Frustration with electrical - JeepForum.com

 
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post #1 of 14 Old 09-17-2013, 07:13 PM Thread Starter
Duzman
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Frustration with electrical

Hello
Brand new to this forum
Has anyone experienced what I am going thru with my 2004 Rubicon
I've had it to my local mechanic as well as the local dealer

The Jeep is drawing power from somewhere that no one can find
The battery only lasts a few weeks and then dies
Battery is brand new ( second one in 12 months) and both shops tell me alternator is fine
This is extremely frustrating and my Jeep just sits in my driveway now
No one can seem to figure out what's wrong but essentially the battery is getting drained by something
It is nothing like lights being left on

Please help me!!!!!

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post #2 of 14 Old 09-17-2013, 07:15 PM
Toby36
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What do you have on your jeep as far as any aftermarket electrical accesory
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post #3 of 14 Old 09-17-2013, 07:25 PM Thread Starter
Duzman
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Absolutely nothing
All stock
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post #4 of 14 Old 09-17-2013, 09:54 PM
RaggedOleMan
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Is your driveway at an incline? If so, the under the hood light might be "on" while parked at an angle. Could be at home, at work, or anywhere the Jeep parks for extended periods of time. I learned the hard way, too...just unplug it, easy to do with one hand. Passenger side of center at the base of the hood just above the firewall. Unplug it. Charge your battery up, and give it a try. Good luck.

That underhood light has a mercury switch, or something similar that completes a circuit when the hood is lifted, thus switching the light "on". Parked on an uphill can trigger it, too.
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post #5 of 14 Old 09-17-2013, 10:07 PM
Knuckelhead
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RaggedOleMan View Post
That underhood light has a mercury switch, or something similar that completes a circuit when the hood is lifted, thus switching the light "on". Parked on an uphill can trigger it, too.
Its a caged steel ball contact switch...
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post #6 of 14 Old 09-18-2013, 05:32 AM Thread Starter
Duzman
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I've already disconnected that
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post #7 of 14 Old 09-18-2013, 08:03 AM
pwmac
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Buy a clamp on meter that measures amps via your digital volt meter. Then start taking out fuses one at a time and record the amps before ands after. When done review the result and ;locate the culprit.
To drain a batt that fast the draw should be pretty high.
This process is what the mechanics should have done. Now that they failed you will have to DIY.
PW

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post #8 of 14 Old 09-18-2013, 08:56 AM
ppap
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Unless you have spent several hundred dollars on a quality low DC current clamp, dont waste your money buying one. You can use a basic multimeter in series with the negative battery terminal to measure current. Once you have determined there is a parasitic draw, get voltage drop readings at the fuses once the network has settled down. This will help you identify the circuit that is drawing the power. Not sure what this vehicle has for control modules but the old method of pulling fuses doesn't work on newer cars because the module in line with the fuse wakes up and cause a current surge. Reading the circuit directly without disrupting the network saves a lot of time and effort.

This is pretty basic stuff. Any tech that has a few years diagnosis electrical systems should be able to identify the problem within a couple hours.
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post #9 of 14 Old 09-18-2013, 09:40 AM
Jonny Jeep
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When you say the battery only last a few weeks, how much is the Jeep driven in that time and for what sort of distance?

If it's just sat the battery will go flat in three weeks from the current drawn from PCM, immobiliser and radio. In that case you need to pull the IOD fuse while it's sat.
If it's being driven but only for short distances you won't be putting back the amount of energy that starting the engine takes from the battery.

Online factory service manuals and parts lists - http://www.jeep4x4center.com/knowledge-base/index.htm
If it doesn't work properly, look for the service manual link at the bottom of the page.
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post #10 of 14 Old 09-18-2013, 10:05 AM Thread Starter
Duzman
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Thanks everyone for their feedback
The Jeep is driven pretty regularly

Not every day but pretty regular

I actually thought of just replacing every single fuse possible to see if that would solve it

This seems like a pretty in expensive possible solution

Does anyone see a drawback in doing that?
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post #11 of 14 Old 09-18-2013, 01:07 PM
Jonny Jeep
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Pulling the fuses isn't a bad idea but, there's no need to replace them, and it needs to be done as a method of finding the drain rather than just for the sake of it.

You need to disconnect one of the battery terminals and then use a multimeter on ammeter setting to see what current is being drawn from the battery. Connect the multimeter between the disconnected battery cable and the battery terminal. Once you do that there will be a short period when the PCM etc will draw a slightly higher current before settling down. This current should be several milliamps which is needed to retain memories in the PCM, cluster and radio. If this current is not excessive there may be a problem with the battery holding a charge.

Once the current is settled then you can start pulling all the fuses to see when the current drops. Pulling the IOD fuse will disconnect the PCM, cluster and radio, which should be the only current drain when the ignition is off.

If you can measure the current, and find which fuse any current is being drawn on, the circuits on that fuse can be identified and any fault hopefully traced.

Online factory service manuals and parts lists - http://www.jeep4x4center.com/knowledge-base/index.htm
If it doesn't work properly, look for the service manual link at the bottom of the page.
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post #12 of 14 Old 09-18-2013, 03:23 PM
pwmac
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Based on what the guy said most multimeters would blow its fuse. He has a big drain probably above a multimeter capability unless he buys an expensive one.
==========
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonny Jeep View Post
Pulling the fuses isn't a bad idea but, there's no need to replace them, and it needs to be done as a method of finding the drain rather than just for the sake of it.

You need to disconnect one of the battery terminals and then use a multimeter on ammeter setting to see what current is being drawn from the battery. Connect the multimeter between the disconnected battery cable and the battery terminal. Once you do that there will be a short period when the PCM etc will draw a slightly higher current before settling down. This current should be several milliamps which is needed to retain memories in the PCM, cluster and radio. If this current is not excessive there may be a problem with the battery holding a charge.

Once the current is settled then you can start pulling all the fuses to see when the current drops. Pulling the IOD fuse will disconnect the PCM, cluster and radio, which should be the only current drain when the ignition is off.

If you can measure the current, and find which fuse any current is being drawn on, the circuits on that fuse can be identified and any fault hopefully traced.

pwmac
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post #13 of 14 Old 09-19-2013, 10:30 AM
Jonny Jeep
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I doubt it. Most multimeters I've come across handle up to ten amps. A drain of ten amps would flatten a fully charged battery overnight, not over a few weeks.

Online factory service manuals and parts lists - http://www.jeep4x4center.com/knowledge-base/index.htm
If it doesn't work properly, look for the service manual link at the bottom of the page.
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post #14 of 14 Old 09-19-2013, 12:07 PM
ppap
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A draw in excess of 10amps will kill a battery within a couple hours. He obviously has a small parasitic draw less than 1 amp. All the information you need to diagnose the cause has been provided. If you feel this may be beyond your ability, take it to someone who knows what they are doing instead of a cutrate hack. There are plenty of Jeep dealers that can resolve this for a couple hours labor.
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