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Battery Discharge Rate

michael loibl

Well-Known Member
February 9, 2007
Reaction score
City, State
maywood, new jersey
Year, Model & Trim Level
2006 EB V6 & 2020 XLT
After the fifth time my explorer needed to be recharged after only sitting a day or two, I have decided to take it one step further. Today I disconected one of my battery terminals and installed my multi-meter in line on amp mode.

With the key out, door shut and nothing in the cig lighter/power socket I measured a drain rate of 0.17 amps. This may not sound like much but it is more than I expected. I then compared my 1993 pontiac under the same conditions and had a reading of 0.02. Granted the 2006 has more electric features but as far as key off loads they seem similar...Both have ECM, electronic clock memory and radio preset memory. I recall a tech bullitin years ago stating that 0.05 is a typical MAX drain. Does anyone know if there is an official spec for our explorers? Is anyone willing to check their own truck so we can compare readings? thanks.

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Why don't you try pulling fuses to identify the source (circuit) of the drain? Sounds to me like you are onto something.

I have the same issue, I call the road side support when my plane lands so that I can get a jump after I have been gone for more than 2 days. I am in the war to end all wars with the dealer on this. They have replaced the battery multiple times to try and fix it.

I will take a reading this weekend to see how mine compares to your.

I am monitoring the TSB's on the Ex and there is nothing yet.

In my 98 X I could leave my fosgate amp on around the clock since I had it on a switch, but that changed real fast after I installed it in my 06. The battery would go dead in a matter of hours, which really suprised me. Never had this problem in my 98.

Thank you for your support. Looking forward to some other explorer readings

I'm going to check my sisters 2002 xlt V8 soon as a comparison. Maybe even a few cars that come into the boss's repair shop this week will "GET TESTED"

Welcome to this forum! Do you have a factory alarm system, keyless entry system, or any aftermarket accessories which are directly connected to the battery (not the ignition on circuit)?

Found this while searching around:

"The normal current drain on most vehicles should be about 25 milliamps or less. If the key-off drain exceeds 100 milliamps, there’s an electrical problem that requires further diagnosis.

Finding the hidden current drain can be time consuming. The easiest way to isolate the problem is to pull one fuse at a time from the fuse panel until the ammeter reading drops. This will tell you which circuit is draining the battery. Then you have to check the wiring and each of the components in that circuit to pinpoint the problem.

Since you are pulling 170 milliamps you need to find the "leech"!

Maybe the light is on in the glove box or under the hood?

I have factory keyless entry system. No aftermarket wiring additions as of yet...And (thanks ford) no under hood light was provided. Maybe they couldn't figure out a way to ground it to the plastic hood.

I have a fiberglass hood on my Aerostar vans with a light. They have the ground wire as part of the wiring going to the mercury switch, and light bulb socket.

My battery keeps going dead also every weekend, we drive my wifes car, and on monday...Dead. I am going to take it into ford. Let me know what you find.

I was on a business trip. my truck was sitting from saturday night until thursday morning. when I went to start it dead battery also. I do have an an aftermarket alarm and stereo in it. However neither were on when this occured. I was going to do current tests when it warms up around here.

I have the same problem with my 2006 Explorer. It's driving me nuts! Anybody find the culprit???

I haven't had a chance to pull fuses yet, but hopefully soon. It has been in daily use for the winter so no problem. However the 1993 sunbird with the 5 year old exide battery started up strong last week after sitting since Feb 5th.

Very wierd, not sure what some are having problems and others are not. My 06 Limited has the factory battery and it starts right up after 2 weeks or so.....knock on wood. Not sure if it would help, but it might be worth it to have Ford update your PCM...never know what little tweaks they've made and don't publish. I've had mine updated a few times due to climate control and tranny issues.

I have had the PCM update done. It helped with the shifting, but not with the battery going dead.

Took a 500 mile round trip last then sat for a week...battery not strong enough to start the Explorer this weekend.

I had a similar proble a year ago, there were 2 factors that made it worst.

It was a drain from my remote starter, but the batter was also bad and needed replacing.


I actually replaced my battery with a red top Optima (sealed gel). It doesn't go dead as fast, but if it sits for 2 or 3 weeks, it drains and you can hear it struggle when it starts (if it starts).

However, I also have a remote starter. Maybe we're onto something here. I had the shop check their install and they felt there was no appreciable additional drain from the remote starter (a Bulldog unit).

mc - what did you do about the drain from your remote starter? Modify the install? Disconnect it? What type/brand was it? Do you know what the current drain was on your Explorer?

Has anybody found any fixes for this? I am still having the problem. The draw on my battery with everything turned of is 0.077 amps.

Is this too much???

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when you have an alarm or remote start added you need to put diodes on the lock and unlock wires to allow the gem to "go to sleep" if you don't it will kill the battery very quickly.