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Discussion Starter #1
I'm bringing mine in for servicing tomorrow, but thought I'd inquire if anyone has experienced something similar. A couple of months ago, my car wouldn't turn over. We figured... dead battery, it was time as the battery hadn't been changed in years. Purchased an interstate battery at Costco and replaced it ourselves. Subsequent to the battery replacement, the car has had its annual service and nothing related to the battery was indicated as a problem.

Fast-forward a month after the service, went on a few days trip out of town. Car wasn't driven in about 3 days. Car wouldn't turn over again. I thought maybe it was a couple of new electronic doodads I've been using recently that use the adapter. We jumpstarted the car and charged it for a bit and it was fine again. I have been making sure that NOTHING in the car is turned on: air conditioner, radio, light. Nothing is plugged into the adapter when the car is not in use.

Car wasn't driven for a couple of days over the weekend. Went to start it up again yesterday morning and once again the car won't turn over. Again, we've jumpstarted and charged the car and it was fine this morning on the drive into work.

My question is what would be draining the battery when the car is not driven for a couple of days and nothing at all being plugged in. Again, this is practically a brand new battery, only a couple of months old. Is anyone experiencing something similar? My car is a 2009 and I've never had this problem before. I can't be sure that the issue didn't start with the previous battery since we just assumed that the battery was old enough that it was likely dead on its own. But now this has occurred twice with the new battery in a couple of months. Thoughts?
 

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Could be one of a few things, and this is non-specific advice that applies to all vehicles.

First, it could be your charging system is not performing correctly. If your battery doesn't get charged by the car when it is operating, it will eventually go dead. A fairly general test would be to see how many volts is present when the car is running - it should be somewhere in the 14-14.5 volt range at the battery.

It could be that you have some parasitic draw. There are devices that will measure what that draw is. Have you installed any new electronic items recently? New head unit, bluetooth device, anything like that?

It could be that you've just had a couple of bad batteries - they can be tested as well, but it does seem unlikely you would have gotten a new bad battery. If your service department does a good job of troubleshooting, they should go at least these steps.

By the way, just a question. Where do you take your smart for service? We have the electric drive under warranty and the only service center is the one in Seattle.
 

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I would also check your alternator. The one on my 2010 failed recently though the car came to a dead stop after the alternator/charge warnings came on. Doesn't sound like it in your case but worth checking.

The other thing that has happened on my smart is the tailgate switch seems to be acting up so the interior light fails to turn itself off, I have the switch manually set to off.
 

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My question is what would be draining the battery when the car is not driven for a couple of days and nothing at all being plugged in. Again, this is practically a brand new battery, only a couple of months old. Is anyone experiencing something similar? My car is a 2009 and I've never had this problem before. I can't be sure that the issue didn't start with the previous battery since we just assumed that the battery was old enough that it was likely dead on its own. But now this has occurred twice with the new battery in a couple of months. Thoughts?
Does your car have the hockey puck on the windshield? There is a known issue with the early models which are equipped with auto wipers & auto lights, whereby leaving these items in the auto position will drain the battery over several days. A firmware update was issued which reduced the magnitude of the drain, but did not totally stop it.

There were also two sizes (capacities) of batteries used in the early vehicles. What is the size of your replacement battery?

~toaster
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Does your car have the hockey puck on the windshield? There is a known issue with the early models which are equipped with auto wipers & auto lights, whereby leaving these items in the auto position will drain the battery over several days. A firmware update was issued which reduced the magnitude of the drain, but did not totally stop it.

There were also two sizes (capacities) of batteries used in the early vehicles. What is the size of your replacement battery?

~toaster
Yes, I do have the rain sensor thing. I DID actually leave that turned on the last time it didn't start, but not the time before that. It's curious that I've never had this crop up until now, though. I do also usually leave my lights set to Auto. I guess I have to no longer do that. :-( Well, mine is at the dealer now getting a thorough checkup, so we'll see what they find.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Could be one of a few things, and this is non-specific advice that applies to all vehicles.

First, it could be your charging system is not performing correctly. If your battery doesn't get charged by the car when it is operating, it will eventually go dead. A fairly general test would be to see how many volts is present when the car is running - it should be somewhere in the 14-14.5 volt range at the battery.

