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View Full Version : Battery Drains when Truck is parked


MMMMDude
04-05-2011, 06:17 PM
Hey Guys,
Need help.
I have a 98 Dodge Ram 1500 V8 5.9L.
Recently I replace alternator and battery. Afterwards truck sat for about a week. When I went to start - totally dead. Thought I had a bad battery so I replaced battery. Put in new battery and after about 4 days truck dead again.
Can an alternator draw voltage from battery if engine is off?
Something is drawing power from battery when everything is off and engine not running.
Pulled fuses while voltmeter on battery terminals - No significant differents.
Only thing I can think of is to pull a fuse and leave off for a couple of days then test battery drain.
Anybody have a better way?
Any ideas what I can do to ID?
Looking forward to any reply.
Thx
Mike

Stangshcky12
04-05-2011, 07:49 PM
Do you have an accesories that might be drawing power? I dont think your alternator the problem.
I would go through and pull each fuse and check with a test light or multimeter to see if anything is pulling power with the key out of the ignition.

brad12kx
04-06-2011, 01:40 AM
If you know someone with an 'Amp Meter' that knows how to use it, they could hook it into the battery line to measure the actual current draw. Then remove the fuses until the current drops. Under normal circumstances, I believe the current draw should be less than 30ma.

jc4041
04-06-2011, 01:53 AM
or get a battery disconnect put in....that'll cure all of it lol

Stangshcky12
04-06-2011, 03:17 AM
I wouldnt recommend a battery disconnect.
Only being a temporary solution it'll cost you batteries in the long run. While your battery seems to be slowly drawing power, charging and discharging the battery that much will kill you battery life.

jc4041
04-06-2011, 03:23 AM
I had one on my muddin samurai for years without any issues...guess I was just lucky

UltraFlame
04-06-2011, 06:37 AM
Mine was doing the same thing and I narrowed it down to the Garmin GPS. Even though the GPS was shut off I had it plugged into the assy plug and that along with the vehicle alarm system the battery would drain down in a few days because it never had a chance to get to a full charge. I now unplug the Garmin when I am parked at home for the night and all is well. Just look at the things you may have added. One other time it was draining was when I would leave the Edge Programmer Pod plugged in and the pod would still monitor the engine even while the truck was off. Good luck to you.

wylie
04-06-2011, 06:58 AM
Hey Guys,
Need help.
I have a 98 Dodge Ram 1500 V8 5.9L.
Recently I replace alternator and battery. Afterwards truck sat for about a week. When I went to start - totally dead. Thought I had a bad battery so I replaced battery. Put in new battery and after about 4 days truck dead again.
Can an alternator draw voltage from battery if engine is off?
Something is drawing power from battery when everything is off and engine not running.
Pulled fuses while voltmeter on battery terminals - No significant differents.
Only thing I can think of is to pull a fuse and leave off for a couple of days then test battery drain.
Anybody have a better way?
Any ideas what I can do to ID?
Looking forward to any reply.
Thx
Mike
OK ,,key off,,hood open,,,doors shut, unplug the under hood lamp. Disconnect pos battery cable and put an amp meter, on the highest scale, in series with the cable to the battery,,digital meter preferred. If you have an off key draw of any amount,,, first disco the hot wire from the back of the alternator and see if it goes away. If not pull each fuse ,1 at a time, until it goes away. :smileup:

sdram03
04-06-2011, 09:29 AM
do you have tinted windows? and, by chance, is your dome light left on? i know it sounds too simple and obvious, but we've had customers bring in their vehicles for the same problem....and that's all it was. just throwing ideas out there. :)

jgshannon
04-06-2011, 10:11 AM
It could very well be your alternator. If one of those diodes goes bad it can cause a significant draw. I would just take it down to your local auto parts store and have them check your charging system out for you. That should narrow it down. I know I had that happen in my Probe and it wound up being a bad relay and the entire fusebox so it really could be anything. I had to take it to a mechanic to figure that out.

sdram03
04-06-2011, 11:17 AM
don't be surprised if it's a burnt wire too. we had a car that was draining the battery something fierce. after much ripping, we found the wiring harness behind the rear seat, under the body panels, had got hot at some point and made it a big gob of a mess of wires. had to peel it apart to find the offending wire was just barely touching the chassis. WTH??

