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  1. #1
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    Default Alpine iLX-107 head unit draining my car battery in only a few days ??


    I'd like to hear from others who have installed the Alpine iLX-107 head unit and if anyone is having an abnormal amp draw resulting in low or dead car battery.

    The short story - I have a 2008 Mustang GT with the Shaker 500 sound system and no battery issues at all. I have a Optima yellow top for 4+ years now with no issues. I had the local Audio Express shop install the Alpine iLX-107 and now after a few days, the car battery is very low, won't even unlock the doors. Of course the stereo shop is looking for all reasons other than the head unit being faulty to blame for the new amp draw problem I now have. He even tested my Optima and said it was still 85% good, so lots of life remaining.

    I've done a amp draw test for about one hour, and I never see the amps go beyond about .5 amp, and even then it is only there for a few seconds and then it drops down to .1 or .2 amps This isn't enough to kill a fully charged car battery, so I'm not sure what is going on. Normally if you do a amp draw test, you should see a jump, 1 - 5 amps, like somebody left a reading light on or something. At first, it seems the amp draw from the iLX-107 is normal. Not so fast, there is more test results. He is now trying to sell me a battery tender. I get that those work good, but the fact is that I did not need this before the head unit was installed.

    At this point I purchased a brand new OEM battery, removing my perfectly fine Optima, just to rule that out. Because I didn't want to sit there and watch a volt meter for more than one hour, I decided to start pulling fuses. When I pull the fuse for the radio head unit, the amp draw is about .1 and never really moves. A better test is I can leave the fuse for the head unit in, charge my brand new fully charged and fully tested battery, leave the car untouched for 5 days. The battery read 12.8 volts when I started. After day 5, the volts were 11.1, dead. Now I do the same test but with the fuse removed for the head unit. Again the batter fully charged is 12.8 and I leave the car for 5 days. I returned it was 12.5 and started right up.

    Now that implies that the Alpine head unit is the problem. Because I don't see a jump on the volt meter when doing the amp draw test, it's hard to prove to the stereo shop manager that the alpine is the problem.

    The fuse for the head unit in my car only provides power to two items. The head unit and the XM satellite module, and that's it.

    This is not my daily driver, so the car does sit a lot. However, before the head unit was installed, I could let it sit for 2 months and it would start right up. If you drive your car everyday and have a long drive to work, you may never know that you have a amp draw issue because you are charging it everyday. This is more likely to be present for cars that do not get driven everyday.

    Anyone else with this same head unit having any battery issues?

    The dealer did say he would do his own amp draw test and try to figure it out. He also did say there is a module that is installed with these head units that can be bad (very rare), which could cause a high amp draw. He said they will try to test and possibly replace that part. My appoint isn't for another month due to how busy they are, so I wanted to check here to see what others have experienced.

    I land back to a simple explanation. I didn't have this issue before the new head unit was installed, and I've made no other changes to my car. So the Alpine must be the issue. I just wish I had better proof.

    Thanks!




  2. #2
    Shitters full! Chris from Washington's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alpine iLX-107 head unit draining my car battery in only a few days ??

    Hi Welcome to the forum

    It sounds like you've done most of the troubleshooting and it does sound like it's pointing to the new deck.

    The only other thing I would try, just to rule it out. Is the XM satellite module, if possible. I would try unhooking that, leave the deck hooked up. Then redo your tests, to see if the battery drains again.
    If it does, then you really have proved that it's the deck.

    Report back with what you find out.


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    Default Re: Alpine iLX-107 head unit draining my car battery in only a few days ??

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris from Washington View Post
    Hi Welcome to the forum

    It sounds like you've done most of the troubleshooting and it does sound like it's pointing to the new deck.

    The only other thing I would try, just to rule it out. Is the XM satellite module, if possible. I would try unhooking that, leave the deck hooked up. Then redo your tests, to see if the battery drains again.
    If it does, then you really have proved that it's the deck.

    Report back with what you find out.
    I thought about trying that, but there is no easy way to just unplug the XM sat stuff. I don't want to mess with the deck or anything because I don't want the install shop to blame anything on me.

    My guess is that at some point, perhaps every 4 hours or something, the head unit must be turning on and staying on for a while, then turns off, and rinse and repeat until dead battery.