It could be that you have some parasitic draw. There are devices that will measure what that draw is. Have you installed any new electronic items recently? New head unit, bluetooth device, anything like that?

It could be that you've just had a couple of bad batteries - they can be tested as well, but it does seem unlikely you would have gotten a new bad battery. If your service department does a good job of troubleshooting, they should go at least these steps.

By the way, just a question. Where do you take your smart for service? We have the electric drive under warranty and the only service center is the one in Seattle.
I originally used to take mine to the Smart of Seattle in Tukwila. Since they've rolled them into the Mercedes, I've been taking it to the one on Airport Way. I think there might be a couple of independent shops that service Smarts, but I haven't taken the chance with any of them yet.
 

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DebbieKat, that's the only dealer in the state that is authorized to service my electric drive, but having a gasoline engine gives you a lot more options. Best of luck and hope they chase that down, and stay cool in this heat wave we're having.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

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Yes, I do have the rain sensor thing. I DID actually leave that turned on the last time it didn't start, but not the time before that. It's curious that I've never had this crop up until now, though. I do also usually leave my lights set to Auto. I guess I have to no longer do that. :-( Well, mine is at the dealer now getting a thorough checkup, so we'll see what they find.
Oh, and I'm not sure of the battery size offhand.
Since you have the hockey puck, I'm guessing that your car has the comfort package. I think 2009 vehicles with the comfort package have the larger battery. I believe the smaller one was installed on the 2008 models and 2009's without the comfort package. Many people here have used the NAPA 7547 battery as a replacement, myself included.

Ask your dealer if the auto-lights/auto-wiper firmware update has already been applied to your vehicle.

Here's some additional info on the issue:

~toaster
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Since you have the hockey puck, I'm guessing that your car has the comfort package. I think 2009 vehicles with the comfort package have the larger battery. I believe the smaller one was installed on the 2008 models and 2009's without the comfort package. Many people here have used the NAPA 7547 battery as a replacement, myself included.

Ask your dealer if the auto-lights/auto-wiper firmware update has already been applied to your vehicle.

Here's some additional info on the issue:

~toaster
Just got an update call from them. Battery is fine, alternator is fine and so far they aren't finding any battery draw. They're leaving it hooked up to see if anything crops up. :-( So no clue so far.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
So far, they are finding nothing. I might need to leave it with them for several days without it being started up to find what is happening. :-( A similar issue happened to a friend of mine with a mini cooper.
 

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Maybe a door or rear hatch wasn't closed all the way?? just a thought..

I have had doors not close because the seatbelt was laying in the door way.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Maybe a door or rear hatch wasn't closed all the way?? just a thought..

I have had doors not close because the seatbelt was laying in the door way.
No. I have the cabriolet model so my rear hatch operates a little differently (only the bottom half opens). And definitely no doors were partially open. This has happened twice with the new battery in two months. Always after a period of a couple of days of not driving it. :-(
 

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Electrical drains can be difficult to troubleshoot sometimes. I have had them where I had to unplug everything until I found what circuit caused the battery to go dead. that takes a LOT of time.
 

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No. I have the cabriolet model so my rear hatch operates a little differently (only the bottom half opens). And definitely no doors were partially open. This has happened twice with the new battery in two months. Always after a period of a couple of days of not driving it. :-(
Interesting, mine is also a cabriolet and I started to have problems with the tailgate switch that controlled the dome light. Wound up having to set it to be off all the time as I would discover it was staying on after it had been opened.

Any other aftermarket devices hooked up to yours? The other oddity with mine is I don't have automatic headlights but my head and tail lights come on as soon as I start mine up.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Interesting, mine is also a cabriolet and I started to have problems with the tailgate switch that controlled the dome light. Wound up having to set it to be off all the time as I would discover it was staying on after it had been opened.

Any other aftermarket devices hooked up to yours? The other oddity with mine is I don't have automatic headlights but my head and tail lights come on as soon as I start mine up.
Hmm. I don't think I've ever even noticed my dome light turning on when I open the tailgate.

I don't have anything aftermarket installed.

Car is still at the dealer. They ran out of Smart loaners and gave me a Mercedes. I'm in trouble now. :D
 
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