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Unread 11-13-2009, 01:52 PM   #1
ZJPunk98
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something is draining my battery

My jeep needs jumping or struggles to start after a few days of sitting unused. I now figure i must have something draining my battery while it is sitting.

My batter is down to 9.60volts from sitting for several days without use. To little power to restart my jeep. I disconnected the positive cable (with the jeep off, lights and all) and used a multimeter between the positive terminal and positive cable. I notice a 9.6v draw, this could have been higher when the battery had more power.

Why do i have a draw?

with both cable disconnected from the battery, i still had 5.2v reading between the positive term and cable. why is this? and between the negative term and cable 2.3v. why???????

Next i did a test with my test light. I connected the negative cable and used my test light to connect the positve term to the postive cable. It blinked and i heard clicking coming from under my dash board. what is that?

Am I measuring my draw correctly? what is an acceptable amount of draw and how do i find/fit what is overdrawing?

after realizing this i believe my battery may still be good, but something is draining it when it goes unused.

I have disconnected the battery to let it sit all night on its own to see if the battery is the issue on its own. next i'll try and test each fuse to see whats drawing power.

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Unread 11-13-2009, 03:52 PM   #2
ZJPunk98
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This is what i need to know: what is an acceptable amount of voltage draw when the jeep is off? i have an alarm system and an auto start system by astrostart. I did read somewhere on here that .02-.03 amps is an acceptable draw for amperage. Can anyone confirm this?
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Unread 11-13-2009, 08:31 PM   #3
ronsaun
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first of all "draw" is amperage not voltage. so when you measured 9.6 with everything off you measured the voltage. that is provided your meter was set to dc voltage. this is the symbol on your multimeter for DC voltage ( V). 9.6v is low and might be indicative of a weak battery. also, with the engine off if you were to turn the fan on high you would notice your voltage go down this is normal and called voltage drop. high current ("draws")such as headlights, blower fan, ac condenser etc.... will cause voltage drop and the amount of this varies depending on the equipment manufacturer and their different "draws". a quick check of your charging system (alternator) is to check your voltage across the battery terminals with the engine and all equipment off. record it. next start the vehicle, leave the equipment off and check the voltage across the battery terminals. if the alternator is functioning properly it should read 12V - 14V. if it is less you have an undercharging condition and if it is over 14V you have an overcharging condition. if either of these exist have it checked at an auto electric shop and act accordingly. a quick check for a "draw" or short circuit which would be sufficient to drain the battery in a day or 2 is leave all equipment off. in other words just turn it off like you just got home, dont try to remember stuff to turn off or you wont recreate the scenario. next take off the positive cable. gently and slowly touch the the cable to the post and watch for arcing. some minute(barely noticeable) arcing is normal. however, flashing and crackling would be indicative of an unacceptable amount of current("draw"). in other words something capable of draining the battery is trying to run. one thing which i have experienced in the past is my stereo amplifiers wired to a circuit that has constant battery power. and not turned on or off via the ignition switch through a relay. if you find that amount of arcing then the FUN begins. good luck, ron pm me if we need to go further.

Last edited by ronsaun; 11-13-2009 at 11:37 PM..
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Unread 11-13-2009, 08:35 PM   #4
ronsaun
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZJPunk98 View Post
This is what i need to know: what is an acceptable amount of voltage draw when the jeep is off? i have an alarm system and an auto start system by astrostart. I did read somewhere on here that .02-.03 amps is an acceptable draw for amperage. Can anyone confirm this?
if the numbers above are correct then that is hundredths of an amp. that would be acceptable as long as you dont have numerous things drawing that amount because as we add them up we would then be getting into whole "amps".
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Unread 11-14-2009, 06:25 AM   #5
ZJPunk98
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Ron,

The battery had been sitting for a few days when i measured the voltage across the terminals @9.6. after getting this reading i disconnected the battery and let it sit over night. (i'm sure i was measuring in DC)

My next measurement 24hrs later was about 10.5v. I tried to start the jeep, but still to weak. Next i disconnected the positive cable (jeep off) and again ran my multimeter between the terminal and positive cable. the meter was indicating 10.5v. I did do this same measurement in amps and I don't remember what the reading was if there was a reading at all.

when i get out of work, i'll check for strong arching when rubbing the cable on the terminal.

I checked again last night and my alternator is charging at 13.54v.

when the jeep is off, should the jeep be using up to 12v? I don't think it should be, even with low/no amps?

i've pulled every fuse to find whatever might be using the electricity, but with ALL fuses and relays removed from the panel and a disconnected alternator cable (i did this to isolate the fuse box), my meter is showing up to 12v of usage (if the battery is weak, say @ 9v, then the reading will be 9v. if the battery is stronger or weaker, the usage follows suite).