Ram Tough
04-16-2011, 11:12 PM
I had an S10 blazer before and had the battery drain problem also, come to find out the pos battery cable going to the starter had rubbed an open spot in the insulation and was rubbing on the frame. I changed the cable and inserted the cable into some clear tubing for added protection and solved my draining problem hope this helps you..

tosh
04-17-2011, 08:18 PM
I've got a 02 ram 1500, same problem so pit amp mtr in series to pos bat term, meter would read .02, then jump tp 1.05 amp draw foe around 30 seconds then drop back to .02 sit there for about a minute and junp back up to 1.05 and it kept cycling at this. i started pulling fuses and tracked it down to fuse #51, cluster lights, hood lamp, and radio. i know the radio keeps the time ans channel selectiom but this sounds like a mal function. i'd like to take the radio off the circuit to check it but dont know a good way to do this,,any ideas???

brad12kx
04-17-2011, 10:28 PM
I've got a 02 ram 1500, same problem so pit amp mtr in series to pos bat term, meter would read .02, then jump tp 1.05 amp draw foe around 30 seconds then drop back to .02 sit there for about a minute and junp back up to 1.05 and it kept cycling at this. i started pulling fuses and tracked it down to fuse #51, cluster lights, hood lamp, and radio. i know the radio keeps the time ans channel selectiom but this sounds like a mal function. i'd like to take the radio off the circuit to check it but dont know a good way to do this,,any ideas???

About the only way is to unplug the connector(s) from the back of the radio unit. :4-dontknow:

STLRam
04-26-2011, 01:48 AM
i just started having that problem on my 09. Found a major amp drain from athe power cable back to my system that i took out a year ago, but never removed the wire itself. Just left it hooked to the battery and capped off in the back if i ever decided to put it back in. After testing it at auto zone for 5 mins that cable drained 15 amps. Found an exposed part going through the firewall grounding out to the frame.

brad12kx
04-26-2011, 11:35 PM
Good thing it didn't start a fire......or did have a big fuse at the battery connection. :str:

STLRam
04-27-2011, 12:11 AM
yea man i left the fuse in it. as an electrician i know my way around voltage and wiring,(no offense) although off to work this mornig battery dead again!...spent 3 hours checking fuses and bare wiring. came to the last fuse in my fuse box. 60 amp incased in a plastic locking device. my "IOD" fuse that controls radio, keyless entry, and my display screen. Owners manual states that fuse "is to be removed if stored for more than 2 weeks to prevent battery drain"... in my case that fuse is completeing the circuit to my battery drainage.THAT SUCKS!... Does anyone know where i can go from here?

brad12kx
04-27-2011, 12:30 AM
The IOD Fuse - J15 - 60A distributes it's output as follows -
M38 (20A) - Multifunction Switch and Instrument Cluster
M39 (30A) - Radio and Amplifiers
M41 (15A) - Hands Free, Compass, Video Screen and Satellite Radio Modules
M42 (10A) - A/C Heater control and Underhood lamp.

I'd look at M42 first.....the 'ol underhood lamp staying on trick has caused many a dead battery over the years. :)

Let me know if you want the complete power distribution drawings.

BTW - Average power drain should only be about 30ma with the truck shut off, doors closed....etc. etc.

STLRam
05-07-2011, 02:08 AM
Thanks for the info, i took my truck to the dealer last week. They said they found the short in my switch cluster that controled Tow/Haul, traction control, hazards, power converter, etc. After 200 bucks for labor and 54 for the switch, It stopped my drain...for about a week.:4-dontknow: I still say its part of the I.O.D. Specificly the keyless entry, as long as i dont hit lock and unlock, my ram will start just fine. i guess back to the drawing boards. later

mikedirtbike
05-09-2011, 09:43 PM
I'm having the same problem. When i unhook the pos side of battery and put my multi meter in series i get a reading of 13.03 volts..:4-dontknow:

brad12kx
05-09-2011, 11:05 PM
I'm having the same problem. When i unhook the pos side of battery and put my multi meter in series i get a reading of 13.03 volts..:4-dontknow:.

The reading is expected...and good. :) However, it's the wrong test. :(
To test for IOD, you need to measure 'amp'....or in this case, milliamps. (thousandths of an amp).
WARNING - This test can cause serious and irreparable damage to your meter if performed wrong! :str:
Perform the following test at your own risk!

