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Old 09-06-2004, 06:37 PM
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battery draining

I have a 1988 mercury cougar with a 3.8L fuel injected engine. the other day the battery was dead, so i recharged it and drove off, it runs perfect, when ever i shut the car off the battery dies.
I checked the battery and it is at a full charge around 12 - 12/5
when the car is running it is only at that still does not get higher, i use a test light to check fuses but just read here to disconnect the negitive battery terminal, not the postive and remove fuses, it this right.
If it is a ground fault problem, how to i find out where it is and fix it.
thanks for any input Richard

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Old 09-06-2004, 07:01 PM
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From your description, it sounds like your alternator is not charging. It shold be putting out 13.5-14 volts while running.
If the battery is draining, there must be a drain on it somewhere.

Remove the neg cable. Put it back on. If you see a spark, you have a drain. Remove the fuses one at a time until the spark goes away when you put it back on. That is the circuit that has the drain.
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Old 09-06-2004, 07:06 PM
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battery draining

Thanks, i do have a test light, i can put it on the negitive battery lead and one end to the negitive battery post and then start to pull fuses and find whick is at fault, correct
The alternator was new and a new voltage regulator about 2 years ago
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Old 09-06-2004, 07:09 PM
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Check your regulator...................if you had a short or pulled the battery terminal off while running, it may have fried it.
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Old 09-06-2004, 09:11 PM
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battery

i have pulled the cable off when the car was running , but then the car does start fine when the battery is charged.
i have checked the belt and it is fine, as you said i may have fried the voltage regulator, can i check it before buying a new one?
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Old 09-07-2004, 03:53 PM
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load test

Doc here

Try a load test on the battery, Autozone, or Kragens will usually do these for you Free of charge. The battery may only be maintaining a surface Charge, but not a deep charge.

While Running, Put a DMM across the + and - on the battery, It should read between 13.75 and 14.40 volts if the Charging system is working. Shut it off, it should drop to 12.2 , if it goes below, Like 11.0 or 10 anything, suspect a Battery cell, or a load from the system while off.

If you find an imposed load, first check for stuck lights, Like the Glove box light (unlike the refrigerator, we know for sure it's supposed to go off when the door is closed) Hood and trunk lights, side or bottom courtesy lighting, and stuck or sticking power antenna retract...A stuck or defective regulator may be a cause too, these will all slow drain your battery.

The Vehicle Computer and radio memory presets will impose a load , about 0.02 A on the battery while sitting, but these should not drain the battery, you can current test by pulling the ground off the battery hooking your meter up set for amps and look for a higher reading. If you get one start pulling fuses until it goes away.Then chase that circuit. If you still get a high reading and fuses don't eliminate it, look at a stuck regulator.

Hope It helps!

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Old 09-07-2004, 07:14 PM
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battery

Well i had the battery checked and it is ok, no problems there,
will check for a stuck regulator next as i can pull every fuse and still has a draw, so maybe i may not need an altantor, or even a voltage regulator
forgive my spelling
thanks for all the help
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Old 09-08-2004, 01:16 AM
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When your checking the fuses with the test lite hooked up disconnect the alt also, even though its fairly new, it could be giving you a draw if the diodes are bad and running the battery dead. It should probably have an electronic regulator. I dont think its stuck since it has no moving parts, more than likely has an open or short.
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Old 09-08-2004, 05:13 PM
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battery

Well ok now, had the alternator checked out and it is good, replaced the bed power window switch, it works right now, checked all fuses again and everything in the car works fine, it is an 88 mercury cougar and has power everything,
Question is , would the voltage regulator drain a battery
also after i got home tonight, shut the car off and put the volt meter on the battery, it read around 13-13.5 and slowly went up,
so now i am lost , when i start the car i can drive anywhere and the amp light doesn,t even come on and that is running the radio and lights
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Old 09-08-2004, 05:33 PM
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regulator

Doc here

OK. How the Meter would climb after shutting it off is a mystery to me...never heard of it.

The regulator if solid state, can diode "Leak" so to speak while sitting, and draw from the battery. This will give you a dead battery over night or time, depending how bad it is.

If it's a mechanical regulator, the points can be stuck or crow-bared shut causing a draw.

Either one will give you a dead battery over time. Being an 88 yours is probably electronic...To check, if it goes dead overnight, simply disconnect the alternator and/or regulator wires and see if it's dead in the morning...

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Old 09-09-2004, 01:45 PM
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battery

Thank-you for the advise i will unplug it all tonight and try that
The voltage regulator is electical and it easy to change being right on the back of the alternator lol
I have never seen a battery increase in power either after being shut off
really strange
also i have never seen my amp light go on in the car while driveing, so thats why i think it may be the voltage regulator maybe
so i will try that tonight and see what happens

i was also consireing putting the battery in the trunk of my car but want to know just how to it right so i don,t blow it up or burn something out. and i battery shut off i heard about

and also thanks for all the hlp guys you have all been so good

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Old 09-09-2004, 04:05 PM
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Battery

Doc here

To mount the Battery in the Trunk, Just choose or build a suitable battery box, and solid mount it in the trunk area.

The Best Choice for a Battery is a Gel-cell (SP?) Type battery, to prevent corrosion and gassing in the trunk. Add An overboard vent just in case..

Get 25 feet each of "ought" (0) Gauge or 1 gauge wire with a standard battery terminal on one end.

Drill appropriate sized holes through the trunk being careful to avoid fuel lines, exhaust pipes, brake lines and rotating parts.

Install 2 stout grommets in the holes and route your cables forward using the above care...use plastic coated metal electrical "U" clamps to attach wires to the body and frame.

Run your Ground cable to the starter or block area nearest the starter,

cut to size, and attach a 3/8 bolt Ring terminal to the wire (if cable is not pre~ made)

To do this you will need a nicopress, If you don't have one , you should rent one. Soldering will just melt under cold crank amps, so don't do it.

Bolt it, using a star washer, as close to ,or on the starter as possible.

Use any excess to make a shorter one with ring terminals on both ends and attach it with your block ground to the frame using a star washer, burnish all paint from these areas.

Do the same routing With the Red Cable, attaching it to the Solenoid main bolt.

Use good workman like procedure's and carefully route the wires, away from heat, rotating parts and anywhere that can be hit by something from the road..and you should have a good system.

I would avoid using a Battery Cutoff on your car, for two reasons, one some (most) Computers go through a "Learn" mode when power and data is lost.

The car may run crappy for the first hundred miles or so and even flash codes until the prom re programs average data.

Second, is each time you shut the cutoff off you will lose all your radio presets.

If you don't really need it, don't use it..or install it for just emergency purposes.

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Old 09-09-2004, 08:11 PM
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battery

thankyou so much for the advice , and i have left the battery hooked up and undone the alternator and voltage regulator for the night, now lets see what happens haha
thanks again for all the help.
man i hate wireing problems on newer cars haha
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Old 09-10-2004, 06:45 AM
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battery

Well i did , it works now . left the alternator and voltage regulator wires off all night and the battery hooked up. Go out this morning and all lights working fine, battery has an amp reading of over 15, might becaused by the faulty voltage regulator, never say a battery increase in power before.
But will replace the parts and the brushes in the alternator and hopfully this is the end of wiring for me for a long long time
Once again THANK_YOU so very much to everyone , all the advice has been greatly appreciated so much.
Thanks again Richard
Peterborough Ontario
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Old 09-10-2004, 05:35 PM
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Regulator

Doc here

Sounds like you have the problem isolated.

Let us know how it turns out....

Doc
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