Something draining the battery


Information and questions on GL1800 Goldwings (2001-2017)
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scaner60
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2020 4:10 pm
Location: United States
Motorcycle: 2001 Goldwing ABS 1800

Something draining the battery

Post by scaner60 »



I’m new to this forum but here’s my problem: 2001 1800 ABS model, since putting the bike back on the road last April, the battery keeps draining if not hooked up to a trickle charger. All recalls have been installed, tested load on battery and it tested good so no bad cells but something keeps draining it. Checking fuses next but not sure what might cause this or what to check next. Any suggestions appreciated, I’m not real good with electrical stuff. Battery is fairly new and haven’t added anything new for several years. It works fine if running but battery drains when turned off. If not attached to charger, battery will die in a few days.


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tamathumper
Posts: 584
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2018 6:02 pm
Location: Charlotte, NC
Motorcycle: 2003 GL1800A

Re: Something draining the battery

Post by tamathumper »

With the bike off, disconnect the ground cable and put a multimeter in series, note the current draw, then pull fuses one at a time, noting the current draw drop each time.
'03 GL1800A - Warning: fopen() [function.fopen]: failed to open stream: Sense of humor not found on line 2
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MikeB
Posts: 3323
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 12:54 pm
Location: Tacoma, WA
Motorcycle: 1998 - GL1500 Aspencade
184K Miles
2017 - GL1800 Audio Comfort
14K Miles
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Re: Something draining the battery

Post by MikeB »

It is a 19 year old motorcycle, You did not say, are you the original owner? A lot can happen in 19 years.

You say you are not real good with electrical stuff so I have to ask if there are electrical accessories that have been added to the bike?
If so, did you add the accessories or did a previous owner?
Do you have a power socket somewhere on the bike that maybe is connected directly to the battery instead of the through the accessory terminals?
If you have a power socket, do you have something plugged into it?

Check your battery terminals, do you have extra wires attached to the battery terminals? If yes, disconnect them all except the connections that came with the bike. Then check your battery voltage in a couple of days and see how it compares to before you disconnected those extra wires.

Usually, it is accessories that cause the battery depletion issues. Also, a trailer hitch wiring snafu can cause the issues too.
MikeB
1998 - GL1500 w/184,500 miles ~ 2017 - GL1800 w/13000 miles
USAF Avionics Communications Tech - 1968 - 1986 / Flight Engineer C-130E - C-141B - 1986 - 1992. Retired
Industrial Maintenance Tech - 1992 - 2014
Retired in Tacoma, WA
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AZgl1800
Posts: 2643
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2008 2:46 pm
Location: Lake Oologah Indian Territory USA
Motorcycle: '02 GL1800
2009 Piaggio MP3 250cc

Re: Something draining the battery

Post by AZgl1800 »

tamathumper wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 6:16 pm With the bike off, disconnect the ground cable and put a multimeter in series, note the current draw, then pull fuses one at a time, noting the current draw drop each time.
I agree with this.
do NOT wait several days to see "IF" the battery voltage falls off.

the standby current should be less than 0.005 amps, or 5 milliAmps.
IF, you have a Digital voltmeter, it might possibly have a scale that will read that low.
Most have a 10 amp fuse in series with the Amp measuring terminals.

My '02 without any extras on it, would pull the battery down too low to start over a matter of about 3 months in cold weather. That happened when I first bought it, and it was raining / snowing and I just parked it on the front porch.... * I will get back to it later kind of thing *

the Wx did not improve for a long time, and when i went to start it up, it would NOT start. I had to find a 100 ft extension cord and put a Battery Tender on it.
About six hours later, right started right up, no problem.
I had a spot open in the shop for it by that time, and parked it inside and plugged in the Battery Tender....
it is never left sitting anymore, w/o a Battery Tender plugged in.
~John

'02 GL1800
2009 Piaggio MP3 250cc
scaner60
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2020 4:10 pm
Location: United States
Motorcycle: 2001 Goldwing ABS 1800

Re: Something draining the battery

Post by scaner60 »

Purchased the bike off eBay in 2003 with a little over 5k miles so basically brand new. I’ve not added anything electrical in years. Took a short ride in May. Stopped and turned the bike off but left the radio on after turning key to AUG. In 10min the battery was dead and needed a jump. That was the first that ever happened and my first indication something was amiss. Maybe I should start with a new battery even though this one is only a few years old. Any suggestions on battery brands? This bike has sat all winter without charging and it started up in April, with some strain but it did start. Not that I do that every year, it’s usually on a trickle charger all winter but that year I had medical problems that put me in a wheelchair over the winter but the bike did start.
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AZgl1800
Posts: 2643
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2008 2:46 pm
Location: Lake Oologah Indian Territory USA
Motorcycle: '02 GL1800
2009 Piaggio MP3 250cc

Re: Something draining the battery

Post by AZgl1800 »

scaner60 wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 3:56 pm Purchased the bike off eBay in 2003 with a little over 5k miles so basically brand new. I’ve not added anything electrical in years. Took a short ride in May. Stopped and turned the bike off but left the radio on after turning key to AUG. In 10min the battery was dead and needed a jump. That was the first that ever happened and my first indication something was amiss. Maybe I should start with a new battery even though this one is only a few years old. Any suggestions on battery brands? This bike has sat all winter without charging and it started up in April, with some strain but it did start. Not that I do that every year, it’s usually on a trickle charger all winter but that year I had medical problems that put me in a wheelchair over the winter but the bike did start.
you did not ride the bike long enough to Top the Battery up to 13.6 volts.
key off, the battery should read 12.6ish after a few minutes and no lower than about 12.5ish tomorrow or a couple days later.

if it is lower than that, you need to put a Battery Tender on it every time you get off and put the bike away.

I never park my bike long term without a Battery Tender plugged in.


~John

'02 GL1800
2009 Piaggio MP3 250cc
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