Because we are testing for a possible over-current condition, we need to test in the 'amps' range first.
To test the IOD current draw -
1) Disconnect the underhood light if applicable.
2) Ensure all lights are off, doors are closed, keys are NOT in the ignition, and no-one is around to accidentally open a door during the test.
3) Disconnect the negative battery cable. (Although the test can be done on the positive side, it is recommended to do so on the negative side.)
4) Select the DC 'Amps' range on the meter. (Usually shows the letter 'A' with both a solid and dashed straight line under the 'A')
5) Move the positive lead of the meter to the jack marked with the same symbol (A with underline).
6) Connect the Red meter lead to the negative battery cable.
7) Connect the Black meter lead to the negative battery terminal.
Never, NeVeR, NEVER, connect the leads across the battery terminals in this mode.

If the reading starts with 3 'zero's', then disconnect the meter, adjust the dial to milliamps (mA), move the red lead to the jack with the same marking (some meters share the same jack for both settings....but most don't), then repeat step 6 & 7.

The number you looking for on the meter in this test is 35 or smaller. OEM spec is about 30.

After completing the test, move the red meter lead back to the 'V' jack, so the meter is in a save setting.......then let us know what the test showed. :)

mikedirtbike
05-10-2011, 05:18 PM
.

The reading is expected...and good. :) However, it's the wrong test. :(
To test for IOD, you need to measure 'amp'....or in this case, milliamps. (thousandths of an amp).
WARNING - This test can cause serious and irreparable damage to your meter if performed wrong! :str:
Perform the following test at your own risk!

Because we are testing for a possible over-current condition, we need to test in the 'amps' range first.
To test the IOD current draw -
1) Disconnect the underhood light if applicable.
2) Ensure all lights are off, doors are closed, keys are NOT in the ignition, and no-one is around to accidentally open a door during the test.
3) Disconnect the negative battery cable. (Although the test can be done on the positive side, it is recommended to do so on the negative side.)
4) Select the DC 'Amps' range on the meter. (Usually shows the letter 'A' with both a solid and dashed straight line under the 'A')
5) Move the positive lead of the meter to the jack marked with the same symbol (A with underline).
6) Connect the Red meter lead to the negative battery cable.
7) Connect the Black meter lead to the negative battery terminal.
Never, NeVeR, NEVER, connect the leads across the battery terminals in this mode.

If the reading starts with 3 'zero's', then disconnect the meter, adjust the dial to milliamps (mA), move the red lead to the jack with the same marking (some meters share the same jack for both settings....but most don't), then repeat step 6 & 7.

The number you looking for on the meter in this test is 35 or smaller. OEM spec is about 30.

After completing the test, move the red meter lead back to the 'V' jack, so the meter is in a save setting.......then let us know what the test showed. :)
I guess i'm using the wrong meter, So i need to shoot for 30ma+- .we'll do thanks.

stude2
10-24-2011, 04:33 PM
Just posted a question for same problem, used amp gauge ,4 amp drain pulled all fusses and breakers only main 50 amp dropped drain, checking further could hear seat belt retractors activating with key off, unplugged under seats problem gone but cant use seat belts need help finding why solenoids are activating

b3nko
01-24-2013, 03:28 PM
.

The reading is expected...and good. :) However, it's the wrong test. :(
To test for IOD, you need to measure 'amp'....or in this case, milliamps. (thousandths of an amp).
WARNING - This test can cause serious and irreparable damage to your meter if performed wrong! :str:
Perform the following test at your own risk!

Because we are testing for a possible over-current condition, we need to test in the 'amps' range first.
To test the IOD current draw -
1) Disconnect the underhood light if applicable.
2) Ensure all lights are off, doors are closed, keys are NOT in the ignition, and no-one is around to accidentally open a door during the test.
3) Disconnect the negative battery cable. (Although the test can be done on the positive side, it is recommended to do so on the negative side.)
4) Select the DC 'Amps' range on the meter. (Usually shows the letter 'A' with both a solid and dashed straight line under the 'A')
5) Move the positive lead of the meter to the jack marked with the same symbol (A with underline).
6) Connect the Red meter lead to the negative battery cable.
7) Connect the Black meter lead to the negative battery terminal.
Never, NeVeR, NEVER, connect the leads across the battery terminals in this mode.

If the reading starts with 3 'zero's', then disconnect the meter, adjust the dial to milliamps (mA), move the red lead to the jack with the same marking (some meters share the same jack for both settings....but most don't), then repeat step 6 & 7.

The number you looking for on the meter in this test is 35 or smaller. OEM spec is about 30.

