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Old 09-23-2011, 10:40 AM
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Battery Drain

I have a 02 TJ and I have had a battery drain for a while. I pulled out all the fuses and it doesn't go away.I drive it again and then check the drain and its gone. I thought it was ok,and sure enough I went to start it the next day and the battery was dead. So I have an intermittent battery drain.

This morning on my way to work the check gauges light came on and stayed on but all the gauges were reading normal, then when I shut it off at work the gauges on the tach and Speedo started jumping around and I couldn't get it to quit so like I do every day now I disconnected the battery.

I think I may need a Cluster....

I was just driving it on the weekends but I just sold my other vehicle so now I have to fix it. If anyone has seen this let me know.

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Old 09-23-2011, 10:55 AM   #2
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How old is your battery? It could be that your battery is getting old and sulfated. Might be time for a new one. Also how are your battery connections looking? Are they corroded? Loose? The last thing I would suspect is an expensive cluster.

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Old 09-23-2011, 11:04 AM   #3
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I dont mean to insult you. But the other day i ran into a girl with the same problem. Took me awhile to figure it out but we did. It was so dumb and right in front of my face i didnt even think about it. But i put 2 and 2 together and figured out she was taking her doors off some days and the dome light was satying on. Like i said dont take insult.
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Old 09-23-2011, 11:04 AM   #4
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X2 on Rubicon2's post. Exactly on all his points.
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Old 09-23-2011, 11:17 AM
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It is an Optima battery about 2 years old and connections are good and I have used different batteries from known good vehicles. Although the jumping around of the gauges could be from the connection because now that I'm driving it all the time I leave the negative loose so I can take it off. And bad grounds can do some weird stuff.

And it drains the battery with the doors on. And I do have those little springs you put on the door ajar switches but they don't work well anymore so it looks like I will be installing a switch to control the lights. It's not that the lights are staying on that is for sure.
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Old 09-23-2011, 11:21 AM   #6
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Ooo sorry to hear about the Optima Battery but their quality has dropped over the years. I have the same battery and expect that someday it will crap out on me as well. Connections end up breaking inside the battery and can cause problems similar to what you are describing. Still I would make sure your connections are clean and tight and inspect the ground wire running from your battery.
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Old 09-23-2011, 11:31 AM
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When I put it in my other vehicles the battery works fine.

When I put any battery in my Jeep and leave it for a day or 2 it brings the battery to zero CCA.

It is a parasitic battery drain issue, I just wanted to know if anyone has seen heard or read about similar conditions before and lets just pretend that everything else works normal on the Jeep because that negative connection could have been doing the gauge thing.

Thanks for your replies.
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Old 09-23-2011, 11:36 AM   #8
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One more thing to keep in mind is that each time the battery is drained completely, that damages the battery and permanently removes some of its life. If it happens repeatedly, it won't be long until the battery is toast.
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Old 09-23-2011, 11:46 AM   #9
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We recently sold a 94 YJ that I had completely rebuilt, modified, etc. and almost everything on it was brand new, including battery. Only ran it on the trails maybe half a dozen times in 2 years so it didn't get much use. Then I went to use it one day and the battery was dead...yet no lights on, nothing. Jumped it, started right up...and that night my wife walked by the jeep and saw lights in it...duh...I had wired the CB into the live power feed for the cigarette lighter-and it was left on! That was the explanation for the dead battery, because it sat so long between runs the CB was draining it. My TJ has the CB wired into a power line that is activated only when the key is 'on'...so I hadn't given the YJ a thought about power.
So...do you have CB in the jeep that is draining your battery?
And having the connections loose so you can disconnect fast is going to lead to a dead battery-because the 'charging' is going to be intermittent...
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Old 09-23-2011, 11:49 AM
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LoL Yeah I know that's what I'm worried about, my $175.00 battery. Optima's are the worst about that too. And your really supposed to use a special charger on them too which I do not have.
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Old 09-23-2011, 11:52 AM   #11
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LoL Yeah I know that's what I'm worried about, my $175.00 battery. Optima's are the worst about that too. And your really supposed to use a special charger on them too which I do not have.
Optima's battery technology type is nothing special, it is a conventional lead-acid battery so it doesn't require a special charger. It is not a gel-cell as some think it is.

Optima Jim, who frequents Optima threads, will often try to blame their battery woes on the charger but that's laughable since their batteries are simply a lead-acid battery which does fine with a standard battery charger. If Optima batteries required special chargers, we couldn't use them in our Jeeps.
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Old 09-23-2011, 11:52 AM
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Nope no CB.
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Old 09-23-2011, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
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Optima's battery technology type is nothing special, it is a conventional lead-acid battery so it doesn't require a special charger. It is not a gel-cell as some think it is.

Optima Jim, who frequents Optima threads, will often try to blame their battery woes on the charger but that's laughable since their batteries are simply a lead-acid battery which does fine with a standard battery charger. If Optima batteries required special chargers, we couldn't use them in our Jeeps.

