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  #1  
Old 01-07-2014, 11:11 AM
ghorn ghorn is offline
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Default Electrical Problems Anybody???

I bought my 2012 Ram 1500 new last January.
Last July I left it sitting for a week while on vacation and upon returning the battery was dead. Nothing had been left "on". The dealer checked the battery capacity and said it was fine.
One day while driving on cruise-control at 70 mph several warnings displayed/flickered on the instrument cluster and the engine shut down. As the truck slowed to about 40 mph the engine "caught", the warnings extinguished, and the truck drove normally. The dealer stated that the wiring harness was chafed upon the anti-skid-brake module, re-positioned the harness, and insulated/repaired it. I looked and found the harness tightly routed in that area and it was sheathed in what appeared to be electrical tape. (This is where it routes around/behind the brake master cylinder area at the firewall, inside the hood.)

My cargo light is also intermittent. Sometimes the "illuminated entry" feature will light it up... at other times it doesn't. (Using the key fob, the truck will unlock and the headlights flash....but the cargo light may...or may not...flash or illuminate. When the manual switch for the cargo light is depressed, the dash indicator illuminates to show the cargo light is lit... but the actual cargo light may...or may not... actually operate. The dealer could not duplicate the cargo light problem on the first visit, but subsequent visit observed the problem. The technician suggested replacing the "cluster". I presume he means the main speedometer/instrument cluster.

Over the Xmas holidays, I noticed that if the truck sits for two days, the engine will not turn over to start. The battery is depleted, down to about 9 volts. This occurred 3 times over the holidays. Jump-starting the truck, the charging system delivers 14.5 volts.

Anyone else had such electrical gremlins? Any suggestions?
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  #2  
Old 01-09-2014, 08:48 AM
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MTPete MTPete is offline
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You obviously still have a serious electrical problem (duh). Sounds as if some of that "chafing" the dealer spoke of chafed right through some wires and wrapping electrical tape around the harness is not the solution. Sounds to me as if you need a complete new harness. In any event, it's back to the dealer who has the responsibility to fix it. I find it very effective to write out the problem(s) in detail, print them out and hand the paper to the service manager who will usually staple it to the shop order. That allows you to communicate in detail to the guy who is assigned to fix the problem(s).
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  #3  
Old 01-13-2014, 02:25 AM
ghorn ghorn is offline
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I agree.... Written details,... in your own words...(rather than the service writer's re-telling of your complaint)... explaining the circumstances under which the fault manifests itself is a good idea.

They claim to have found the reason for the battery discharging to be the aftermarket backup camera. That monitor received it's power from the same source as the dome light. (In such fashion, the monitor would wake up whenever the remote-unlock is activated, and would go to sleep whenever the dome light dims-out after the truck was locked up.)

They claim the monitor would, every few minutes or so, wake itself up and thereby back-feed the FM radio as well, creating a draw of 1.5 Amps for several minutes , and several times each hour. Hard for me to believe... but they re-wired the monitor to the "Ignition ON" circuit. (They grabbed power from the cigar lighter at the drivers right knee.)

I look forward to seeing if that cures the problem. I plan to give them the truck again this week so they can pursue the cluster replacement they claim will cure the cargo light problem.

Just wanted to give you guys a follow-up on the problem. I"ll keep you posted if anything more develops.
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  #4  
Old 01-16-2014, 12:14 AM
ghorn ghorn is offline
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Well, here's the latest...
They replaced the cluster and documented it. (Took two days to remove the original, send it off to be used to "set" the mileage on the new one, receive the new one and get it installed.) The appearance of the work is fine and is undetectable. Hope it fixes the intermittent cargo light. I'll post again if it doesn't. (I will have to re-set personal options such as re-silencing the seat belt warning chime, but that's a small price to pay if it cures the problem.) All done under warranty. 31K miles in 12 months since new.
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  #5  
Old 01-19-2014, 10:53 PM
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Drats! Foiled again! The cargo light is still intermittent. If I have the truck idling with headlights on, and attempt to light up the cargo light...it flashes briefly...and then fails to light up. It will not light up for any reason, idling, not idling, illuminated entry feature...nope... Same problem as before.
Back to the shop again on Tuesday, I suppose.
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Old 01-22-2014, 06:36 AM
ghorn ghorn is offline
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I've become suspicious of the LED bedlights I installed in parallel to the cargo light harness. I connected two LED lights to the power/ground leads to the cargo light where it passes along/beneath the LR Pax doorsill.
I've disconnected the LEDs to see if that removes the problem.

Who'da thought low-powered LEDs could conflict with the system, but apparently the electronics used to control lighting in these new trucks plays havoc in some situations according to the reading I've been doing in these forums.

I'll post an update later.
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Old 01-22-2014, 10:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghorn View Post
I've become suspicious of the LED bedlights I installed in parallel to the cargo light harness. I connected two LED lights to the power/ground leads to the cargo light where it passes along/beneath the LR Pax doorsill.
I've disconnected the LEDs to see if that removes the problem.

Who'da thought low-powered LEDs could conflict with the system, but apparently the electronics used to control lighting in these new trucks plays havoc in some situations according to the reading I've been doing in these forums.

I'll post an update later.
Even though you have LED lights and everyone thinks that the LEDs don't use much power, they add up.

I installed a roll of 50/50 LED lights (300 LEDS) around the inside bed of my truck and the amount of power draw is 7 AMPS. Adding lights or LED lights to the trucks wiring is very limited and the OEM wiring is just enough to run what it comes with and little extra.

When I add any extra electrical options, I install a new circuit. I install a relay and a fuse to the battery and trigger the circuit with the OEM wiring.

Here is a safe way to install your bed LED lights. http://www.ramforumz.com/showthread.php?t=152562

Do I have some LED lights added to my OEM wiring, yes, but it is only a small amount of LEDs and the power draw is less than 1 AMP. in the circuit.

All the above is JMO.

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  #8  
Old 01-22-2014, 05:17 PM
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gcscott - it's basic electrical the more load you put on a circuit the more electricity that circuit will draw.
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  #9  
Old 01-22-2014, 05:45 PM
ghorn ghorn is offline
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It's not a problem of drawing too much current. (The fuse does not blow.)

The bed lights and cargo light will operate just fine together. They do it all the time, for example, when I hit the key fob and they illuminate as a function of the "illuminated entry" feature of the truck.

They will also work together just fine if I use the cargo light switch on the headlight switch-panel. Both (the original incandescent cargo lamps in the third brake light...as well as the two LED assys I installed in my bed) light up just fine.

The problem is: If my truck is idling at night, and my headlights are on, and I also depress the cargo light switch on the panel.... the cargo lights "flash" momentarily and then become disabled for about a week. Then they reset in some fashion and work again as described above.

But they will disable again if I try to use them with the truck idling and the headlights on at night.

I have disconnected the LEDs to see if this problem still exists, and so far the problem has not reappeared. This leads me to believe the LEDs somehow confuse the logic of the TIPM or the Cluster.
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  #10  
Old 01-23-2014, 01:50 AM
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you have to understand that the systems on our trucks are all electronic. turning on a light is not as simple as switch makes contact and sends power to the lamp. all functions are controlled and monitored by the BCM when it sees an over current situation it will turn off that function. all the switches on our trucks have a computer address assigned to them this is how the BCM knows what switch is being pushed. the BCM then sends power to the corresponding lamp, window motor, door lock, etc.
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