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sunshinelock
09-22-2008, 10:39 PM
Hello,

I have a 2006 Sprinter with 32,000 odd miles, owned since new.

About 3 or 4 months ago I noticed my battery wasn't holding a charge for more than 24 hours, so I put a plug-in battery meter into the cigarette lighter.

I have replaced the battery with a Optima yellow-top.

I have a 0 gauge cable linking to a rear battery in the cargo area that charges when a voltage threshold is met. This has been working fine since I installed that. It's fused and all.

The problem is that my battery will intermittently drain.

Today I noticed the battery level was sitting around 11.3 volts when I went into the van this morning, so I started it and let it run for a few minutes to charge.

I went back out to the van in the afternoon and noticed it was at 6.2 volts, and it smelled like an electrical short inside the cab area.

I jumped my batteries to start it and the van (without air conditioning on, but with lights on) would struggle to keep the voltage at 12.9 to 13 volts.

I parked my van after a 15 minute drive and noticed the voltage dropped from the 13 volts to 12.04 or so, so after 3 minutes I started it up and let it run for 45 minutes while I was on a job site.

I came back, the van was running at 13 volts or so, which was very low. I turned the van off again for 10 minutes as I tended to my customer.

I came back and started it, and instantly the intermittent short disappeared and the van ran at 13.4 volts with lights on, and held 13.2 to 13.4 volts all the way home.



This is annoying. I have a new battery in there. All accessories are fused. I smelled the short in the cab earlier today. I tried feeling around the instrument panel for heat indicative of a short, but couldn't find the source. The problem disappeared upon a restart of the vehicle.

Has anybody experienced a similar situation and found the source?

Vito boy
09-22-2008, 10:49 PM
The glow plug relay can cause this problem. Unplug it and see if the problem goes away. Unless you live in a really cold climate you should be ok with no glow plugs for a couple of days.

sikwan
09-23-2008, 02:06 AM
In addition...


I have a 0 gauge cable linking to a rear battery in the cargo area that charges when a voltage threshold is met. This has been working fine since I installed that. It's fused and all.

Are you using anything to isolate the two batteries when the engine is not running?

Maybe you can disconnect the 0 gauge cable at both ends. This way you can narrow down where the drain is coming from and whether there's a short to the chassis.

autostaretx
09-23-2008, 04:11 AM
If you're smelling smoke, you -really- need to dig into this... i'd start by removing the fuse to the house battery.
But, as sikwan suggests, disconnecting the 0 gauge cable at the starter battery end is even better.
Then test with voltmeters and ohmmeters to locate the problem... your 0 gauge cable could have gotten cut by some sheet metal and be dragging things down.

good luck
--dick

Eric Experience
09-23-2008, 12:25 PM
If you have a tow bar and trailer socket, check the wires behind the socket. very common for the wires to be run without a grommet. Eric.

sunshinelock
09-23-2008, 03:01 PM
The glow plug relay can cause this problem. Unplug it and see if the problem goes away. Unless you live in a really cold climate you should be ok with no glow plugs for a couple of days.

I'm in Florida. I could probably run until November/December without it.

Where is the relay located?

sunshinelock
09-23-2008, 03:02 PM
If you have a tow bar and trailer socket, check the wires behind the socket. very common for the wires to be run without a grommet. Eric.

Yes, this was an aftermarket trailer hitch the dealer put on. I'll check this out as well as a probable source.

Vito boy
09-23-2008, 11:59 PM
I'm in Florida. I could probably run until November/December without it.

Where is the relay located?

Should be on the battery tray, black box with two plugs and a thick cable running to it.
Just unplug the large rectangular plug with 4 or 5 wires running to it.