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James Donald

Wiring dilemma?

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Hi , we got a new Nissan Pathfinder in Dec. I had a towbar fitted and the 13 pin plug fitted and wired by an Auto Electrical co that the Bailey Dealer said was the best place to get to do it to suit our new Pegasus.  They also wired the van to. I hadn't towed the van until last Friday , everything worked as well as the ATO green light . On Sunday I started the car ok in the morning  connect ed it up and all the lights worked ok. About 15 mins later I tried to start the car , battery flat ? So I put my smart charger on for 3 or 4 hrs , it started ok , went for a run and all ok. Tuesday started car ok, but didn't seem to crank over so well. A few hours later car wouldn't start again battery flat. Put it on charge 4 hrs ok again. In had connected the Caravan up again. Blow me down Thursday morning started car first thing in morning ok , then an hour later went to start it , battery  flat again?  Took car on Friday to Auto Lecy shop , he tested battery and checked for excessive drain ,call ok. Now do you people think it could be the caravan at fault ? The car was ok from new in Dec 14th until last Friday when I first towed the van? Scared to take it back to Nissan dealer who will almost certainly say " oh it's the wiring to towbar. "  Do you think the van wiring could cause this. Please I'm meant to be going away Monday week for 2 months but her indoors isn't at all happy.

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18 minutes ago, James Donald said:

Hi , we got a new Nissan Pathfinder in Dec. I had a towbar fitted and the 13 pin plug fitted and wired by an Auto Electrical co that the Bailey Dealer said was the best place to get to do it to suit our new Pegasus.  They also wired the van to. I hadn't towed the van until last Friday , everything worked as well as the ATO green light . On Sunday I started the car ok in the morning  connect ed it up and all the lights worked ok. About 15 mins later I tried to start the car , battery flat ? So I put my smart charger on for 3 or 4 hrs , it started ok , went for a run and all ok. Tuesday started car ok, but didn't seem to crank over so well. A few hours later car wouldn't start again battery flat. Put it on charge 4 hrs ok again. In had connected the Caravan up again. Blow me down Thursday morning started car first thing in morning ok , then an hour later went to start it , battery  flat again?  Took car on Friday to Auto Lecy shop , he tested battery and checked for excessive drain ,call ok. Now do you people think it could be the caravan at fault ? The car was ok from new in Dec 14th until last Friday when I first towed the van? Scared to take it back to Nissan dealer who will almost certainly say " oh it's the wiring to towbar. "  Do you think the van wiring could cause this. Please I'm meant to be going away Monday week for 2 months but her indoors isn't at all happy.

Are you saying the battery goes flat without the caravan connected or only when the caravan is connected? If it's when the caravan is connected my guess is theres a problem with the fridge supply and it's staying on when the engine isnt running.

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So did you have a Nissan towing loom and module fitted or an aftermarket one - if so what make/model. Some cars are unhappy with some aftermarket towing kits.

 

It's probably not the caravan but could be the towing electrics haven't been installed correctly. Have pins 9 & 10 been reversed so that the fridge is flattening the car battery when the van is plugged in.

 

If you've got a multimeter you can do a simple check to make sure that you've got 12v between pin 9 (-v) and 11(-ve) and nothing between pin 10 (+v) and (pin 13-ve)  when the engine is off and 12v on both pin 9 and pin 10 when the engine is running.

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Hi AJ , yes it went flat without the Caravan connected , but after I had had it connected?  And yes Dave it had a Nissan towbar and wiring kit that just plugs into a spare multi plug under the rear floor panel.

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Just now, matelodave said:

So did you have a Nissan towing loom and module fitted or an aftermarket one - if so what make/model. Some cars are unhappy with some aftermarket towing kits. My car can take a long time to shut itself down after the  engine is turned off and I did have a problem on a earlier car.

 

I had it all stripped out and a proper manufacturer's towing kit and wiring fitted.

 

It's probably not the caravan but could be the towing electrics haven't been installed correctly. Have pins 9 & 10 been reversed so that the fridge is flattening the car battery when the van is plugged in.

