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Battery Drain


 
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NYJeeper
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Joined: 30 Apr 2005

PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2005 8:41 am    Post subject: Battery Drain Reply with quote

About two years ago my '99 Cherokee Limited started eating batteries. After several new batteries and a new alternator (not cheap!) it's now to the point that it starts right up if it's only been sitting for a night or two. After several days of sitting (it's only used a couple weekends a month) the entire electrical system is dead, but it will start fairly easily when jumped. It's been checked twice by a general mechanics shop and they swear there is no short anywhere in the system. The only unusual thing is that about the same time the electrical problems started, the steering wheel lock also stopped working (ie, when you turn the ignition off, the steering wheel is "supposed" to lock into position, but it no longer does so). I now have a battery shut off connector on the negative terminal which keeps the battery from running down, but it's a pia. Does anyone have any ideas as to what's causing the battery drain? Is it related to the steering wheel lock? Any ideas much appreciated.
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Jeep'n'John
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Joined: 01 Apr 2005
Location: Utah

PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Check the Amp draw on the battery with the key off and everything shut off...

Lets see exactly how much of drain you have first...
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NYJeeper
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Joined: 30 Apr 2005

PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2005 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Jeep'n'John. I'll do it and report back. Do you know which connections I attach the ammeter to?
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Jeep'n'John
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Joined: 01 Apr 2005
Location: Utah

PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2005 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well you need an Ammeter that will do at least 20amp and hopefully that will be enough. Make sure the battery is fully charged before you check the draw.

Set your meter up to test Current (amps). Usually you have to unplug the positive test lead from its main socket on the meter and plug it into the socket labled 20A or whatever your meter is rated at and set the dial or switch to 20Amp position.
MAKE SURE YOUR METER IS SET TO TEST CURRENT BEFORE YOU MAKE ANY CONNECTIONS. If your on the wrong setting you can burn up your meter and possible burn yourself.

Disconnect the positive battery cable and touch one test lead to the POS Battery Terminal and the other lead to the POS Battery Cable. Make sure you dont touch the cable or meter leads on anything while you do this. Give firm pressure on the leads to be sure you have a good connection.

Now im not sure exactly what your vehicle normally draws from the battery when everything is off but it will draw some. All modern cars do, But it shouldnt be much... Mabey .500 Amps or so... If its close to 1 amp or more, then id say you have excessive draw from somwhere.
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qadhafi
Club Moderator


Joined: 25 Jan 2004
Location: Hippiekickerville, USA

PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2005 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This may sound like a stupid idea but do you have any amps hooked up in your vehicle possibly powering a sub box? I had a sub box in my YJ and it drained the battery like a fool.

Just thought I'd ask- it's usually the stupid stuff that we overlook.

Oh the same page- are there ANY electrical devices hooked up to your Jeep? [Winch, Power Inverter, Audio/Video stuff...etc?]
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