Batteries draining when trucks off =( - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 12-07-2010
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Batteries draining when trucks off =(

Usually I can figure most things out but this has be goin in circles here, long story short, this didnt happen when I first bought my pickup, now it is, the only things I've added is a remote start alarm, power door locks, cd player, computer, small cigarette lighter inverter and air horns.

Everything is on ignition power through relays fed from the battery directly, I disconnected everything and checked the relays to rule them out, I still get a substantial spark when tapping my + battery post back on when i tap it, so something is still drawing power, and a good amount.

I tried to rule out my starter and starter relay since there has been a time or 2 it was difficult to start, when I was doing so I found there was 2 mysterious factory wires attached to the battery side of the starter relay, they are not in my haynes wiring diagram, but one is a fusable link and the second larger greyish wire that supplies the ignition power, the draw is somewhere on the other end of it.

I could hear a tiny clicking of a relay when I would tap it on and off the battery, I found under the dash, to the right of the column a small black box with out 9 small relays in it, one of them is constantly on, I pulled it... and all the others lol, but even with all of them out, theres still a good spark when reconnecting that wire.

Does anyone know what that relay box is under the dash? I can put up some pictures, but I'd have to wait until after work.

Any halp is appreciated.
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Old 12-07-2010
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Have you checked how many milliamps the drain is? I'd do that first.
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Old 12-07-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KLC View Post
Have you checked how many volts the drain is? I'd do that first.
I think you meant to say amps , not volts.


To the OP
Check the simple first . Does the dome light go out every time the doors are closed ? That little lamp can kill a battery in a few hours .
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Old 12-07-2010
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I know, I changed my reply while you were posting.

Obviously you want to check to make sure everything is turned off or turns off. If that's the case though I'd check the drain.
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Old 12-07-2010
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Where is the other thread posted a couple weeks ago that someone had the same / similar problem ?
It included the normal current draw and places to check .
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Old 12-07-2010
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Normal drain on late model vehicles is usually between 20 to 50 mA.

OTRtech, I think I found the thread you are talking about:

https://www.ranger-forums.com/f18/wh...94/index2.html
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Old 12-07-2010
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its probly a bad cell, just take it to an auto parts stor and have it diognosed for free, i was having the same problem last week, so just got a new battery
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Old 12-07-2010
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mine didn't realy have a drain just couldn't hold a charge, just like any rechargable battery they go bad after a while
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Old 12-07-2010
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oh btw havent had a problen since the new battery
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Old 12-07-2010
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I am having this same problem..and have been having since I had my remote start/alarm installed on my truck. I kick myself over and over for having it done, but as intense as that setup was looking and the fact that if I installed it the warranty would be void...not very motivating.

But anyways....I can't seem to find the issue with mine. Please keep us updated on what you find!
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Old 12-07-2010
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Been through 3 batteries, completely disconnected the door switches, domelight and any accessory I've added into the car.

I don't know how to test how many amps are being drawn, but either way.. the relay under the dash should not be activating all the time, especially with the amount of draw it has, the spark is pretty big for just tapping a wire against the battery post for something that is supposed to be a constant feed.

Does anyone know what exactly the black box to the right of the column is, its about 4x3 with 9 relays i believe in it, and a bajillion wires connected to the backside of it.
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Old 12-08-2010
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what engine and what year is your truck if its similare to mine i will look and try to figure it out, not to call you stupid or anything but are sure your not looking at the fuse pannel since thats in the same place, however the only relay in that is the blinker relay, and if there is a relay in that bow you ere talking about its mostlikely a bad relay , since a holing contact doesn't just randomly set it sell up. and you should be able to replace that unless its soldered in, which mostlikely its just a plug in, and if you have accessories on it like fog lights or anything else that draws a good bit, then if its on that circuit then its possible you overloaded the relay contacts and damaged them, or if you were playing with wires recently that i guess it is possible you might have inadvertently set it up so that it is a holding contact which would be easily reversed but its hard to know without looking at it.
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Old 12-09-2010
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it's a 95 xcab, 4cyl 2.3 manual, the relay isnt at the fuse box, it's under the dash to the right side of the steering column, it has about 9 of those smaller rectangle relays in it, the relay that's activating is still not working correctly when replaced with a known working one, in that little black box i even pulled all the relays out, and even then somethiing is still drawing, i think something may have been chafed or scrubbed against a wire and is back feeding somewhere it shouldnt be, but without knowing what that little relay bank is, im having a hard time tracing where it originates from.

and btw, the domelight fuse and door switches are disconnected when im testing, i have no other accessories that ive added on or connected either while i was testing.
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Old 12-09-2010
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hmmm, well i definatly is possible that the if ther are two wires with bare copper tutching that there is a relay being bypassed and what ever those relays control are drawing the fromthe batterie, and if its killing your battery in a matter of hours its somthin pretty major, and it has to be a problem with a lead, i can't be going to gorund since that should blow a fuse, what you can do is diconnect all the relays and use and ohm meter or do a contenuity check and check to see if there is a connection between any of the wires obviously beween the gronds because that should give you a reading, but if you get radings between your lead wires then there are two wires connected that shouldn't be, try that and see if you find anything
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Old 12-09-2010
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i mean to say you shouldn't really need to check between the grounds because if the lead is connecting to the ground then that would be a short and blow fuses, also look at the wire color and try to track it as best you can and if it goes into the engin compart ment, then you will see that wire color in that big clup of wire that comes out on the drivers side, and its ossible that whatever the relay controls if fauty and drawing power when it shouldn't
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Old 12-09-2010
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yeah the switch that controls the power to the coil of that relay is being by passed you have to trouble shoot like i told you and pinde the open wire
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Old 12-09-2010
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also you will want to check that the wire on the normaly open contact isn't attached to the power to the coil which would be creating a holding contact
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Old 12-09-2010
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it also might be by passing the switch that would be controling the realy, and che to make sure that the normaly open contact isn't some how connected to the coil, creating a holding contackt
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