Cause of Dead Battery?

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  #1  
Old 11-26-20, 03:21 PM
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Cause of Dead Battery?

Three days ago a driver didn't turn sharply enough into her lane, and she turned into the side of my Toyota Highlander. It bashed in both doors on the passenger side. The rear passenger door was bashed in so much that it caused the door to not be able to fully close. As we drove the car home, the indicator kept dinging periodically to let us know that door was open.

The day after the accident we went out of town for two days, and we just got home. The Highlander battery is dead, and my husband swears that none of the interior lights was on when we left.

Is there anything about the accident and the door not closing completely that could have drained the battery if the interior lights were indeed off this whole time?

Thank you in advance for any light you can shed on this.
 

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11-28-20, 07:12 AM
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Nobody else has asked, so I will. Why are you even messing with it? Pretty obvious it's going to need a body shop.
Other guy's insurance? Or your uninsured coverage?
 
  #2  
Old 11-26-20, 04:38 PM
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IF it was off indeed. Door stayed ajar=interior light turned on.
 
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Old 11-26-20, 04:43 PM
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Ukrbyk,

So are you saying you believe the interior lights were definitely on to drain the battery like that?

He jumped the Highlander off, and made sure the interior lights were off. However, there is a constant light blinking to indicate that the door is open....even with the car off. Could that blinking light be enough to drain the battery after blinking since Monday?

Thank you.
 
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Old 11-26-20, 10:39 PM
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As we drove the car home, the indicator kept dinging periodically to let us know that door was open.
So the warning chime is indicating that there is an open circuit somewhere at the door. The open circuit is causing the battery to go dead, it may not be the light itself, could be a pinched wire.
 
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Old 11-27-20, 04:48 AM
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Most modern day cars shut the dome light off automatically after a short period of time. I would suspect A shorted wire.
 
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Old 11-27-20, 05:19 AM
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An open circuit has no current so it can' affect the battery. In most cases a wire containing voltage that shorts to ground will open a fuse/breaker. Modern cars with computers still provide voltage to the computers with the ignition switch off. The resulting current is called the ignition off drain. Toyota publishes this value. If you have a DC ammeter, you can measure this current yourself or go to a auto electrical shop. If the measured current is greater than the published value, diagnosis is required to find and fix the offending circuit. Hope this helps.
 
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Old 11-27-20, 05:37 AM
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you can measure this current yourself
As we drove the car home, the indicator kept dinging periodically to let us know that door was open
An open electrical circuit means that there is a break in the continuity of the circuit
No need to measure anything, the vehicle is detecting the open circuit and sounding the chime. The open circuit is most likely the door switch where a pinched/exposed wire due to the accident is not closing due to a short.

Somehow you need to get that door open and find the issue or the battery will continue to drain.
 
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Old 11-27-20, 09:07 AM
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Like I said. Open door=light on. Or, functional circuit.
 
  #9  
Old 11-27-20, 10:27 AM
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Pull the fuse for "Doors # 2-4 power windows"

DO NOT touch the power window buttons on the passengers side - if you try to move them, you CAN shatter the window (which MAY already be under stress).

If the doors were hit hard enough to not close, they were hit hard enough to A) pinch the wires to the power window button and B) break the wires to the power window motor. The power window SWITCH and MOTOR are both on the same fuse. The switch takes a small amount of current, the motor takes a large amount of current. Because of the high current, the circuit has a high current fuse, and having a power window button stuck on won't trip the fuse, but could drain the battery.

However, the button to turn ON the power windows takes much less, and could be stuck "ON" without triggering the fuse.



 
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Old 11-27-20, 11:45 PM
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Could also be you pinched a wire. The answer is to disconnect the battery at night. If it still goes dead, then it is the battery or the charging system. Most likely it will not go down and then you can look for the short circuit with a multimeter.
 
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Old 11-27-20, 11:56 PM
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Pull the fuse for "Doors # 2-4 power windows"
Its not the power window, they are not tied to the circuit that is causing the door to chime, it's the door switch!
 
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Old 11-28-20, 07:12 AM
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Nobody else has asked, so I will. Why are you even messing with it? Pretty obvious it's going to need a body shop.
Other guy's insurance? Or your uninsured coverage?
 
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Old 11-28-20, 07:26 AM
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How old is the battery? Batteries die of old age.
 
