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Old 02-24-2014, 01:00 AM   #1
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Parasitic Drain Woes... Help!

So for over the past year, my 09 JK has had this problem of simply not starting whenever the temperature drops. Last winter it wasnt too bad, but this time around it is straight up dying on my on an almost daily basis. I have replaced the battery multiple times, the alternator is reading okay, i have disconnected my offroad lights, my headlights, you name it. Just last week i replaced the battery and last night i drove it just fine, not even 10 hours later, the truck wouldnt even unlock. Completely dead.

Now, i was told by a mechanic shop that my radio isnt up to date (i have nav) and that this could cause a drain on the battery. Has anyone heard of this? Also, my power locks have been a little off- ill press unlock on my key and the lights will flash, but the doors will remain unlocked. Maybe the door wiring needs to be replaced?

Ok top of all that, my remote start doesnt work. Either the truck simply wont start, or itll start and then shut back off within 10 seconds. Perhaps this is causing (or being caused by) the drain?

Unfortunately my jeep is out of warranty and i refuse to bring to a stealership so they can tell me theres nothing wrong for a few hundred dollars. Any help is appreciated!

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Old 02-24-2014, 05:08 AM   #2
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Sounds like you have the battery covered. Next thing I'd check would be the starter/solenoid. I'm not familiar with the 3.8, but if it has a separate solenoid you can disconnect the lead that goes to the hot side of the starter overnight. Usually all you need is a 7/16 or 1/2 wrench.

If it starts when you reconnect the next day, at least you're on the right track. A bad starter can dump voltage to ground without cranking.

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Old 02-24-2014, 06:58 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TOK View Post
Sounds like you have the battery covered. Next thing I'd check would be the starter/solenoid. I'm not familiar with the 3.8, but if it has a separate solenoid you can disconnect the lead that goes to the hot side of the starter overnight. Usually all you need is a 7/16 or 1/2 wrench. If it starts when you reconnect the next day, at least you're on the right track. A bad starter can dump voltage to ground without cranking.
Alright ill give that a look, thanks
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Old 02-24-2014, 07:38 AM   #4
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Here is what you need:

It's a SnapOn MT500 multimeter with shunt.

It's what you use to chase down parasitic draws. You disconnect one lead to the battery and place the shunt in series with the battery. Then the meter reads the voltage across the shunt and knows what the current draw is. In your case, when you shut the vehicle off, you see it draw something like 0.2 amps. Now it takes a minute of so for the system to shut off completely, but after that it should read "0.00" Yours will continue to read more than 0.00 so start unplugging things. You'll find out what's doing the drain. You should start with pulling fuses, then any power to radios door locks, a vanity mirror lamp, lamp in glove box, etc.

I've done this in the past, it works well.

You can find these used on eBay for $50 - $100. Just look for one with the shunt attachment (it was an option). A cheapo harbor freight tool wont read the amperage or allow you to run your jeep like this will - the cheap one cant handle the current.
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Old 02-24-2014, 07:53 AM   #5
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Also, your Nav not being up to date shouldn't cause the system to draw current when off. You might disconnect the door harnesses to see if there is a stuck door lock solenoid.

On a newer Jeep, if you sit in the vehicle after you shut it off you'll hear the vent doors close after a few minutes. So it's normal to have some draw for 5 minutes or so. After that, the cluster tells the TIPM to go to sleep (It's that way on Dodge's anyways). You'll have something similar.
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