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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Truck is a new 2016 Frontier SL, 4wd, 4 door, long bed. Aftermarket parts are a Leer Trilogy tonneau cover, Curt tow package with receiver and relay harness, and a Compustar 7200 series Remote Start.

Currently the electrical system has some kind of parasitic draw that will completely deplete the battery in three days or less that has become worse over time. I purchased the truck new on Septemeber 1, 2016. Please note that I work remotely and must be away two to three weeks at a time. About October 20 to November 15 it was not started for about a three week period. When I returned the battery was completely depleted. No electrical power in the truck at all. I charged the battery overnight and all was well for two weeks driving it at least every other day if not daily. It was then left sitting for approx one week and started reliably. (While I was away at work the wife started the truck for me.) Then it was not started for a ten day period and upon my return there was not enough charge in the battery to engage the starter. Charged battery once again. And two to three days later there is not enough charge to engage the starter. Each time again requiring me to charge the battery.

While I was again away at work wife takes the truck to where I had the Remote Starter installed. I purposely used the same Audio Vendor that the Nissan dealer here uses for my remote start. It was less expensive for me to pay them to put it in than it was from the Nissan dealer. They pulled the fuses for the remote starter and monitored the current draw. The message from them was that the truck “Computer” was entering sleep mode and then immediately waking. Not sure if they meant the CPU, BCM, ECM, or all three. Wife calls the Nissan dealership while at the Audio store and has the Nissan Service Manager and the Audio store manager talk about the problem and she makes an appointment with the Nissan Dealer.

Wife takes the truck to the Nissan dealer and got the typical response that there is nothing wrong so it must be the Remote Start. At her insistence they did replace the battery as she just wasn't leaving with the truck in the same condition as she delivered it to them. From the information that I can piece together it seems they tested and charged the battery then monitored the system for parasitic draw. What little documentation wife could get it appears to me the battery had about 300 amp hours of life. This is a 550 amp hour battery that I have owned for only four months. Good thing she got it replaced. They tested the alternator and found no abnormalities with it or the charging circuit. Also from the documentation a note shows that while in sleep mode the draw was 23 ma. If that is indeed true then that is really good as a threshold of no more than 50 ma will be fine with me.

So, here I am today headed out the door with my multimeter to begin the Parasitic Draw Journey. Currently I have a new battery and a disconnected remote starter. The only good news here is I deal with ma and mv circuits everyday at work and this is not my first parasitic draw rodeo. Albeit, it is my first parasitic rodeo on an automobile.
Before this is over I expect I'll need all of the help I can get so please, if you guys have any ideas do not hesitate to bring them up.

Dan
 

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Kinda thinking out loud here, but I would blame the remote start. Reason being is they have to either put a dummy chipped key in the car somewhere, or use some device to spoof that the key is in the vehicle when starting. The computer may be constantly seeing that the key is there and waiting for the command to start or something?? I know my 370z and murano both pop up a little notice on the dash that says "key detected" when we get into the car. They are both push button start cars, so the key isn't in an ignition and the car just recognizes that it's witin range. Just a thought......
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
msully, Thanks for your reply and suggestion. I should have stated in the first post that the truck has a keyed ignition. I know, I know, that isn't keeping with 21st century push button wireless technology but this was my preference. In fact it was one of the desirable things that I looked for when buying my truck. I'm not sure if the Remote Start has to think there is a key in the ignition or not but for sure my truck does not have the proximity key with a push button start. Almost assuredly there is some kind of chip in the key that I put in the ignition but I didn't have to hide my spare key under the dash to get the remote start to function.

Dan
 

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Did you have this problem before or after installing the remote start and relay harness? Has anything changed with the new battery?
 

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My 2014 Frontier has the same problem, if I leave it for a week or two without starting it the battery is completely dead and I don't have a command start. Even if the on-board computers are using a bit of power I can't imagine it would be enough to drain a fully charged battery that quickly. I was thinking it may have something to do with the anti-theft system, just a hunch. After my truck wouldn't start (not even try to turn over) and I simply tried to jump it the panic alarm went off as soon as I attached the jumper cables to the battery. The last time I parked my truck for an extended period I tried to prevent this by simply disconnecting my neg. battery connection, then when I started it up and started driving that threw a check engine light. These trucks are fussy when there parked for a while.

