This comes down to perception. To a lot of owners the warning that was designed to prevent unnecessary battery depletion is "the problem" versus actually depleting the battery. In time they will discover "a new problem" when the battery fails and has to be replaced or certain vehicle functions are forced into limited operation (load shedding) in order to have more charging system voltage to try and increase the batteries state of charge .There’s this one talking about false alarms for low batteries, and several others about actual low battery charge levels.
The attached graph shows that the charge does gradually deplete on them whenever they’re left standing, especially when they’re unlocked for cleaning.
This comes down to perception. To a lot of owners the warning that was designed to prevent unnecessary battery depletion is "the problem" versus actually depleting the battery. In time they will discover "a new problem" when the battery fails and has to be replaced or certain vehicle functions are forced into limited operation (load shedding) in order to have more charging system voltage to try and increase the batteries state of charge .
This leads to the technical side of the issue. The time scale with your waveform isn't labeled but it appears to show an engine start and a momentary charging system output that quickly drops back close to the battery voltage of just around 12.1* volts. Most of the alternator's output will be used to operate the vehicle and accessories. Only a fraction of it goes to recharging the battery and even then what the battery is able to accept is limited by the physical characteristics of the battery.Well this was the day we had the car cleaned, local lad comes once a month.
The key was taken away once the car was opened up for him to do the inside, but I still had to go for a drive to make sure it was recharged after he’d finished.
Thank you for posting this. It's a little disconcerting that Mazda admits the alert also means customers "may have problems starting the vehicle". Updating the programming will lengthen the time it takes for the counter to sound the alarm to 90 minutes and it will clear upon startup. However, this doesn't address the battery capacity and overall engineering of that system. My car only has 6700 miles on it and I purchased it in May of last year. From the beginning.... starting it on really cold days was interesting. Very slow cranking to the point I wondered if it was going to make it. This is not confidence inspiring. I've been driving since 1978 and I've owned scores of cars....most of them new. I've never worried about this type of thing with a new car. And, I've never purchased a car this expensive. My 2019 MX-5 GTS was close. Expensive trucks are another story and a sore spot with my wife.Here is the updated Service Alert for the NA market that came out last month, it mentions that the the customer may request an improvement, and for that an update is available now, details in the SA.
Can our vehicles accommodate a larger, more powerful battery to overcome this?Thank you for posting this. It's a little disconcerting that Mazda admits the alert also means customers "may have problems starting the vehicle". Updating the programming will lengthen the time it takes for the counter to sound the alarm to 90 minutes and it will clear upon startup. However, this doesn't address the battery capacity and overall engineering of that system. My car only has 6700 miles on it and I purchased it in May of last year. From the beginning.... starting it on really cold days was interesting. Very slow cranking to the point I wondered if it was going to make it. This is not confidence inspiring. I've been driving since 1978 and I've owned scores of cars....most of them new. I've never worried about this type of thing with a new car. And, I've never purchased a car this expensive. My 2019 MX-5 GTS was close. Expensive trucks are another story and a sore spot with my wife.
Responding to #229 Steve56. My husband (Mech Eng) recommended this battery based on search. What does this group think? (I know that the dealer has told me that a non-dealer recommended battery "MIGHT" invalidate the warranty). Battery: INTERSTATE Brand (MTX-47/H5), Group Size H5, 650 Cold Cranking Amps (CCA) and 3 year warranty. Interstate Batteries | MTX-47/H5. Approx $200.00Can our vehicles accommodate a larger, more powerful battery to overcome this?
After sitting for a few weeks the car started normally. Still interested in the battery issue. Just takes one time (battery failure) to get paranoid about a car not starting . . .Responding to #229 Steve56. My husband (Mech Eng) recommended this battery based on search. What does this group think? (I know that the dealer has told me that a non-dealer recommended battery "MIGHT" invalidate the warranty). Battery: INTERSTATE Brand (MTX-47/H5), Group Size H5, 650 Cold Cranking Amps (CCA) and 3 year warranty. Interstate Batteries | MTX-47/H5. Approx $200.00
After my battery failed, I have deleted the application that allows auto start and tire pressure monitoring, store my keys over 100 ft away in a metal container, changed all options recommended and those I could find that support communication outside the car, and unload groceries and clean interior while the engine is on. Big PIA and just wondering if the solution is a bigger battery. I've had the car a year and have only 4k miles and routinely don't drive it much. I certainly don't ever drive it 6 to 8 hours at a time like JohnG #226 hypothesized would take to fully recharge. Its going to sit for a few weeks in April without being driven and we'll see how it does.
Very informative Scotty. Thank you for taking the time to write this up. As a career electronics technician in the US Navy, I too find it shocking (see what I did there?) to see that modern engineering couldn't come up with a better solution for power management.A Hello from Canada,
I bought recently a CX-30 and run into this reported behaviour. Hence, I decided to investigate the power management of the vehicle by inserting a Current meter between the negative Battery post and Chassis Ground connection and explored the current draw during the various operating states.
1) When the vehicle is locked and at sleep, after a few minutes the battery current drops to 0.007A or 7mA. This is very good as parking the vehicle for a long time (Airport Parking Lot) wonˋt be much of a problem as any lead acid battery has comparable self discharge rates. Three month non-use should be possible.
2) Whenever the keyfob is used to unlock the car the current initially jumps to 11.7A (with headlights on) and then drops to about 4.5A after the headlights turn off after some 30s. Opening the car door adds 0.5A.
3) entering ACC Mode 1 by pressing the Start Button causes the car electronics to wake up with the center display and dash coming alive. In this state it draws continuously about 4.5A. Playing the radio does not change that, although playing it loudly will increase current draw. That explains why the warning is issued after some 20m.
4) entering ACC mode 2 by pressing the Start Button twice causes current drain to increase to 11.7A.
