battery dying after sitting 24hrs+ Help!! - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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  #1  
Old 04-14-2008
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battery dying after sitting 24hrs+ Help!!

So a new problem has crept up on me; for the last two weeks in a row, I havent driven my truck on Sunday. When I go to start my truck on Monday morning, the battery is dead. The truck starts fine on a daily basis... it's only doing this when it's been sitting for a day or more.

My thoughts on what it could be include:
1) battery is dying (although it's an optima redtop, and only a year or so old)
2) alternator is dying
3) something somewhere isnt shutting off when I turn the truck off, and is draining the power slowly.

Anyone have any other suggestions, or advice on trying to troubleshoot the problem?

Thanks guys!
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Old 04-14-2008
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you can get your battery and alternator checked for free at autozone to see it thats the problem and if not then i would start looking into other stuff
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Old 04-14-2008
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I know the glove compartment light in mine isn't on the automatic 10 minute "battery saver" timer in my 2002. If the switch in there was bad, that could actually do it.

Amps that don't power off and so forth are a potential hitter.

If you don't have a digital voltmeter so you can tell us what your voltage readings are at rest and when charging, there's really not much we can suggest other than getting it tested.
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Old 04-14-2008
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ok... i'll stop by autozone today at lunch and have my battery and alternator tested, i'll update your guys this afternoon :o)
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Old 04-14-2008
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ok... I took my truck to Autozone to have it tested... alternator and battery both tested fine, with the exception of the battery being a little low, probably caused by the fact that the alt hasnt fully recharged it yet.

So, assuming i've eliminated a bad battery and a bad alternator, where do I go from here? I guess it's possible that there's something being left on thats slowly draining the battery, but i've never had this problem before and I havent changed anything recently, so I don't know what would be causing the drain now.

Any suggestions as far as furth troubleshooting and isolating the problem?

Thanks guys!
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  #6  
Old 04-14-2008
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The same thing was happening to me. Red top optima battery only a year old also when i had the problem. Mine was my head unit. I hooked it up to where it had constant power but when i shut it off there was a blue light that remained on. also i could use my power windows without the key, which was kinda cool. I had to change it over cause i got tired of jumping it off if i didnt drive it in a 24hr period. Theres power being pulled from somewhere in your truck but other than the radio, im not sure what else would do it. any electronics in your truck?
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Old 04-14-2008
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hehe... TONS of electronics. I have a full audio/video system with lcd's in both visors, interior and exterior accent lighting with electronic control modules, nitrous system with electronic progressive controller, and on and on and on.

guess it's time to start checking wiring!
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Old 04-14-2008
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Lol sounds like you have quite the search ahead of you. Let us know if you find it.
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Old 04-14-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barrman View Post
hehe... TONS of electronics. I have a full audio/video system with lcd's in both visors, interior and exterior accent lighting with electronic control modules, nitrous system with electronic progressive controller, and on and on and on.

guess it's time to start checking wiring!
same thing here i have the loudest audio system in all my county lights alot of wires all over
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  #10  
Old 04-14-2008
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I'd take power feeds off one at a time and see if the problem goes away. Unless you have "turn on" lines that are shorted out and firing up stuff, it's likely something "internal" to a particular device.

Also, keep in mind that the PCM goes to sleep after awhile. If you have anything in there that could backfeed the sensors or ignition in some way it could stay "awake" and drain your battery also.

One last thing: any new radio transmitters installed in your area? If you have any auto turn-on equipment, it can be activated sometimes by RFI (radio frequency interference). A strong local source of radio waves could be fooling stuff like auto turn-on amps and the like to wake up.
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  #11  
Old 04-14-2008
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Wow, thats a ton of electronics to check out. Keep searching and let us know what you find. I agree with John, unplug your power feeds one at a time and see what happens. I had a crazy draw on my Cougar for a time and it was the power feed for the drivers window was shorting out- I think lol. I went thru a few batteries(cheapos, lol) before I found it.

good luck,
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Old 04-14-2008
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One other thing you might look for are bad connections such as battery terminals, battery cables, battery ground to frame, connection at BJB bus, or Alternator.

