Battery drain test

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Battery drain test

Postby RS-4 » Tue Feb 16, 2016 8:02 pm

Hello everyone, can I use the 20/60A current clamp in 20A mode for testing battery drain? I know that this is not the most accurate solution but I have no other.

Are Pico 30A probe good solution for this test?

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Re: Battery drain test

Postby Fat Freddy » Tue Feb 16, 2016 10:11 pm

Hi,

Yep 20/60 clamp will do fine but obviously will drift over time. I think there are a few posts on the subject.

HTH
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Re: Battery drain test

Postby FioranoCars » Fri Feb 19, 2016 5:09 pm

It might be useful to try a 10 loop coil, and then create a custom probe with the correction (*0.1), as this will amplify the small signal where the 20/60 clamp struggles, to something it's more comfortable with.

By 10 loop coil, we just took a 5amp cable and two crocodile clips on the ends, created 10 loops (large enough to fit over the jaws, without mechanical strain - so 150mm Diameter) and cable tied them for ease of fitting into the jaws of the clamp, and use in place of the battery negative cable.

Well, we've move on since that method to using fuse based volt drop, to avoid issues of drift, as we do lots of 12hour and 48hour test, but the old method is fine for 1-2hours, which show up 99% of parasitic drain issues.

There are several threads on fuse based current measurement, try searching on "Fuse +Current" or "Fuse +Parasitic", I have a couple of articles, If you want them, I see if I can find the links.

Thanks
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Re: Battery drain test

Postby RS-4 » Sun Feb 21, 2016 1:40 pm

Thanks for the reply, links will greatly help.

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Re: Battery drain test

Postby FioranoCars » Sun Feb 21, 2016 6:25 pm

Try this:

VW Article for Parasitic drain measurement using fuses

Any questions just post here

Best
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Re: Battery drain test

Postby RS-4 » Mon Feb 22, 2016 7:38 pm

Nice, thanks.
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Re: Battery drain test

Postby tangoman » Sun Mar 06, 2016 2:04 pm

you can also use a Thermal Imaging Camera for battery drains
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Re: Battery drain test

Postby FioranoCars » Sun Mar 06, 2016 2:58 pm

Hi Tangoman
Not tried a Thermal Camera for that, but have recently bought a FLIR-One for Android ... cheap enough to start having a play, and with our dual banks/cats can help identify issues with cat performance/imbalance (temp) and individual manifold branches, thermostat housing failure through to interior heater vent output issues ... all recent work that could have been easier to identify and certainly clearer communicate to the client with images to support the diagnosis ... so we got one! It is really good, should have bought one years ago, but glad we now have it. Maybe I should play with it more!

How do you use it for Parasitic drain?

Our drains are typically 100-250ma excess draw so not massive, sometimes more, often less @ only 40ma excessive but not many verse the volume of these 100-250! (so 150-300ma total drain)
In fact we have 5 cars on site with small drains
- 3 all at 260 - 280ma
- 1 with 670ma
- 1 with 380ma
Odd yes, but I guess end of winter hibernation for many of our owners! Things happen while in storage (moisture mainly!). Only 1 came in for the issue, but we check all cars as part of our health check along with battery/starter/alternator - trainee's learn by repetition, so they get to do every car! Helps familiarity with the scope, so they can set it up with complete confidence, helps when they are asked to do something more difficult as the basics are well ingrained.

We don't use the scope for parasitic drain initial testing, as the time to do it is too long, and while the para test is running they can setup the starter/battery tests, rather than twiddle their fingers. We use "The Hook" for the initial drain test, can be setup in under 1 minute, even if a earth has to be manually disconnected, all without loss of ECU memory.

I'm thinking that using the thermal camera on the fuses themselves (the fine blowable strip?) but I think the camera we have would read the shell temp as it does with glass, rather than what's inside/behind it? How else do you use it?

I'm really interested to add a new methodology to the proverbial tool chest ...

Please spill the beans!

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Re: Battery drain test

Postby tangoman » Mon Mar 07, 2016 11:55 am

Hi fIoranocars not sure if a Thermal camera can pick up the heat of something draw of only 40ma you have to try it not had to check a car with only 40ma draw . it will see the heat from 260 ma for sure so next time give it a go. I sure your see the a 250 ma draw using thermal camera . so if you a car that's comes in with a draw next time use the thermal camera and you should see say a glove box light on without opening the glove box or you should see a ECU not gone asleep yet . you see that soon the thermal camera can be used for almost everything
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Re: Battery drain test

Postby tangoman » Mon Mar 07, 2016 1:58 pm

Have a read of this some great reading http://www.searchautoparts.com/motorage ... volt-meter
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