  #14  
Old 11-28-20, 10:12 AM
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Tow Guy, Since he drove it home after the accident, I'm assuming he is going to continue to drive the car until the body shop can get the parts & time to get it in the shop. Battery dies every night.
Like you, I am wondering why though......?????? If its an insurance deal, especially if there is an issue that prevents safe operation, that the insurance company would just rent him a car. But, again, I know my ins company has a limit on the amount they'll pay for rentals. If he's not careful, he'll run out of insurance money & he'll be responsible for any rental fee's when the insurance rental allotment runs out. Mine is good for about 3 weeks. State Farm.

Again, I'm just speculating.
 
  #15  
Old 11-28-20, 12:53 PM
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Donna -
Could that blinking light be enough to drain the battery after blinking since Monday?
I think it could. Maybe the other guys would disagree but twice I didn’t quite have my driver side door fully closed and after a few days the battery ran down. The only draining factor I think was the that continuous blinking light for door open. The dome light goes out fairly quickly as others have mentioned. I think my battery was a little weak to begin with though.

If your car was sitting for a few days whereas normally you run it every day, I think maybe that could also make a difference. It does for me. I have a weak battery now, but if I run the car at least once every two days it will start. But let it sit in the cold for five days and I have to jumper it. Maybe your battery is just weak enough that the continuous flashing for 2 days was enough to do it in.

Good luck with the repairs, doesn't sound too bad.
 
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Old 11-28-20, 05:44 PM
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If it was the other driver's fault then he is responsible for providing substitute transportation with no arbitrary limit.,

If a battery is repeatedly drained to where you need a jump start then the lifetime of that battery will be severely shor tened from its usual 4 years.,
 
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Old 11-28-20, 08:22 PM
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How do I use the "quote" feature when replying?
 
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Old 11-29-20, 07:49 AM
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Donna –

You just select the text that you want and then click on the quotation marks symbol above the text box in which you are typing. (Like now - I copied Allan's statement into my text box, selected it, and then clicked on the quotation symbol, and you get the following:

If a battery is repeatedly drained to where you need a jump start then the lifetime of that battery will be severely shor tened from its usual 4 years.
Allan -

Not at all suggesting battery draining as a way of life. Mine is 8 years old so I have nothing to lose by using my charger (I misspoke, I’m actually charging and not jumping). Just a matter of getting out there and buying a new battery.
 
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Old 11-29-20, 08:32 AM
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I can't get an answer on how to use the "quote" feature that used to be available here on "Do it Yourself", and a search of this site hasn't yielded any answers, so I'm going to just try to copy and paste and answer the questions that need to be answered in this one reply.

First of all, thank you to everyone who gave their $.02. It is much appreciated.

Now to answer the questions asked of me in these posts:

the_tow_guy
Nobody else has asked, so I will. Why are you even messing with it? Pretty obvious it's going to need a body shop.
Other guy's insurance? Or your uninsured coverage?

Tow Guy, Why do I get the impression that in real life you are a smart elec? We are "messing with it", because the world of car accidents and insurance sure has changed since the last time anyone in our family was involved in an accident. Gone are the days of exchanging information with the other driver or getting a carbon copy of the accident report at the scene. Now (in many cities across America from what I now understand) the officer takes the basic information and later enters it into a computer system. It's uploaded to a third party site.....our particular one was out of the Philippines (don't get me started)......in a few days. At the scene we were given the other party's name and the web address where to find the report. That report was available Friday, so we just have found out the name of the insurance company of the other party. When we contacted them, their driver hadn't even let them know there had been an accident. That wasn't very comforting! They tried to contact their insured driver, but the call went straight to voicemail. Based on the details of the report, there will likely be an investigation......unless that driver amends their statement to match what we and the witness to the accident said happened. When I inquired about the time frame for getting this taken care of.....because obviously I need a rental car....I was told that the insurance company legally can't "harass" their insured driver into contacting them, and they would do all they could to get in touch with this person. They told me that they have 30 days to get this remedied, and if their insured driver doesn't return phone calls or respond to letters they send, they will just send an investigator out based on my call and the police report.

I asked about the battery draining, because 1) while I'm waiting on the insurance stuff to get sorted out, I need to use my vehicle to go to the grocery store and to run other errands around town.....when it's not raining. If the battery keeps draining, then I can't do that. and 2) I needed to know if this is part of the accident that needs to be reported to the insurance company so that they can replace the battery.


