Typical current draw with nothing running but the clock - Chevelle Tech
Electrical & Wiring Troubleshooting electrical problems.

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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old Aug 24th, 19, 2:59 PM Thread Starter
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Typical current draw with nothing running but the clock

Like the title says, what is typical for a '70 Chevelle with nothing running but the clock? Which was converted over to quartz movement about 25 years ago.
Car is not a daily driver and can sometimes sit for over a month without use. Every now and then it wont start and the battery needs a charge. I have been through several batteries in the past few years. Present one is a 78DT AGM
The other day the car would not start. Battery was at 10 Volts. I put the charger on it at 10 amps for 4 hours. Disconnected the charger and the battery read 12.6 volts. Never attempted to start it but measured today and it was 11.5 volts. So it lost voltage again.
I removed the ground cable and measured current with my Fluke meter and it is just under 10mA. That sound fine to me. Is that a normal amount of current drain?

Jim

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old Aug 24th, 19, 3:21 PM
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Re: Typical current draw with nothing running but the clock

Pull the clock fuse or power and recheck. A cure to your issue would be a good battery maintainer designed for AGM batteries. If you keep sucking that battery down and recharging it, it's not long for this world.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old Aug 24th, 19, 4:45 PM
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Re: Typical current draw with nothing running but the clock

I think around 25-35 milliamps is normal.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old Aug 24th, 19, 5:17 PM
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Re: Typical current draw with nothing running but the clock

Your draw seems normal, but your AGM battery needs a full charge, 12.6 is not fully charged. Should probably be around 13.5 and settle back down to 12.6/7 after cool down. AGM don't charge the same way as a wet cell. Once charged monitor and see if it discharges on its own.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old Aug 24th, 19, 5:24 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Typical current draw with nothing running but the clock

OK, i charged it again today for several hours disconnected from the car. Immediately after removing the charger it was at 12.85V. I will check it again tomorrow morning. Is having the AGM style batter something that needs special charging attention compared to the regular lead acid batteries?
EDIT... The sticker on the battery says it has a charge voltage of 13.8V and 14.6 V. and a float voltage between 13,4V and 13.6V. I am already below that. Thinking that maybe my old school battery charger is not good for an AGM??

Jim

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Last edited by JIM; Aug 24th, 19 at 5:52 PM.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old Aug 24th, 19, 7:14 PM
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Re: Typical current draw with nothing running but the clock

The first time I left a car with a converted clock to sit, it didn't last a few weeks before the new battery was dead. I pulled the fuse on it after that.

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old Aug 25th, 19, 6:52 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Typical current draw with nothing running but the clock

Charged it again last night at 14.5V disconnected from the car. Let it go for 4 hours like that. Then removed the charger. Battery read 12.8V at 11pm. This morning at 6am it read 11.5V. I guess it just can't hold a charge even disconnected from the car
So do I need a new battery and need to get a battery minder due to the amount of time this thing sits idle without starting?
For the winter I guess I should just disconnect the battery from the car to avoid a slow death from the clock.

Jim

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old Aug 25th, 19, 12:20 PM
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You maybe over thinking this, follow the KISS plan and simply disconnect the battery after use. By what ever means, my car has a easy or quick disconnect on the negative post. No problems

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