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E34 (1989 - 1995)

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  #1  
Old 11-08-2012, 11:08 PM
manuelwindows manuelwindows is offline
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Mein Auto: 1994 530i, 1977 320i
#21 fuse seeming to drain battery

Anybody ever notice the #21 fuse - corresponding to interior lighting and glove box recharger (for flashlight) - draws inordinate amount of power and can drain battery over time, even when the interior lights are turned off and no flash light plugged in?

It seems like it is doing that on my car based on some preliminary testing. Everything else reading normal except for when I connect the #21 fuse.

Before I do a load test and some more complex and time-consuming / or expensive testing, I'm wondering if anybody else has had this problem with this fuse draining the battery.

And for what it's worth, I might be inviting madness with this question, but does anybody know what a normal or expected resting (car turned off for a couple hours with no accessories powered by battery) voltage reading on the car should be? Whether with a multimeter on the battery or what the digital read out on the Wal-Mart gadget should say? They seem to be the same reading.

By the way, power dips to about 10 - 11 volts while starting car, according to voltage reading on gadget purchased from Wal-Mart for $16.
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  #2  
Old 11-09-2012, 08:37 AM
mfisher0000's Avatar
mfisher0000 mfisher0000 is offline
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Mein Auto: 08 335i, 98 323ic, 05 V50
Same Issue

I replaced my original battery last year in September. Mine is convertible and not a daily driver so it sits in the garage a lot. I have noticed that if it sits two weeks without being started...the battery goes down considerably. This morning I got in it for the first time in about 20 days and it was completely dead...radio code blanked. Here's the kicker...earlier this summer I bought a replacement flashlight for the glove box. It had not had one since I owned it. Can that flash light create that much draw on the battery?
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  #3  
Old 11-09-2012, 09:57 AM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mfisher0000 View Post
I replaced my original battery last year in September. Mine is convertible and not a daily driver so it sits in the garage a lot. I have noticed that if it sits two weeks without being started...the battery goes down considerably. This morning I got in it for the first time in about 20 days and it was completely dead...radio code blanked. Here's the kicker...earlier this summer I bought a replacement flashlight for the glove box. It had not had one since I owned it. Can that flash light create that much draw on the battery?
I failed to close my boot properly but thought I did. The boot light stayed on. 3 days later, the battery was flat. That's a small stupid light but it sucked it all up in three days or maybe less.

I don't think your battery is supposed to be drained after 20 days, under normal circumstances. Not with the maintenance free batteries.

Your replacement flashlight is remaining lit even when the glovebox is shut. The lever or latch that closes and shuts it off when the glovebox closes, is not working properly.

Do you have a smartphone ? Then switch it to video mode, start recording, and put it in your glovebox. Open the glovebox 2 minutes later, stop the recording and replay and see if the glovebox light remains on.

If it doesn't, then there's another current draw somewhere.


rgds,
Roberto

Last edited by robertobaggio20; 11-09-2012 at 09:58 AM.
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  #4  
Old 11-09-2012, 10:02 AM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manuelwindows View Post
Anybody ever notice the #21 fuse - corresponding to interior lighting and glove box recharger (for flashlight) - draws inordinate amount of power and can drain battery over time, even when the interior lights are turned off and no flash light plugged in?

It seems like it is doing that on my car based on some preliminary testing. Everything else reading normal except for when I connect the #21 fuse.

Before I do a load test and some more complex and time-consuming / or expensive testing, I'm wondering if anybody else has had this problem with this fuse draining the battery.

And for what it's worth, I might be inviting madness with this question, but does anybody know what a normal or expected resting (car turned off for a couple hours with no accessories powered by battery) voltage reading on the car should be? Whether with a multimeter on the battery or what the digital read out on the Wal-Mart gadget should say? They seem to be the same reading.

By the way, power dips to about 10 - 11 volts while starting car, according to voltage reading on gadget purchased from Wal-Mart for $16.
With the car locked, your clock runs, your ecu and instrument cluster draws minimal current, your alarm is active. That's about it. All of these are designed to be insignificant draws on your battery in that resting mode.

Yes, voltage drops sharply during cranking, but I don't think it drops below 11volts. Have you had your battery's cold cranking amps aka 'reserve charge' tested recently? If yours is not a new battery, please check that out. Only digital battery meters can give you this information.



rgds,
Roberto
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  #5  
Old 11-09-2012, 10:38 AM
manuelwindows manuelwindows is offline
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Location: Eugene, Oregon
 
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Mein Auto: 1994 530i, 1977 320i
Roberto, he is talking about the rechargeable glove box flashlight, not the light in the glove box.

The rechargeable glove box flashlight is charged through that #21 fuse ....

Did you get a brand new flashlight with new batteries in it? Or a used flashlight with the old batteries still working?
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  #6  
Old 11-09-2012, 10:45 AM
manuelwindows manuelwindows is offline
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Mein Auto: 1994 530i, 1977 320i
OK, pretty conclusive now.

If drive around and charge up the car and leave the #21 fuse in overnight on a relatively cold night (night before last), the battery in the morning will read 12.3 volts (digitally)

If I drive around and charge up the battery and then pull the #21 fuse and then leave it out overnight on a relatively cold night, the battery in the morning reads 12.6 volts, which I think is normal.

the #21 fuse allows some kind of drain while the car is resting .... I'm just keeping it pulled at night and if I leave the car resting for more than a few hours. Just in my opinion, load test and further testing seems unnecessary if all the #21 corresponds to is interior lighting and the glove box recharger, keeping that pulled when the car rests for any length of time is the solution, instead of what I already know will be a frustrating, time-consuming process of figuring out how #21 is causing the phantom draw.

Last edited by manuelwindows; 11-09-2012 at 10:49 AM.
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