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post #1 of 16 Old Aug 16th, 2008, 1:35 pm Thread Starter
 
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Dead battery

Help. I have an 05 LT. If I'm not able to ride at least once a week and forget to put the trickle charger on my battery drains dead. I've had it to the dealer they say nothing wrong.
I try to start it this AM battery dead. Usually it starts right up with a jump but this AM nothing. With jumper cables on lights come on but it won't even click when I hit the start button.
1) How can I get it started quickly?
2) How can I diagnose the electrical problem?
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post #2 of 16 Old Aug 16th, 2008, 2:08 pm
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Re: Dead battery

Danny, check the obvious first: kill switch, bike in gear with side stand down, Reverse knob in R position.

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post #3 of 16 Old Aug 16th, 2008, 2:28 pm
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Re: Dead battery

You certainly have a problem somewhere because I can leave my bike off-charge for over two weeks and still have it start the first press of the button on the original battery. The only time I flattened Katie's battery was when I mistakenly turned on the parking lights when I parked the bike at work one morning at around 8.30 and it was flat nine hours later but yours seems to be slower than that.

There are only two possibilities, as I see it:
  1. something on the bike is drawing power when the bike's at a standstill or
  2. the battery has an internal short-circuit
If you have any add-ons you need to disconnect them one by one and see whether that improves things. You could temporarily fit an ammeter between one terminal of a charged battery and its connector and if the current being drawn changes you know you've found the problem. If you don't have any non-standard electrical kit or disconnecting the extras doesn't sort it then it's a problem for the dealer to fix.

(2) is fairly easy if long-winded to check. Fully charge the battery and then disconnect it from the bike. Check the voltage level over a week (which you say would give you a flat battery normally) and if it drops significantly replace it.

Keith


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post #4 of 16 Old Aug 16th, 2008, 3:43 pm
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Re: Dead battery

I often let mine sit for 3-4 weeks at a time when I travel at work. I always lock the forks (minimum electrical static load) and have never had a problem. I don't even own a battery tender.I suspect that your issue is a really dead battery. Get a full charge on it using a more powerful charger then she should start up. The starter relay has a circuit in it that won't allow it to engage unless there is a high enough voltage present.

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post #5 of 16 Old Aug 16th, 2008, 4:38 pm
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Re: Dead battery

I've just had an idea that would fit the scenario perfectly. Is the light in the top-box going off when you close the lid? It has a three-position switch: always on, off and switched. You can test which of the two "on" settings you're using by pressing the plunger on the lid.

Keith


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post #6 of 16 Old Aug 16th, 2008, 5:06 pm
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Re: Dead battery

Well, when you get tried of testing...

http://www.batteriesasap.com/48.html

They can have it to you fairly quickly and it will be under 60.00 shipped.
Good Luck!

Visit
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post #7 of 16 Old Aug 16th, 2008, 6:05 pm Thread Starter
 
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Re: Dead battery

Like usual thanks for all the great replies.
I now have a lot of things to check before heading of to the CCR Reunion.
I should have added in my first post that when I had the dealer check it they said it was a bad battery so I had it replaced, but the problem still persists.
I do now have more things to check so thanks to all.
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post #8 of 16 Old Aug 19th, 2008, 10:03 am
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Re: Dead battery

Quote:
Originally Posted by dannyjvl
Like usual thanks for all the great replies.
I now have a lot of things to check before heading of to the CCR Reunion.
I should have added in my first post that when I had the dealer check it they said it was a bad battery so I had it replaced, but the problem still persists.
I do now have more things to check so thanks to all.
Do you by any chance have a Baehr comm system and leave your helmet plugged in?

Gilles & Kathy
BMWMOA# 154719
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2011 Ostra Gray RT
06 Mercedes-Benz E350 Estate (parts and people hauler)
2012 BMW X3 (parts and people hauler)
86 Porsche 911 Cabriolet (my "new" baby)



For her I climbed the highest mountain!
For her I swam across the deepest ocean!
For her I walked through the largest desert!
And then she left me... She said I was never home!!!


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post #9 of 16 Old Aug 19th, 2008, 1:28 pm
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Re: Dead battery

I've been curious about this for some time now, so since this thread came up I figured I would do some testing. My battery will drain down in 2 weeks to the point where it will not start reliably. It is 3 years old, and I'm sure near end of life, so I just keep it on the Battery Tender.

There is always a little drain on the battery, the BC has to keep its clock running, so it is using some current (which is why you have to reset the clock after disconnecting the battery). I have also noticed a bit of a spark when connecting the battery, again indicating there is some current drain.

Armed with my digital meter (everyone has one now, right? they are so cheap these days), I set out to measure the static current drain. This might be useful to others who are trying to find a problem. When the battery is first connected, there is a load of about 0.29A (290mA), then after about 2 seconds it drops to 0.10A and then several seconds later it drops to 0.04A and stays at that point. I assume when power is first applied, the BC powers up and initializes (290mA), enters an idle state (100mA), then finally a standby state where it just keeps the clock running (40mA). Some of that load may be the alarm system as well. At 40mA load, it would take a looong time to run a good battery down!

Some other numbers of interest:
Key in the R position, but everything off: 0.20A
(part, or maybe all, of this load is an accessory relay I have installed)
Stereo playing, normal volume: 1.00A
Key in R, GPS on: 0.44A
Dash light and wing lights on: 1.28A
Trunk light: 0.30A

So, with everything off, if you see a load of much more than 0.04A, something is drawing current that shouldn't be. Your measurements may vary a bit depending on the battery voltage and condition of the battery connections, but they should be close to these numbers.