Am i taking the correct approach to measure this issue?

next i disconnected the positive cable from the fuse box and reconnected it to the alternator. in this situation i measured a 3.5v usage, i didn't measure amps, probably should have.

i'm beginning to think the fuse box or something has a short and is allowing for a closed circuit. A friend mentioned i could have a bad regulator or short in the alt, causing the "draw". what do you guys think?
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Unread 11-14-2009, 07:10 AM   #6
jreed80
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If you heard a click under you dash I would try letting someone recreate the same scinario while you are under the dash looking and feeling for Relays or something out of the usual if you are not the Original Owner you may have a keyless entry or alarm of some kind that was disconnected but may be malfunctioning. Give it a look. also could be a bad ground our chrysler products will fool you with their wiring They give you a constant positive and when you hit your switch doorlock ect. you will get your ground if the harness is bad or there is a short you will have a little connection and there goes your drain.Good luck tracing it down.
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Unread 11-14-2009, 07:16 AM   #7
comptiger5000
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The battery should read about 12.5 - 13 volts when the Jeep is off and sitting.
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Unread 11-14-2009, 07:41 AM   #8
Redrum_1
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If your doing the testing with your battery in the condition its in now your going to get all sorts of weird readings. Charge the battery fully and try a load test on it first. If the load test shows the battery to be Ok then start your testing again with a fully charged battery. I went through the same thing on a 96.

Good Luck...
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Unread 11-14-2009, 08:20 AM   #9
ZJPunk98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jreed80 View Post
If you heard a click under you dash I would try letting someone recreate the same scinario while you are under the dash looking and feeling for Relays or something out of the usual if you are not the Original Owner you may have a keyless entry or alarm of some kind that was disconnected but may be malfunctioning. Give it a look. also could be a bad ground our chrysler products will fool you with their wiring They give you a constant positive and when you hit your switch doorlock ect. you will get your ground if the harness is bad or there is a short you will have a little connection and there goes your drain.Good luck tracing it down.
I am the second owner and do not have the original key fobs for the alarm. However, i had an autostart system installed four years ago which is tied into the alarm system and therefore is usable and seems to operate fine.

Ok, so what you are saying is that jeeps have constantly hot, and the ground if created when you push a button or something. Right?

Even with this... there shouldn't be a voltage reading if no switches or funtions are activated. it should be an open loop even if the jeep is wired to be hot.

Maybe i'm just confused with the whole thing. I'll get a new battery and start from there. I'm just worried about this electrical issue screwing up all my plans for my jeep, especially since i just spent a ton on parts. I'd hate for this issue to be the end of my jeep
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Unread 11-14-2009, 08:21 AM   #10
ZJPunk98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by comptiger5000 View Post
The battery should read about 12.5 - 13 volts when the Jeep is off and sitting.
I know, thanks. my battery is being drained... so the charge in the battery is less than that.
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Unread 11-14-2009, 10:23 AM   #11
ZJPunk98
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I'm going to buy a new battery soon as i out of work. I think i may purchase new cables as well. Can anyone get a measurement for the lenght of the cables for me? I don't have my jeep with me, otherwise i would. thanks
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Unread 11-14-2009, 10:37 AM   #12
jreed80
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Most likely It is one of the two alarms If you can disconnect them both they have alot of capacitors and relays that could be week I have seen it happen to many I am a car audio / security installer of 18 years try a new battery I have even seen a led from a security system drain a week battery. You could even have a bad pin switch for the door. I am just saying try disconnecting the alarm if it is not a remote start it should be fairly easy There will be a Big Yellow WIRE usually yellow is should be the main poer wire for your ign/starter that has been cut __________ ALARM BRAIN _______________ Kind of like this wire then alarm box then wire again it should be the only wire you would need to connect back together if you took out the box. Or just disconnect it and leave it unplugged over night It should be a plug with between 8 and 16 wires depending on how many options you have door locks rem start window mods and others will make this plug vary in size. Numerous times we have had problems with new and old systems. Again good luck.
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Unread 11-14-2009, 02:39 PM   #13
ZJPunk98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jreed80 View Post
Most likely It is one of the two alarms If you can disconnect them both they have alot of capacitors and relays that could be week I have seen it happen to many I am a car audio / security installer of 18 years try a new battery I have even seen a led from a security system drain a week battery. You could even have a bad pin switch for the door. I am just saying try disconnecting the alarm if it is not a remote start it should be fairly easy There will be a Big Yellow WIRE usually yellow is should be the main poer wire for your ign/starter that has been cut __________ ALARM BRAIN _______________ Kind of like this wire then alarm box then wire again it should be the only wire you would need to connect back together if you took out the box. Or just disconnect it and leave it unplugged over night It should be a plug with between 8 and 16 wires depending on how many options you have door locks rem start window mods and others will make this plug vary in size. Numerous times we have had problems with new and old systems. Again good luck.

where can i find teh alarm system. My remote start system has been installed on the drivers side.
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Unread 11-14-2009, 06:51 PM   #14
jreed80
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Usually it is above the steering column drop the plastic panels and they usually zip tie it there. If not you can fallow the siren wires back to it they leave the box and go all the wat to the siren if it is hooked to the horn then try to push the buttons on the alarm you should hear a click from the alarmwhile pushing the button.The factory alarm on the other hand???????? I don't remember off hand.There should be a place on the internet to show you where the connections are.
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Unread 11-14-2009, 06:52 PM   #15
jreed80
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Its funny how I knew you had 2 alarms isn't it.
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