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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
1994 Infiniti G20, 118k miles, Automatic

Ok, I have a problem with the battery being drained. When I had gotten the P10, it already had a new battery. But one day, the battery just drained (lights were not on or anything) and it didn't work. Even jump starting it didn't work. So okay, got a brand new Diehard battery. That one has also died as well, and it's only two months old. I noticed that before its death, maybe 5-7 starts, and all of them were slow, like the battery is about to die, but it starts. Anyways, we tried to jump start, and still nothing. But lights work, and all the dash lights come on, but put it in Start, and it just clicks.

A day later, in the morning, I started to check around the engine. I turned it to the on position, and I noticed the chime was strong and loud (before it was weak) so I started the car. Once again, it cranked slow, but it started. Did a couple more cranks, and it started SLOW again. I tried to check the volts of the battery while the car ran, and it was being charged. I turn on the lights, A/C, volts drop but come right back up again. I turned off the car, but left the lights on for a 1 minute. Tried to start it, and it was dead again. (Before, I had also left the lights on, and it did not start when I tried to as well, but I had left the lights on for like 5 minutes.)

So I started to take it apart. I thought maybe the alternator wasn't charging, but the battery/brake light were never on. I went to go get it tested, it was fine. Thought maybe the starter was getting bad, but that was fine as well.

I searched around the forums for draining batteries, but couldn't find much. Before the car never had problems, in fact I used the car everyday. I also noticed that sometimes at night, the external lights, and interior dash lights would dim and brighten continuiously (not much but it is noticable if you look carefully), and it would continue doing that. It appears to not go with the revs though, so I don't know what that was about.

The alarm seems to work, I doubt that drains any power. I can push the panic button and it the alarm would activate. The light are very bright, and show no sign of being dim. I'm stuck. Help please?
 

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that's really strange. Are you sure that your alternator is putting out enough power?

The belts could be slipping on the pulley, meaning that the battery isn't being charged enough..
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Belt's are really tight (but not too tight). I had the alternator tested and they said it was okay. Maybe I should get it tested while the alternator is in the car with the car running? But there isn't the brake/battery light combo on...Keep them coming. Thanks.
 

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sounds like the starter to me. they crank real slow or not at all when they are going bad. also you said you tried to jump it and nothing... this also leads me to believe the starter is on its way out. no matter how shot the battery is, you should be able to jump it
 

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Actually, if it is cranking slow, that could also be due to the dead battery -- when my battery was dead it would crank extremely slow. I got a new battery and even though the starter was on the way out, when it felt like engaging it would crank at normal speed.
 

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read my thread on similar problems. starter died, was replaced, but battery problem persisted. the alternator was also checked twice and found "ok". to make a long story short it turned out to be the alternator...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
yea, i mean it has to be the alternator...theres nothing else in the charging system. i'm going to go buy an alternator tonight. i have to put back the damn starter haha
 

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it definitly could be the starter....when they go bad brushes can where out and other internal parts...when they when out they have internal higher resistance which causes excescive draw which the battery cant handle all that extra draw....it could also be some bad grounds not letting the car do anything at all cause if the battery isnt gettin a good ground then no start or bad ground which cause the battery to drain but may cause the alternator not to be able to charge the battery back up to its full potential every time...Or in theory could be anything or multiple things....i hate electrical just took it in college lol

Brad
 

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Sounds like you have a parasitic draw somewhere with a module shorting internally - do you have an aftermarket head unit or is it stock?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
head unit is stock. i replaced the alternator this morning. tonight i'll see if all the lights dim and brighten again like it did before. so far it seems to be okay, and cranking is strong and does not sound slow. i also disconnected the cables going to the power attenna since the belt is broken and the antenna doesn't come up (i searched around and also read that it can draw power unnecessarily) hopefully i can get home from work haha.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
ok so I thought replacing the alternator solved the problem. Nope, there is some drain somewhere. It happened again...but this time a jump worked. The first time the battery drained, we couldn't jump it (it wouldn't crank) and even AAA couldn't jump it either which resulted in towing the car.

I got the car home, it cranked slowly the next morning. When I got home today, it cranked real slow and it started. Turned it off, cranked it again, but then it was dead. Any common points of drain I should look for?
 

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Ok exactly your problem happened to me.. The car wouldnt start and power was being drained from the battery from somewhere but we couldnt figure out where. The car would start when it got boosted anyhow long story short it turned out to be the starter and why exactly is apparently something about the solenoid on the starter was draining the battery out. As soon as i changed the starter it fixed everything and thank god man. I was really worried i had an electrical problem and that woulda sucked because it just didnt make sense why power was being drained and especially if it was the starter but it turned out to be starter. I dont think there is a way to test if the starter solenoid was draining the battery either. Anyways hope that helps you i can totally relate to your problem tho as it happened exactly as u mentioned to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I had that problem with my Sentra where the bushing on the end was worn out to the point where the shaft kept touching the body of the starter. I guess I'll try the starter...why not. It's just a little troubling for me shooting in the dark, and replacing parts when you're not sure what exactly the main problem is. I did check the starter, thinking that was the problem. There is no play in the shaft, and testing it out it checked out fine. But I guess it doesn't check for any residual drain. Any other ideas?
 

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there is a way to check for things drawing from the battery. i dont remember the exact procedure, but try this. disconnect the negative terminal of the battery and connect a bulb or voltmeter from the battery terminal to the negative wire terminal. if you see a draw (in other words if it lights up or you see significant voltage or amperage on the gauge) start disconnecting components until you find your problem. check the starter first if you suspect it, then start pulling fuses one by one.

hope this helps. good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Where does the positive wire go from the voltmeter? Which fuses do I pull, the ones in the engine compartment and the ones inside the dash? Thanks.
 

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i shoulda been more clear. you disconnect the negative terminal from the battery and one wire from the voltmeter goes to the terminal on the battery and the other wire from the voltmeter goes to the ground wire that you just disconnected (in series). ive really not actually seen this done with a voltmeter/multimeter but im sure it can be done. try with a test light. its easier when you are pulling the fuses in the car anyway because you can see the light go out. pull any and all fuses until you find the circuit that is drawing.

im not 100% sure that this procedure will work for you but ive seen it done on older (less sophisticated) domestics. give it a shot. beats payin someone alot of money
 

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i have the EXACT same problem! it started out of the blue as well. i have gone through 3 batteries in the last 6 months. The alternator is new, and it charges the battery. i have to unhook the battery if i am going to be parked or not driving for a while. The belts are new. my buddy who installed my motor in Portland is working on my car tomorrow and i will ask him to check this wierd problem. Also, the lights dim when i hit the brakes, i hear the relay. maybe that is the problem? all the lights dim, dash lights/headlights/etc when the brakes are hit...

i will let you guys know what happens if we find anything out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I didn't bother testing or finding out what the problem could have been. I just replaced the starter, and it cranks faster than before. No battery drain either. Seems to be good.
 
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