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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi everybody - hoping for some advice and assistance please.

2000 Renault Espace 2.0 16v petrol, manual refused to start some time in January, flat battery. No surprise really as in the winter months it does a really short trip to work and back in the dark and I thought that the battery just wasn't getting the chance to charge. To be on the safe side I fitted a brand new battery and off we went for a few weeks and the same again. I charged the battery overnight and put it back on the car. All OK for a few months.

Went away on holiday, with the car, so it a had a good daylight run out, came home left it ofr a week and wouldn't start. Recharged the battery and seemed to be OK.

I have a solar voltaire trickle charging panel so I thought I'd plug this in when I'm leaving the car standing. Of course the cigarette lighter sockets are not "live" when the ignition is off so I fitted an additional one, just forward of the two cup holders in front of the gear stick, and wired this to a permanent live via an inline fuse. (Incidenatlly this new socket is ideal for powering the sat nav - no extension wire draped all over the place).

I did this two weeks ago and the car stood idle for a week then I've been on holiday for a week only to return today to a flat battery! (This despite my solar voltaire trickle charging panel being plugged in for all that time!!!!!)

So to my questions: (at last they all say as one)

a) Is there anything obvious that people know about this model Espace that flattens batteries?
b) How do I fix it?
c) How can I check if there is a drain on the battery when the car is standing? (I own a multimeter and with the battery out of the car I get 4.5 Megga ohms between the car's positive and negative battery leads - does anybody know if this is correct?)
and lastly
d) How can I check if the alternator is charging the battery correctly in the first place?

Thanks in ever hopeful appreciation and anticipation

Chris
 

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To check the alternator output put the multimeter on volts and take a reading across the battery terminals - it should read between 13.5 to 14.8 volts.
The other problem could be there is an electrical drain whilst the engine is not in use. The best way to check is to disconnect the positive lead from the battery and connect the multimeter (set at amps) between the positive lead and the positive terminal of the battery and measure what ampage is being drawn. This should be reading in milliamps. Whilst doing this you can remove each fuse in turn to determine which circuit is draining excess current.

Just double check the boot light and glove box lights aren't lit as they can be easily overlooked.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
OK - battery's been on charge all night and now shows 13.56v when stood on the bench.

Back on the car and with the multi meter between the positive post and the positive lead I get a reading of 113.5mA - is this too high?

With the car started and at idle I get 14.41v accross the battery, so alternator and charging circuit are OK - I guess?

Checked all interior lights and all external lights and can't see anything that is left on, in fact I have switched all interior lights to off to be on the safe side.

Glovebox light? Don't think I've got one of those, can't see anything anyway.

Have to go out now but intend to remove fuses one at a time, as suggested by madnoel10 above, to see if I can't reduce the 113.5mA reading when the car is switched off.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Lots of head scratching now!!!!!! Used the car this morning - no trouble at all.

Came home disconnected battery positive lead and put multimeter between positive battery post and disconnected positive lead and no current flowing - well fluctuating between 0.01 and minus 0.01 mA. Bizarre!

I assume now that I have an intermittent fault with something that is sometimes draining the battery and sometimes not! How I'm supposed to find that beats me. I suppose I'll just have to wait until the battery is flat again, recharge it, refir it and see if the drain is still showing, like it was this morning!
 

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It could be a fault in the alternator whereby depending on what positon it comes to stop it may be leaking to earth. Alternatively it could be an electrical circuit which is breaking down after its been sitting a while. I once had a similar problem on an Astra whereby the radio memory circuit was faulty. Remember the radio will still have power still going to its memory board even when the radio itself is switched off.:)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It could be a fault in the alternator whereby depending on what positon it comes to stop it may be leaking to earth. Alternatively it could be an electrical circuit which is breaking down after its been sitting a while. I once had a similar problem on an Astra whereby the radio memory circuit was faulty. Remember the radio will still have power still going to its memory board even when the radio itself is switched off.:)
I hadn't thought of the alternator but I had thought about a circuit/cpmponent cooling down so tomorrow I am disconnecting the battery agian after the car has stood all night and going to repeat the fuse pulling check if the drain is showing.
 

