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I recently replaced the carpet in my spider (because one of the previous owners wore a hole in it right behind the driver's heel pad). I believe this same previous owner had installed an alarm system, which was really good at draining the battery. I removed most of the components of this system, but today when I went to take the car for a drive the battery was dead.

The culprit may have been the courtesy lights. I've corrected that problem but I'd like to hang a voltmeter on the system to see if that really was the problem or if I have to remove more of the alarm system wiring.
:rolleyes:
 

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A Voltmeter gauge installed in the car is a very important informative and diagnostic tool IMO:)
 

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A Voltmeter gauge installed in the car is a very important informative and diagnostic tool IMO:)
What about the one already mounted in the pod ? Are these typically accurate or do they work as well as out tachs and speedometers ?

I purchased a new battery 2 months ago and just found it dead:mad:
 

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My car didn't have a Voltmeter only the dreaded :(idiot discharge light. With the Autometer gauge, my system is putting out 13 + volts while the :(above mentioned light faintly glows. What kind of battery did you get the krapped out in 2 months? I trust you always have a Battery Tender connected -right;). You didn't get one of those Red top Optimas did ya' cause if you did let it discharge, its toast.
 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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You don't want a voltmeter, you want to use an ammeter. Disconnect the negative battery cable and put an ammeter in series (with the car not running, of course). The current draw with nothing turned on should be 30 mA or less. If it's more you've still got a drain somewhere.
 

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An ampmeter doesn't tell you everything - just tells you what's going into the battery - doesn't tell you what's going out. And you better make sure you wire it up correctly and with some high output alternators they don't IIRC recommend them. JMO:)
 

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the way tom said is right, to check for current draw, use an ampmeter with the engine off. pull the fuses one at a time till you find the circuit thats bad.
current drawn all the time is probably an alarm oe clock. some radios pull a little current to keep memories.
cliff
 

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the way tom said is right, to check for current draw, use an ampmeter with the engine off. pull the fuses one at a time till you find the circuit thats bad.
current drawn all the time is probably an alarm oe clock. some radios pull a little current to keep memories.
cliff
and still have a Voltmeter installed;):)
 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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The S4 already has a voltmeter built in. He is asking about finding a drain, Lowmileage. Two different subjects.
 

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My car didn't have a Voltmeter only the dreaded :(idiot discharge light. With the Autometer gauge, my system is putting out 13 + volts while the :(above mentioned light faintly glows. What kind of battery did you get the krapped out in 2 months? I trust you always have a Battery Tender connected -right;). You didn't get one of those Red top Optimas did ya' cause if you did let it discharge, its toast.
I do not utilize a tender. My car gets used every week and does not sit for more than 5 days without being run. No Optima for me - I purchased an Interstate battery (I think a size 24) which I am told are decent batteries.

I'm wondering if the new Alpine I had installed a few months back has anything to do with this? I realiuze that there is a constant draw to keep the memory in--tact. Sort of like the Borg digital clock I have.
 

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The S4 already has a voltmeter built in. He is asking about finding a drain, Lowmileage. Two different subjects.
10-4:).................
 

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I do not utilize a tender. My car gets used every week and does not sit for more than 5 days without being run. No Optima for me - I purchased an Interstate battery (I think a size 24) which I am told are decent batteries.

I'm wondering if the new Alpine I had installed a few months back has anything to do with this? I realiuze that there is a constant draw to keep the memory in--tact. Sort of like the Borg digital clock I have.
I use a Tender all the time. It's said to extend battery life 2-3X. Plus I then know my batteries don't discharge and will start the car all the time. I think it is a good idea for you to get one - they are only about 30 bucks. You hook up a "pigtail" and it's very easy to attach/detach. Plus, you need a battery disconnect switch. I also have a CD with a clock in it - I wish it didn't have the clock. I turn the battery disconnect switch off when the car is garaged. Something else you should have if you don't already IMO.
 

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I use a Tender all the time. It's said to extend battery life 2-3X. Plus I then know my batteries don't discharge and will start the car all the time. I think it is a good idea for you to get one - they are only about 30 bucks. You hook up a "pigtail" and it's very easy to attach/detach. Plus, you need a battery disconnect switch. I also have a CD with a clock in it - I wish it didn't have the clock. I turn the battery disconnect switch off when the car is garaged. Something else you should have if you don't already IMO.
I'll certainly look into this over thew weekend. If I do the battery disconnect thing then I'll have to deal with resetting the clock and radio pre-sets. Sounds like a PIA to me. Where can I pick up the pig tails you speak of? Autopart store ? Mycar is garaged and covered so I am trying to figure how to keep her both covered and allow for a trickle charger at the same time.

Thanks
 

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The pig tails I refer to is the plug in connector - it's included in the Battery tender. You permanently (but it's removable) connect one end to your battery. The Tender goes into the electric plug. You then just plug them together. They also include a clip connector but that is a PITA.

Batterytender.com - Home of All Your Charging Needs Battery Tender Jr.

If you shop around, you can get them for around $30. You can probably (but I don't know where) buy them local. Buy the Junior model as above - that's all you need. It's the same one I use on my Motorcycle. I have 5 of them continuiously on 4 vehicles & the bike. Getting one you wouldn't have to use the battery disconnect - but I'd advise putting one on anyway.
You (I) route the wiring down the engine compartment underneath when the car is covered.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks Tom
I do get quite a kick out of how far afield a question can go on this BB. I also wanted to thank you for putting in what's expected as far as the current used by the clock and radio.
 
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