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Battery drain?

Discussion in 'Electrical' started by badgto, Jul 27, 2010.

  1. badgto

    badgto Member

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    After sitting for a few days the battery is down on my 04 Expedition, the battery is new and cks out, alternator is charging good. Everyday driving and no problems. But if it sits for 3 days or so then it has to be jumped or charged up. All original with no addons like stereo or anything like that. Thanks!!!
     
  2. ELVATO

    ELVATO Super Mod Supporting Member

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    Take a multimeter. Change it to measure amprage (turn the switch, and change the positive lead to the appropriate spot). While the truck is off, attach a jumper wire to the positive battery terminal and the positive cable. Take off the cable, making sure to keep the wire attached to terminal and cable. Once the positive cable is disconnected from terminal, touch one lead to the terminal and the other lead to the positive cable. Disconnect the jumper wire. What is the measured amprage?

    Hope that made sense. The reason you have to have the jumper wire is to keep current going through the positive cable, to keep the various electrical systems from resetting when the cable is disconnect. This will give you a more accurate representation of how much juice you are using.
     
  3. badgto

    badgto Member

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    Thanks for the help, will try to ck that later today!
     
  4. trdragons44

    trdragons44 Full Access Members

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    i would advise to use the same method but only on the negative. look up parasitic draw test.
     
  5. ELVATO

    ELVATO Super Mod Supporting Member

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    I've seen both ways. Technically speaking, it should be the same going in or out. I guess the negative terminal is safer since, if when you are taking the terminal off, the tool you are using touches the frame, it won't arch.

    Either way, it shouldn't be more than 50 mA draw. Don't forget to pull out the hood light bulb.

    Here's the actual procedure listed in the manual:

    NOTE: No production vehicle should have more than a 50 mA (0.050 amp) continuous draw.

    Check for current drains on the battery in excess of 50 milliamps (0.050 amp) with all the electrical accessories off and the vehicle at rest. Current drains can be tested with the following procedure:

    WARNING: Do not attempt this test on a lead-acid battery that has recently been recharged. Explosive gases can cause personal injury.


    CAUTION: To prevent damage to the meter, do not crank the engine or operate accessories that draw more than 10A.

    NOTE: Many modules draw 10 mA (0.010 amp) or more continuously.

    NOTE: Use an in-line ammeter between the battery positive or negative post and its respective cable.

    NOTE: Typically, a drain of approximately one amp can be attributed to an engine compartment lamp, glove compartment lamp, or luggage compartment lamp staying on continually. Other component failures or wiring shorts may be located by selectively pulling fuses to pinpoint the location of the current drain. When the current drain is found, the meter reading will fall to an acceptable level. If the drain is still not located after checking all the fuses, it may be due to the generator.

    NOTE: To accurately test the drain on a battery, an in-line digital ammeter must be used. Use of a test lamp or voltmeter is not an accurate method due to the number of electronic modules.

    1. Make sure the junction box/fuse panels are accessible without turning on interior and underhood lights.

    2. Drive the vehicle at least five minutes and over 48 km/h (30 mph) to turn on and exercise vehicle systems.

    3. Allow the vehicle to sit with the key off for at least 40 minutes to allow modules to time out/power down.

    4. Connect a fused jumper wire between the negative battery cable and the negative battery post to prevent modules from resetting and to catch capacitive drains.

    5. Disconnect the negative battery cable from the post without breaking the connection of the jumper wire.

    6. NOTE: It is very important that continuity is not broken between the battery and the negative battery cable when connecting the meter. If this happens, the entire procedure must be repeated.

    Connect the tester between negative battery cable and the post. The meter must be capable of reading milliamps and should have a 10 amp capability.

    7. NOTE: If the meter settings need to be switched or the test leads need to be moved to another jack, the jumper wire must be reinstalled to avoid breaking continuity.

    Remove the jumper wire.

    NOTE: Amperage draw will vary from vehicle to vehicle depending on the equipment package. Compare to a comparable vehicle for reference.

    NOTE: No production vehicle should have more than a 50 mA (0.050 amp) draw.

    8. If the draw is found to be excessive, pull fuses from the battery/central junction box one at a time and note the current drop. Do not reinstall the fuses until you are finished testing.

    9. Check the wiring schematic in the wiring diagram for any circuits that run from the battery without passing through the battery/central junction box. Disconnect these circuits if the draw is still excessive.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2010
  6. trdragons44

    trdragons44 Full Access Members

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    i usually use this and connect the dvom to each side then disconnect by loosening the screw.
     
  7. badgto

    badgto Member

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    Thanks for the help,, will try this to ck it out,, got busy, but back on it now!
     
  8. 10K-Watts

    10K-Watts Super Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    i'd replace the battery...that happened to me and everyone said the battery, alt and everything else was find...come to find out...after going off on Sears...the battery was dead...no probs since but i would like to upgrade the alt eventually
     
  9. badgto

    badgto Member

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    Thanks bh, battery was first thing changed. Elvato, after removing the int. puddle light, tire pressure module fuse, #21 I believe the draw dropped to within the specs you listed. So now my question is which one of those do I suspect, have checked at night and no visible lights are on. So I was wondering if anything is not shutting off, or is there something about the tire pressure monitor module to blame. Thanks in advance again!!!!!!!!!
     
  10. ELVATO

    ELVATO Super Mod Supporting Member

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    How many amps are you drawing?

    Also, did you wait the amount of time suggested?
     

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