Author Topic: Dead Battery Myth!  (Read 17063 times)

Offline Zerohour

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Dead Battery Myth!
« on: November 13, 2010, 09:57:23 AM »
So I heard posts, and read over on Ecomodder.com that UG can kill your battery.  While I believe that is not true, I can tell you what might be happening to a few of you folks!

Last night I moved my Subaru to get a different car into the garage.  The UG did not shut off, I thought maybe it had something to do with the car being run for less than a minute.  I noticed my throttle posistion was at 0.41 percent.  I started the car back up and turned off, with the same scenario.  I just unplugged the UG, and figured I would deal with it today.

This morning I played musical cars again, this time the throttle position was at 0.39, and the gauge remained on!

So I drove the car till warm, and the the throttle position sensor then returned to 0.00.  Gauge shut off normally. :-)

Thus the conclusion can be made, if you have a vehicle with a dirty throttle body that sticks open or a cold throttle body that sticks slightly open, you UG will not shut off and could potentially drain your battery!

Easiest solution, always make sure the UG shuts off before you exit the vehicle. 

Offline BWX

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Re: Dead Battery Myth!
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2010, 03:38:10 AM »
That's interesting. What year Subaru do you own? I just ordered  the UG and plan on installing it in my 2009 Impreza. I'll have to look out for that.  Could it also be the drive by wire pedal not completely springing back all the way? Not sure if that would do the same thing.

Offline wingerr

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Re: Dead Battery Myth!
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2010, 07:58:15 AM »
Thus the conclusion can be made, if you have a vehicle with a dirty throttle body that sticks open or a cold throttle body that sticks slightly open, you UG will not shut off and could potentially drain your battery!
I'd only come to that conclusion if you simulate this by simply holding the throttle down while shutting off the car, and seeing that the UG does in fact remain on.  Does it? 
I'd be more inclined to think the throttle position reading is a side effect rather than the cause, but it's easy enough to verify.

Offline wingerr

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Re: Dead Battery Myth!
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2010, 11:45:51 PM »
I just put one into a Mini Cooper, and found that it needed the turn off option to be set to 3.  With any other setting, it wouldn't shut down after the ignition was turned off.
Interestingly, with the ignition turned off, several gauges would continue reading instead of showing Err, as they normally would when communication is lost.  I could read battery voltage, among others, even with the ignition off.  This apparently kept the UG alive and on.
Setting it to the option 3 worked, and it shut off as soon as the ignition was turned off.

Offline wingerr

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Dead battery event - Mini Cooper
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2010, 05:16:39 PM »
Said Mini Cooper had a no start condition due to the battery being drained; I need to investigate further to determine if the UG was responsible, but this did happen shortly after its installation, where there was no issues before.

If I get the chance, I intend to put an ammeter inline with the battery and monitor the current draw both with and without the UG installed to know for sure.
For now, I've unplugged it, as it's a friend's car and not mine.
Is there any information on how it can be more easily determined if the UG is keeping the ECM from going into sleep mode?  I did set the mode on the UG so that the display turns off when the engine is turned off, but that may not assure that the ECM is turning off properly.


As noted in my earlier post, in default mode configuration, the UG continued displaying several data streams even though the car was turned off, which I found unusual.  I hoped the UG configuration to turn off the display took care of things, but this is something I'll need to confirm with an actual ignition off current draw measurement.  Hopefully it was due to something else that was left on, but according to my friend, it wasn't the case. 
Stay tuned, but be careful to monitor the battery levels in the specific case of the Mini.

Offline morris

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Re: Dead Battery Myth!
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2011, 11:44:39 PM »
my unit turns off when i turn off the key but i have a question still.

i'm a little confused about the power off detect. the manual says the order of preference is 2,1,0,3
however mine is 2,6,0,3 and it turns off when i turn off my truck. the number in question is for the power on detect delay. the unit turns on as soon as i turn the key to ACC. should i leave this setting and wait til my battery dies then adjust or should i change it now?

Offline UltraGauge Admin

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Re: Dead Battery Myth!
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2011, 12:32:36 PM »
my unit turns off when i turn off the key but i have a question still.

i'm a little confused about the power off detect. the manual says the order of preference is 2,1,0,3
however mine is 2,6,0,3 and it turns off when i turn off my truck. the number in question is for the power on detect delay. the unit turns on as soon as i turn the key to ACC. should i leave this setting and wait til my battery dies then adjust or should i change it now?
Morris,
The potential for battery drain is only associated with certain vehicles.  GM vehicles in the mid 2000's are most notable.  Most other vehicles have no problem at all and the setting is not important.   If battery drain is present, the battery will drain over night.  Note that it is not UG draining the battery, but the vehicle's own systems staying active after ignition off that drains the battery.  However, UG can be the culprit that indirectly causes the vehicle's systems to stay active.   
The default setting is best for most vehicles. 

***  UPDATE   All battery drain issues for all vehicles have been resolved
« Last Edit: September 04, 2012, 07:04:59 PM by UltraGauge Admin »

Offline morris

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Re: Dead Battery Myth!
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2011, 01:19:02 PM »
ok thank you. it's been since friday and i have no complaints about a dead battery and the voltage seems to be staying up where it was.

Offline wolfrunner

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Re: Dead Battery Myth!
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2011, 02:47:20 PM »
Been ther done that! Thought my U.G. was on delay for 15-30 sec. after turn off...but I got burned for a new DieHard.

Offline mgtn101

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Re: Dead Battery Myth!
« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2012, 05:26:24 PM »
From what I understand, UG is releasing an updated model around the end of June, 2012 that should fix the battery problem for the Mini, 5 Series BMW and 2012 Ford Focus. See the following link for details.
http://ultra-gauge.com/customer_support/knowledgebase.php?article=16

As for the mid-2000's GM problem, Tech Support says that the GM battery problems were resolved long ago. I can't wait to start using mine! :D

Offline wingerr

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Re: Dead Battery Myth!
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2012, 12:22:15 PM »
I think that addresses the question I had about the difference between the latest update, which essnetially is a hardware change to add battery voltage monitoring capability to the UG.  This voltage reading capability allows the Mode 3 setting of the power on detection to use the characteristic of the alternator charging the battery to a level above 13.2 to determine if the car is parked or not. 

The scheme would have been helpful on both of the cars I reported the issue on, the Mini Cooper and Ford Focus, but they're unable to perform any hardware upgrades on the earlier units without the A/D circuitry, so I'll need to continue with my workaround of using a physical on/off switch to make sure the ECM turns off and goes to sleep when parked.

Offline UltraGauge Admin

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Re: Dead Battery Myth!
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2012, 06:51:26 PM »
The scheme would have been helpful on both of the cars I reported the issue on, the Mini Cooper and Ford Focus, but they're unable to perform any hardware upgrades on the earlier units without the A/D circuitry, so I'll need to continue with my workaround of using a physical on/off switch to make sure the ECM turns off and goes to sleep when parked.
It is possible to upgrade older units, but it is labor intensive and we felt that it would just be too expensive as to compared to buying new.   To cover labor and parts, estimates put the upgrade cost around $32.   Also, there were so few customers affected, plans to offer an upgrade were scraped.