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Unread 02-02-2011, 10:15 AM   #1
compcrasher86
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Marblehead, MA, Henrietta, NY
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HELP! WJ died after 2-3 days of sitting

Hey guys, need some suggestions here. 01 WJ left itself stranded in the school parking lot. It has been sitting there since Sunday night and the battery is completely dead now. I can get the cluster to flicker to life... sorta... and the lights are really dim, but no starter solenoid click at all, not enough juice to engage. Battery is dead... but it was replaced August of '10. Its a ZJ-sized interstate, somebody screwed up the sizing which I'm pissed about but that cant be the problem. I've noticed over the past couple days its been straining to crank when its only been left for 24hrs. I guess this 3days killed it. Battery terminals fine and tight. Battery is reading 8.60 volts from my multimeter.

When I turned the key to off from underneath the cluster area I heard a very fast clicking, indefinately coming from a relay. It would not stop unless I put my foot on the brake or flashed the highbeams. My Jeep has remote start and I have not inspected the wiring job. Only reason I am ruling it out is because I have not activated the remote start in 2 weeks so it shouldnt be providing power to the relays or anything. Also, its been on there for 70k miles no problem. Also, even weirder, when I turned the key off the orange Recirc indicator on the HVAC turned on... and didnt turn off. Eventually randomly it cut off but with the key off and out that should not be on at all.

So I think something is causing a draw on the system, but I have no clue what and it looks like it will be a pain in the butt to diagnose. Does anybody have any advice?

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SOLD 01 WJ Ltd | i6 | QT2 | Moog HD steering | Tow Package | Boston Acoustics Audio | RB1 | Lou's Catback | Stone White |

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Unread 02-02-2011, 12:28 PM   #2
shepd
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I'd start by metering the current usage while the vehicle is off. Don't even think of starting it when you do this!

Just pop off the positive terminal from the battery, and insert an Ammeter between it and the battery positive. Current draw should be low. Larger car batteries store something like 60 Amp Hours, so for a battery to go flat over 3 days, you'd see a current draw of at least 830 mA (which would indicate your problem).

I would suggest you want to see a current drain under 200 mA, but I don't know what is normal for a vehicle with so many gadgets. :-)

At this point that battery is fried, so to get good test results, you'll need to replace the battery first. Until you've determined the problem, leave the positive off the battery when the vehicle isn't in use or keep a float charger connected.

Just my 2 cents having an electrical background.

BTW: If you've not used an ammeter before, just know that it is a dead short. You DO NOT EVER connect it between positive and negative, like you would a voltmeter.
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Unread 02-02-2011, 12:45 PM   #3
compcrasher86
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yupp, I'm an EE major, I've ussed ammeters before. You put them inline with the circuit. I'm going to see if I can get my hands on a better one because the one in my multimeter is only rated for 200ma.
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SOLD 01 WJ Ltd | i6 | QT2 | Moog HD steering | Tow Package | Boston Acoustics Audio | RB1 | Lou's Catback | Stone White |

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Unread 02-02-2011, 07:18 PM   #4
compcrasher86
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Got it started. After leaving the battery disconnected for 2hrs I reconnected it and the gauges actually turned on and I was able to get a starter solenoid clicking. Jumped it with comptiger's 2ga jumper cables and it started right up without his even running. It ran fine and we took it for a 30min drive in this blizzardy weather. The battery is disconnected right now and we threw the ammeter on. Initially it was around 380mA while it charged the caps in the PCM and the such and it quickly leveled down to 160mA straight. This was without the alarm set, all lights off/disabled, and underhood light unplugged. Its been very cold here over the past couple of weeks, single digit nights. What do you guys think?
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98 XJ Sport | i6 | AW4 | 231 | Stone White | Agate Leather

SOLD 01 WJ Ltd | i6 | QT2 | Moog HD steering | Tow Package | Boston Acoustics Audio | RB1 | Lou's Catback | Stone White |

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Unread 02-02-2011, 07:37 PM   #5
steelstr45
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I'd say the first step is to completely charge up the battery with a charger and take it to someplace like autozone that will hook up their battery tester to it for free.

They will be able to tell you if there's a problem with the battery itself. Then you can rule that out at least.

