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  1. #1
    Active Member nealperkins's Avatar
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    Default Battery electrical leak

    Well, I 'think' I have one. How would I check this with a volt meter?
    I guess the battery could be shot but, it is kept on a battery tender full time so, that 'should not' be the issue.
    Thanks!
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    Very Active Member BLUEKNIGHT911's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nealperkins View Post
    Well, I 'think' I have one. How would I check this with a volt meter?
    I guess the battery could be shot but, it is kept on a battery tender full time so, that 'should not' be the issue.
    Thanks!
    Well unfortunately a CHARGED reading on a Tender or Maintainer is not a guarantee that the Battery in question actually has a Full charge.... I have had false readings on a few batteries I have had on a Maintainer ………. someone will explain the Volt meter thing …… Mike

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    Very Active Member Lew L's Avatar
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    A test light will do the trick. Un-hook the negative side of the battery and put one side of the test light ( usually the one with the clip ) on it. Then touch the probe/lighted light end to the negative cable end. If the battery lights---- you have a leak somewhere. These test lights are very useful if you're looking for a hot wire ( ignition on or off ) on your car or spyder.

    Lew L
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    Quote Originally Posted by nealperkins View Post
    Well, I 'think' I have one. How would I check this with a volt meter?
    I guess the battery could be shot but, it is kept on a battery tender full time so, that 'should not' be the issue.
    Thanks!
    Wrong conclusion.
    All batteries eventually wear out.
    Keeping it on a tender will only extend the time to death, not eliminate it.

    If you think your battery is bad, then it probably IS.

    After you get a new one, the charging voltage of the tender should be checked.
    A good float voltage is somewhere around 13.2 volts.

    The new battery should be fully charged BEFORE installing it.
    My ride: '17 Spyder RT

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    Very Active Member trikermutha's Avatar
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    I agree with Mike- Dont trust the battery Tender either. I would unplug and plug back in at times just to be sure its working.

    Mine has looked good showing green but when it was time the battery was dead.

    You can always take the battery to a autozone and they can test it for you too.

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    Very Active Member DGoebel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lew L View Post
    A test light will do the trick. Un hook the negative side of the battery and put one side of the test light ( usually the one with the clip ) on it. Then touch the probe/lighted light end to the negative cable end. If the battery lights---- you have a leak somewhere. Th Lew Lese terst lights are very useful if you looking for a hot wire ( ignition on or off ) on your car or spyder.

    Lew L
    Lew, What's a "Lew Lese terst lights"? Is that an LED test light or something different?
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    Very Active Member hypurone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lew L View Post
    A test light will do the trick. Un hook the negative side of the battery and put one side of the test light ( usually the one with the clip ) on it. Then touch the probe/lighted light end to the negative cable end. If the battery lights---- you have a leak somewhere. Th Lew Lese terst lights are very useful if you looking for a hot wire ( ignition on or off ) on your car or spyder. Lew L
    There can be "draws" that are enough to light a test light and still drain a battery. I would use a DVOM (Digital Volt/Ohm Meter) personally....

    OP, just because the battery shows a "full" charge doesn't mean that it isn't what we call a "surface charge". While it "looks good" it will fail under a load test (like when you go to actually crank it) due to things like sulfation, specific gravity reduction etc... If you are sure your connections are tight and the "maintainer" is working correctly, take the battery to an auto parts place and have it load tested. It most likely will fail....

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    Quote Originally Posted by hypurone View Post
    There can be "draws" that are NOT enough to light a test light and still drain a battery..
    I think you left out a "not" there.
    My ride: '17 Spyder RT

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    Quote Originally Posted by nealperkins View Post
    Well, I 'think' I have one. How would I check this with a volt meter?
    I guess the battery could be shot but, it is kept on a battery tender full time so, that 'should not' be the issue.
    Thanks!
    Why do you think that?

    2014 RTL Magnesium & 2014 RTL Cognac
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    Electrical 'leak' and failing battery are two very different things.

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    Quote Originally Posted by UtahPete View Post
    Electrical 'leak' and failing battery are two very different things.
    Not to a novice they aren't. They look almost identical without some simple tests.

    AND.....the failing battery often "self" discharges at a really high rate.....which is essentially a "leak".
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    Quote Originally Posted by Easy Rider View Post
    Not to a novice they aren't. They look almost identical without some simple tests.

    AND.....the failing battery often "self" discharges at a really high rate.....which is essentially a "leak".
    Which is why it would be more helpful for him to explain what the symptoms are rather than saying he thinks he has a leak.

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    Very Active Member Lew L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DGoebel View Post
    Lew, What's a "Lew Lese terst lights"? Is that an LED test light or something different?
    No it isn't. My left pinky finger hits the wrong key and words get transposed, inserted, ect. I'm suggesting a simple test light, inexpensive at any auto parts store. Again--- they are very useful.

    But thanks for pointing out my poor typing------ I've corrected it in the original post so as not to confuse anyone.

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    Very Active Member Lew L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hypurone View Post
    There can be "draws" that are enough to light a test light and still drain a battery. I would use a DVOM (Digital Volt/Ohm Meter) personally....
    If it lights the test light even a little, current is flowing. Yes I have a $100 Fluke VOM------ but for the simple stuff I use a $5 test probe and it works great.
    Next go to the fuse block. Using the fast and easy to use test/light probe and look for current flow. EASY to locate which circuit is draining the current.
    Kaos----- Gone but not forgotten.

