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Nissan Micra Battery Problems

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36TEAK36 | 16:44 Sun 12th Feb 2012 | Motoring
14 Answers

I have been having some problems with my Nissan Micra (2004). We only purchased it a few months ago, and are beginning to think we have been sold a duff Car. A few days after buying the car the battery was flat, We purchased a new battery, and everything was fine for a few weeks, then the battery was flat again. I took the battery back to Halfords and got a replacement, and now after a 6 weeks of use the battery is flat again. I can jump it easily enough and the battery seems to charge as an hour later I can start the car, but if I leave it overnight or just a few hours, the battery is flat. Something is draining the battery, but I have no idea what.

Any advice would be most appreciated.


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Get someone to check you alternator output with the engine running. At about 1500rpm the voltage from the alternator should be 13.8-14.2 volts. If it's less than this it could be the belt needs adjusting or a faulty alternator. Is the belt screeching when you do get it started?
I would personally check the contacts first. Give them a good file on the inside where they make contact with the battery, or you can use steel wool. Then apply some silicon paste between the contact and battery. I think thats the quickest and cheapest first thing to do.
Can you see a faint red light on your dash? if so Alternator, Do all the lights go out when you have parked up for the night? get someone to sit in the car with the back seats down & see if the boot light stops on, there is something draining he battery, have you just fitted an addition within the car? Sat Nav / New radio / fog lights or any thing that might be discharging the system.
Check the interior lights, glove-box light, boot light and engine-bay light (if fitted) to be off - consider removing the bulbs to see if that solves the problem.

To flatten a car battery over night, the drain must me at least 1A. If you have access to a multimeter – disconnect the battery negative terminal and place the meter in circuit, measuring the DC current flow, with everything off. Then pull the fuses one at a time, to see which circuit is causing the faulty current draw.

I have in the past encountered a faulty alternator to be the current path – which was intermittent, dependent on where the alternator carbon brushes happened to come to rest.
If you intend to do what Hymie has said, don't forget your Radio Code.
Boot lights not switching off when the boot or tailgate closes are common battery drains. If your car has a boot light 36Teak then check it does go off when the boot/tailgate closes. If not, the light push/switch probably simply needs adjusting.

There are often other sources of current drain that can flatten a battery overnight. A defective alternator is one, but if the red charging light isn't lit or flickering (check at night) when the engine is ticking over then it's probably OK. Various electrical items can have a bad earth and be draining the battery. I once found that a car radio was draining a battery flat overnight and also a central locking system and an electric window circuit in other cars. Your Micra probably won't have those extras, but you see what I mean. It could be anything.

If your alternator is OK and you have some confidence with car electrics and a multi-meter then you can put it across the battery when the engine is off to see if you have a current drain. You can then use it on the fusebox to identify the draining circuit yourself.

If you don't like electrics then call a vehicle electrician or take the car to a garage where they are competent with vehicle electrics. They will have a more professional meter which they put across the battery to show how much current is being drawn when the car is switched off - if there is a drain. They will then be able to isolate the circuit and item causing the drain and quickly sort it out.

Good luck.
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as said , points to alternator ...the ignition light on a modern vehicle isnt always an indication of wether the alternator is charging. it is an ignition/power light.
for fear of stating the obvious, disconnect the battery over night(nothing can drain it ) then see what happens in the morning.
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Thank you all for your answers.

My knowledge of Cars is almost zero, but I would assume that because the battery charges when I took the Car for a 20 minute drive, this would mean that the alternator works correctly? There is even still enough charge to start the Car 3 hours later, but if left overnight the battery is completely flat.

I have noticed that if I sit in the Car and set the central locking, there is a noise coming from the Boot. It sounds like the locking mechanism is continually trying to lock the boot, so maybe this is what is draining the battery.
I am going to take it into a garage later this week, so hopefully I can get this sorted out.
Just a point 36, how often do you use the car & how far do you travel? the reason I ask are you doing enough milage to put back into the battery what you take out? what I mean by that, if you are only running to the shops / town, you have your heater on, wipers / rear windscreen heater / radio / lights etc, if you use all these & only do a short journey this could be your problem, take your car for a good run around 10 / 20 miles then try the following morning.
It could be the central locking then 36. I once had a car which drained the battery flat overnight and that was a fault with the electric central locking.
I've just found this site and presto! I have the same problem. Had the 04 Micra for a couple of years and replaced the battery because the old one was leaking when we got the car. But the same problem occurs!
It's definately an intermittant fault. We had the car serviced 3 weeks ago after this flat battery problem arose and the mechanic, a competant man, said the bat was fine and the problem was probably lack of use. The car had not been in regular use so we accepted that. However, since the service the car's been in a daily 50 mile round trip and yesterday afternoon was flat. I jump started her and all was well. I disconnected the bat last night and reconnected this morning and she was fine. But I can't spend the rest of her life mucking about with the battery negative.....
All the lights and switches are off.
How would I check the alternator with only a multimeter at hand?
So far the alt seems to be the best answer to the problem.
You have an electrical short somewhere,connect an ammeter in series with the battery,which will register if you have a short,then remove fuses until the fuse that you remove stops the ammeter reading.then you`ve found the offending circuit.

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Nissan Micra Battery Problems

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