It might be a Nissan thing to as my parents 2010 sentra (with command start) does the exact same thing, their fix was to install a quick disconnect on the battery. its worked well.
 

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I had a similar problem this summer. I drive my jeep more in the summer and leave the truck parked and would find the truck wouldn't start if left for a week but was fine if I drove it a few times a week. Left for 2 weeks and it needed a full charge. Finally went to get a battery and wanted to get mine tested because it was only 3 yrs old and for whatever reason decided to mess with it first. I cleaned the terminals and posts and it started up with a jump no problem. From a completely dead battery, I let run for a few minutes and shut it off and it started right up. Put the charger on it for the rest of the afternoon and haven't had a problem since


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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I've had a busy day and this is more on the saga.

The truck was driven for approx two hours. Battery voltage tested at 12.73 vdc. Approx fourteen hours later battery voltage tested at 12.52 vdc. I would say not much draw on the battery during this time.

Started the truck and drove approx 2 minutes then shutdown and begun monitoring current draw as follows. Note that I used two multimeters that I trust. With both of them showing me the same readings they both were not malfunctioning.

Time 0 151 ma
Time 5 min 82 ma
Time 15 min 8.5 ma with a flash to 23 ma
This status remained until Time 0130. (an hour and a half after I began testing.) The 23 ma flash coincided with the security light flash on the truck instrument panel.
I would say that 8.5 ma parasitic draw with the flash to 23 ma every couple of seconds is exceptional and should cause no problems.

I then installed the fuses to energize the Compustar Remote Start. Regardless of what I did or how I monitored, the draw remained a consistent 25 to 27 ma. This was a consistent reading. Not like before where it started high and worked its way to a much lower current draw. Noted that with the Compustar remote start energized the Red Security car/key indicator on the instrument panel did not flash or illuminate at all. Also, I tried to start the truck with the remote start but it consistently failed with the indication that the "Hood Pin" was not engaged. This means that the hood was not closed. After a great deal of searching and manipulations I could not clear the hood pin malfunction. If there is a hood pin switch on my truck someone is going to have to show it to me as I could not locate one anywhere.

Removed the Compustar remote start fuses and monitored only for a short time. This time the draw was a consistent 23 ma. It wasn't as before with a gradual decline.

That was as far as I got today.

More to come......

Dan
 

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From the information that I can piece together it seems they tested and charged the battery then monitored the system for parasitic draw. What little documentation wife could get it appears to me the battery had about 300 amp hours of life. This is a 550 amp hour battery that I have owned for only four months.

Allowing a battery to completely discharge just a few times can permanently reduce its capacity - if it doesn't kill it outright.

Prior to your parastic draw problem, there might have been absolutely nothing wrong with that battery.

If you don't find and fix the problem, any new battery you install will probably meet the same fate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Allowing a battery to completely discharge just a few times can permanently reduce its capacity - if it doesn't kill it outright.

Prior to your parastic draw problem, there might have been absolutely nothing wrong with that battery.

If you don't find and fix the problem, any new battery you install will probably meet the same fate.
Skibane, I agree 100%. That's why I am chasing this to conclusion. One way or the other I'm gonna nail this ting down and fix it. Right now I am suspecting a Compustar Hood Pin circuit malfunction. Not sure what it is yet but it is a known problem. If I get all of the known problems fixed there probably won't be any unknown problems.

Dan
 

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Just throwing this out there and it's probably not the issue. My dad is a mechanic and has a shop. He had a customer with the exact same issue. This was on a BMW or VW if I recall. The dealership couldn't find the problem but my dad did. Apparently the Bluetooth module was messed up and was drawing current even after the car was turned off. He replaced it and the problem went away. So maybe pull the fuse on the radio or Bluetooth unit and see if the problem stops?
 

