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Old 10-15-2016, 08:48 PM   #1
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Cell phone killed the car

Just sold the sticks and bricks. Moved into our TT for about 3 weeks before our next place is ready.

Yesterday our car would not start first thing in the AM. Ford Escape with the Sync system. The display kept saying disabling to save battery. We had to leave right then so we took our truck to go do some stuff. Later that afternoon we came back to the TT and tried the car. It just barely cranked over and started! Thank goodness for that!

We drove the Escape for a bit went and ran some errands. Came back to the TT later in that evening... Saw on the display Connecting to Phone.... Got an idea what caused the battery drain. The stupid Bluetooth was trying to connect to a phone. Had to be one of our neighbors, as both of our phones bluetooth was disabled.

I shut off the Bluetooth capability on the Sync system, so now it is fine.

Just a word to the wise if you have a Sync system you might want to shut off the Bluetooth.
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Old 10-15-2016, 08:52 PM   #2
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I think you may have something else going on.
I have Sync2 in my Lincoln and its active all the time and it doesn't run down the battery. IT doesn't use that much power to drain your battery.
Are you sure you didn't leave some lights on somewhere?
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Old 10-15-2016, 08:58 PM   #3
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I have to agree with Iggy

I have Sync in the 350 I use it all the time now, no battery issues to report.
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Old 10-15-2016, 09:13 PM   #4
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Thanks for the reply. I have Sync not Sync2. Sync2 is an improvement over the original Sync system.
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Old 10-15-2016, 09:32 PM   #5
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Honestly, I think you may have a battery on the way out. All the electronics on that car shouldn't pull one down overnight. You may want to have it load tested just to be safe. I had one do that once...intermittent problem. Finally just died suddenly. Completely dead in a few hours.
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Old 10-15-2016, 09:43 PM   #6
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Something sounds off. It shouldn't be randomly trying to sync to someone's phone.
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Old 10-15-2016, 10:29 PM   #7
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Our Escape is a 2014 with the same Sync system found in Ford Fiestas. Here is an excerpt from one customer that had the same issue. Customer's battery was being drained by Bluetooth system in the Sync.

Quote, "That was until January, when Ford got in touch with Dan with a solution. It said it was an issue where the Bluetooth system would not disable when the engine was switched off. So, when stationary, the Fiesta was still searching for a Bluetooth device to connect to causing the battery to run flat."

This is the same issue I was experiencing, the Bluetooth system was still trying to connect to a phone.... Battery almost drained overnight. Unfortunately my software is updated to the latest Sync release. Solution shut off Bluetooth.

Thanks,
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Old 10-15-2016, 10:38 PM   #8
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hard to say for sure what it was, but unless you left the key on (which would kill the battery in itself) it shouldnt be trying to sync with your phone or anyone elses!
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Old 10-16-2016, 12:30 PM   #9
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Just go get the battery load tested.
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Old 10-16-2016, 12:58 PM   #10
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I can't speak to all Fords but the Sync system in our 2015 F-150 is designed so it stays on for 30 minutes after the truck is turned off or until you open the door to leave. Which ever comes first. It would not surprise me in the least that a software bug exist that could prevent everything from turning off like it should and thereby keep draining the battery. Not knowing what else might have been left running it could be enough to drain a battery overnight.
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Old 10-16-2016, 04:33 PM   #11
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It seems like if you stand next to the car and open blutooth on the phone it should dhow what it's synced too.. I know on my Iphone it will show what my blutooth is synced too. If it shows the phone is synced to the car with ignition off then there you go. If not I would look elsewhere. Just a thought.
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Old 10-16-2016, 04:55 PM   #12
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We had a similar problem on our 2013 Silverado. If we didn't use the vehicle for a day, the battery would drain and the truck would not start. We had an aftermarket in dash head unit installed about a year prior and we had no problems up to that point. The Chevy dealer could find nothing wrong and said it was the head unit. We took it to the installer that did the head unit. They could find nothing wrong with their install and said it was the truck electronics. They did show us that there was a parasitic draw with head head unit totally disconnected. Again, we took it to another Chevy dealer. Again, guess what-nothing wrong.

We thought this was going to be a situation where we had to start the truck every day to make sure the battery was up. At some point, we tuned off the dome lights so they would not go on when the door was open. That solved the problem. So even though the dome lights worked as they should with delay shut off, something in that circuitry was causing parasitic draw. So as Iggy suggested, there may be another cause for the battery drain. It may not be easy to pinpoint.
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Old 10-16-2016, 05:16 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JR Smith View Post
Just go get the battery load tested.
X2
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Old 10-16-2016, 10:51 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iggy View Post
X2
X3. My 2014 Escape did the same thing. I ended up having to jump the thing a couple of times. First time, dealership didn't find anything wrong. Second time happened just as I was taking it in for an oil change, they determined that I had a bad cell in the battery. Replaced under warranty. I ended up getting the oil change for free because it took them over 3 hours to replace the battery and do the oil change.

