also, check the lighted visor above the passenger seat. It's possible to leave that bulb on even when the visor is flipped up.
 

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After My new to me Spider S4 laid idle for 5 days my new 30 day old battery didn't have enough crank power to start. Very low dim lights. I checked to see if I left anything on and found nothing. While I was using it more on a daily bacis it would start up anywhere every time. Gave it a jump and started right away, tried starting this morning dead again. The few receipts I have from the previous owner shows that the alternator was rebuilt 3 years ago. Any suggestions or advice for trouble shooting would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks and Frustrated,
Chuck
I will almost guarantee it is the courtesy lights under the dash at your feet. They have an on feature by pushing upward on one side. My size eleven feet hit it on every time. Had numerous “dead” batteries until I figured it out. Take out the bulb. There is one on passenger side too.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I will almost guarantee it is the courtesy lights under the dash at your feet. They have an on feature by pushing upward on one side. My size eleven feet hit it on every time. Had numerous “dead” batteries until I figured it out. Take out the bulb. There is one on passenger side too.
I don't think that could be it only because that relay timer is missing. If I understand correctly these lights won't work without it.
 

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First have the auto parts check the output of the alt with the car running. Next have them test the state of the battery once has been fully charged or replaced as it could just be you got a bad battery.... could it be that easy??? You should also check for a current draw with a multi meter. A normal drain is a value under 50 ma +/- 30 ma (about). Any more draw then that will drain the battery to a state were it will not start the car in as little as a few weeks or less. Most new batteries will have a charge of 12.5 to 12.8 volts not 13.5 plus. Check the simple things like all the courtesy lights, radios amplifiers etc buy disconnecting them and see if that is a potential problem. Good luck
 

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Hi, first thing my hubby checks is the battery cable ends, with a pair of pliers see if they will move on the terminal, if OK then he check the grounds at the battery and the ground strap at the engine.
 

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You can check for parasitic drain with a test light. Remove the positive battery cable and connect a test light (with a filament bulb not an LED bulb) between the battery positive terminal and the positive battery cable. The light should not come on. If you have electronic ignition and and ECU controlled ignition system you may get a faint light. If the light is on and visibly bright then you have a parasitic drain. Pull fuses until the light goes out. That will tell you what circuit the drain in on. Very likely you have a stuck door switch or some other reason an inside light is staying on. In spiders its often the map light in the rear view mirror. Have found intermittent shorts there is several cars.
 

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bought a multimeter yet?
when you get one, do the tests mentioned above by various people, then report back.

One of the best makes is a Fluke ($$$), but any 20$ digital tester from the local shops will do.
..... as an alfa owner, you will need it again in the future !
 

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bought a multimeter yet?
when you get one, do the tests mentioned above by various people, then report back.

One of the best makes is a Fluke ($$$), but any 20$ digital tester from the local shops will do.
..... as an alfa owner, you will need it again in the future !
Yes the Fluke is a very good meter. I worked in an electronic lab for a number of years using them. I wrote to the "Fluke company" suggesting a new slogan for their advertising companion.
It was, "If it's a Fluke, it's accurate".
I never did hear back from them after all these years. ;)
 
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