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Parasitic battery drain with lift gate and door open?

Discussion in 'Stock 2011 - 2019 Ford Explorer Discussion' started by GreenStreak, November 13, 2019.

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  1. GreenStreak

    GreenStreak New Member

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    I was packing my 2017 for a trip and had the lift gate and a door open for around an hour, maybe a little more. All vehicle lights and accessories were turned off during this period.

    When I was finished packing it wouldn't start due to a dead battery (but there was still enough power for the headlights, etc... I of course turned those off when trying to start it).

    Has anyone experienced parasitic battery drain with this generation when the lift gate and/or door(s) are left open for an extended period even though all accessories are off? When the AAA guy who jumped my Ex told me about this, it seemed far-fetched... but apparently this does happen with other vehicle manufacturers so I'm wondering if that's what happened here.
     
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  3. peterk9

    peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    I'm not aware of any such drain and there have not been any previous posts about your particular issue. The 'Battery Saver' feature would turn those lights OFF after 10 minutes if everything is left as is. In any case, if this was true, I wouldn't think an hour should kill the battery.

    Peter
     
  4. BerndM

    BerndM Member

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    I had a similar issue happen a few months ago.
    I was flying my RC airplanes out on a dry lakebed here in SoCal and was lucky that the AAA driver came out there 1/2 mile off the pavement to jump start me.
    I was confused that I couldn't start my 17 Platinum because IIRC, there is supposed to be a battery saver circuit that prevents the battery from being drawn down to the point where it will no longer have the ability to start the car.
    The AAA tech showed me on his computerized battery analyzer that my battery voltage was 8.83v :eek:
    The only explanation from my Ford dealer was that the battery must have failed on me. It was only 3 years old, which sadly seems to the norm nowadays.:(
    Compared to my previous car, a 2003 Expedition EB, whose original battery lasted almost 7 years, this is indeed sad.
     
  5. CDW6212R

    CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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    The battery saver circuit isn't in all vehicles, it's in more and more lately for sure. But the typical kind only shuts down the major accessory items after a period of time, regardless of battery voltage. It began in Explorers in the 1993 Limited, and then in 95 more higher option models got it.

    Best bet is to always turn off the interior light circuit any time you plan to leave any doors or hatch open for more than a few minutes.

    Newer cars will more and more have those kinds of features, and hopefully soon many will shut down power when battery voltage drops below a level, such as 11.5 volts.
     
  6. peterk9

    peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    You can't turn OFF the interior lights in the 5th gen unless you pull the fuse. This was finally addressed in the 6th gen. The battery saver feature will turn OFF all lights after 10 minutes with the exception of the parking lights. There is also a feature that will turn OFF any plugged in devices when battery voltage reaches a given point.
    I've had the liftgate open for over 30 minutes and all the interior lights turned OFF after 10 minutes.

    Peter
     
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  7. CDW6212R

    CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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    Good details, thanks. I really appreciate the interior light switch on my 2nd gens, and my newest 98 has a flaky switch which needs to be replaced.
     
  8. GreenStreak

    GreenStreak New Member

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    So let's say I left a door open, and then the interior lights turned off after 10 minutes due to the battery saver feature. If I then closed the door and re-opened it, would the lights stay on another 10 minutes? If repeated over and over, could I drain my battery this way, or is the battery saver smart enough to recognize battery voltage is getting low, and not to bother with things like interior lights?

    If the battery voltage stays at or near the fully charged level, do the 12 volt interior accessory outlets ever switch off automatically, even when a key isn't present in the cabin for intelligent access vehicles? I'm wondering because I'm considering getting a CTEK battery maintainer which has an option to plug into the 12 volt interior accessory outlet. However, this connection option requires the outlet to be 'live', so this wouldn't work if the outlet gets shut off when the vehicle is unattended for prolonged periods.
     
  9. peterk9

    peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Yes. every interruption in the 10 minute cycle will result in the 'timer' starting over.

    I believe there is something in the Manual about cut-off voltages. There is also a thread on whether the outlets are always powered.
    You can see which if any outlets are 'live' by checking them after a period of time.

    Peter
     

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