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I would talk to the remote start installer.

Just to clarify, there is no pin switch anywhere along the edges of the engine compartment? Is there a mercury switch of some kind on the hood itself? If neither, did the installer bypass the switch on the unit's harness manually and tucked it away someplace you cannot see?

If you know the Compustar model, I'm sure you could find it's wiring diagram online to see if a hood switch is included in the harness itself or an add on feature.
 

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I've had the same issue for a few years due to having an aftermarket sound system, Smart Remote Starter (always connected to Verizon), and the alarm system which tends to pull a lot of off-key drain on the battery.

My remote starter has an app that I can refresh and it gives me current battery voltage. When it gets low, I plug it in a trickle charger. My truck is a weekender - mostly used for utility (biking, kayaking, tailgating, camping).

I went with a few things below:

1. Optima Yellow Top battery
2. Battery charger/desulfator (AGM Batteries)
3. Battery plug and Battery cable & Cable extension

The plug I installed directly in the middle of the front air dam, snaked the cable up to the battery. It works great (can snap some pics if needed)-my wife makes fun of me saying I now have a hybrid because I have to plug it in.

Eventually, I'll add a dual battery set up that way I don't have an off key battery drained and be stranded. I had considered adding a solar panel trickle charger set up but didn't want to hassle with it. I'd still be able to plug it in when not in use for extended periods of time. Hope you get it worked out.
 

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I keep one of these in the front window when I left my truck sitting. I do it for all my vehicles that sit.
In the Frontier I plug it into the always on power port on dash. Works like a champ.

021-1163
 

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My truck is outside all the time. I sometimes don't drive it for 3 weeks.
Had similar issue but didn't want to buy a new battery as it would most likely do the same thing.
I didn't want to have to plug in a trickle charge connected all the time.
The parasitic drain you are seeing is the electricals of the car. The battery itself has self discharge as well.

Buy one of these....
Newpowa 30W Watt Solar Panel With 3ft Wire + Controller 12V Charge Kit | eBay

Wire the solar panel output to the solar charger input then wire the output of the solar charger to a cigarette lighter adapter and plug it into the cig adapter that is always on. Place the solar panel where the sun hits the longest.
This will charge your battery every day.

I have a similar setup. I put the solar panel on the dashboard. In the summer I move it to the driver side windows because the sun moves as the earth axis tilts in summer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Thanks again for the replies and the suggestions. The solar panel trickle charger would be a really slick alternative. The problem is that the truck is in Alaska. The solar set up would work great for half the year but the other half, like now, not so much. About the only trickle charger that would make sense for me would be an on board 110 vac charger. Trying to avoid that as I often leave my truck where 110 vac isn't available. Thanks for all of the input and I'll keep digging.

Dan

This may be unrelated to my parasitic draw but does anyone know what this switch is? It is on the top of the kick panel on the drivers side. It is just a single pole on/off little toggle switch.
 

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That there is a switch that someone other than Nissan installed on your vehicle.

My guess would be a not-particularly-well-hidden kill switch.
 

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Was that installed with the Command Start? That's not factory that's for sure.
 

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Thanks again for the replies and the suggestions. The solar panel trickle charger would be a really slick alternative. The problem is that the truck is in Alaska. The solar set up would work great for half the year but the other half, like now, not so much. About the only trickle charger that would make sense for me would be an on board 110 vac charger. Trying to avoid that as I often leave my truck where 110 vac isn't available. Thanks for all of the input and I'll keep digging.

Dan

This may be unrelated to my parasitic draw but does anyone know what this switch is? It is on the top of the kick panel on the drivers side. It is just a single pole on/off little toggle switch.

I installed one of them on my wife's car when she took an out of town job a few years back.

It activated a couple of relays that fed power to the fuel injextors and starter solinoid.

She called me about a week after to ask what to do about a dead battery. Sure enough, even

though I told her what it was for and where it was, she forgot about it and left it on all

the time. She was more careful after that.

I told the dealreship about it when we traded it but I don't know if they told the new
buyer.
 
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