In rare cases, end users have reported a flat vehicle battery a while after installing a device like the Bolt2. Based on the Bolt2's current draw, the Bolt2 is not to blame.
Bolt2 current draw from a 12V power supply, with the battery plugged in.
- The average current while charging the battery is 38mA (note, this is worst case, the battery remains fully charged nearly always).
- This is comparable to the typical car parasitic draw sits between 20-120mA
- When fully charged, the current drops off to about 0.85mA
- Every couple of hours the device 'refreshes' the GPS - which uses a little bit of power
- A refresh in good signal bumps up the average current draw by 0.25mA
- With no signal, about 0.5mA
- Hourly heartbeats add 25uA under normal conditions. If out of coverage about 3mA is added to the average draw.
Most car batteries are about 40Ah (amp hours). Current draws in the region of mA have next to no effect on them.
- In the worst-case current draw when out of coverage and with no GPS signal, the average current would be ~4.5mA. If the Bolt2 was the only thing connected to a small car battery (40Ah), it would last 1 year.
- In the case with a car parked in a garage with no GPS signal it would draw around 1.5mA. That would last 3 years on a small car battery.
- The typical case with good GPS signal and cellular signal would draw ~1mA on average and would last 4.5 years on a small car battery.
If a car battery goes flat after installing a Bolt2 - it's just a coincidence. The device draws that little power it is essentially negligible. All car batteries age and eventually need replacement - for some this timing just occurs soon after a tracking device is installed!