Parasitic Electrical Draw – How to Diagnose

Parasitic Electrical Draw – How to Diagnose

If you have a dead battery that has recently passed a battery load test, or it’s a new battery, chances are you have a parasitic electrical draw. This issue will cause the faulty consumer to stay on long after your vehicle has gotten the sleep or shutdown signal, and can drain your battery dead in a relatively short period of time. How do we find the faulty component? By using the process of elimination, we isolate the feed circuit, then the consumer.

BMW E60 M5 Battery dead Draw test Pull fuses one by one till the draw disappears
BMW E60 M5 Battery dead Draw test setting up your meter

First we start by opening up any areas that we may need to access during the diagnosis. Make sure to latch and trip any light triggers so the vehicle can attain sleep mode. In this case, hood trigger up, glove box light disconnected, all four doors latched and the trunk latched.

Next we access the battery and remove the negative terminal connection.

Our DVOM set on DC amperage goes in line with the cable connection. One lead for each side of the connection.

Once connected, we allow the amperage to stabilize for 30-60 min. Acceptable draw for modern cars is under 30MA but can be as high as 50MA

BMW E60 M5 Battery dead Draw test removing the cable sparks

If above 30MA, begin to isolate the circuit by removing all electrical consumers one at a time. This is done by pulling a fuse one at a time from the junction boxes. Do not place the fuse back in. Leave it out for the remainder of the test, as plugging something back in can cause a wake up or power up signal to be sent.

Once the fuse circuit or component is located, you will see a rapid and immediate drop in amperage indicated on the meter. Check the vehicle wiring diagram to see all additional components that the fuse feeds. Plug the fuse back in, wait at least 30 min and continue to access and disconnect components located on the circuit until the draw subsides.

Test each individual component fed by the fuse.

Replace faulty component and recheck- you’ve found and fixed your parasitic electrical draw!

Fluid MotorUnion Naperville plainfield chicago Mercedes benz repair diagnostics blown fuse short electrical problems

If you need help with an electrical problem on your BMW E60 M5 or any other car diagnostic issue, don’t hesitate to call us at 815-230-2900, or contact us through email at We’re conveniently located in the Naperville/Plainfield area of the Chicago Metropolitan suburbs.

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.