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Old 04-20-2016, 10:23 AM
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No Start/Dead Battery

OK, Im newer to the Jeep Scene. I just bought my wife a 2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Moab edition, with around 42K miles, 4.5" AEV lift, 35x12-20.

We have had the jeep for around a 2 months now and I am thinking we have bought a turd. We bought it as is NO Warranty.

About a month after getting it my wife went to start the jeep to leave for work and all she got was a click click. All the lights on the dash would come on, radio also. jumped it off(didn't take hardly anything) and went to Interstate battery to have the battery tested.
Their battery tested fine alternator also, I took it to advanced and had them run a test also, same thing, everything checked out fine.

Next day same thing so I started looking into the forums. I saw that grounding was a big issue so I added a ground from the negative post to the fender ground, and from the fender ground to the alternator bracket. This seemed to cure the issue for about 3 days.

After the no start clicking happening randomly for a while, it got to the point where it wouldn't even click some mornings and middle of the day. I even tried rocking the shifter around thinking it was the transmission range sensor, and tried it in neutral, no help there either.

I said screw it and went and put an optima red top in it and haven't had any problems until today

This morning she went to start it and nothing, not even a key in ignition chime. She jumped it off and it has started fine for about three starts today. Only thing is the Uconnect radio wont come on at all.

I need to figure something out here, any help is appreciated.

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Old 04-20-2016, 12:06 PM   #2
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Since it started after jumping it, that says that your battery was low on charge. That could be a defective new battery, your alternator is not charging, or you have something in your electrical system that is causing a draw on the battery, when the engine is turned off.

It could be any one of the three.. The battery needs to be load tested. Your charging system needs to be checked with a volt meter. There also needs to be a amperage draw test run to see how much draw is on your battery, when the engine is turned off.

One of these three is most likely your issue. Somebody local needs to help you isolate which one.

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Old 04-20-2016, 01:58 PM   #3
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What he said. If it starts with a jump it likely is a lack of voltage / amperage. It could be any of the things Old Dogger mentioned, plus it could be a bad / loose connection. Double check the connections, especially the ground connection. A bad connection can require more power to make it work as it has too much resistance.

Also, how does a 2013 Jeep have no warranty? Doesn't the factory warranty transfer?
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Old 04-20-2016, 02:32 PM
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I have had the alternator & battery checked, a draw test also and everything turned up fine.

Also to be 100% honest I'm not sure if the warranty would transfer or how. When we signed it was a "as is no warranty" deal.

Honestly the only thing I can think of is there is some sort of parasitic draw somewhere.
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Old 04-20-2016, 02:34 PM   #5
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The only way to properly test a battery is to charge it to full and load test it. If that was not done then you wasted your time. Your first battery was OEM and they seem to only be good for 3 years for most Jeepers, so no surprise there.

1) Is this Jeep being driven daily or does it sit a lot and only sees short trips?

I would put your new Optima on a charger and charge it up to full and have it load tested. If it is good and question 1) does not apply to you then you have a power draw of some kind.

2) I see it has a big lift so does it have aftermarket lights too?

Who did you buy it from that stated it had no warranty? It should still have it's 5 year 100,000 mile driveline warranty intact unless it has been hit by a train.
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Old 04-21-2016, 02:51 AM   #6
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If all connections are solid then adding those grounds is not needed. There's nothing wrong with the grounds in the JK by design. While a power problem can make modules act up I would take it in to have everything tested. Your battery and alternator may be just fine as the tests have shown but there's more to the puzzle than just those. Being out of warranty you will get dinged for a diagnosis charge and whatever replacement parts and labor ect but you will have your piece of mind back.
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Old 04-21-2016, 07:52 AM   #7
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I am retired and it's just me and two Jeeps. There are times when one or the other will sit for a week, never had either one fail to start. I bought the TJ almost two years ago and the Jeep dealer who had taken it as trade installed a new Interstate battery. Granted, it does not have the loads or complexity of the JK.

The 2015 of course came with the original OEM battery. It sits at times for up to a week while I am having fun with the TJ, yet never had a battery issue. Sitting is not the problem unless you have a draw somewhere that is pulling the battery down.

Interior lights and dash lights don't take much juice, so the sign of a weak battery is the lights come on normally when you open the door and turn the key to on, but when you hit start it is either the dreaded clicking or everything just dims and no clicking even. A simple, inexpensive Radio Shack voltmeter can tell you a lot about the battery and system (no about the load). A fully charged 12 volt battery should actually be about 12.6 volts, the charging system should indicate about 14.2 volts with the engine running. Both these readings can be taken from the battery terminals.

The load can only be determined with a clamp on ammeter that clips around the cables. They can be purchased anywhere from $12 to $500 depending on the features you want. I just ordered this one:
http://www.amazon.com/Uni-Trend-UT20...ilpage_o01_s00
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Old 04-21-2016, 08:57 AM   #8
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You could also just use a voltmeter to measure draw on the battery when the vehicle is off. A decent voltmeter can measure that. You would have to make the meter part of the circuit (the meter is series) to get a proper reading. That usually means disconnecting one side of the battery and using the meter is series to complete the circuit.
Those clamp style gadgets are nice, but I am not sure that it would be able to properly measure a parasitic draw.
Another simple test is to measure the battery with a voltmeter, measuring volts, while someone tries to start the Jeep. If the volts plummet it is the battery.
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Old 04-22-2016, 02:38 AM   #9
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Sorry, a volt meter by design will only measure circuit voltage. We all know there is small continuous draw from the electronics. What he is looking for is the possibility of a high draw that should not be there. It is the amperage that draws down the battery.

Think of your cell phone - charge it fully and leave it on the table never making or receiving a call and the charge will last for days - low continuous draw at low amperage. Now, play several videos and see low long the charge will last, now you are streaming and using high draw.

You cannot use a volt meter to measure amps. You must use an amp meter.
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Old 04-22-2016, 07:32 AM   #10
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What Guzzi is talking about, is most VOM's will also measure current.

And you can measure current with a pure volt meter, if you know how.
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Old 04-22-2016, 08:08 AM
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Sorry it has taken me a little while to get back. Yes the jeep is a daily driver. No battery I pulled out wasn't stock it was an interstate battery.

Update-
After jumping it off the last time, the radio would not come back on. Since then we haven't had a single problem(im assuming it blew the fuse for the radio, I will verify when I get back in town tonight). So as of right now im leaning toward this being some type of drain in the radio wiring.
Let me know what you think.
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Old 04-22-2016, 01:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparky View Post
What Guzzi is talking about, is most VOM's will also measure current.

And you can measure current with a pure volt meter, if you know how.
What he said.

And if it is a drain, a common way to see where it is from is to either start pulling fuses until the drain goes away or pull all the fuses and start adding them until the drain comes back. Either way works.

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