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Discussion Starter #1
I have had two episodes of a dead battery in the past 4 months on my 2002 MDX. The battery was a new Costco battery. My mechanic said that the charging system is tip-top and the battery is fine. I am not interested in paying him to trace the leak if I can do it myself, although I would need some coaching.

A neighbor asked me if I lock my car, which I did not consistently do until after he suggested it. He said that sometimes certain monitoring systems don't shut down unless the car is locked. Since then (about 2 weeks), I have not had a problem, but the problem, remember, had only been sporadic---twice in about 4 months.

With access to a multimeter, how would I go about approaching this?

Thanks
Ken K
 

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If you have a decent clamp-style meter then you can measure current on the positive battery cable and start pulling fuses, one by one, until you identify which circuit(s) are causing the parasitic draw.

Probably a more fancy meter than you have... But basic concept is the same:

 

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Are you parking your X for extended periods - 3 to 10 days? Asking because if the system is drawing power and not getting recharged regularly, that could explain the infrequency of the battery going dead.

It could be a any number of causes but has the hands free phone system had issues or been replaced. There have been reports if it for parasitic draw. The test that P07 describes should allow you to confirm one way or the other.
 

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Oh yeah this looks like yet another victim of the HFL boondoggle.. there is a Bluetooth hands free module in the ceiling where the lights are for the driver/passenger, there are many YouTube videos showing how to get to it, I didn't bother fixing it I just leave it disconnected which resolved the battery drain issue for me "aka parasitic draw".
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Actually, this is a 2002 and has no hands free connection module of which I am aware. What year was that added?

I do park my car for a few days at a time, but this is no different than the first 16 years that I had the car. I will see what I can do with a multimeter.

Thanks so far,
Ken
 

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You don't really need a clamp-style ammeter to do this test - you can use a garden variety multimeter, just connecting the leads between the negative battery terminal and the negative cable (after removing it). Just be careful what you turn on during the process though - most multimeters have a 10 amp fuse that will blow if you overload them. Once it's hooked up, you can read the load, and determine if that much drain should (or shouldn't) be draining your battery in a few days. Then it's just a tedious process of pulling fuses one at a time (the ones that are powered with the key out, that is) until the drain drops to where it should be.

Not difficult at all - just a little fiddly and time-consuming, but a whole lot more satisfying than paying a shop big bucks to mis-diagnose it. ;-)
 
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