5) when the car is in sleep mode and you press the map light button, the car wakes up and it draws again 4.5A. The map lights themselves draw only 0.2A. (It is not quite clear, why so much car electronics must activate to simply turn on the map lights. But this is how they design cars nowadays).
The following current values are derived by extracting the differences between switch settings as the basic current drain of 4.5A is always present. For example, headlights current is 11.7A - 4.5A = 7.2A.
6) Break lights draw 0.6A
7) headlight draw together 7.2A or 3.6 each.
8) Steering wheel heater draws 4A.
9) when powering the car down, the current stays initially at about 4.5A. After a few minutes it suddenly falls to 0.23A and after another minute or so to return to sleep mode of 7mA.
To put this in perspective with respect to the battery capacity used up by the time you get the first low battery warning, a word might be in order. It is likely, that the fully charged battery is of a 55AH type. Now, with using the radio for 20min you would have consumed 4.5A for 20 minutes or 4.5* 0.33 = 1.5Ah. That means, that in one hour you would use up about 8% of a full battery's capacity. Now, If you were driving a long distance and you get stuck at the ferry terminal waiting for the next ferry, you could safely play your radio for 1-2hours, assuming the battery is in good condition without restarting your engine. Make sure, you are using Accessory Mode 1 which is the first Active state when pressing the Start Button once. If you are not careful and select accidentally ACC Mode 2 you will be drawing almost 12A and draining the battery much faster.
I have not tested yet what happens long term with the doors open. Will the system go back to sleep or continue draining the battery at a 5A rate until it is empty?
I really wish the manufacturer would take those things seriously. It should be possible to leave the vehicle doors open indefinitely without discharging the battery completely. If this is actually the case, the engineers that allow such design flaws should rethink how vehicle technology should be designed. There is absolutely no excuse for letting people be stranded because of those ill-fated design decisions.
Remember, there are computers in the car that could intervene and protect itself from complete self discharge. It is high time, that fool proof power management be instituted in new cars. It is unacceptable that all those problems experienced by car owners happen in the first place.
What good is a vehicle, that one cannot trust, as far as power states are concerned? When I leave the vehicle I want to be implicitly able to trust, that the electronics is not pulling a fast-one on me.
Anyways, it is my hope, that the above information helps in understanding what happens in the vehicle during the different active states.
Warning: Be careful when performing measurements on your own and avoid at any cost starting the engine. You will likely blow the fuse of the meter or destroy it thoroughly. Even the vehicle could potentially become damaged. I also inserted my meter without breaking the circuit and causing system restart issues.
Apparantly, with tools such as ForScan and Software some of those values can also be extracted or read out via the OBD2 port. But I had no opportunity yet to explore this avenue.
I am not happy with the findings. As an industrial electronics HW and SW designer I find it appalling that cars are designed this way. the map lights should not require a Stage 1 system power up. An independent microcomputer controller could have handled that by itself without getting the rest of the car involved.
Also, not being able to play the media unit for a very long time while stopped in traffic (construction site delays, ferry waiting times) is dissppointing. In my previous car I had an ALPINE media player and could run it just about forever. Picture waiting for a missed ferry for two hours
It is a sad state of affairs to design vehicles this way. It proves that sensible power management of the vehicle us not a very high design priority. The excessive complexity of modern technology in general is an Achilles heel and can contribute to excessive future expensive repair costs, for which the car owner cannot be made responsible, but still pays outside warranty period. I guess, that is the price we have to pay for having "Digital" everything in our lives nowadays...
The lack of a front 12V outlet us also an irritant to me.
On a personal note, I had to purchase another vehicle because a semitrailer truck destroyed my previous one while parked. I drove a 2006 Toyota Matrix before and the differences between 2021 and 2006 are shocking. The Matrix was the most reliable vehicle I ever owned and had over 230000km on it With only minor repairs. It was practical and sensible. I would have bought a new one without hesitation. The CX-30 is a lovely replacement. But will it be as longterm reliable? The direct injection principle seems to imply periodic valve cleaning actions every so often. Why do the spark plugs only last 1/3 the Toyota ones did? At the time, I very much enjoy the vehicle. It is a pleasure to drive and very comfortable.
Another potential problem is the position of the Center Console USB jack. What idiot placed it in such an exposed position so that, when an USB memory stick is plugged in, it is very easily possible to knock it and damage possibly both the USB device and the USB jack inside? (I recommend buying a right angle USB extension cable, so the the USB memory can be lying on the bottom of the storage compartment connected to the other end of the USB cable and no longer risks being inadvertently being damaged by normal use of the storage compartment).
Not really on topic here, I have also discovered some somewhat annoying software bugs in the entertainment system that should have been caught by Mazda software quality assurance. But it is nearly impossible to motivate the manufacturer to adress such flaws and it is unacceptable that we owners have to live with such probiems because those problems are not important enough to them. It is absolutely appalling how much flawed software is in our lives nowadays In all kinds of technology products. Forget about talking to the dealers. They can't do anything other than load newer firmware. Those problems can only be addressed by the appropriate company Engineering Departments.
Anyways, all the Best to all of you,
Yes I get this warning too. Why? And I have to start my car to charge it. That is crazy. How come this is happening? Toledo Washington.Hi Y'all. New CX-30 owner here, trouble free for the first two months except for one issue. A few times with the ignition button pressed once to the "Accessory" position to listen to the radio, after about 30 minutes I would get the "Low Voltage Risk - Start Engine" alarm on the center dash display. The alarm would sound for about twenty seconds and then go out.
The engine started with no problems and after idling for about 5 minutes shut off the engine and no more alarms.
I will call the dealer ASAP. I couldn't find info in the owners manual about this alarm.
Anyone familiar with this problem?