    The install shop is pushing back because I guess a bad head unit is so rare. I will report back when I learn something new.

    thanks!


  4. #4
    Shitters full! Chris from Washington's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alpine iLX-107 head unit draining my car battery in only a few days ??

    Quote Originally Posted by ponyXpress View Post
    I thought about trying that, but there is no easy way to just unplug the XM sat stuff. I don't want to mess with the deck or anything because I don't want the install shop to blame anything on me.

    My guess is that at some point, perhaps every 4 hours or something, the head unit must be turning on and staying on for a while, then turns off, and rinse and repeat until dead battery.

    The install shop is pushing back because I guess a bad head unit is so rare. I will report back when I learn something new.

    thanks!
    Ah that's true about messing with the wires, they would use that against you saying 'well you messed with it'
    I would keep pushing back on them, since it wasn't doing it before and it's doing it now. It shouldn't be draining the battery every 4-5 days, that's just unacceptable.

    You could also try contacting Alpine and explain what's going on to them, they might be able to help.

    yes, please report back if you find a solution!


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Alpine iLX-107 head unit draining my car battery in only a few days ??

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris from Washington View Post
    Ah that's true about messing with the wires, they would use that against you saying 'well you messed with it'
    I would keep pushing back on them, since it wasn't doing it before and it's doing it now. It shouldn't be draining the battery every 4-5 days, that's just unacceptable.

    You could also try contacting Alpine and explain what's going on to them, they might be able to help.

    yes, please report back if you find a solution!
    Update: The install shop replaced the power distributions module (I forget what the correct name of this device is, but they installed it when they installed the new head unit). As before, I had no issues for about a week, and then the drain issue returned. The install shop now wants to do their own draw test to see if they can find it.

    I wish there was a data logger device that I could connect to my car that would monitor the draw and record when, how much, etc. If anyone knows of such a device, please share. As I mentioned before, I did a draw test for over a hour and it didn't show anything significant. I think I would need to watch the draw test for days, not hours to really find out what is happening.

    I noticed in the manual that the Shaker 500 system that I had included a front amp, and of course the factory XM module. I'm now curious if the new head unit is unable to tell the amp or XM module to turn off and on correctly. Perhaps it is unable to manage the power signal.

    Anyone else out there with a 2008 Mustang and shaker 500 system with alpine head unit - that is working?

    For now, I have pulled the head unit fuse again and will continue to check the battery level. This truly sucks and I wish I could go back to my stock setup, where everything has been working great for 10 years.

    As for contacting Alpine, they said I would need to go through the install shop and have them send the unit back to the factory for testing. So I guess that may be next step.

    I'm curious about how much draw it takes to really drain a battery like this. It seems that 3 or 4 amps or more would be needed to do this in a 36 hour period. I know headlights can kill it in less than 24.

    Help please!


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Alpine iLX-107 head unit draining my car battery in only a few days ??

    Update: The install shop replaced the power distributions module (I forget what the correct name of this device is, but they installed it when they installed the new head unit). As before, I had no issues for about a week, and then the drain issue returned. The install shop now wants to do their own draw test to see if they can find it.

    I wish there was a data logger device that I could connect to my car that would monitor the draw and record when, how much, etc. If anyone knows of such a device, please share. As I mentioned before, I did a draw test for over a hour and it didn't show anything significant. I think I would need to watch the draw test for days, not hours to really find out what is happening.

    I noticed in the manual that the Shaker 500 system that I had included a front amp, and of course the factory XM module. I'm now curious if the new head unit is unable to tell the amp or XM module to turn off and on correctly. Perhaps it is unable to manage the power signal.

    Anyone else out there with a 2008 Mustang and shaker 500 system with alpine head unit - that is working?

    For now, I have pulled the head unit fuse again and will continue to check the battery level. This truly sucks and I wish I could go back to my stock setup, where everything has been working great for 10 years.

    As for contacting Alpine, they said I would need to go through the install shop and have them send the unit back to the factory for testing. So I guess that may be next step.

    I'm curious about how much draw it takes to really drain a battery like this. It seems that 3 or 4 amps or more would be needed to do this in a 36 hour period. I know headlights can kill it in less than 24.

    Help please!


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