59 plate has intermittent battery drain fault

Questions not related to the fuel type, like Manual Gearbox, Body Work, Lights, Interior trim and Seats, Steering, Brakes, Beeping, Wheels and Tyres to be asked in this topic only.

Audio has its own section - see further down the page.

Please provide as much information as you think may be relevant like recent work on the car and you can attach photographs directly to your topic using the form below the text box.
Forum rules
One question per topic.
No Engine questions
Think: Manual Gearbox, Seats, Bodywork, Lighting, Interior, A/C, Heater, Wheels, Steering, Brakes, Tyres and Suspension
My Name: chemsmit

Member
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Nov 16, 2020 7:20 pm
Model: C3 2006-2009, Facelift model
Year: 2008 (58)
Engine Size: 1.1
Fuel Type: Petrol
Mileage: 62000
Trim Level: NA
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD (UK)
Engine name: ET3 16-valve (90 PS)

Post

I hope someone can help. My 59 plate 1.1 petrol C3 is driving me to insanity. I have an intermittent battery drain fault. There is no pattern to when it happens. It can go 3/4 weeks no issues and then totally dead. If I charge the battery/jump it then it runs ok. I am really careful to ensure everything is off before leaving the car. The battery is fine (tested). I don’t think it’s the alternator because of how intermittent it is. There are a few things I have noticed though.
1) the lights on the heater console sometimes work, sometimes don’t
2) other interior indicators (such as the illumination on the electric window buttons sometimes stay on after leaving the car
3) the power steering sometimes seems heavy after stopping and starting the car
4) the oil level indicator keeps showing a fault (oil level is ok though)

My thoughts are an intermittent earth issue, any other ideas before I tear the car apart to look at the earthing points?
User avatar
My Name: C3CAR

Guru
Posts: 2741
Joined: Wed May 04, 2011 10:01 am
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2002 (02)
Engine Size: 1.4 (16v)
Fuel Type: Diesel
Mileage: 140000
Trim Level: Exclusive
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD (UK)
Engine name: DV4 16-valve diesel (90 PS)
Has thanked: 198 times
Been thanked: 106 times

Post

chemsmit wrote: Mon Nov 16, 2020 7:34 pm I hope someone can help. My 59 plate 1.1 petrol C3 is driving me to insanity. I have an intermittent battery drain fault. There is no pattern to when it happens. It can go 3/4 weeks no issues and then totally dead. If I charge the battery/jump it then it runs ok. I am really careful to ensure everything is off before leaving the car. The battery is fine (tested). I don’t think it’s the alternator because of how intermittent it is. There are a few things I have noticed though.
1) the lights on the heater console sometimes work, sometimes don’t
2) other interior indicators (such as the illumination on the electric window buttons sometimes stay on after leaving the car
3) the power steering sometimes seems heavy after stopping and starting the car
4) the oil level indicator keeps showing a fault (oil level is ok though)

My thoughts are an intermittent earth issue, any other ideas before I tear the car apart to look at the earthing points?
Hi

Do you have the factory stereo fitted?
User avatar
My Name: Ozvtr

Moderator
Posts: 1195
Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:31 am
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2003 (53)
Engine Size: 1.4 (8v)
Fuel Type: Petrol
Mileage: 80000
Trim Level: Other
Gearbox: Automatic PRND
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD
Engine name: TU3 (75 PS)
Location: Brisbane, Australia.
Has thanked: 59 times
Been thanked: 351 times

Post

Hi Chemsmit welcome to the forum
chemsmit wrote: Mon Nov 16, 2020 7:34 pm The battery is fine (tested).
How was the battery tested?

chemsmit wrote: Mon Nov 16, 2020 7:34 pm 1) the lights on the heater console sometimes work, sometimes don’t
This is not uncommon and I think has to do with an electrical connection inside the panel. If it's a segment of the panel going out then its one of the light bulbs. Yes, there are incandescent lamps in it. Not LEDs
chemsmit wrote: Mon Nov 16, 2020 7:34 pm 2) other interior indicators (such as the illumination on the electric window buttons sometimes stay on after leaving the car
The dash and window switches will stay on for approximately 60 seconds after turning the ignition off. The dash comes on for about the same when the car is locked/unlocked. The interior light will do the same if selected.
chemsmit wrote: Mon Nov 16, 2020 7:34 pm 4) the oil level indicator keeps showing a fault (oil level is ok though)
The oil level sensors are dodgy at the best of times. If the car is on a slight incline it will read no oil (blinks, the same as faulty). There is supposed to be a 'tin-foil-like' protective blanket around the connector (on the top of the sensor) to stop it being damaged by the heat of the exhaust, that might be missing and the sensor might be damaged. Dirty/contaminated oil will stuff it up too.
About the only time they tend to work every time is when the engine is cold and the car is on a flat level surface.
chemsmit wrote: Mon Nov 16, 2020 7:34 pm 3) the power steering sometimes seems heavy after stopping and starting the car
This is the biggest clue here. Classic symptom of a failing battery. However you cant discount a failing alternator.
I would recommend getting one of those little LED voltage monitors/USB power socket that plug into the cigarette lighter socket. It should maintain a voltage slightly above 14 volts (when you are driving). If it does...it's your battery. If it doesn't...it's your alternator.
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post