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    Very Active Member Bfromla's Avatar
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    FYIit may be any combination of things Batteries don't like the cold either. A good load test is in order & maybe a full charge not just a maintainer. The battery proably could use some cycling if been sitting too long, made to be used not sit is another helpful aspect of a load test & by all means good time to clean terminals & connections ,just for reassurance

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lew L View Post
    If it lights the test light even a little, current is flowing. Yes I have a $100 Fluke VOM------ but for the simple stuff I use a $5 test probe and it works great.
    Next go to the fuse block. Using the fast and easy to use test/light probe and look for current flow. EASY to locate which circuit is draining the current.
    Lew, doesn't the test light probe just indicate the presence of voltage? Not sure you can check for current with one of those. Maybe I'm not understanding your post.

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    Very Active Member IdahoMtnSpyder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nealperkins View Post
    Well, I 'think' I have one. How would I check this with a volt meter?
    I guess the battery could be shot but, it is kept on a battery tender full time so, that 'should not' be the issue.
    Thanks!
    First of all, there are electronics on a Spyder that draw power all the time, even with the ignition turned off. If your battery runs down enough to not start the bike after about 2 to 3 weeks then you probably have a battery that is about to die. If it takes 6 weeks plus to draw down enough to not start, the battery is probably OK.

    As others have said, keeping it on a tender does not guarantee that it will stay it top notch condition. The main benefit of the tender is to replenish the charge that all the electronics sap away while the bike is sitting not doing anything.

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  18. #18
    Very Active Member Lew L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UtahPete View Post
    Lew, doesn't the test prove just indicate the presence of voltage? Not sure you can check for current with one of those. Maybe I'm not understanding your post.
    Hi Pete,
    If the light on the probe lights up-- current ( even a little ) is flowing. If we'er talking one or 5 milli amps, it might not light up. The quality VOM is the tool for that. The electrical potential ( voltage ) is there but not flowing ( current or amperage) unless there is a closed circuit with a load( A light, clock, computer, ect.) .

    Neal,
    Just a thought here. You have ALOT of electrical things added to your . Consider checking all connections and wires for chaffing

    The last time I used the light/probe I was installing Muth signal mirrors on my wife car. Used a wire diagram from Chevy and checked it with the pointy probe in a few seconds. Easy Peasy.

    There must be an electrical genius on the forum who can explain it more simply than I.

    This problem COULD boil down to a loose battery connection. It has happened to our 's many times as queried about on this forum. I believe I would start with a quality VOM and measure battery voltage with the motor running and then not running. The OP's spyder seems too new to have a bad battery, but heat and vibration kill our 12 volt batteries. I still have the original in my and just replaced the battery in my 2006 Magnum RT. Yes, 12 years on the original battery

    Hope winter is being good to you guys in southern Utah. We are about to get blasted again. Feet of snow is predicted.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lew L View Post
    Hi Pete,
    If the light on the probe lights up-- current ( even a little ) is flowing. If we'er talking one or 5 milli amps, it might not light up. The quality VOM is the tool for that. The electrical potential ( voltage ) is there but not flowing ( current or amperage) unless there is a closed circuit with a load( A light, clock, computer, ect.) .

    The last time I used the light/probe I was installing Muth signal mirrors on my wife car. Used a wire diagram from Chevy and checked it with the pointy probe in a few seconds. Easy Peasy.
    There must be an electrical genius on the forum who can explain it more simply than I.
    Now I get it. You have the test light leads in series with the circuit. I hadn't thought of doing that, but it does make sense.

    2014 RTL Magnesium & 2014 RTL Cognac
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    Quote Originally Posted by nealperkins View Post
    Well, I 'think' I have one. How would I check this with a volt meter?
    I guess the battery could be shot but, it is kept on a battery tender full time so, that 'should not' be the issue.
    Thanks!
    How old is the battery? 3 years is about the max to expect. Once a battery is shot, no amount of charging will bring it back to life.

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    Active Member nealperkins's Avatar
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    Sorry for the delay. The battery is only 1 year old, maintained on the charger. But, it is a bit slow to turn over, even for a second crank when warm. I’ll have it checked but, I will just replace it if any weakness shows up...it is not worth getting stranded!
    Thanks for all the good info!
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    Quote Originally Posted by nealperkins View Post
    Sorry for the delay. The battery is only 1 year old, maintained on the charger. But, it is a bit slow to turn over, even for a second crank when warm. I’ll have it checked but, I will just replace it if any weakness shows up...it is not worth getting stranded!
    Thanks for all the good info!
    That's more likely a bad connection, not a bad battery, I think.

    2014 RTL Magnesium & 2014 RTL Cognac
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    Very Active Member Bob Denman's Avatar
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    Has anybody asked about how many riding seasons that battery has faced?
    If iut's more than three: there's a good chance that it's ready to be recycled.

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    Very Active Member trikermutha's Avatar
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    How warm is the oil? I turned mine over in - 30 deg weather and yes it was slow but it started. And my battery is 5 years old.

    Bike will turn over slow when oil is a bit thick too.

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    Very Active Member Little Blue's Avatar
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    Default Battery

    I would remove the battery and then have it 'Load Tested". Auto Zone will do this for FREE. Good Luck
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