2002 SLK320; Searching for a parasitic battery drain. - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

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#1 Old 03-28-2013
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2002 SLK320; Searching for a parasitic battery drain.

I know this topic has been covered many times on this site, but I have a slight twist that I haven't been able to find the answer to on my own using the search.

The battery is fully charged. everything is off, the key is out, the doors are closed and unlocked, the anti theft is off.

I have removed the negative battery cable, and installed my multimeter. After everything "wakes up" (about 7 mins.) the meter settles out around 80 to 85 mAmps. I start to pull the fuses one at a time, from the under hood fuse panel, and then from the dash panel. Nothing changes, its still sitting at 80-85m Amps. Questions:

Have I done this right?
What else do I need to check?
I was told the draw should be under 60 mAmps, is that correct?
Can anybody direct me to a thread that has already addressed this issue?

Any help would be apreciated. Thanks.
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#2 Old 03-29-2013
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You did not mention if you are having dead or low battery problems. I have seen figures as low as 45mA for "standby condition" in the SLK. But, on the other hand the difference between 45mA and 80mA is not going to cause you any grief if you have a healthy battery, unless you let the car sit for weeks or even months at a time without driving it or charging the battery.
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#3 Old 03-29-2013
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Thanks for the reply.

The battery is a five years old OEM in a car purchased from Florida, and likely subjected to a lot of heat. It will charge up to 12.55 volts. I had it checked by a guy who's run a battery recycling business, and he said the battery checked ok with no dead cells but it only showed 530 cc amps on his tester, which I thought was low. It will give a moderately weak start after 3 days and wont start after 6 days but will turn it over a little. Because of the weak cca I will most likely replace the battery soon, but I still would like to find the drain and get it down to normal before I buy and kill a new battery.

I just found some info on a Crossfire forum about leaking diodes in the alternator that can drain battery power, but won't show up on fuse testing because the alternator is not fused. Im going to try disconnecting the alternator and see if the draw drops. If that doesn't work, I may have to look at the computer management system.
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#4 Old 03-29-2013
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time for a new battery. i live in florida and have to get a new battery every year on 3 slks since 2002
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#5 Old 03-29-2013
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Doesn't the remote central locking receiver require a small standby current?

I have just been installing a new radio and it requires power in standby mode too.
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#6 Old 03-29-2013
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I disconnected the alternator and it only droped the draw by .005 mAmps, so it's not significant enough to replace it. Alternator out put was at 14.4 volts, which I think is within specs.

I will try to bone up on all the stand-by circuits, to see if they are within spec. I may end up having to put on a float charger for battery maintenance.
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#7 Old 03-29-2013
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I'd agree with Jeff - it's time for a new battery. Our SLKs are very sensitive to old batteries. I remember when my battery was going bad the starter began to "click" and all lights and gauges on the dashboard were flashing. And that was right after I changed my transmission fluid. I was soo freaking scared I thought I fried my ECU . I put in on charge overnight but 2 days later it didn't start again. So I took my wife and went ahead to get a new Bosch battery. Problem solved! =D
P.S. I had the old one for almost 5 years and who knows when it was installed.
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#8 Old 04-01-2013
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Yep, I agree the battery is toast. However, after the last episode of non-starting, I figured I had nothing to lose (from a battery stand point), so I dumped a half a cup of epsons salts dissolved in distilled water equally into each battery cell, and stuck it on a trickle charger for about 20 hrs. To my suprise the battery held the charge and showed 12.22 volts after a couple days and started the car with no problem. I don't think it will last. I figure the next unusally cold or hot day will probably spell curtins for the battery, but this will be a good experiment to let play out.

After pulling all the fuses twice, and cleaning and tightening connections, the draw droped to about 0.078 mAmps down from 0.085. I going to check a few more systems before I give up. I would like to get the draw down below 0.06mA..... Less is better!
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#9 Old 04-04-2013
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I got a chance to speak with a local Mercedes service tech, and he agrees with CarolinaBlueTech that a .08 mA draw is acceptable with a healthy battery. In fact, he says a 320 with that kind of draw is not all that unusual. I now feel confident placing a new battery in the car. However, my "dosed up" battery is still holding a charge, so I'll wait and see how long it takes to drains out before I replace it.

Joining this site, and reading through the forums has already saved me a ton of money on this car.

Thanks guys!
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#10 Old 04-05-2013
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Good luck with the battery, there is a sound "scientific basis" for the epson salts helping (sort of like a desulfur laxative), but remember nothing lasts forever, I would carry a set of jumper cables
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#11 Old 10-02-2017
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2001 SLK230; Searching for a parasitic battery drain.

Having similar problem. With engine and lights off, key removed have a soft orange glow in instrument cluster. Checked fuse, nothing, replaced anyway. Battery seems fine, charges ok. Touched negative and positive battery cables together to deplete any built up charges, did not help. Discovered evidence of squirrel nest under battery area. Gonna look for chewed wires.
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#12 Old 10-02-2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil.bower View Post
Having similar problem. With engine and lights off, key removed have a soft orange glow in instrument cluster. Checked fuse, nothing, replaced anyway. Battery seems fine, charges ok. Touched negative and positive battery cables together to deplete any built up charges, did not help. Discovered evidence of squirrel nest under battery area. Gonna look for chewed wires.
FYI Phil...this thread is 4 years old
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#13 Old 10-02-2017
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#14 Old 10-02-2017
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He looks at least 4yrs....... wondered where the fuel was going
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#15 Old 10-02-2017
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My experience is that a normal parasitic draw on a computer car is 20-30 ma. Factory spec is less than 50 ma. 200 ma will kill a battery in less than a week. I have left computer cars with AGM batteries (all I buy any more) for up to two weeks before and NP starting.

The only real way to find a leak is to instrument the battery and start disconnecting things (start with fuses) until it goes away then figure out why.


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#16 Old 10-02-2017
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Some good info and advice on this thread.
Apparently squirrels in cars is not uncommon but I guess it was left a while.
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