What do you think kills a battery then? You said yourself that I would kill my battery by draining it and recharging it. Its not properly charging it that kills it ! The reason is that with a conventional battery charger that you control yourself your never going to charge it to 100% . Say you charge it to 95% if that then crystals form on plates then you charge it again now you can only charge it to 95% but you won't be able to because your charger sucks or you don't know what your doing and now it only charges to 92% and this happens every time you charge it so on and so on and so on till it is just plain dead.
Now with a smart charger it constantly charges and tests the battery and is actually able to charge a battery to over 100% every time so it lasts. Something like a Battery Tender. You will kill a battery with a conventional charger. This really only matters when it is a deep cycle battery and in something that you don't use often like a race car or boat. But the "fact" of the matter is Optima's are "special" and there is a "right" way to charge one.
When I charge my battery I set the charger to 15 amps and I charge it on and off all day long. This is just the best I can do knowing what I know using the tools I have.
You don't think they are special, well I wonder why they are in just about every race car or truck on the planet. Did you know that you cant tip a flooded battery over 30 degrees b4 it spills acid on your rig crazy right, hope you don't tip your jeep over 30 degrees on the trail. Optima's use a paste it doesn't spill. They are vibration resistant. I had a Toyota prerunner that I beat on every other weekend and it was leaking in just a few short months. Check out Optima's web site or Battery Tenders very good web site with lots of info.
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Old 09-23-2011, 08:19 PM   #14
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Hold on there tiger, this is not a subject I am unfamiliar with.

First, most modern chargers have a final trickle-charge/battery tender mode that will in fact bring a battery up to 100% of its full potential. That potential may not be 100% of its original potential due to having been damaged from repeated deep discharges., but most battery chargers are smart enough to do that. My automatic charger is and it's not a fancy high-dollar model. Most battery chargers, mine included, have included "battery tender" modes for many years now. I keep it on my trailer battery in battery tender mode.

Second, no, Optima's battery technology is nothing extraordinary, it is lead-acid battery technology which is what every other battery we talk about here is. It is also an AGM battery which means its acid is in paste form, not liquid, and that acid paste is absorbed/soaked into its fiberglass matting so it is leak resistant, spillproof, and highly resistant to damage from shock, vibration, etc.. Which is the same as any other AGM battery like from Odyssey, Exide Orbital, Diehard Platinum, etc. Optima calls their AGM design a spiral-cell but even their spiral-cell AGM design is still conventional lead-acid technology. The same as any other automotive battery we use in our Jeeps.

One thing about Optima's and Exide Orbital's spiral cell design, I might add, is that it is a space waster compared to other AGM battery designs like from Odyssey or Diehard Platinum. You can see what I mean here...



Per square inch, such as you'd have with a Group 34 battery, you have a lot more battery when it is packed tighter like in the non-spiral cell design. In fact, Optima's 34/78 is so much less dense that it is approximately 7 lbs. lighter than the same size Group 34 from the equivilent Group 34 Odyssey or Diehard Platinum AGM batteries. 7 lbs. less in the same size battery case means the lighter weight Optima spiral cell design has less lead and thus less battery.

And once again... Optima's technology is lead-acid which is what all of our Jeep batteries use. It does not need or require any special charging technology. IF OPTIMA'S design DID require a special charging system, which it does not, it would not work in our Jeeps that have a completely conventional battery charging system.

So perhaps you are thinking of gel-cell batteries which are a different technology. However, gel-cell batteries have a high input and output impedences which restricts how much current it can profide or be charged by and as such, gel cell batteries cannot be charged with a conventional battery charger. However, none of the batteries we use in our Jeeps are gel cell technology. In fact, gel-cell batteries are not used in standard cars, they are only rarely used in small eco-cars that don't require much starting current.

I could probably teach a class on battery technology and chargers, heaven and everyone here knows I've been writing and talking about it for many years.
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Old 09-24-2011, 04:52 AM   #15
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Optima's use a paste it doesn't spill. They are vibration resistant.
I myself have called Optima's a gel battery for simplicity's sake before but technically they are not. If you get down to the true technology they are not gel or paste. They are Absorbed glass mat (AGM). They work the same exact way as a flooded lead acid battery, just use the glass mat to suck up and hold the electrolyte from spilling. In effect a fancy capillary sponge wrapped around the plates in a sealed box with a vent. Hence the same charging principles apply between the two.


Oop's didn't see Jerry had posted, sorry for the double hit
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Old 09-24-2011, 05:09 AM   #16
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Arguing with Jerry b is like running your jeep into a Brick wall, your not going to win. He pretty much knows all.



