[s-cars] Battery Drain Found & Fixed

Theodore Chen tedebearp at yahoo.com
Mon Apr 19 05:01:40 EDT 2004

--- Fred Munro <munrof at sympatico.ca> wrote:
> Thanks to Tom, Igor, Teddy, Calvin, and Dave for responding to my current
> drain question and confirming that the drain was indeed too high.
> A bit of work with a digital ammeter isolated the problem to the automatic
> window closure circuit. Pulling the A1 breaker in the under-hood relay box
> dropped the drain to below 10 mA.

i didn't do that.  i went straight to the 441 959 257 B relay (marked
329 on top, and identified as the J139 relay by SJM's site) under
the driver's side kickpanel.  it was randomly clicking on and off, which
energized and de-energized the windows and sunroof.

i don't think this random switching behavior was being caused by the 
alarm system, because it occurred even with the alarm system circuit
breaker removed.  i think the relay is shot, and i'm waiting for a
replacement to arrive.

it's possible that the alarm system is malfunctioning and damaged
the relay.  i'll have to check that when i get a working relay.

i went to the junkyard today, and scrounged a 443 959 257 A relay from
an audi 90.  anybody know if this relay might be a drop-in replacement
for the 441 959 257 B?  i visited this website: 

it says the second and third groups of numbers identify the function
of the part, and the first group identifies the era when the part was

the pin identifications between the 441 and 443 are identical.  the
question is: dare i plug the 443 into my car?  the 443 is slightly
different from the 441 externally.  it has a plastic clip to hold it
in place, presumably because it was mounted in a vertical socket in the
audi 90.


> This circuit is designed to close windows or the sunroof if they are open
> when the car is locked. This feature has never worked on my car. The circuit
> has it's own relay under the driver's side A-pillar kick panel. The power
> supply side is "fused" with a 30 amp breaker in the A1 position in the
> underhood relay box. The relay is triggered by a white/yellow wire from the
> power window control module.
> This is apparently a relatively common source of a battery drain problem -
> it is written up on Scott Mockry's website and the recommended fix is to cut
> the yellow/white wire.
> Removing the A1 breaker fixed my problem - this disables the auto close
> circuit and leaves the power windows operational. From this I assume my
> relay is either fused closed or is indeed being activated by the control
> module (via the yellow/white wire) and the power drain is in the circuit
> itself somewhere.
> The car now has a 100 mA drain for 30 seconds after the alarm is set, then
> it drops off to 10 mA with a spike to 20 mA every 5 seconds.
> A substantial improvement from 280 mA.
> When I get some time (ha!) I'll pull the relay to check it out.
> Fred Munro
> '94 S4
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