I've had a battery just go bad within a year for no reason before. It was working fine, then out of nowhere, couldn't hold a charge or start the car. I got it replaced under warranty.
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Unread 02-02-2011, 07:51 PM   #6
compcrasher86
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Good call, I'm trying to get my hands on a battery charger now (kinda hard @ college without all my stuff) and I'll do that. I think I might just try and warranty swap it anyways though. I wonder if the 160mA is too much draw? With the alarm set I bet its right around 200 or more.
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SOLD 01 WJ Ltd | i6 | QT2 | Moog HD steering | Tow Package | Boston Acoustics Audio | RB1 | Lou's Catback | Stone White |

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Unread 02-03-2011, 09:41 AM   #7
shepd
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If the battery got low for some reason, when it's cold out the plates are likely to sulfate. The cold weather then encourages the sulfate to drop to the bottom of the battery, and the battery will no longer hold a good charge.

There's ways to revive such batteries for a year or two, but they can be dangerous if you have to have to drain the battery. There's electronic devices you can hook up that can "shock" the battery and help improve the chemistry, but they don't always work.

Good luck! If you have a warranty on it, take advantage of it now!
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Unread 02-03-2011, 04:56 PM   #8
compcrasher86
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Yupp, well today I looked for parasitic draws, and there were definately some. I started off in the PDC, pulling fuses and checking to see what each was drawing by bridging the terminals through my ammeter.

In the PDC:
Fuse 3 (power lamps) draws 27.4mA
Fuse 12 (JB Power) draws 10.9mA and jumps up to 12 every couple of seconds
Fuse 15 (JB power) draws 80mA
Fuse 7 (JB power) draws 30mA

I unplugged my remote start and the total overall draw of the system dropped 10mA

Then I made my way to the junction block and pulled each and every fuse one by one and checked current draw

Fuse 17 (Cluster Diagnose) was pulling 27.3mA. I tried unplugging the instrument cluster and then the draw was nothing, 0mA.
Fuse 4 (Hazard flash) was drawing 12mA
Fuse 5 (Radio Amp) was drawing 30mA
Fuse 7 (Skim Hoodlp) was the weirdest one. it was drawing a whopping 60mA and upon putting the fuse in the socket a relay clicks on, I'm going to the FSM to identify but its the 2nd from the bottom all the way on the left in the relay box right above the fuse panel. Jeep starts and runs great without this fuse in but my HVAC for whatever reason does not work.

With these fuses pulled the Jeep would not arm the alarm. In the process I also found that somebody had replaced the negative battery terminal with a positive terminal (derp) and it was really loose even when tightened down all the way and so I replaced it with the proper sized one.

Edit: I found this topic, which seems to have decent relevancy but its on ZJs:
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f13/p...-180ma-985846/
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SOLD 01 WJ Ltd | i6 | QT2 | Moog HD steering | Tow Package | Boston Acoustics Audio | RB1 | Lou's Catback | Stone White |

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Unread 02-03-2011, 06:42 PM   #9
compcrasher86
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So I checked out the FSM.

Fuse 17 apparently powers the instrument cluster and the diagnostics connector (no surprise there lol) I still cant figure out why mine is drawing a whopping 27mA. Does anybody mind pulling fuse 17 and checking what their clusters are drawing or know what the draw should be?

Fuse 4 seems to be just the combo flasher, still dont understand why it would be drawing current though?

Fuse 5 is just radio and amp, I do not think it is the amp so I'm going to see why the headunit is drawing that much. On a side note pulling this fuse reset the headunit or something because it will now read my burned CDs, it wouldnt before.

Fuse 7... this is the weird one. Okay so it looks like it powers the underhood lamp... I disconnected that so that can't be doing it. It also powers the Sentry key immobilizer. Okay, makes sense. It also powers the automatic climate module. Okay, makes sense. And it also powers the Auto headlamp sensor and the LED for the VTSS. It also appears that fuse 7 provides power to the BCM. Even with this fuse unplugged though everything worked perfectly including remote keyless entry. Where do you guys think I should start? Maybe its the HVAC? But that wouldnt explain the relay clicking on. The relay, by the way, turned out to be the Low beam relay. However, my headlights aren't on? Thats weird, any suggestions??
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SOLD 01 WJ Ltd | i6 | QT2 | Moog HD steering | Tow Package | Boston Acoustics Audio | RB1 | Lou's Catback | Stone White |

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Unread 02-03-2011, 06:50 PM   #10
shepd
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To be honest, at between 160 and 380 mA, I'd almost certainly say there's no trouble with that much draw. You're pretty much certain to have just been sold a bum battery. The last check you can do is to make sure the alternator is actually charging the battery. Monitor the voltage of the battery before and after starting the Jeep. If it isn't significantly higher with the vehicle started, the alternator's done.
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Unread 02-03-2011, 07:08 PM   #11
compcrasher86
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Ehh I dont know about having that much draw. That would definitely kill it in under a week. It should be able to last longer than that. FSM says:

