Battery Drain

I was told that leaving my car for about 2 weeks would drain the battery (because of the onboard computers) so much that it probably wouldnt start. This has actually happened to me…twice!!! The dealer replaced the battery which they said was defective and gave me a larger battery. The dealer told me this condition was “normal”. Is this true or do i have a much bigger problem??? Thank you.

Leaving a vehicle idle for 2 weeks would not deplete a battery enough to produce a no-start condition, unless of course the battery was not in good shape to begin with. How old was the battery on this mystery Xterra?

Another cause would be an electrical problem that causes a “parasitic drain” on the battery even when all systems are shut down. Is this vehicle under warranty? It is always helpful to post the model year and the odometer mileage of a vehicle when asking a question.

“technically” i dont know how old the battery was, but i was told that it wouldnt hold a charge!

It is a 2010 Xterra with 1000 mi.

I know there is “parasitic” drain from the clock, radio, and “other” sources ie the computers, but could the drain rate really be that high??? If there is a “leak” somewhere…where is the most likely place? thanks again

Will you be leaving the truck sitting for extended periods alot? if so, just pop down to your local parts store and pick up a trickle battery charger. it won’t “fix” the problem but will keep the battery charged while you aren’t driving the vehicle. new cars have so many control modules and options that constantly pull on the battery that this might be a “normal” condition.

On a brand-new, fully-warrantied vehicle, it is not necessary for you to know where the problem lies. In fact, if you attempt to diagnose it for the dealership, they will almost definitely ignore your diagnosis. Think about it–If they replace parts based on your diagnosis, and you turn out to be wrong, who pays for these unnecessary parts that were used?

On a brand new vehicle, you have to allow the dealership to do the diagnosis and repair. If you feel that they are not competent or that they are not doing as much as they could to assist you, then you can “kick it up a notch” by contacting Nissan’s corporate customer assistance people. Contact info is in your Owner’s Manual.

If there is an ongoing problem that the dealership cannot resolve, then you may have to resort to the Lemon Law in your state. Trust me–once a manufacturer is notified by certified letter that a Lemon Law claim is about to be filed, they do tend to move heaven and earth in order to finally resolve the problem.

Research the terms of that statute for your state, keep all records of failed repair attempts, and remember that this type of battery drain in 2 weeks is NOT normal–especially on a new vehicle.

Funny you should say that because i had already done that…should be in the mail today!!! And yes, there are many times the car will be left for 10-14 days at a time.
Seems to me that if this condition is “normal” for new cars today the mfg. would install a small solar panel somewhere to eliminate this…or maybe this make too much sense! Thanks again for the help.

I agree!!!

I’ll keep an eye on it and proceed as you suggest…makes sense!

dealer strokin you. i leave my 2002 chevy 1/2 ton for sometimes 2-3 months before i start it.think battery about 4 years old . so far i’ve had no problems.

As already suggested, it should not be a problem IF the battery is in good shape. If the battery is marginal (old) or the charging system is not up to snuff or if something is draining more current than normal with the engine off then there may be a problem.

A prior comment mentioned a trickle charger. Likely them meant to say battery maintainer. Many people use the term tricker charger when they are referring to a maintainer. They are almost the same thing, but you really want a maintainer.

If you don’t have easy access to a plug for the charger, if you park outside, you may be able to get a solar charger that does not need to plug in to an AC power supply.

Common cause for a mystery drain is a light in a glove box or trunk or under hood etc. that does not turn off.

On a brand new car, another suspect is a bad diode in the alternator.

Any new accessories are suspects. An alarm? A stereo Amp? A CD changer?

The dealer will find the problem eventually.

There are constant electrical loads, but the computers all go into ‘sleep’ mode after 5-10 minutes and the clocks don’t draw much (consider the size of the battery in your watch, and that lasts for years). You should be able to park a vehicle for at least six months without needing to worry about whether it will start.