If you have a volt meter you can check this easily by checking for volt drop across each side of the circuit.

Im not a big fan of using autozone for testing the battery or alternator in my opinion since they dont really have the proper tools to load the circuit. I've seen plenty of alternators put out 14 volts, but came up weak putting out any amps.
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Old 04-15-2008
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To find what circuit is drawing current, remove the negative battery cable and place a test light between the negative battery terminal, and battery cable. With a significant current drain, the test light will be bright. Now, pull fuses one at a time until the test light dims. This will be the circuit that has the high current.
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Old 04-15-2008
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Is your sound system/electronics on a separate fuse? Maybe an in line that came with the system? Take that fuse out Saturday night. If truck starts on Monday you have narrowed it down. Any of the equipment that has a standby mode will drain the system.
24 hours seems like a hell of a drain. Maybe a wire has worn insulation somewhere? My motorcycles have a clock and will drain in 2 weeks if not on a tender.
Do you drive far enough to completely charge the battery before parking it?
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  #15  
Old 04-15-2008
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When I had my E-Fan in, when I shut the truck off, the fan would kick back on, tying to cool the eninge down, and that killed may batt, over 1-2 day period
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  #16  
Old 04-15-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Takeda View Post
To find what circuit is drawing current, remove the negative battery cable and place a test light between the negative battery terminal, and battery cable. With a significant current drain, the test light will be bright. Now, pull fuses one at a time until the test light dims. This will be the circuit that has the high current.


use a digital multimeter...

disconnect the negative cable and place the negative lead on that and the positive lead on the negative post

put the positive lead in the milliamps probe

make sure you have the meter set to read amps

pull fuses one by one, a normal reading with all fuses in should be like a .001 anything with a higher number will drain your battery thats when you start pulling fuses and see what the problem is. A test light isnt to accurate
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Old 04-16-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2003stealthedge View Post
use a digital multimeter...

disconnect the negative cable and place the negative lead on that and the positive lead on the negative post

put the positive lead in the milliamps probe

make sure you have the meter set to read amps

pull fuses one by one, a normal reading with all fuses in should be like a .001 anything with a higher number will drain your battery thats when you start pulling fuses and see what the problem is. A test light isnt to accurate
For identifying the circuit that is pulling enough current to kill the battery, the test light will work just fine........
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  #18  
Old 02-22-2009
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way to bring up an old topic, same thing was happening with me. i took a meter out there today and it was drawing .22 amps with NOTHING on. i'm thinking that after a day or two of not using my truck this little amount might drain my battery so that it won't start. does anyone know what might be running or on that is drawing this power?
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  #19  
Old 02-22-2009
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once you figure it out or just dont want to mess with the battery dying anymore just get a battery brain. It monitors your battery and will not let it drop below 21.1 volts allowing you to crank everytime no jumps needed! I love my battery brain, i also have all the system and lights it works and cheap...you can pick them up from stylin trucks.
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  #20  
Old 02-22-2009
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i seem to have the same problem in my 2001, i tstarted just after i installed the XM a couple years ago, and i have since removed the XM, and it still does it once in a while, i have the optima red top as well
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  #21  
Old 02-22-2009
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hmmm this is really bugging me. the battery brain looks like a good idea, but i would still like to know what the hell is going on
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  #22  
Old 02-23-2009
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yeah its a good monitor once you figure out what is draining the battery
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  #23  
Old 02-23-2009
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is .022 amps a lot? after days of drain?
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  #24  
Old 02-23-2009
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what is the time period or rate at which it is dropping 0.022 amps?

like how did you figure out it was 0.022 amps?

cuz you can figure out what the watt hours your battery is and then find out how much is being withdrawn from the battery at a constant rate then you can find out how long it takes for the battery to die.

all with a little bit of math
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  #25  
Old 02-23-2009
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i took a meter out there today, and disconnected the negative battery cable from the battery, put the positive lead of the meter on the negative battery cable and the negative lead of the meter on the negative terminal of the battery, and set it to read amps. with everything shut off, it was reading .022 amps
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