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Old 09-24-2011, 06:06 AM   #17
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Arguing with Jerry b is like running your jeep into a Brick wall, your not going to win. He pretty much knows all.
Where does anyone find the time to google all that stuff, remember it, and write about it in a forum.? Maybe,,, maybe when I retire I'll find the time, but I'd much rather be working at my encore career by that time... that's why I have Mac pcs and laptops, diehard platinum batteries, BFGs, Redwing boots, Minolta cameras, and medium to high end camping gear, etc etc etc,,,, yes, I have a little more up front costs, but I don't have to think about most of my things,,,, they just work.. Bless him though,,, somebodies gotta do it !!
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Old 09-24-2011, 08:37 AM   #18
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And that 7pm difference is more than likely why race cars use them... Don't know much about cars but many race bikes don't even run a battery to save weight.
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Old 09-24-2011, 12:36 PM   #19
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Whoops my memory on the weight difference between the Optima 34/78 Yellow Top and Diehard Platinum was wrong, the Diehard Platinum is actually 9.5 lbs. heavier, not 6 lbs..

43.5 lbs. Optima Group 34/78 Yellow Top
53.0 lbs. Diehard Platinum Group 34 P-4

That's a lot of additional lead in the Diehard Platinum for being the same Group 34 size battery case.
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Old 09-24-2011, 06:48 PM   #20
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Where does anyone find the time to google all that stuff, remember it, and write about it in a forum.? Maybe,,, maybe when I retire I'll find the time, but I'd much rather be working at my encore career by that time... that's why I have Mac pcs and laptops, diehard platinum batteries, BFGs, Redwing boots, Minolta cameras, and medium to high end camping gear, etc etc etc,,,, yes, I have a little more up front costs, but I don't have to think about most of my things,,,, they just work.. Bless him though,,, somebodies gotta do it !!
Im not sure where your amount of expensive toys came into play... I buy expensive stuff as well. I buy it to last. I have about $5000 wrapped up in camping gear alone. I bought a warn winch because I wanted the best. Etc etc.



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Old 09-25-2011, 01:54 PM
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Thanks Jerry for all the regurgitated info in gell cell batteries if I was curious about them I would have Googled it. I thought lighter is better??? I never said Optimas were the best battery ever built. I have 1000ca with what I have now and it will never leak... At least we both agree there is a right way to charge them. Although I hope your not refering to a 2 apm charge setting on a battery charger as being a battery tender mode. If so then its still not right at least not for a deep cell but yeah sure its good enough for when your battery goes dead because the lights got left on. But im not wasting anymore time, I realize what kind of person im dealing with. I'm half surprised I wasnt told to check the length of my bump stops or the length of my brake lines ;-) If I hear that one more time in a thread I swear I'm gonna regurgitate.

The drain problem turned out to be an intermittent internal open in the door ajar switch. When the wind would blow and move the Jeep sometimes it was enough to turn on the interior lights with the doors on. Only took me a minute to find once I started looking because when I shut my doors at the shop to start looking this time it acted up for the first time in front of me and the interior lights would not go off. So I spent more time on this forum then actually fixing the problem all I had to do was disconnect the switch. I walk my dogs all the time at night I never saw the lights on oh well... And I should have been disconnecting the power cable and leaving it loose becuse the bad ground was the cause of the cluster acting up.

I just bought a LS6 and a G2 Dana 44 so I will be documenting it with with my Rebel starting monday so keep an eye out for that. Its sure to be a very long thread because I will also be rebuilding the engine from the block up myself. I will also be porting and polishing the heads. And a many other mods im sure.
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Old 10-05-2011, 03:53 PM
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OK update, I first removed the driver door ajar switch and it seemed like it fixed the problem went a week with no starting issues and then it happened, I went out and it barely cranked in the morning. Had I not had an Optima I bet it would not have. Well I kept driving it most of the time it cranked fine and every time I did check it for a drain it had none. My wife was driving it one day so I could work on her BMW and she noticed the dome light flashing while she was driving so I removed the right door ajar. A few days later same thing very slow to crank but then it cranks fine at lunch and I only drive 5 miles to work so its not like it even has a good chance to charge. One day it cranked slow in the A.M. and at lunch and I pulled it in the shop and I started pulling fuses and disconnecting everything I thought might be the cause. It ended up being the my Warn Power Plant winch I can't believe it but it does explain why I was able to remove all fuses and still have a 1.4 amp drain because it was connected directly to the battery like it should be. And I haven't even gotten to use the winch yet. So I will leave it disconnected maybe put it on a switch or send it out to be repaired in time. Thanks for your replies. Anyone else out there ever has a battery drain keep it in mind.
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Old 11-10-2013, 01:53 PM   #23
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Great tread here - I was going to buy an Optima but maybe not - I do understand or at least I was told that there are only 3 or so battery manufacturers and hundreds of company's that put there name on them. So my Point is that I think that a "BI MART" brand Battery is as good as the famous name brand that cost a lot more - i know this because I own a Landscape Maintenance business and have used a BI MART battery in my old work truck that I ran the piss out of for years and never had a problem with it EVER. So I figure that if it can survive me and my old 94 F150 then it's good enough for my Jeep

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