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Old 10-31-2007, 05:40 AM   #1
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Broken key in ignition=battery drain?

In my quest for a car to take on the Canadian excursion, I've come across some real winners.

One guy was telling me he believes the constant battery drain going on in his car comes from a broken-off key in the ignition. He can still pair it with the other part to turn it and start the car, but he feels he can't get the key to go completely to off, hence the drain while "off."

Crack genius or just smoking crack? You make the call....
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Old 10-31-2007, 06:03 AM   #2
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It's a wicked long throw from L to P on the ignition switch, I doubt its keeping the +15 equipment circuit live.

CL
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Old 10-31-2007, 06:04 AM   #3
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Well, if he leaves the key in the Accessory position, and he's got a power drain through one of the accessories, there you go ! But it's not the key itself which is causing the power drain.

IMHO
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Old 10-31-2007, 06:06 AM   #4
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my SPG sometimes does not turn things like the radio and dash lights off when the car is in "off" sometimes they go off and work themselves back on too, even when it's "off" and not locked. when it's locked, nothing has power and there is no drain.

Anyway, it's a real possibility that the broken key is causing the draw if he can't get it into lock, though there is an equal or better possibility that it's something else.

something causing a power drain should be fairly easy to figure out, I am pretty good at finding those.
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Old 10-31-2007, 06:53 AM   #5
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His theory is he can't get the key to the complete lock, so it isn't the actual key but the position in which the ignition is left. I'm calling at noon to see if the car is still available.
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Old 10-31-2007, 10:08 AM   #6
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to test for battery drain remove the positive battery cable and attach a test light between the positive terminal to the postiive cable. If it lights you have battery drain.

A quick fix would be to hook up an extra ignition switch and just use a screwdriver.
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Old 10-31-2007, 10:11 AM   #7
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Even better test procedure: http://flashoffroad.com/electrical/C...rrentdrain.pdf
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Old 10-31-2007, 11:16 AM   #8
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i had the dealership cut me new keys for an ignition switch with 260,000 miles on it. this enabled me to remove the key while the car is running, or in any other position for that matter.

now, i almost never bother with shifting into reverse and putting locking the shifter/ignition, i tend to just turn the car off and remove the key. i have never had a problem with battery drain, even with the car sitting like this for 1-2 weeks.

i suspect the problem is elsewhere.

connect an amp meter between the positive and negative battery terminals to see what kind of reading you get. i would expect to see an amp or maybe even two from the clock and nothing more. start removing fuses until the amperage draw drops, once it does, you have found the circuit where the problem lies.

i am wishing right now that i had disassembled my spare igntion box, i want to know exactly how everything is configured inside. i suppose that if the igntion were stiff or sticky, something might not be releasing.

in Delorean's case, i would expect something in there to be really loose that sometimes sticks and sometimes flops around. that sounds like a really weird issue.

saabsbreakdown, wouldnt the test light glow simply because you have created a closed circuit? i am either confused or confusing myself, perhaps i will go test this.
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Old 10-31-2007, 11:18 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xassh View Post
saabsbreakdown, wouldnt the test light glow simply because you have created a closed circuit? i am either confused or confusing myself, perhaps i will go test this.
The light will only illuminate if it can ground through a circuit that is on. However on some cars this can happen just because of the radio, clock, ECU's or whatever. That's why I posted that link which tells you how to do it properly with a multitester.

Anyway it sounds like the problem is just from the key being stuck in ACC. Someone probably fucked up the reverse interlock so it can't shut off all the way because the linkage is bent.
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Old 10-31-2007, 03:13 PM   #10
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yeah, i was thinking that the clock would create the circuit necessary.

do any dash lights stay on?

i am able to turn my very worn ignition just far enough to get the windows to work before the dash lights come on and the fuel pump hums. perhaps that is the problem.

the reverse lockout linkage is pretty beefy, it would certainly take some force to screw it up, but i could see that happening.
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Old 10-31-2007, 03:22 PM   #11
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it lets messed up all the time. i think its ignorant people kicking the shifter out of reverse more than anything.
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Old 11-01-2007, 03:27 AM   #12
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the reverse lockout linkage is pretty beefy, it would certainly take some force to screw it up, but i could see that happening.
I had a local tow truck driver fsck one of mine, fortunately the shop I was working with persuaded the towing company to pay for a replacement.

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