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Fun and working on renault electrics........


This aint the anti word association thread :rofl:

It does indeed save money and give you the satisfaction of a job done right, But espace electrics are random!!

The alarms have been known to cause a power drain and all ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
OK car has stood since yesterday afternoon - checked battery this a.m. and 12.7volts.

Disconnected positive lead and no current flow. Took car out for a few miles drive, battery voltage upon return 13.5v. No current drain!

Just going to keep checking it on a regular basis and hope it shows itself up again soon!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
It does indeed save money and give you the satisfaction of a job done right, But espace electrics are random!!

The alarms have been known to cause a power drain and all ;)
If Espace electrics are so random, and my current drain is intermittent, then surely it would be a waste of time and money to give the car to an auto electrician to try and find the fault?

Better would be for me to try and locate the area of the fault and at least point the auto electrician in the right direction.

I see you had an Espace and changed it for a Galaxy; any particular reason and which do you prefer?
 

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Just a thought - if you go to an auto electrician or the AA (if you are a member) they will be able to check if there is any current drain. From memory I don't think you want it to be much more than 0.05 amps.

I would hope you could get this check done for free.
 

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I see you had an Espace and changed it for a Galaxy; any particular reason and which do you prefer?
TBH Renault electrics are hard to work on!

I had a Espace III 2.2dT RXE (1998)

Front discs and pads £220 fitted
Same on the 1998 Gal 2.3 Ghia X £110

Head gasket went on the espace for the 2nd time in 4 years. 1st just before I bought her. This is looked as very good. 3 mechanics told me the 2.2 G8T engine was "the most over-engineered piece of ¤¤¤¤ they have EVER worked on".

Sliding seat rails were better in the espace though.

Sorry but £1000 bills every 4 years is not good.

Gal has better road holding, More toys for a top of the ranger (like the espace was) Rear discs, Better ABS, TC, Climate, ALL leccy windows including the boot ones, Leccy sunroof, Heated seats, Rear privacy glass..... (both have leather and the gal leather is MUCH nicer)

Slightly smaller inside though with all the seats in.

Parts ALOT cheaper and ALOT easier to get.
Better build quality by far. (put together by VW in germany)

AND IF I need a job doing at a garage, they dont suck there teeth and refuse the job!

Wanted the 2.8 but wasnt easy to find a good one!

Espace was better looking IMO, But the Gal is a far better family. Even down to maintainance, I have a timing chain, Just keep up with the oil changes ;) No cam belt to worry about!

Cam belt quotes to change on teh 2.2dt espace, ALL over £1k!!!

Fact is, I got 4 kids, one being assesed for autism and my Mrs is having Neurological tests and I am her carer.

I cant afford to worry about IF the car will work today!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Just a thought - if you go to an auto electrician or the AA (if you are a member) they will be able to check if there is any current drain. From memory I don't think you want it to be much more than 0.05 amps.

I would hope you could get this check done for free.
See post #4 and 5 of this thread!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I cant afford to worry about IF the car will work today!
I also have four kids, well not so "kiddy" anymore, but still need the ability to carry all six of us sometimes.

As for the reliability I fully agree with you but as we have a Passat, as well, when the Espace fails to start it's not the end of the world. However that would not be the case if we are away in France if it packs in again this summer!

I doubt I'd buy another Renault, even though apart from this problem I have been quite satisfied with my Espace, because the main dealer service has been poor compared to other main dealer standards.

I had my cam belt changed three months ago for £300 at an independant german specialist garage. They had no qualms about doing the job but you're right about some garages not wanting to do the job when I rang around for quotes.
 

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I had a similar prob ,not with a Renault but with my Audi,couldn't find the problem of the battery dischargeing,in the end it turned out to be a faulty alternator as Madnoel says...diods will discharge the battery when switched off.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I had a similar prob ,not with a Renault but with my Audi,couldn't find the problem of the battery dischargeing,in the end it turned out to be a faulty alternator as Madnoel says...diods will discharge the battery when switched off.
Do you know how I can test that?
 
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