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Old 04-03-2007, 12:09 PM   #1
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Battery drain

Just blew $250 bucks to have a shop tell me basically what I already knew. I have a battery drain coming out of my radio and my instrument cluster on a 2002 Wrangler X. I would expect it from the radio to maintain the clock etc but they couldn't tell me if it was more than the radio should draw. I wouldn't expect it from the instrument cluster and otherwise the cluster is working fine. Their only advise was to 1) replace the whole cluster - which seems ridicules or 2) put in a battery cutoff switch which is merely an inconvenient band-aid.

Is there any reason the cluster should be drawing power when the ignition is off? If so, how much?

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Old 04-03-2007, 12:36 PM   #2
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I don't know if the tj's have current all the time to the lighter socket or not... my yj doesn't , but if they do check that. Maybe there is a drain from there.

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Old 04-03-2007, 01:11 PM   #3
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Not the lighter

Its on a different circuit.
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Old 04-03-2007, 02:37 PM   #4
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How long is it taking to drain your battery?? If it is not long, unhook one then let is sit and see if it drains. If not try hooking it back up then unhooking the other and see what happens. It may take a while but you may be able to track it down this way. And with the battery disconnect you are going to be losing your clock memory and radio station memory every time you flip that switch.
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Old 04-03-2007, 02:53 PM   #5
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Several days

it takes several days to drain the battery enough that the car won't start. I am fairly certain it is not the radio. Question is, should the Instrument cluster drain at all. If not, that is clearly the problem but Im not quite sure how to fix it without replacing the whole cluster.
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Old 04-03-2007, 07:30 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ecbuck View Post
Just blew $250 bucks to have a shop tell me basically what I already knew. I have a battery drain coming out of my radio and my instrument cluster on a 2002 Wrangler X. I would expect it from the radio to maintain the clock etc but they couldn't tell me if it was more than the radio should draw. I wouldn't expect it from the instrument cluster and otherwise the cluster is working fine. Their only advise was to 1) replace the whole cluster - which seems ridicules or 2) put in a battery cutoff switch which is merely an inconvenient band-aid.

Is there any reason the cluster should be drawing power when the ignition is off? If so, how much?
I would check the harnesses, and wiring at the cluster first. Most of the Parasitic drains I have dealt with in the past were because of corroded wires, shorted harnesses and stuck/faulty relays or switches. I might be wrong but the instrument cluster shouldn't have constant drain from it.
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Old 04-03-2007, 10:02 PM   #7
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The lighter socket doesn't draw power unless the Jeep ignition is in the ON position, on a TJ. At least on my 2000 it doesn't.
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Old 04-04-2007, 09:55 AM   #8
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Do you have security system? If you do, disable and see if you still have problem. If not, the drain seems small enough that it may be very hard to detect.
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Old 04-04-2007, 12:21 PM   #9
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I was thinking alarm, but even more general. Have you installed anything aftermarket or homemade that would use that same circuit?

I installed a light bypass switch and the way I wired it (something I was just trying), ended up leaving the dome light on VERY dimly so that I didn't even notice it when getting out at night, even with doors on. OOPS!

You may also want to check wires going to the stereo for any looseness, corrosion, etc as Odhinn suggested.
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Old 04-05-2007, 03:44 AM   #10
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do u have a winch or any aux.lights ?
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Old 04-09-2007, 09:39 AM   #11
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Nothing added on circuit

Thanks for all the suggestions:

The only add-on was some fog lights which don't use the same circuit - they are wired directly via a fused connection to the battery.

Drain continues when radio disconnected so its not that.

Waiting for a new AMP meter to arrive so I can get accurate readings on the drain and will focus in on the harness and cluster.
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Old 04-09-2007, 07:46 PM   #12
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I had the same problem, after 3-4 weeks. After recharging my Optimus Yellow-top from zip to full-charge, I measured the drain when the ignition is off. It measured .03 amps/hr. Something is wrong, for at that rate it would claim only .72 amps/day or 694 days to drain. Ergo, there is an intermittant drain somewhere.

My options were to (a) pull the primary ignition relay, which is commonly done to ship vehicles overseas. The downside is that when restarted, the computer defaults and it must re-calibrate all sensors and may run rough for half an hour or so. (b) The second option (other than paying somebody to try to figure it out as you did) was to purchase a trickle charger with an automatic "off" switch, which keeps it charged up.

Consequently, if you come up with a good response from the forum I should like to know about it.

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