 

If you've got a multimeter you can do a simple check to make sure that you've got 12v between pin 9 (-v) and 11(-ve) and nothing between pin 10 (+v) and (pin 13-ve)  when the engine is off and 12v on both pin 9 and pin 10 when the engine is running.

 

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Posted (edited)

If the towing circuits are fused, mine has these as part of the car's loom where the towing loom terminates, then take out all fuses and see if the issue goes away or remains.

 

If it goes away it points to a towing wiring issue.

If it remains then it points to a car issue.

Batteries, even quite new can develop internal shorts that pull them down; I have been through just that recently,  with new battery under warranty.

 

Edited by JTQ

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Hi  Dave, yes I do have a multimeter so will do your test but can't for a day or two. The caravan plug was changed as here in NZ they use a flat 12 pin plug , no round 13 pin as you do but they tell me all works properly ? ? Would the fridge run the battery flat that quick?

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, James Donald said:

Hi  Dave, yes I do have a multimeter so will do your test but can't for a day or two. The caravan plug was changed as here in NZ they use a flat 12 pin plug , no round 13 pin as you do but they tell me all works properly ? ? Would the fridge run the battery flat that quick?

 

The fridge is typically 160 Watts so pulls the order of  13 Amps, this in an hour therefore is 13AH, a high percentage of the "working" capacity of a starter battery.

But as the caravan was not connected it is not that once uncoupled.

 

Edited by JTQ

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Wouldn't I have to have the fridge switched on to 12 v  I didn't even have it on.?

Hi I must say though, for such a big car , 3.5 liter and a heap of electronic year on it , it has a small battery?

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2 minutes ago, James Donald said:

Wouldn't I have to have the fridge switched on to 12 v  I didn't even have it on.?

Hi I must say though, for such a big car , 3.5 liter and a heap of electronic year on it , it has a small battery?

 

Small batteries are common these days other than vehicles sold for very stop then go again duties. If more than 4 cylinders then each cylinder is getting quite small and so does not require much energy to turn it over on compression. Big 4 cylinder diesels though need a good bit more.

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Thanks Stevan, a good idea. I also have a good set of jump leads, would it be safe to jump start it of the Caravan battery? We have a 160 w solar panel on van sonthis keeps the house battery full all the time.

 

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31 minutes ago, James Donald said:

Thanks Stevan, a good idea. I also have a good set of jump leads, would it be safe to jump start it of the Caravan battery? We have a 160 w solar panel on van sonthis keeps the house battery full all the time.

 

 

NO. Different types of batteries for different jobs.

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38 minutes ago, James Donald said:

Thanks Stevan, a good idea. I also have a good set of jump leads, would it be safe to jump start it of the Caravan battery? We have a 160 w solar panel on van sonthis keeps the house battery full all the time.

 

Not a good idea, leisure batteries are not designed for the high cranking current. 

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Posted (edited)

I would qualify that a bit, they might or might not be suitable, knowing what you have could help look up the capability of that particular battery. Many wet cell  type sold for dual boat and leisure use could well suit cranking an engine, a high quality GEL though would be really injured by doing so.

I would most definitely ensure it was not left coupled to the caravan's electronics whilst cranking, could be okay, could be a very expensive mistake.

A lot of "budget" leisure batteries are no more than a costly relabelled cranking battery, so well suited for that task, in fact  arguably better for that than what it says on the label!

 

 

Edited by JTQ

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I have taken the car to the Nissan Dealer now and explained, chap very helpful , so left the car for the weekend , they kindly loaned me a car so we will see on Monday! The car is a petrol V6 3.5 so not as much load as a big diesel to crank. Had no trouble until I towed the van. I had towed it with my previous car a BMW X3 and no trouble at all.

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Best move by far :)

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Hi, went and picked up car today , told me all ok now , it had a faulty battery? A new one fitted under warranty of course. So I will wait to see the outcome , hoping all is well.

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