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Old 08-23-2008, 06:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Battery Draw

I have a 99 CTD ram
and something is pulling current from the battery and the truck is hard to start after sitting it turns over real slow but still starts...

it is all stock electrical wise other then the airdog150 I have but it is not the draw I don't think...

factory radio and all nothing aftermarket.

I replaced both battery's the other day because I thought they were getting weak because of the way the truck was starting and it went back to normal with the new batterys, But the next day right back to the same thing...

I noticed when I connected the ground on the new battery's it had a very small arc but I figured it was just the radio or ecu pulling power for memory.

has anyone ever had problems with this??? there is nothing on that I can tell and I touched the alt after it sat over night and it is cold to the touch so I don't think it is drawing power from there...
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Old 08-23-2008, 07:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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have the alternator checked? is it charging when running?, if its charging the volt meter should be around 15-16 is wut mine runs at, anything lower and its a bad alt, i would try unhooking ur airdog just to see, just an idea and my 2 cents, i can tell u how ot check for a sure draw if unhooking ur airdog doesn't work.
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Old 08-23-2008, 09:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I dont think it is the airdog because it isn't running and uses the factory harness...

and the alternator is at 14.5 when running and has been the same since I bought the truck which was 5 months ago

my cluster shows 12v when the key is on not running and after starting it (it turns over for about 10 sec. slow) when it fires the cluster shows about 9-10v for about 5 sec and then goes right to 14-14.5v



I was going to disconnect the battery grounds and pull a relay at a time and connect the battery for each one I pull and see when it arc's and when it doesn't untill I find it I guess... I hate electrical grimlins
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Old 08-23-2008, 09:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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you can pull a positive battery cable prolly better you do the drivers side, click a test light to the positive post, and then if i'm right (been a while since i've done this) touch the test light to the positive cable and if it lights up then you can start pulling fuses seeing that, that shows the draw.
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Old 08-24-2008, 07:26 AM   #5 (permalink)
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The seat belt release solenoids draw about a half an amp and are controlled by a timing circuit and some logic. I have read that they stay on for 5 minutes after the door opens if you don't start the engine. I don't know the full logic involved but I do know that opening the door during your diagnostics for a power draw will misdirect you. They may cycle once when you first connect the battery. I have also read of where that timer has failed and left the solenoids on all of the time. Check the glove box light, too.

Also, I have read the the starter solenoid contacts are problematic on out trucks. This could cause slow starting but would not run the battery down overnight.
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Old 08-24-2008, 11:29 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clc View Post
The seat belt release solenoids draw about a half an amp and are controlled by a timing circuit and some logic. I have read that they stay on for 5 minutes after the door opens if you don't start the engine. I don't know the full logic involved but I do know that opening the door during your diagnostics for a power draw will misdirect you. They may cycle once when you first connect the battery. I have also read of where that timer has failed and left the solenoids on all of the time. Check the glove box light, too.

Also, I have read the the starter solenoid contacts are problematic on out trucks. This could cause slow starting but would not run the battery down overnight.


Well I thought about the starter being the problem but then I can eliminate it because when I installed the new battery's it was starting perfect untill the next day when it went back to this...
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Old 08-26-2008, 06:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
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They trick with the battery will tell you what circuit is the draw but you have to be sure you take the under hood light bulb out when you do it. You can tape the door switch in to simulate the door being closed too. The glove box light was a great catch...made perfect sence once you mentioned it but I didn't think of it. If you unplug the connector for the fuel pump and the truck starts fine in the am, there is an issue in the pump circuit.
I had an alt last month that was giving me fits... the truck started slow and charged but would fall to 8volts after about a minute. If I bumped the key off and back on quick it would read good again. It turned out that the wires from the field windings to the regulator on the back had corroded through and the alt was no good. Incidentally, the alt was wiggling on the top bolt even though it was tight... wore halfway through the bolt hole on the caseand half through the bolt too. Popped in the new alt and she's good to go.
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Old 08-26-2008, 06:17 PM   #8 (permalink)
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CHeck the obvious stuff first. I have seen problems like this due to lights that you cannot see-aka a trunk light in a car that stays on after you close the trunk. In this case you don't have one, so check the glove box, and ashtray. CHeck to make sure that the underhood light is going off as well. Check the voltage on the batteries when you turn the truck off at night, then disconnect the cables. Walk out in the morning and check them again to make sure the voltage is the same. Then try the same procedure with the batteries hooked up. Make sure you take the reading on the battery terminal not the cable. My truck did this for a long time, so bad that when it got below 30 degrees and the grid heaters had to charge, I needed two trucks to jumpstart me. It ended up being the battery cables. They didn't tighten enough on the battery cables to recieve the right charge, so I would check the voltage at night, and in the morning at it looked like there was adraw in the system. Took me a year to figure it out. Good luck
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Old 08-29-2008, 12:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
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although not likely, you may have another bad battery already. Sounds exactly like what mine did when one of the batteries shorted a cell, so the bad battery would draw down the good one, and replacing the batteries fixed it. Sounds like yours did the same, but you just aren't winning any lottery tickets right now. Try unhooking just one battery at a time, and see if one does better than the other. You may have a current draw problem at startup that is hard on the battery or something. These things don't need as much battery to start as you might think, my mom's '93 went almost 12 years with the original (single) battery, but it starts as soon as you hit the key every time.
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