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battery drain question

Discussion in 'General Explorations!!' started by MrShorty, September 23, 2002.

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    1. MrShorty

      MrShorty Explorer Addict

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      Started having problems with my battery mid-summer that I haven't figured out; hoping you can help me.
       
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    3. Alec

      Alec Elite Moderator Moderator Emeritus

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      um, can you help us out with some info?
       
    4. ahhjaws

      ahhjaws Moab Edition Explorer

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      Do you have a lot of electronics?
       
    5. MrShorty

      MrShorty Explorer Addict

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      Started having problems with my battery mid-summer that I haven't figured out; hoping you can help me.
      Sometimes I can't get the battery to start the engine; It acts like the battery is run down. I can jump start it just fine (I've started carrying an extra battery with me just in case it won't start away from home). When the problem first showed up I had the battery tested at Schucks where it tested just fine after a short charging period. He also tested the alternator at that time and it tested fine. I looked here and checking/replacfing the battery cables seemed a likely cause; I could tell they were old and the insulation was cracked and swollen; so I replaced the battery cables. I cleaned off the top of the battery to eliminate what my dad called "surface drain". I also checked for a drain on the battery with an ammeter between the negative cable and the post. It shows a slow drain of .02 amps (10 amp scale) split evenly between the EEC and the interior fuse panel (I'm assuming it's going to the radio). The fuel pump circuit doesn't show any sign of current draw when the ignition is off, so I think the fuel pump relay is good.
      Question? Is it possible for the battery to test good under a load test and charging test at the parts store, and still be bad in that it doesn't "hold" the charge? I can't say for sure how old the battery is; it doesn't say. It was in the truck when I bought it 2 years/20K miles ago. Any help?
       
    6. Alec

      Alec Elite Moderator Moderator Emeritus

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      I had an optima that did that. no one could explain it. new battery and all is good.
       
    7. MrShorty

      MrShorty Explorer Addict

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      whoops, sorry about the double post there.
      I have no additional electronics installed, either.
       
    8. Alec

      Alec Elite Moderator Moderator Emeritus

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      no worries, i fixed it :)

      Sounds like the battery is just freaky bad like mine was. Does it have a warranty? How old?

      EDIT: just saw that I didn't read enough.

      I'd just try a new one. Can't hurt, and if the problem persists, then we'll track it down.
       
      Last edited: September 24, 2002
    9. squd92expsp

      squd92expsp Elite Explorer<br><img src="/forums/images/stars4.

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      I had a problem like this, turned out there was a short in the fuel relay switch. It was a hard problem to find since a slight bump would knock the switch in and out. The relay switches are under the hood, on the bottom row of the electrical box. This might be your problem if you can't find it anywhere else.

      EDIT: Sorry, wasn't thinking straight when I posted. The point I was trying to say was that when my battery drained like this, I tested out all the circuits and found nothing. It turns out that the short was being knocked in and out, and that the shaking of the engine starting was enough to move the swich enough to stop the short for a while. My point is that if your battery dies again, check the circuit before jumping or anything else.
       
      Last edited: September 24, 2002
    10. SWLathrop

      SWLathrop Active Member

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      Could have a slight case of sulfation causing bridging between the battery plates (which reduces voltage and amperage availability) that gets knocked loose while driving or loading the battery down. Since you stated you carry another battery with you, I'd just replace the flakey battery with the one you're carrying if it'll fit.
       
    11. MrShorty

      MrShorty Explorer Addict

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      The "spare" battery I'm carrying is the deep cycle battery from my trailer. However, that might be a way to check and see if the battery is the problem. Would it hurt my deep cycle battery to install it in place of the other battery for a few weeks? Not going camping for at least a couple of weeks, and once I know if the battery is the problem, I'd replace it with a new battery.
       
    12. VOATMJ1

      VOATMJ1 Active Member

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      Here's an idea if your haven't already done so, I see that you have a 87 Bronco II, if you are not having problems with that vehicle/battery, swap out the battey from the Bronco, to the Explorer and see what happens. If the Bronco battery works ok in your X, then you would know that you need a new battery, which I think you probably need anyway.

      I had an 86 Bronco II that did the SAME thing your X was doing...draining the battery. My mechanic checked both my Bronco and the battery, all were fine, just kept draining. I put in a new battery just by chance, and no more battery drainage. Vehicles and batteries are weird creatures sometimes!
       
    13. SWLathrop

      SWLathrop Active Member

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      No it won't hurt the deep cycle battery or the vehicle if you were to put it in. I've had a Wally-World deep cycle battery in my 92 Aerostar for the past 5 years. It still works fine. It was the only battery they had that was the correct demensions at the time. All of the others were too small...
       
    14. MrShorty

      MrShorty Explorer Addict

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      Glad to hear it. I didn't think it would, since the battery claims to be capable of starting and running a boat; I didn't think there would be a reason why my explorer should be catastrophically different. I'll put that in then and run it for a couple of weeks and see what happens.
       

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