2000 renault scenic battery drain

Hi every one, joined just now hoping someone can help me!!

My scenic battery keeps draining overnight, go to start it in the morning and there’s nothing, doesn’t even turn over :weary:

I took it to an auto electrician today and he tested the battery and the alternator and said both are ok, battery is a bit low but not dead.

There’s more going on with the car but my post would be too long and boring for anyone to read if I included it all!

Anyone had a similar experience or know what it could be?

Thanks in advance! :blush:

Yes, you have some component in the car that has an internal short so it is drawing too much current even if the car is off. Most electronic controls draw a little current when the car is off but less than 10 milliamps each. The electrician checked the alternator and battery but needs to check the car-off current draw. The tech puts an ammeter between the ground and battery and measures how much current the car draws when it is completely “asleep.” If is is more than about 50 milliamps, that’s a problem. Pulling fuses one by one until the draw drops to acceptable levels will identify the problem part.

The usual suspects are, replacement radios and amplifiers or aftermarket security systems. Good Luck!


Thanks for your reply,

I bought a 10A multimeter after visiting the garage and it measured at 0.02 which is normal? The car was hot and hadn’t been off long, maybe that made a difference?

Some other problems that have been happening recently…

  1. The stereo and cigarette lighter unit comes on and goes off as and when it chooses, mostly it comes on with the ignition but sometimes doesnt and has a habit of coming on when i shut the car door, I thought that was the problem initially!
  2. Since the battery went flat and was jumped a few days ago the car has been central locking after I drive a few yards in it, it’s never done that before?
  3. I changed the windscreen wiper motor last week, could that have anything to do with it?

Adding to the stereo issue, I don’t think it’s ever been connected right as it has no memory… i.e. if I turn the car off for a moment then back on it forgets what track it was on and starts from the beginning? I have to redo all sound settings every time too :roll_eyes::thinking: that and it’s just falling around in the slot…it’s never been secured properly…bound to losen a few cables right? :woman_shrugging:

Most of the people on this forum are US based and Renault has not been sold here for years. There is a member from Denmark I think that may be familiar with your vehicle . But just what you have posted makes me say if it was mine I would just bail and replace it.

Ohh :see_no_evil: thank you! I didn’t realise :roll_eyes:

I’ve spent so much already I can’t let her go and No one wants to buy a broken car :disappointed::joy:

0.020 amps or 20 milliamps is just fine and should not cause a battery drain…But

  1. THAT is a problem. The 20mA you measured may have been when the stereo is being “good” and not bad. I’d disconnect it, pull the fuse, power it down completely and see if your problem goes away.

  2. I’d be willing to bet the locking feature is the default for this car and your owners manual can tell you how to change that.

  3. It is possible but if that was a problem, you’d see it in the current draw.


More specifically, Renault-branded vehicles have not been sold in The US for almost 40 years. Renault’s abysmal quality–coupled with a parts supply chain that sometime took MONTHS to import necessary repair parts–caused the US public to not buy those cars, and by the late '70s, Renault had no choice but to depart from the US marketplace.

Then, in the '80s, as American Motors was hovering near death, Renault came to their rescue (?), and AMC began selling poorly-disguised Renaults under the AMC trademark. The problem for the buyers who were hoodwinked into buying these AMC products was that, no matter what logo appeared on the body, those cars had the traditional Renault reliability–namely very poor reliability. By the end of that decade, Renault again bailed-out of the US marketplace, and Chrysler bought AMC in order to acquire their Jeep marque.

As a result of Renault’s tortured history in The US, very few people in The US have any current knowledge of Renault technology.

On all of our cars, we can select how the central locking operates

On one of them, I chose for the doors to lock as soon as I move the shift level out of park

On another car, the doors automatically lock as soon as I’ve reached a few mph and am driving down my street

I’d say your car went back to the default setting

I also suspect the shoddy and incorrect radio installation is your real problem

By the way, just how old is that battery . . . ?!

I agree, remove the radio or disconnect it.

Also, each time the battery goes totally dead, it has some damage. Do this enough times and the battery becomes worthless and has to be replaced.

The battery and alternator can be quick-checked with your new meter. In volt mode, probe the battery posts. Should measure about 12.6 volts before first start of the day, then 13.5-15.5 volts immediately after starting the engine (at idle).

My guess however is the problem isn’t the battery or the alternator or something draining the battery overnight. Instead it’s a problem with the starter motor circuit. Faulty neutral or clutch safety switch, ignition switch, starter motor solenoid, starter motor, or grounding problem. The best way to determine which of those it is, if any of them, is to use your new meter in volt mode to measure the voltage at both terminals of the starter motor during attempted cranking. Measure from the terminal to the starter case. Both should be at least 10.5 volts during attempted cranking. If they are, and it doesn’t crank the engine, replace the starter motor.

Given what op himself said, how is it you think the radio is NOT the problem . . . ?!

Wouldn’t it make sense to first fix a problem which definitely exits, and which can certainly kill the battery . . . ?!

The OP said the battery was only slightly drained. If the radio was draining the battery enough to prevent cranking, it would be more than slightly drained. But I agree it makes sense to try disconnecting the radio’s power source as an experiment. If that solves the problem, then the culprit must involve the radio. But I doubt the radio is the actual problem. OP can let us know what they discover.


Renault is now married to Nissan and the current Nissan Versa is a Renault design. The Versa compared to other Nissans has a great ride for its size but less reliability, Typical for French cars that were sold here.

Thank you for your comments,

In regards to the radio the chap at the garage advised me to disconnect my battery over night so I did so last night and also disconnected the radio and removed the fuse, haven’t checked it yet today but I’ll go back and do the readings again. Only problem with leaving it connected overnight…if it does die again it’s a ball ache trying to find someone to help me jump it :weary:

Db4690 - I can’t find any paperwork for it but I’m sure I’ve had a new battery, I’ve had the car for just over 4 years. It was also sat on the drive for 6m while fixing the cat, started weekly still to begin with but was sat flat for possibly a couple of months? Got it back on the road in April and been having problems only this week :thinking:

I’ve just found the wiring like this…I’ve swapped over the red and yellow wires and tidied and taped the black…could this be the problem? Going to test it tonight to see :crossed_fingers:

re the photo, are the black wires connected? It appears not, so that connection should be soldered then taped, or use a butt connection such as on the others. There is also an unconnected red wire with the conductor exposed, that should be cut and taped.

Why did you swap the red and yellow?

Assuming that is the power to the radio, I’d leave it unconnected until your other problems are solved.


They were sort of tied in a knot :roll_eyes: I’ll attach a picture of what it’s like now. I swapped them so they met with the same colour…does that not matter if they were opposite?

The black connection, taping is not enough, it has to be soldered or some other method to ensure a reliable connection.

Re the red-yellow swap, the radio installer may have had a good reason to swap them, or perhaps not, no way to tell from here.

I seem to have fixed something, the memory is working now, I’ll leave it connected for a few hours and see if it has any effect on the battery.

I’ll look into purchasing a soldering iron, thank you!