I need a sanity check on my troubleshooting process for a recent problem with my car's battery dying after sitting for as little as an afternoon.
I have a 2006 LGT 5MT. I've owned it since new and it's always been serviced at the dealer. About 3 months ago, I took it into my local dealer for the passenger airbag recall.
Now, the battery is dying. Even leaving the car sit for an afternoon results in an absolutely dead battery and I need to jump it to start it. I've had the battery go dead before in the past after it's sat for a week. I was out of town for a few days last week and came back to a dead battery. I boosted it and it ran just fine for a few days. I figured I may have left a door ajar or a light on or something, although I didnt find anything left on.
Yesterday morning, the battery was dead and since then, I've had to jump it every time I've tried to start it. Even running the car on the highway then letting it run for 30 min to recharge the battery doesn't help.
The alternator is fine - I get 14.2 V across the battery terminals with car running and the A/C cranked, all the lights on, stereo cranked, etc.
The battery was my other suspect. But it's an Optima Red Top. It is 10 years old and my last Optima red top lasted me over 13 years while living in the frozen north and having been run dead multiple times. I now live in Florida but the car did spend its first 9 years in Virginia. This battery has been run dead a handful of times - but nowhere near the abuse I dished out on my previous one. I haven't load tested the battery but I do get 12.4 V across the terminals.
I don't have any aftermarket stereo or other electrical modifications to the car.
I disconnected the positive battery terminal and measured the draw with a multimeter. There's definitely a significant draw. I yanked fuses from the fuse box under the hood until i was left with just the 120a fuse that feeds the internal fuse box. I then pulled fuses from the internal fuse box. until I was left with this:
The one fuse left is the one for the airbag. This fuse has ridges that block the fuse puller, which I took as a hint that I shouldn't remove this particular fuse, so I didn't.
I'm assuming that this (the airbag) is the source of the draw, given that I still see a draw at the battery:
At this point the only fuses left in the car are the 120a under the hood and the 15a under the dash.
And removing the 120a fuse stops the drain:
So... My conclusion is that the draw must be due to some issue with the airbag. I'm not sure what the draw is as I only have a cheap multimeter (all my tools are in storage currently) but it's going to be <15a as that's the rating of the interior fuse.
Am I missing something or making an incorrect assumption? (I will take the battery and have it load tested tomorrow)
Has anyone else had this happen? I searched the forums and found a number of threads regarding dead batteries after leaving cars sit for extended periods of time, but the root causes in those cases was something different.
Is this a known issue?
Is there any kind of warranty on the replaced airbag if it does turn out to be faulty here?
Should I start with the dealer or contact SOA first? The dealer has a good reputation but I've been a customer for less than a year. Previously, in VA, I dealt with Farrish Subaru (where I purchased the car and had it serviced for 8 years until their service fell off) and Dulles Subaru (where I went after I stopped dealing with Farrish).
When the airbag was replaced, the work was shoddy. They left marks on the interior windshield, scuffed up the leather steering wheel, and left some kind of dirt/grease stain on the driver A-pillar interior cover. Like I said, the dealer has a good reputation, and I've been happy with them (up until the airbag recall).
If you've read this far - thanks for your time