Will leaving the keys in the ignition drain the battery?

Discussion in 'General VFR Discussions' started by noobwithaVFR, Sep 11, 2013.

  1. noobwithaVFR

    noobwithaVFR New Member

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    I bought a brand new battery maybe 4 months and had no problems. Past 2 weeks I left the key in the ignition (everything off of course) and after a while the power trying to start my bike slowly started to diminish. It's to the point where the headlights and tai lights are the only thing that's on. I'll flip the red ignition switch and it sounds like its struggling an when I try to start it up, nothing. No sound at all. My friend said it could be the alternator or rectifier? I just hope I made a silly mistake by leaving the keys in and a simple charge will fix everything!

    Thanks all!!

    Btw I have a 2002 vfr800fi
     
  2. friedleyjr

    friedleyjr New Member

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    I have been leaving mine in my ignition ever since I got the bike and never had that problem. I would check the connectins tomake sure they are tight. Then go from there by checking the battery to see if it is just unable to hold a charge. After that I would check the r/r and and stator. If still no luck then I would start looking for a wiring problem. As long as the key is not left on. Your battery should not drain. GL with the problem and I hope you get it fixed.
     
  3. Outboard John

    Outboard John Member

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    Maybe it's just time for a battery?
    John
     
  4. Scubalong

    Scubalong Official Greeter?

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    Have you check to make sure all the recall have been done on your bike (Wiring Harness and Break sensor) Charge your battery and pull all the fairing out to check all the connectors before getting a new battery. You can bring the battery to local auto parts store and have them perform load test to insure they hold the charge.

    Where is skimad and zoooom zoooom:rolleyes: with all the R/R link? :pound:
     
  5. squirrelman

    squirrelman Well-Known Member

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    Anytime you suspect a bad battery, check charging system output first.
     
  6. zoom-zoom

    zoom-zoom Well-Known Member

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    Ok, Ok, I may consider myself warned LONG. Geez try to help a brother(hood) out and all ya get is shat on. LOL.

    Seriously though, a thorough check of the charging system might be in order, just to make sure the R/R is functioning properly. Personally I leave my bike in the garage all winter (lasts about 4 months here in Kelowna) with the key in the ignition and have never had a problem. I don't have a battery tender, but I usually check the battery every couple of weeks and attach the trickle charger if necessary.

    To prevent any undo hassling by Mr. Scuba I will post the link if so requested. Or maybe Scuba could do it, after all, he is the Official VFR World Greeter. LOL
     
  7. Big_Jim59

    Big_Jim59 Well-Known Member

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    If leaving the key in the bike killed the battery mine would have been dead a long time ago. The only time I remove the key is when I am oot and aboot
     
  8. noobwithaVFR

    noobwithaVFR New Member

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    Sorry for the late reply but yes I would love the link please and Ty! Hopefully they are all step by step worth pictures because I'm a total noob! And could it be my fuses? I pulled the right fairing off and I don't even know where the stator is! Lol
     
  9. Scubalong

    Scubalong Official Greeter?

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  10. 34468 Randy

    34468 Randy Well-Known Member

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    If it is a slow drain, it is unlikely to be your fuses. Sounds like a short somewhere. But check things out as you learn. Start with the simple cheap solutions before you start spending your hard earned cash on the bigger items. Your battery is fairly new so that should not be the problem but I guess you can always get a bad battery.

    If you have ever let your battery die down then it froze, then the battery will behave that way. But in Vegas....I don't think so.

    The key in the ignition won't be an issue. Basically, your ignition is a locking switch. When it is off, no current flows. Unless there is an ignition short.
     
  11. skimad4x4

    skimad4x4 "Official" VFRWorld Greeter

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    Aggh - just wandered back from the garage and see I have already missed a housecall from Long. :redface:

    So to basics - Provided the key is in the off position - it will have no affect on your electrical system. It will make it quite easy to steal...:potstir:


    Moving on, if a battery which is only 4 months old is struggling to start the bike, then it sounds like the bike has one or more of the usual VFR electrical gremlins. All four elements of the charging system on your bike (loom, RR(regulator Rectifier), Stator(generator/alternator) and battery) need to be in good health and a fault in any one can damage one or more of the others. These parts are expensive so its sensible to spend time with a multi-meter to identify precisely where the fault lies or you could spend funds replacing something which is perfectly serviceable.

    Checking out the battery is the vital first step. A healthy charged battery without any load will put out around 12.7-13.2 volts. Numbers will drift down as the battery ages.

    If the standing volts seem fine, then skip the next bit, but if the numbers seem borderline, then you may want to carry out a fuller assessment of your battery health as follows -

    To test battery: (original Yuasa type) - remove from bike and trickle charge overnight (Beware fast charging car style chargers can kill a motorbike battery). Ideally you want to use a decent Optimate type digital charger until it is fully charged. The digital chargers won't over charge/cook the battery. So next morning ...

    - End of charge volts should be 12.7-13.2V
    - Connect a load to the battery (any old 21W indicator bulb should provide enough drain)
    - Check voltage every 30mins or so and see how long it takes for the battery volts to drop to 12.3V
    - Less than half hour = Totally dead battery - bin it!
    - About one hour = Virtually dead battery - needing replacement now!
    - More than one hour 30 = battery is still serviceable - but will need replacing soon
    - More than two hours = Good battery.

    Assuming the battery is considered good or serviceable - put it back on the trickle charger and next morning hook it up to the bike, so we can check the health of the stator and RR, by monitoring the volts at the battery. First at idle and at 5,000 rpm with the bike cold, and then after a 30 minute + ride, so the bike and everything electrical is good and hot. (Sometimes the stator will work fine when cold, but as it heats up the windings insulation can fail, and start to drain the battery, not charge it.)

    Normally a healthy stator and RR should be delivering 13 - 14 volts+ at idle and between 14 and 15 volts above 2,000 rpm. It should never exceed 15.5 volts or things like headlight bulbs will blow. (Lights on/lights off should make no more than about 0.5V difference to those numbers.)

    If the findings seem off - then the link provided by Scubalong
    How to fix common regulator/Stator failures
    explains how to check the loom for melted connector and tests for the stator and RR. If you need help understanding the results then post up what you find and we will try and explain what to do.

    PS if you do conclude it is the RR playing up, then rather than fitting another OEM RR which are not brilliant - if you want peace of mind, these folks sell what you really want and Honda should have fitted in the first place! Shindengen FH020AA Mosfet Regulator/Rectifier

    You should also speak to Honda to see if your bike was covered by (or overlooked for) a wiring upgrade recall.

    Good luck




    SkiMad
     
  12. Scubalong

    Scubalong Official Greeter?

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    :hail: Skimad :thumbsup:
     
  13. edk800f1

    edk800f1 New Member

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    In my wife's car (2004 SAAB 9-3 Aero), you WILL drain the battery. The steering wheel lock is powered open whenever the key is in the ignition.
    Perhaps the 8th Gen will include a electric steering lock, but none have it yet.
    Ed. 1998 VFR800. Ft. Wayne
     
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