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Current draw when truck is off

Discussion in 'General Explorations!!' started by wpurple, December 10, 2004.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^
  1. wpurple

    wpurple Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone know what the current draw is when truck is just sitting with everything off?
    My battery went dead after 2 1/2 weekd of non-use and I want to make sure it was just because the battery is going on 6 years old and not an electrical problem. I am sure there is a bit of a draw for various things.....and it has been cold here.

    TIA
     
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  3. Glacier991

    Glacier991 EF Tranny Guru Moderator Emeritus

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    there should be NO draw when sitting OFF
     
  4. MrShorty

    MrShorty Explorer Addict

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    There will be a small draw for computer memory and radio memory. But it should be well under 1 A.
     
  5. Glacier991

    Glacier991 EF Tranny Guru Moderator Emeritus

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    Duh, of course Mr. Shorty is right (he most always is).. but the draw is low milliamp for those things....a 9V battery from a transistor radio could probably keep them alive for many months all by itself... the actual voltage required is only 5v anyway. Barely parasitic for a car battery.
     
  6. Opera House

    Opera House Well-Known Member

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    Fun with numbers

    The average car battery is about 70 amp hours. Two and a half weeks is about 420 hours. So a load of only about 0.15A will totally drain it in that time and I think the normal current draw is about 0.015. It only takes about 6AH to start a vehicle. A battery not connected to anything will loose about 1% of its charge a day. In that time period you would have lost about 1/3 of a new battery's capacity. At that age even a really good battery would have only half the capacity of a new one. On a cold day, what happened is exactly what should have happened. New battery should take care of everything.

    Count your blessings, my 97 is on its third battery.
     
  7. Mbrooks420

    Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer EF Vendor

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    My 96 sat for almost 2 months, and had no problem firing right up. You battery is probably finally on it's way out. Just recently someone left the forklift key on at work over the weekend, and the battery died. The boss took the battery charger home, and I didn't have my cables with me. I pulled the battery, and was going to just hook it up to the mounty for a while. We have anther forklift that doesn't run anymore, and hasn't for at least a year. When passing it on the way to my truck I tried the key, and it still had enough juice to crank the 4cylinder motor. I stole it and it has been on the lift for a few weeks. Those skinny forklift batteries must be good batteries. The battery itself is at least 4 years old.
     
  8. wpurple

    wpurple Well-Known Member

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    Well I bought a battery for nothing....
    Installed the new battery and measured the current draw 275mA!!!
    That will definatly kill the battery in just a few days!
    Now to find out what is drawing that much. Nothing ovious like glove compartment light, ect.
    Going to unhook the alternator wire to begin with then go with some of the fuses that feed items that are "on when key is off. Radio/EMU/ ect..

    Has anyone had this problem? Is there something common that starts to draw juice? My hunch is the alternator.....
     
  9. Glacier991

    Glacier991 EF Tranny Guru Moderator Emeritus

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    Someone check me on this, but a failing diode in the alternator could be a potential cause .. (Mr. Shorty?)
     
  10. dman726749

    dman726749 Well-Known Member

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    my roomates car had the same problem...turned out to be the radio was not shutting off when the car was turned off (music was not playing, soemthing inside it was drawing power) but who knows if this is the case here...totally diffrent car
     
  11. wpurple

    wpurple Well-Known Member

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    Help!

    Could someone with a 99 5L measure the current for me that the vehicle draws when off, I am going nuts trying to tackle this thing....

    I tried, one by one removing and replacing the fuses in the interior and from a start of 245mA....

    -removing the fuse for the battery save relay (which also is for the interior light relay reduces it to 80mA* I left it out so I can keep the door open w/o the load of the lights

    -remove the fuse for the GEM, Instrument Cluster, Securi Lock and it drops to 17mA

    So just the above ckts draw 63mA, I am wondering whether 250mA is normal, although seems pretty steep....63mA plus all the other "keep alive ckts" (every 4 hours I am using 1AH, not good ) :fire:

    I finally went thru the maxi fuses and removing fusse 1 (I/P) reduces the current down to 7mA but I am sure the above ckts are under it* I can't verify it because my service manual if for a 97, not 99 and it is very different in the power distribution.

    If someone could actually let me know that there 99 is I would be much grateful.
     
  12. wpurple

    wpurple Well-Known Member

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    Update

    Well, try and try as I might, I couldn't find anything out of the ordinary so I left the meter on for a while and low and behold, after about 20 minutes the current drops to 26 to 28 mA, right in spec for Ford (found some info on the net that specifies 24mA for a 74AH and 28mA for an 80AH battery)

    There must be something that uses a bit more juice for a short time before going into hibernation when the vehicle is off.....
     
  13. 00XLS

    00XLS Well-Known Member

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    not to hijack your thread but i'm wondering how i could test my alternator to see if its going south, lights seem not to bright anymore.
     
  14. wpurple

    wpurple Well-Known Member

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    Measure the voltage across the battery, should be about 13.8V give or take a bit. If it is under 13V something is wrong. (Or even the low 14V)
    Make sure it remains in the 13V range when you turn on the lights, rear defog, ect....especially off idle.
     
  15. Xzibit A

    Xzibit A Active Member

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    what happened when you measured it is what supposed to happen, thats why when you do a draw test, you open the door and shut the latch(so it thinks its closed), and open the hood and didable the light and hood switch(if there is one) then you let the car go into "sleep" mode, this is where all the modules actually turn off. then your current draw should be under .05A or 50 mA. in your cause just beglad you got that long out of a battery, they are designed to last around 5 years at most. what happened was normal
     
  16. wpurple

    wpurple Well-Known Member

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    Well the old battery is now on my garage floor, charged it back up and each cell is a nice 1.26 (specifiv gravity). It was tested a few months ago before I went to Florida and it passed with flying colors so now I am debatting to put it back in service for at least the winter...yes I know that batteries just die out of the blue but I have the original in my 97 Explorer and it is doing well.

    Ford batteries are made by Johnson Controls, a very good battery manufacurer.
     
  17. Opera House

    Opera House Well-Known Member

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    Reminds me of Kramer seeing how far he could go after the gas gauge hit E. Now that it is charged, turn on the headlights for 4 hours and then see if it starts. Batteries now have a new rating called Reserve Minutes. It is based on a current draw of about 25A, based on how far you could get driving out in the middle of nowhere with the headlights on. Hope your driving to Florida alone. I wouldn't want to drive that distance with someone next to me saying, "I told you so." Buying it now or next year doesn't make any difference.
     






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