Dixie2012
Tow Guy, Since he drove it home after the accident, I'm assuming he is going to continue to drive the car until the body shop can get the parts & time to get it in the shop. Battery dies every night.
Like you, I am wondering why though......?????? If its an insurance deal, especially if there is an issue that prevents safe operation, that the insurance company would just rent him a car. But, again, I know my ins company has a limit on the amount they'll pay for rentals. If he's not careful, he'll run out of insurance money & he'll be responsible for any rental fee's when the insurance rental allotment runs out. Mine is good for about 3 weeks. State Farm.

Again, I'm just speculating.

Dixie, Please see my reply to Tow Guy above. In a perfect world, I'd already have a rental car. We had take a 3 hour trip that was supposed to be for pleasure in my husband's tiny little Corolla. It wasn't terrible, but it's no Highlander!


AllanJ
If it was the other driver's fault then he is responsible for providing substitute transportation with no arbitrary limit.,
Allan, If I could be guaranteed of that and having my expenses reimbursed, I would have rented a vehicle to use and just had the insurance company reimburse me. However, until Friday I had no idea what company I was even dealing with.

If a battery is repeatedly drained to where you need a jump start then the lifetime of that battery will be severely shor tened from its usual 4 years., Thanks for that information. If we can't get the battery to stop draining, it sounds like it would be best to just let the car sit and make do with what we've got until the insurance situation is resolved.

Hal_S
Pull the fuse for "Doors # 2-4 power windows"
I know you and Marq disagree on this, but it might be worth a shot. This is the kind of information I was hoping to get. We've been wondering if there was anything we could do to stop the battery from draining other than disconnecting the battery every night. Thank you for your input.
 
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Old 11-29-20, 08:54 AM
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I can't get an answer on how to use the "quote" feature
Actually, zoesdad did answer (post #18, first paragraph). You copy and paste what you want to quote like you just did, but then you highlight it and then click on the "quote" icon above to turn it into a quoted sentence.
Altho what you did works also.

The quote feature was removed due to some members overusing it. The mods were always having to remove it.
 
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Old 11-29-20, 09:11 AM
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if you dont see any lights staying on including places like the glove box would probably just disconnect the battery when the vehicle is going to sit for awhile to keep it from going dead while its a hassle really only takes a couple of minutes to pull the negative battery cable and reconnect on most vehicles so you can atleast start and drive it if you needed to.
 
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Old 11-29-20, 10:55 AM
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Shadelaide, you said:
Actually, zoesdad did answer (post #18, first paragraph). You copy and paste what you want to quote like you just did, but then you highlight it and then click on the "quote" icon above to turn it into a quoted sentence.
Altho what you did works also.
Zoesdad answered as I was composing my reply. I never saw it before I posted my reply. Also, for some reason I'm not getting notified when there are replies to this thread even though I subscribed to receive instant e-mail notification. I had no idea there had been so many replies to my thread until I just happened to check back on here yesterday to look at something else.
 
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Old 11-29-20, 10:59 AM
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Thank you Zoesdad! Your instructions were perfect, and I appreciate them very much.
 
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Old 11-29-20, 02:48 PM
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Oh thank you Donna, glad if I was of any help at all.

Good luck with your auto, hope you get it straightened out fast.
 
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Old 11-30-20, 08:11 PM
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Don't just let it sit overnight. Connect up the charger.

 
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Old 12-01-20, 02:42 PM
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FWIW, no, Donna, I am not a smarta** in my real life and I've been a Mod here for about 15 years. Something Mods do is occasionally ask a question that others have overlooked or avoided asking. My apologies if you were offended; I thought it was a fair question and I would be extremely surprised if some of the other posters didn't have the same question in the back of their mind but didn't ask. You might have made a passing reference somewhere such as, "Due to circumstances beyond my control, I am forced to live it this for the time being...". Just a thought.
 
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Old 12-03-20, 07:51 PM
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As others have said, a broken/open wire wouldn't drain the battery and a dead short would blow a fuse or worse fry a wire and cause a fire. A blinking LED/light flashing on the dash also would not drain the battery that quickly. In fact a fully charged battery could power an LED indicator lamp for a couple hundred days. My guess is the power window switch is stuck in the ON position and the door chime is unrelated to the battery drain issue. It's impossible to say without seeing the vehicle. Until you figure it out, disconnect the battery when the vehicle is parked.
 
 

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