I will credit the dealership - when the service guy came in to turn the car back, he said "sorry this took way too long, the oil change is on us - no charges today".
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Old 10-17-2016, 06:00 PM   #15
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We have 2 2015 Ford Escapes. I don't know if you had the phone or any other device connected to the car while it was not being used. The owners manual says to unplug all devices while the car is off to avoid battery drain.

If I recall correctly the range for bluetooth is 30 feet. Was your neighbor's phone paired with your car? I am wondering if the car would try to connect to a bluetooth device that it was not paired with. Do you have any other blue tooth devices stored in the car?

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Old 10-18-2016, 08:13 AM   #16
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I agree; it sounds like a consistently undercharged battery.

I ran into this when I was in the military. I drove a short distance to work every day (20 minutes) and in the winter, I came in to work in the dark and drove home in the dark.

Every few weeks I needed to put the truck on a charger to bring the battery back up (lights would dim on start was my first clue it was due).

Starting and driving to work with the headlights on was such a high draw that the short drive was not long enough to replace the power used each way.

As the battery capacity and voltage was reduced the rate of capacity decay accelerated until I was left in the driveway on a cold morning.
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Old 10-21-2016, 09:55 AM   #17
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Quick update.

Took the car to the dealer yesterday AM. The load tested the battery, drained the battery, charged the battery and load tested again. The battery is fine. Passed all tests with flying colors. The cars battery is NOT the problem in this situation.

The Dealer did two software updates to the Sync system. FYI Neither of our phones were paired with the car. Bluetooth on both of our phones was turned off so there was no way that it should have seen our phones. My wife and I make it a habit to shut off bluetooth on our IPhones when not in use per recommendation of Apple on extending battery life on the phone.

According to Microsoft/Ford there should be no other phone connecting to our Sync system without first being paired to the Sync through the menu. Since neighbors that might have bluetooh on were not paired there should be nothing that causes the Sync system to attempt to connect to a phone.

So hopefully the updates to Sync for connectivity and HVAC control will fix the problem.
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Old 10-21-2016, 10:48 AM   #18
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There are several systems running in the background when your vehicle is turned off. When we had our Silverado battery drain issue, the tech installing the aftermarket head unit in the dash took us out in the shop to show us there was still a battery drain without the head unit connected. The Chevy dealer still insisted it was the head unit. Turns out, the interior light circuit was causing the problem. Since we have disabled the interior lights, problem solved. After two tow service calls, two trips to different Chevy dealers and two trips to the in-dash head unit installer, we found the problem on our own and by accident. The moral of the story is, this won't go away until you find the cause of the parasitic draw.

You may want to research on-line "parasitic draw issues" for your specific vehicle model-not necessarily by year model. If you are having the problem, others have also had the same issues. Your dealer may not tell you as I found out. GM light trucks have had parasitic draw issues for years. Ford also has issues.
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Old 10-21-2016, 11:12 AM   #19
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Thanks for the responses folks, I want to make sure that I clear up any questions.

Here are the original symptoms.

Wife came back to our TT after being out for the day. She parked the car and came in to relax before turning in for the night.

Next AM car would not start. The instruments and other things were coming on. Sync panel was displaying an error message stating the following.

"Disabling systems to save battery"

We left in my truck and came back later in the day. I was going to jump the car with my truck. But I thought I would just try to start the car. It had just enough battery power to turn the car over a couple of times. The Starter was obviously lagging but it fired up. So we drove the car for about 30 to 45 minutes to charge the battery.

When we came back to the camper I noticed on shutting off the car the SYNC panel indicated it was presenting this message. Connecting to Phone.

There are two phones that were paired with the SYNC system, mine and my wifes IPhone. Both IPhone's bluetooth was disabled, so there should be NO phone trying to connect.

I disabled bluetooth on the SYNC system. No more issues with battery since.

I did a search on the internet for SYNC bluetooth issues. I found a number of issues on other forums for 2014 / 2013 Ford vehicles presenting the same issue. For some reason the SYNC system tries to continually connect to a phone, the problem was associated with the bluetooth subsystem.

So I am fairly confident that the original problem was just that, the car was attempting to connect to a phone.

We have had the software updated with fixes to these two subsystems in SNYC. First an update to connectivity, I would surmise that this includes Bluetooth. Second an update the the HVAC control subsystem.

Thanks again
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