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Electrical Issue? I'm stumped

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Old 02-20-2012, 12:55 PM   #1
Kenny_k82
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Default Electrical Issue? I'm stumped

I have an 01' GT and I put a new battery in about 2 months ago after having to jump my car (figured it was the 4 year old pos battery). Everything was good for a month, but over the last 3 weeks I have had to jump it at least once a week. The battery tests good and the alternator is good as well. I keep my keys out of the ignition and I make sure everything is turned off.

-It goes dead randomly after sitting overnight, but sometimes starts just fine for 5-6 days and then randomly it won't start.
-It will click when I go to start it or barely crank over and then click
-Starts right up as soon as jumper cables are hooked up
-Had the battery tested at 2 places

So if it were a short wouldn't it drain the battery every night as opposed to doing it in 1 day sometimes and 5 days other times? Battery and Alt test fine and I have had no starter issues at all. Any ideas? Missed class today because of this and it's getting annoying.
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Old 02-20-2012, 01:08 PM   #2
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I had a vehicle doing something similar to this and it was wire partially broken going to the starter. If the battery is fully charged showing good voltage and it will not start this can be your problem because your not getting enough amps to the starter. If the battery is drained then start pulling fuses to see where the drainage is coming from with a volt meter.
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Old 02-20-2012, 01:16 PM   #3
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It starts fine when the battery is fully charged, I don't own a volt meter and I don't know anything about electrical problems. I'll try to check the wire going to the start but it Might be time for a shop I guess...
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Old 02-20-2012, 02:51 PM   #4
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How many miles a day do you drive, how long is each trip, at what speeds?

How was the battery tested? Was it a 15 to 20 second high amperage, 100A to 300A load test or one of those silly little handheld things used by the FLAPS--if the latter then it wasn't really tested...
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Old 02-20-2012, 03:34 PM   #5
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I drive about 25 miles a day with speed from 35-55mph. I had it tested on a handheld at Walmart, didn't trust them so I brought it to Napa and they did a quick test and then put it on the machine for a load test for 30min and it tested good.
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Old 02-20-2012, 05:57 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Kenny_k82 View Post
I drive about 25 miles a day with speed from 35-55mph. I had it tested on a handheld at Walmart, didn't trust them so I brought it to Napa and they did a quick test and then put it on the machine for a load test for 30min and it tested good.
Well that should be plenty to keep it charged. Do you have any aftermarket accessories (alarm, radio, ???) that might be drawing power even with the key off?

One other test to perform is what is commonly called a "dark current" test, see page 414-00-10 of this document, Battery--Drain Tests...
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Old 02-20-2012, 06:40 PM   #7
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That's the odd thing. I've never had any sort of electrical work, stereo work, or mods requiring any kind of electrical modification and I have had the car for over 2 years with no issue and then all of a sudden this started. The radio, amps, everything is stock.
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Old 02-20-2012, 06:46 PM   #8
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Ok, so I could be nuts, and let me know if I am but I made an observation. The car had no issues for a full week until this morning. During that time I was making sure that I turned off the radio and heater before shutting off the car and pulling out the key. When it was dead this morning I noticed that I left the radio on before shutting off the car and taking the key out of the ignition. It's the only thing I can think of that I did differently, but is there any way that could make any bit of difference?
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Old 02-25-2012, 01:06 AM   #9
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I had the same issue with my explorer a few yrs ago. Replaced the starter cable/wire and everything was fine. Battery was an old pos so replaced that. 2 months later replaced the starter and everything was fine for another month or so. Thinking that it couldn't be the new starter wire, and everything else was replaced I was stumped. Turns out the old battery corroded the inside of the new wire in 2 months and that ended up being the main culprit (again).
I guess it's possible the remote power lead going to the stereo amps is causing them to stay on all the time? But that would involve other issues with the radio/wiring as well. My random starting issues were just that....random. Sometimes it would go for over a week starting fine, other times I needed a jump right after turning the car off n driving for 200 miles.
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Old 02-26-2012, 10:33 PM   #10
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I was cleaning my car today and noticed something odd. They key was out of the ignition. I sprayed the radio and wiped it down and when I hit the buttons the radio came on, just the display trying to eject a CD. I don't think it should have power with the key out of the ignition, might be the culprit!
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Old 02-26-2012, 10:41 PM   #11
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Well I just stepped out into the garage and found something I was not aware of. My '03 GT has the Mach 460 system and you can load and unload CDs with the key off--in 5+ years of owning the car I was unaware of that capability...
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Delta Force tuned, Steeda UDPs, Ralco flywheel,
RAM HDX clutch, 3.73s, 262 rwHP/305 lb-ft.

New ride (7/1/2013) 1998 Mercedes SL500-5.0L 32V VVT 326/347 HP/tq


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Old 02-26-2012, 11:29 PM   #12
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My old GT the battery would drain really fast. Bought a new battery, new alternator and still had the problem.

I found out the GEM module (I think that's the name) was causing a constant power draw even when the car was off. My mechanic told me which fuse controlled the module (fuse #39 in the interior fuse box) so at night I would pull that fuse and the battery never drained again. I had planned on getting a replacement but never got to it before selling the car.
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Old 02-27-2012, 01:30 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cliffyk View Post
Well I just stepped out into the garage and found something I was not aware of. My '03 GT has the Mach 460 system and you can load and unload CDs with the key off--in 5+ years of owning the car I was unaware of that capability...
I had an expedition with the 460 and never knew I could do that til now... I sold the thing 3 months ago and have had it since 04 rofl
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Old 02-27-2012, 09:16 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trexflyer View Post
I had the same issue with my explorer a few yrs ago. Replaced the starter cable/wire and everything was fine. Battery was an old pos so replaced that. 2 months later replaced the starter and everything was fine for another month or so. Thinking that it couldn't be the new starter wire, and everything else was replaced I was stumped. Turns out the old battery corroded the inside of the new wire in 2 months and that ended up being the main culprit (again).
I guess it's possible the remote power lead going to the stereo amps is causing them to stay on all the time? But that would involve other issues with the radio/wiring as well. My random starting issues were just that....random. Sometimes it would go for over a week starting fine, other times I needed a jump right after turning the car off n driving for 200 miles.
I would say a corroded cable is your best bet, as already posted. If it is corroded inside, there could be enough resistance built up where the alternator will not charge the battery properly. If your previous battery had corrosion, it is very possible to have it get into the wire. When I replaced mine I had to chop off a good inch or so as the corrosion had been moving slowly away from the terminals.
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Old 02-27-2012, 10:25 PM   #15
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Ha, I'm glad I found a feature no one knew about... I'll go ahead and check the starter wires if I can reach it with the car on ramps. Thanks for the input. I'll probably check it this weekend.
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Old 02-28-2012, 12:41 AM   #16
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I would say a corroded cable is your best bet, as already posted. If it is corroded inside, there could be enough resistance built up where the alternator will not charge the battery properly.
In my case above it wasn't that the battery had any issues getting charged, it just wasn't getting enough amps to the starter to get it running. But it did have the all telling solenoid "click" like a dead battery. Put jumper cables on and it fired right up.
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Old 02-28-2012, 03:55 PM   #17
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Well, mine doesn't instantly click, it will turn over a couple times and then click.
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Old 02-28-2012, 06:25 PM   #18
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Do you have keyless entry? If so, do you lock the car with the remote every night?
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Old 02-29-2012, 12:14 PM   #19
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The car goes in the garage so I don't bother locking it at night
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Old 02-29-2012, 12:14 PM
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