Saturday, March 5, 2011

1989 Toyota Camry

This comes from one of my best customers I will call him Mr. H. Customer complaint is battery goes dead after a couple of days. A new battery and a new alternator has already been installed. So lets do some testing.
A quick check of the charging system tells me no issues here.
Lets check for a drain properly with an ammeter in series with one of the battery cables.
Here we have a 121 milliamp drain. After letting it time out for 20 minutes it stayed the same. Time to put our thinking caps on. I am fairly famaliar with these vehicles. I worked on enough of them throughout the years. Experience has taught me that this type of drain is in memory circuits. Likely suspects are the factory clock and the radio. Over time these circuits draw more than when they were brand new. So we pull the Cig fuse in the interior fuse panel that powers the cigarette lighter and the clock.

Now we are getting somewhere. Rule of thumb on drains is 50 milliamps or less. We are at 40 milliamps here. Acceptable, but a car this age it should be lower. So I pull the radio memory fuse and.........

17 milliamps. That is more like it. I advise Mr. H about what I found. We agree leave the cig fuse out and keep the radio fuse in. This way they can still enjoy their tunes.
A little knowledge goes a long way with these problems. Having dealt with these cars over the years you kind of get a feel for them......