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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
For the last several years, my 2010 3.5 Altima has surprised me every few months by draining the battery from 12.6 volts to 8 or 9 volts overnight.

Replaced battery - same problem. Check voltage after driving an hour, shut down engine - voltage is over 12. Next morning, voltage can be 7, 8, or 9 volts. Have to jump the battery to start; charging system checks out fine.

So today I decided to check battery drain. Disconnect battery negative cable, put ammeter leads between battery negative post and car's negative cable.

Drain is around 200 mA. That's *way* too high - should be closer to 20-40 mA. Pulling each fuse (under hood and under dash) one at a time, drain remains around 200 mA - except the second "Meter" fuse removal lower drain from 200 mA to 120 mA. Still way too high.

Something's pulling over 100 mA 24/7. If car sits overnight, *sometimes* voltage is almost cut in half.

Has anyone had a similar problem with "phantom battery drain"? Is there a system which can go on by itself, or one that may not show an "active" light on the dash panel?

EDIT: car has a Bose sound system. I've heard from several Nissan forums that some Bose systems can draw power 24/7, whether in use or not.

Thanks.
Tom M.
2010 Nissan Altima 3.5 sedan
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Jack. Can you point me to a way of checking the alternator for that problem? Maybe just somehow removing an alternator connection to the battery or something?

Seems if I could isolate the alternator, that would show if the drain dropped.

Tom M.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Sorry - I plan to disconnect battery negative (ground) cable, then disconnect alternator cable.

Wouldn't I leave the battery negative cable disconnected, when I test for drain? (run ammeter leads between battery neg. post and neg. cable - neg cable not connected to battery)

TM
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
OK - here's the latest. I disconnected that alternator line, and now have a drain of 0.09 amps. That 90 milliamps.

Is that the "normal" drain on the battery for a 2010 Altima 3.5 with no electrical problems?

Thanks.
Tom M.
 

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The .09 amps sounds like the draw when the security system is first armed. After about 30 seconds it should drop to almost nothing. Check the second "Meter" fuse that you found earlier dropping the amp drain by 80mA, you may have a bad switch or a light that stays on.
 

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Nissan Altima 2010 SL

I have batteries going dead approximately every 2 years since 2012 and no one can figure out why, something is draining the electrical system but diagnostic checks show nothing. This past month the 7th battery was put into my Altima. I was told by the Dealer first time was due to the weather (low pressure system) and 2nd time was not putting enough miles on the car which is crazy. Does anyone have any insight into this huge safety issue for me?
 

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Nissan Altima 2010 SL

I have batteries going dead approximately every 2 years since 2012 and no one can figure out why, something is draining the electrical system but diagnostic checks show nothing. This past month the 7th battery was put into my Altima. I was told by the Dealer first time was due to the weather (low pressure system) and 2nd time was not putting enough miles on the car which is crazy. Does anyone have any insight into this huge safety issue for me?
Did you ever get this problem figured out
 

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Thanks Jack. That 90 mA is after about 30 seconds. It starts around 200 mA, and drops to 90 mA after about 30 seconds.
With late model cars that use intelligence technology, e.g. key FOB, you should wait at least 30 minutes or more before performing a parasitic draw test. The draw will generally drop below 200ma within 2 minutes after shutdown and may remain that way for up to 30 minutes after the doors are closed. The BCM usually hibernates in 30 minutes and the draw should drop below 20ma at that point (13ma is probably average).

If you do these tests, make sure all accessories inside the car are shut off; this includes any courtesy lights such as the overhead lights. If the hood has an opening security sensor, it must be disabled. All the doors and trunk must be closed; if you need to have the driver's door open, put something against the door button to keep it pressed in order to break the electrical circuit. There should not be more than a 50ma draw on the system with the ignition switch in the "OFF" position. The reason being is the ECU and IPDM are always on in sleep mode which accounts for the very small draw.
 

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Did you ever get this problem figured out
I have the EXACT same issue. 2010 Altima SL (2.5 liter, 170k miles) that almost like clock work every 2 years needs a new battery. I just had it replaced again this morning (last time was Dec 2019). No one can figure out why it does it (dealer, independent shops, auto parts store, and even the arm chair experts). Charging system checks out fine. Did you ever get a reasonable answer as to cause? A year or so ago I discovered that the glove compartment light was likely staying on because it didn't close tight enough to trip the switch (I think it gets auto shut off though after x minutes). I just disabled that light and thought maybe at long last I had found the issue. Guess not!
 
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