-Scott

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post #10 of 16 Old Aug 19th, 2008, 2:14 pm
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Re: Dead battery

Scurrie, this is great info, thanks for posting it. I too am getting ready for CCR and just yesterday my '05 did the same thing. Went for a ride on Sunday with my wife and all was good, though it did rain quite a bit. Parked the bike in the garage and Monday morning I went to start it up for work and nothing, no lights, no buzzes, no clicks, no whirrs. Took out my (analog) volt meter and only 2 volts on the battery! Removed the battery and charged it with a 2amp charger for several hours. Final voltage on the battery was about 12.5V. Tried my ammeter but blew the 300ma fuse when connecting. Time to get into the '80s I suppose. Reconnected and drove for a short ride last night, then parked again overnight. This morning it still had the 12.5 volts and started up.

Now, I do have the Baehr, but the key was off (in the house), forks locked (no parking lights) and helmet was disconnected (also in the house). My conclusion is an intermittantly shorted battery, but these amperage readings will help with that diagnosis. More tonight after I get a digital meter.
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post #11 of 16 Old Aug 19th, 2008, 3:05 pm
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Re: Dead battery

Quote:
Originally Posted by smahon
More tonight after I get a digital meter.
Make sure you get one with a 10A scale so you won't blow the fuse as easily.

Note, the 10A scale on most of the small digital meters is a special scale, you have to connect the leads to the meter differently, and also switch it to the 10A position. See attached....

Also, when making these measurements, disconnect the negative lead to the battery, connect one of the meter leads to the battery terminal, and the other meter lead to the bike's negative lead (the one you just removed). The current is then running through the meter, which is the only way to measure current (well OK, you could use a shunt too, but lets not go there). DO NOT connect the meter leads across the battery when you are on a current scale, this will blow the fuse in the meter (if not damage it). Also, do not try to start the bike with the meter connected this way. The starter, ignition, fuel pump, injectors and headlight all coming on will be much more than 10A, and will also blow the meter fuse (the meter leads can't handle starter current either, so even if the fuse didn't blow, the wires would!). Since this is a digital meter, it doesn't matter which lead goes to the battery and which goes to the negative lead. If you get them backwards, the meter will read a negative value instead of positive.

-Scott
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post #12 of 16 Old Aug 19th, 2008, 3:58 pm
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Re: Dead battery

Extremely important information! Thanks again Scott for keeping the info complete. I had already run into the "10A scale" while shopping the shack online; I knew most of the other stuff but have to admit I didn't foresee the potential for misinterpretation in this thread.
Quote:
Originally Posted by scurrie
Make sure you get one with a 10A scale so you won't blow the fuse as easily.

Note, the 10A scale on most of the small digital meters is a special scale, you have to connect the leads to the meter differently, and also switch it to the 10A position. See attached....

Also, when making these measurements, disconnect the negative lead to the battery, connect one of the meter leads to the battery terminal, and the other meter lead to the bike's negative lead (the one you just removed). The current is then running through the meter, which is the only way to measure current (well OK, you could use a shunt too, but lets not go there). DO NOT connect the meter leads across the battery when you are on a current scale, this will blow the fuse in the meter (if not damage it). Also, do not try to start the bike with the meter connected this way. The starter, ignition, fuel pump, injectors and headlight all coming on will be much more than 10A, and will also blow the meter fuse (the meter leads can't handle starter current either, so even if the fuse didn't blow, the wires would!). Since this is a digital meter, it doesn't matter which lead goes to the battery and which goes to the negative lead. If you get them backwards, the meter will read a negative value instead of positive.

-Scott
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post #13 of 16 Old Aug 19th, 2008, 8:16 pm Thread Starter
 
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Re: Dead battery

Like usual all you guys responded brilliantly. If only my Dealer / Service Center were as good at diagnosing problems. See ya all at CCR!
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post #14 of 16 Old Aug 19th, 2008, 9:04 pm
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Re: Dead battery

Quote:
Originally Posted by smahon
More tonight after I get a digital meter.
OK, the test results are in and I must say they seem pretty nominal:
First, voltage readings:
  • voltage at rest, both connected and unconnected: 12.5v
  • voltage running @ idle: 12.5v
  • voltage running @ 1500 rpm: 13.6v
  • voltage at rest while charging from a 2A charger: 13.0v
Now the amperage results:
  • after initial connection: up to 1.6A and the radio turned on briefly for 1 or 2 seconds
  • then varied from 300ma to 800ma for a while, perhaps as long as a minute and heard a very quiet click every 4 or 5 secs (4 times) from down under then stopped
  • gradually dropped to 30ma
  • stablized at 14ma
So, the intermittant short in the battery is still my story and I'm sticking to it.
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post #15 of 16 Old Aug 20th, 2008, 2:00 am
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Re: Dead battery

Your open-circuit voltage looks low and should be nearer 13V if the battery is holding full charge. I found this http://www.batteryuniversity.com/partone-13.htm, which gives useful info.

Keith


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post #16 of 16 Old Aug 20th, 2008, 8:36 am
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Re: Dead battery

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockdoc
Your open-circuit voltage looks low and should be nearer 13V if the battery is holding full charge. I found this http://www.batteryuniversity.com/partone-13.htm, which gives useful info.

Keith
Ya, I thought so too. After I posted I left it on the charger for a couple more hours. From Figure 3 in the article you posted it said a fully charged battery would read 12.65v, although it also says: "Furthermore, AGM has a higher voltage plateau than the flooded lead acid and the readings on Figure 3 may not apply for AGM systems". The article also said to wait 4-8 hours after charging before reading the voltage. This morning, my voltage is 12.6v. In any event, I still have no explanation for Monday's 2v reading, so a new Odyssey is on order.
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