Odd 1995 Camry Parasitic Battery Drain Issue - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
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post #1 of 21 Old 07-10-2019, 08:07 PM Thread Starter
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Odd 1995 Camry Parasitic Battery Drain Issue

1995 Camry 4 cyl, 2.2 liter:

I finally got into a battery drain problem on my 95 Camry. After about 3-4 days parked without starting, my known-good battery drops from 12.6 VDC to 10.5 VDC or less, and usually won't crank since it's weak. Battery was replaced. Alternator charges at battery and alternator output around 14.6 VDC. My VOM shows an amp drain of 27 milliamps in system, all switches confirmed off, doors closed, etc. When removing Fuse 5 (Dome, audio system, interior lights, trunk light) from engine compartment, drain drops to virtually zero. Disconnected radio and drain drops to 18 milliamps. I have also disconnected the alternator, and am waiting maybe 3-4 days for any big drops as before (day 2 battery voltage still holding at 12.6 VDC). Questions:
1. Is 27 milliamps a standard, expected drain (some YouTube car repair gurus say Yes, some No)?
And therefore, am I chasing an unrelated false issue?
2. Considering 2 different batteries test good, charge good, and apparently holding resting voltage
normally with the radio and alternator disconnected....can an alternator output 14.6 VDC to
the battery but in some way drain it at rest?
3. My radio sound functions operate properly, except the digital display has stopped working. Is this
a hint?
4. No other fuse removals cause the amp-drain to zero out. Can the parasitic drain still be coming
from elsewhere?
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post #2 of 21 Old 07-11-2019, 05:26 AM
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27 mA should not drain your battery that fast.
Maybe this will help you figure out what is going on.
https://aviondemand.com/insider/para...attery-drains/
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post #3 of 21 Old 07-11-2019, 06:12 PM
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leaving your headlights in the 'auto' position can drain that much if not more. also. a burglar alarm system will drain around 50ma. the other always on stuff like the clock in your radio, the door unlock computer (listening for you to ask to unlock the doors), the memory of the radio stations and other switch settings around the cabin that the ecm/bcm/pcm's need to stay awake and listening for inputs will also do some draining.

figure out how many amps your starter is pulling. it might be way over 120a or so, indicating you need a new starter or rebuild.

and do a loaded voltage drop test on the grounds, when in use, to see if there is any more than .2 volts dc across the ends of the individual cables to see if you have a bad cable and/or grounding point.
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Last edited by mcgowaw; 07-11-2019 at 06:14 PM.
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post #4 of 21 Old 07-11-2019, 06:53 PM
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For that kind of draw, in that time frame - I'd suspect the dome lamp, sunvisor vanity lamp(s), or trunk lamp, being left on .. if here.
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post #5 of 21 Old 07-12-2019, 12:11 AM
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Seems to me every time I have a electric problem itís a ground issue. Idk.


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post #6 of 21 Old 07-12-2019, 09:59 AM
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27mA is totally fine, and would definitely not drain the battery in 3 days. You battery has 50-70a reserve capacity, and 27mA will only draw 27mA x 24hr = 0.65A in a day. It would take a month or two to drain a good battery at that rate.
10mA for the radio is right on the money. That's what they draw in my experience, esp aftermarket ones.
How exactly are you measuring your drain?
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post #7 of 21 Old 07-12-2019, 12:12 PM
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Consider a bad diode in the alternator that allows a current drain back through the alternator when the car is off. Not sure if this applies to Denso alternators but it was a known issue in early '90s Crapillacs.
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post #8 of 21 Old 07-12-2019, 07:18 PM Thread Starter
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Drain is being measured in series between battery negative post and negative cable, with a 1 ohm, 10 W resistor....measurement across resistor (Per Scotty Kilmer on Youtube) Note: third day of having radio and alternator disconnected from system, battery holding steady at 12.6 vdc....no drain at all. Tomorrow if batt voltage still steady will reconnect radio, which is what I've been suspicious of due to its display malfunction.
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post #9 of 21 Old 07-13-2019, 08:39 AM
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that way of measuring might not get you an exact battery drain unless you're using a very close tolerance resistor but it's close anyways. you can also plug your ma meter right in the path making sure you have it set higher than the expected drain.
anyway, sounds like it's what you suspected to begin with.
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post #10 of 21 Old 07-15-2019, 11:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dendiedas View Post
Drain is being measured in series between battery negative post and negative cable, with a 1 ohm, 10 W resistor....measurement across resistor (Per Scotty Kilmer on Youtube) Note: third day of having radio and alternator disconnected from system, battery holding steady at 12.6 vdc....no drain at all. Tomorrow if batt voltage still steady will reconnect radio, which is what I've been suspicious of due to its display malfunction.
Well, then it's either you're making an error in your measuring, or the battery is on it's last leg (though I doubt this). Look at the math in my last post - it's just not possible to drain a good battery with that drain in that time frame.


For example: a run of the mill 36R battery (what the Camry uses) has 130amp reserve capacity:
https://www.autozone.com/batteries-s...8_348924_25698


Using this calculator:
https://www.powerstream.com/battery-...calculator.htm


130A capacity, with even 0.05A (50mA) capacity will take 2600 hours to drain, or 108 days, or 3.5 months.
In order to drain the battery in 3 days (72hr), you would need 1.8 amp draw. Even if your battery is half dead at 65amps, you'd still need near a 1 amp draw to kill it, 30 times higher than what you're reporting. It just doesn't add up.

Hope this helps.

Last edited by slavie; 07-15-2019 at 11:07 AM.
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post #11 of 21 Old 07-17-2019, 10:12 AM Thread Starter
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Well, now I'm stumped. With alternator disconnected, radio reconnected...drains to about 11 vdc in 2-3 days. Recharged battery to full charge, reconnected another Toyota factory radio and in 1 day battery drained to 10.5 vdc. A strange symptom even with the different Toyota radio is that this 2nd radio's digital display also does not work. I measure 2 12 volt lines at the radio connector, so I think I have the correct voltages. If the display requires 5 vdc, I'm not measuring it anywhere on the 2 radio connectors. The radio plays normally and picks up stations. Could a shorted antenna wire cause this? Either the radio circuit is causing this drain, or I'm chasing my tail and the problem is elsewhere. Again, the "drain" measured in series with the battery is only 27 milliamps, .027 amps. I'm stumped.
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post #12 of 21 Old 07-17-2019, 11:10 AM
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what is the battery drain without any radio connected?
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post #13 of 21 Old 07-17-2019, 11:13 PM
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a shorted power antenna circuit (motor) could certainly be one possible cause of that current draw.

re: radio display - that is controlled by the lamp Dimmer control (Rheostat) - and should vary intensity as other lighting (gauge cluster / heater control / rear window defogger / AT shift console lamp) in the circuit, when working as expected.
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post #14 of 21 Old 07-18-2019, 11:26 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norm356 View Post
what is the battery drain without any radio connected?
Radio disconnected..... .015 amps.
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post #15 of 21 Old 07-18-2019, 11:30 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CamryFL View Post
a shorted power antenna circuit (motor) could certainly be one possible cause of that current draw.

re: radio display - that is controlled by the lamp Dimmer control (Rheostat) - and should vary intensity as other lighting (gauge cluster / heater control / rear window defogger / AT shift console lamp) in the circuit, when working as expected.
Thanks, but the car does not have an antenna motor. The displays on both radios do not display any digital characters. One radio's backlight comes on but no characters. The other radio powers up with audible stations but absolutely nothing displayed.
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