Code:
(6) Observe the multi-meter reading. The low-amperage
IOD should not exceed thirty-five milliamperes
(0.035 ampere).
And with engine running the battery voltage goes up to 14 ish volts 14.3-5 at 2k rpm.
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98 XJ Sport | i6 | AW4 | 231 | Stone White | Agate Leather

SOLD 01 WJ Ltd | i6 | QT2 | Moog HD steering | Tow Package | Boston Acoustics Audio | RB1 | Lou's Catback | Stone White |

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Unread 02-03-2011, 07:15 PM   #12
Mr_Grumpy
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All my Wj's I have had , would go dead after max of 7 days. After 3 days the alar would go off(on?) usually at midnight when its raining. Course after first time i now know to just stick key in ignition to switch it off.

I now have trickle charger with feedback protector plugged into cig lighter if im away for any length of time.
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Unread 02-03-2011, 07:59 PM   #13
compcrasher86
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grr... this frustrates me because it should be able to last though, somethings not right and it bothers me. I know people who have let their WJs sit for like a month at a time and not had a problem starting.

Edit: I'm getting over being upset over having to replace the BCM. I thought it was some big expensive module behind the HVAC box that would require hours of labor and dealer reprogramming. Nope, looks like its right behind the fuse panel, 4 torx T-20 screws, and it pops right out towards the firewall. From what the FSM says it should be plug and play (yay). It looks like I can get it for $100 on ebay so I bet my running price would be $40-50 at a junkyard. Not hyperventilating like before but I'd still like to verify it. I do not want to start throwing parts at it hoping itll fix the problem. Unfortunately the BCM gets it power from an integral connector to the JB so I really can't test for current, just have to check all the other devices off fuse 7.

I do think its weird that its triggering a relay right away upon putting fuse 7 in. Also, the FSM says its the low beam relay. To hell with that, that makes no sense at all. If the low beam relay is clicking, why are my headlights turning on? My low beams work fine. Maybe FSM is mislabeled? Even so, what would need a relay to be turned on in the Junction block thats powered off of fuse 7?

I circled the one that is clicking when I plug fuse 7 in. It doesnt seem to click off, just click on (must be soft-click off) whenever I put Fuse 7 in. No clicking noises when this relay is pulled and I put fuse 7 in. what do you guys think?



ps check out my old battery terminal. Yes its fixed now lol I went right to AAP and got a new one:

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98 XJ Sport | i6 | AW4 | 231 | Stone White | Agate Leather

SOLD 01 WJ Ltd | i6 | QT2 | Moog HD steering | Tow Package | Boston Acoustics Audio | RB1 | Lou's Catback | Stone White |

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Unread 02-04-2011, 07:44 PM   #14
steelstr45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Grumpy View Post
All my Wj's I have had , would go dead after max of 7 days. After 3 days the alar would go off(on?) usually at midnight when its raining. Course after first time i now know to just stick key in ignition to switch it off.

I now have trickle charger with feedback protector plugged into cig lighter if im away for any length of time.
I don't think that's normal, but your alarm going off reminded me of an issue I had with my WJ once.

At random times for no reason at all, the interior lights would turn on as if someone had just opened the door, then they'd do the fade out thing.

It would usually only happen when it was wet out.

One night I was just looking out the window watching the interior lights go on and off, at random intervals, 30 seconds, 1 minute, 5 minutes.

What fixed it was spraying the door lock and latches with a ton of WD-40.

I'm wondering if maybe you had a similar problem draining your battery, where you'd get the alarm going off (my alarm would disarm for some reason instead of going off).

I've had my WJ sitting for longer than a week before without the battery dying.

_________________

As for the OP's draw issue, I would still get the battery tested first. When WJ's get their power disconnected, the do a lot of weird things for a while.

When I reconnect my battery, for the first few days at random times, I'll hear HVAC motors cycling and testing themselves.

Also, with a weak battery, all kinds of odd things happen that may be causing excessive draw.

I still think you need to get a fresh battery in there first (or have yours tested as good, and charge it up).
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Unread 02-07-2011, 03:26 PM   #15
compcrasher86
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I'm curious, if anybody else is bored do you mind pulling fuse 7 and putting it back in? I'm trying to figure out if that relay clicking on is normal or not. Also, can anybody verify that the relay I circled is the low beam relay. It makes no sense to me because I feel that if the relay is clicking the low beams should definately be turning on.
__________________
98 XJ Sport | i6 | AW4 | 231 | Stone White | Agate Leather

SOLD 01 WJ Ltd | i6 | QT2 | Moog HD steering | Tow Package | Boston Acoustics Audio | RB1 | Lou's Catback | Stone White |

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