Parasitic Drain Instrument Cluster

Discussion in 'Electrical' started by BadCJ7, Oct 20, 2013.

  1. BadCJ7

    BadCJ7 New Member

    OK, First let me say I'm new here so hopefully I don't get flamed. I am having a problem with my 08 Ranger that has got me so flustered I'm about to take a match to it.

    I drive truck so my ranger sits all week long in a parking lot. Starting last winter every week when I got back, my battery would be dead and I would have to jump it. Had the alternator tested... Diode Bad... Replaced alternator and battery since it was 6 years old. I still had to jumpstart it every weekend!

    Springtime rolled around and I had no problems with it starting. All summer long, no problems, even letting it sit 2-3 weeks at a time.
    The first cooler week hit and temps went into the mid to low 40's. DEAD BATTERY! Jump started it at 5 am this morning and drove it 20 miles home. Shut it off and when I went to leave at 2pm it was completely dead again!

    I got out my multimeter and did a draw test. I had about .30 amp draw. I started pulling fuses and found when I pulled #33 (Instrument Cluster Battery Feed (B+)) it dropped to .04 amp. After the antitheft light stopped flashing, it went to a flat 0. Put fuse #33 back in and it goes back to .30 amp draw.

    Does this mean my Instrument cluster is bad? I see other people posting about a GEM controller? How can I be certain it is the instrument cluster before I spend $279.00 on a new one?

    If it is the Instrument cluster will the Odometer be correct when I put the new one in or will it have to be programmed?

    I hope someone can help because I am at the end of my rope with this thing and really considering going back to a gas guzzling 70's model truck with no electronics other than HEI!
     
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  3. Scrambler82

    Scrambler82 Old Guy User

    Not sure about your question but "if all else fails", what about a battery disconnect.
     
  4. OP
    BadCJ7

    BadCJ7 New Member

    Just trying to find the possibility of the instrument cluster causing it, if anyone else had seen this problem. I really don't want to put a battery disconnect on it. I don't want to reprogram my stereo, clock, ect every time I want to drive it.


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  5. Scrambler82

    Scrambler82 Old Guy User


    I understand but each of the items you are talking about has a draw to it to keep it alive.
    In all of the postings I have read I haven’t seen anything about a drain caused by the Instrument Cluster. Maybe the radio, clock and computer memory are on the same fuse as the cluster and that is the problem, sitting too long.

    Also, the cold slows down the electrons in the battery and reduces the useable voltage level but I haven’t seen one this bad.
    In the colder months before I start my truck I turn on the headlights for 30 seconds or so just to get the battery a little warned up.

    What about a solar charger to put on the dash, connects through the cig lighter and trickle charges the battery.

    I am just thinking out loud; maybe the thread will get some more responses when people see it moving.
     
  6. OP
    BadCJ7

    BadCJ7 New Member

    Right. Each one of those has a draw but should be very minimal. When I disconnected the stereo and such at the source, it made very little difference. More like .03 amp vs the .3 amp draw I had. I have thought about mounting a battery tender under the hood since I can plug it in at home and at work, but my OCD is driving me nuts that it has a problem and doesn't work as it should. I will be going out shortly to check if my battery voltage dropped overnight with that fuse pulled out and will report later.


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  7. Scrambler82

    Scrambler82 Old Guy User

    First off good luck, I hope you can locate the problem.

    Second the battery tender, is that the one that shuts off the battery when the voltage drops below starting voltage ?
    Something like that should work as long as there is a bypass for the radio and computer or things that need the power for the memory.

    I know what you mean on the OCD, I believe I have it and the Attention one too but the doctor says not, I am just a picky baster but almost the same thing. If I can’t figure something out I will think on it until I get it done, one picky step at a time.

    Again good luck and post the findings… this may help others with similar problems.
     
  8. OP
    BadCJ7

    BadCJ7 New Member

    No. Battery Tender is a brand of chargers made by Deltran that are highly reliable and monitor battery voltage. If the voltage drops, it automatically turns on and charges the battery then turns back off when fully charged. They make a waterproof, shockproof one that I can mount in the fender well and leave the plug behind the grill. When I know it's gonna sit I could just plug it in.

    I use a battery tender in my bike and it makes the battery last twice as long and it is always able to start when I need it.

    On the other hand, with fuse #33 pulled my battery has only dropped .3 volts in the last 24 hours. I'm going to continue to monitor the voltage to see if it drops anymore. I may have at least narrowed it down to whatever is on that circuit.


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  9. Scrambler82

    Scrambler82 Old Guy User

    So there is still a draw on the battery ?
     
  10. OP
    BadCJ7

    BadCJ7 New Member

    Scrambler82, just checked my battery voltage. Since I've let it sit with that fuse pulled that says instrument panel it has only dropped .12 volts. That was after it got pretty cold last night. I believe I've got it narrowed down to that circuit so no I have to figure out what is all on that one so I can pinpoint exactly what is causing the draw.

    I'm getting ready to head out to Front Royal Virginia and won't be back till Friday night so I'm gonna let it sit and check it when I get back. It would have normally been dead by now but we'll see what happens with a few more days. When I get back, I will charge the battery up fully again and replace the fuse and once again monitor the battery voltage and see if it drops. Then I can be certain it is that particular circuit. Then get a wiring diagram and see what all is on it. I'm thinking when it gets cold, I have a relay that sticks.


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  11. Scrambler82

    Scrambler82 Old Guy User

    Appears you are tracking it down.
    I hope this works for you.

    Luck

    Ltr
     

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