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Old 09-03-2012, 01:57 AM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 9
Battery drain

First off, hello! I've been coming here for the past month or so to read up on my new to me purchase of a 99 Wrangler Sport. My problem is this...for the past month or so, I've been having trouble keeping a charge. At first, I thought I may have been leaving lights on, since I wasn't used to not having automatic lights anymore. And then I saw that the under hood engine light came on sometimes while I was parked.

I unplugged that, though. I've still had to get my jeep jumped twice this week. Today, I came out to it after work, it started right up. I drove it about 30 minutes home. I was inside for about 20 minutes, then heard it raining. I went out to move it into the garage, the key turned over, clicked, then nothing. Completely dead. I have no stereo or alarm installed, so I don't know what could be draining it. I know little to nothing about electrical issues, by the way. Should I just opt for a new battery and hope that's the problem? I was thinking it wasn't, since it always starts immediately after being jumped. Thanks in advance for any help!

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Old 09-03-2012, 02:11 AM   #2
relgnarw peej 2002's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 56
Get yer batt and alt tested at yer local parts store

my jeep is ticking lol
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Old 09-03-2012, 03:07 AM   #3
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Charge the battery first..... Start engine......Place VOLTMETER leads (or Multimeter on DC volts) across battery terminals....should read MORE than 12.8 volts.....up to 15 volts is good.... if less than that.... rev engine and see if it tracks up with engine speed......if it tracks up or is already greater than 12.8.....turn on all accessories (lights, blower, wipers, hazards....etc).... rev engine and see if it REMAINS 12.8 or above.....

If it remains above 12.8 at all times with accessories turned on.......odds are you have a bad battery.

If will not get to 12.8 or greater.....OR it trends lower with accessories turned on, you probably have a loose/bad belt or other charging issue.

To check for loose belt, shut off engine (important step)... grab alternator fan and try to rotate....if it will rotate, belt is too loose, wrong belt (it happens), OR belt is worn/glazed and needs replaced.

NOTE: V belts do their work on the SIDES of pulleys...not the bottom.....if the belt is glazed on the bottom.....belt is too narrow and not fitting the pulley correctly. If the top of the belt is protruding beyond the pulley, belt is too wide and not fitting correctly.

If belt is tight (fan will not rotate), check for broken/unplugged wires on alternator/charging circuit.
"For Gawd's sake, put a RELAY in there or you could burn the whole damn Jeep to the ground" ...this quote brought to you by people who do not understand the law.....Kirchoff's, Ohm's, or Faraday's.
Violation of KISS shall always ring false in TRUE engineering. - ME___
Had 75CJ5, 89YJ, 93YJ. Have 82CJ7 & 95YJ____Not one burnt yet due to lack of relays.
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Old 09-03-2012, 09:31 AM   #4
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Location: Pensacola, Florida
Posts: 281
The way you described it sounds like a typical bad connection to the battery... the "click, then everything's dead" syndrome. Check the simple things first... try wiggling the battery connections while it's dead. If it comes back to life, you have a bad connection. If this is the case, disconnect and clean the battery terminals and cable connections with a wire brush.
Doug Coleman

2000 Wrangler Sport - "Red" - Stock
1999 Z-28 - "The GLUMAKR" - Not Stock

"Mid-life crisis? Pfffffttt... more like a whole-life crisis."
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Old 09-03-2012, 09:45 AM   #5

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After checking the batt connections Id do a key off draw test.
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Old 09-03-2012, 09:53 AM   #6
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Location: Des Moines, Iowa
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How old is the date on the battery? When they hit about 4 years it's typical they go bad and won't hold a charge.
In God we trust.
All others bring data.

'02 Sport, soft top, 6 cylinder
5 speed manual, 4" lift, 33.5" tires
~144K miles
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Old 09-03-2012, 10:09 AM   #7

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I just replaced my batt for the same thing.I thought for sure I had a drain so I checked the draw & it was almost nothing so I replaced the batt & have been all good!
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Old 09-03-2012, 10:22 AM   #8
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: Lexington, KY
Posts: 74
This just happens to me a few days ago. I knew my battery was good because I had just bought a yellow top a month prior. In my rush to get the new battery installed I didn't clean my connections. When is got the " click then dead" issue I came to the forum for answers. Sure enough there were a few posts about this. They all corrected the issue with cleaning the battery connections and using dielectric grease.

My jeep is a 99 and the inside of the cable connections were really bad. I got them nice and clean and used some dielectric grease and have not had any issues since.
Living the dream!
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Old 09-03-2012, 03:12 PM   #9
Join Date: Sep 2012
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Thanks for all the advice. I waited until today to try anything since it rained steadily last night. I went out to it, and it just fired right up. I'm on my way to take it to autozone to have the batt/alternator checked, and getting a wire brush to clean the terminals. Thanks again, everyone.

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