After completing the test, move the red meter lead back to the 'V' jack, so the meter is in a save setting.......then let us know what the test showed. :)

Hey! So I used this thread to diagnose the problem and did in fact trace it to the "Ignition Off Draw (IOD)-Cabin Compartment Node" so thanks for the technical advice in that aspect. But, what should I do now? How can I further trace it to the culprit? Thanks in advance for your help, it is greatly appreciated...

brad12kx
01-24-2013, 11:21 PM
Hey! So I used this thread to diagnose the problem and did in fact trace it to the "Ignition Off Draw (IOD)-Cabin Compartment Node" so thanks for the technical advice in that aspect. But, what should I do now? How can I further trace it to the culprit? Thanks in advance for your help, it is greatly appreciated...

Being a 2008, I take it you traced this to fuse 11. That being the case, here are the items that are powered (or partially powered) by this IOD fuse -

Underhood lamp
Radio
Remote Entry/Sentry Key module
Instrument cluster
Hands Free module
Satellite receiver
Media system (Monitors/DVD)
Electronic overhead module


The first thing to check is that you have disconnected the underhood light. This little critter has bit many a tech in the butt; it's an easy one to forget about.

After verifying that, the only thing you can do is disconnect one item at a time to see where how it affects the IOD current. Also of note, fuse 11 also supplies power to the Data Link connector (Diagnostics Jack) under the dash. Any chance you have some sort of electronic metering device connected to this port or someone has tapped into this 'power wire' to power some device??

Good luck in your tracing and keep us posted. :)

b3nko
01-31-2013, 10:20 AM
Being a 2008, I take it you traced this to fuse 11. That being the case, here are the items that are powered (or partially powered) by this IOD fuse -

Underhood lamp
Radio
Remote Entry/Sentry Key module
Instrument cluster
Hands Free module
Satellite receiver
Media system (Monitors/DVD)
Electronic overhead module


The first thing to check is that you have disconnected the underhood light. This little critter has bit many a tech in the butt; it's an easy one to forget about.

After verifying that, the only thing you can do is disconnect one item at a time to see where how it affects the IOD current. Also of note, fuse 11 also supplies power to the Data Link connector (Diagnostics Jack) under the dash. Any chance you have some sort of electronic metering device connected to this port or someone has tapped into this 'power wire' to power some device??

Good luck in your tracing and keep us posted. :)

Ok so here's the update: It was getting worse and worse to the point where instead of being dead after 2 days, then 1 day, then several hours, then it died in under an hour and I mean DIED, as in no power at allll.... so I went back to basics: had the brand-new battery I purchased tested and it only had 450cca after driving 30min (with a good alternator) to this place, so we took it out, had it charged and re-tested: it was a dud! So I replaced it and had the new one tested before installation and it had 700cca off the shelf. So far so good, NO ELECTRICAL problems or drains, it just fires right up, with the remote start and everything. Anyway, I think I got REALLY REALLY lucky and hopefully it's good as new... if not, I'll post back lol. Thanks again for your support y'all!

rdbradleyjr
07-08-2014, 07:51 PM
So I have the same problem but in reading this I think mine may be more than a fuse. On Friday my truck would not start. I took my alternator and battery up to Autozone to have them checked. The alternator tested ok but the battery was too dead to tell if it was faulty. So I replaced the battery and re-installed everything. The truck started up just fine, no problems whatsoever. Sunday afternoon I went to drive it and it was dead. And I mean dead, dead. Not a light, nothing. I didn't even drive the thing from the time I replaced the battery to Sunday when I tried to start it. I don't have anything after market on the truck. It's the original tape deck. What the heck can drain a brand new battery between Friday afternoon and Sunday afternoon?

b3nko
07-08-2014, 08:18 PM
So I have the same problem but in reading this I think mine may be more than a fuse. On Friday my truck would not start. I took my alternator and battery up to Autozone to have them checked. The alternator tested ok but the battery was too dead to tell if it was faulty. So I replaced the battery and re-installed everything. The truck started up just fine, no problems whatsoever. Sunday afternoon I went to drive it and it was dead. And I mean dead, dead. Not a light, nothing. I didn't even drive the thing from the time I replaced the battery to Sunday when I tried to start it. I don't have anything after market on the truck. It's the original tape deck. What the heck can drain a brand new battery between Friday afternoon and Sunday afternoon?

Sounds like mine... Sorry I didn't post back like I said I would, but within a week of that last post, it started doing the same thing. So, i took the battery back to Autozone and traded it for another battery that had the highest Cranking-Amps rating. Apparently, The HEMI takes a lot of juice to turn over and once I changed that battery to one with more cranking amps it was fixed PERMANENTLY. Amps are the thing that don't reallt get replenished by the Alternator with regular driving... Good luck!