Question about 1999 Dodge Grand Caravan

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Power drain on battery

The battery is always running down and there is a power drain somewhere in the system when the car is turned off. I need to check the fuse box manual to know by removing one fuse at a time to see which part of the electrical system is causing the drain on the battery. I don't have the owners manual to check which fuse is for which area of the system

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Get a fuse tester, which looks like an icepick with a wire coming out the back. Clamp the wire to something metal to make a ground and touch the tops of the fuses which should have small metal prongs on the tops. If the handle of the tester lights up then the fuse is good and if it doesn't then the fuse is bad. Try this out and let me know.

Posted on Jan 06, 2009

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Battery dead and no power to car

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1986 mercury cougar battery, keeps being drained and it's a new battery.

You either have a faulty alternator or there is a constant power drain on the battery when the car is switched off as a result of a fault in the electrical system.
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Something is draining my battery on my 1998 Cadillac DeVille

I suspect parasitic draw. All vehicles draw some power from the batteries when the car is shut off. Certain accessories such as clocks, radios remote door openers and alarms always need power. The normal power used is called parasitic draw.

It is always a very low draw so it doesn't run the battery down. If you install accessories like shortwave radios or plug things like inverters and portable refrigerators into the accessory socket and operate them too long without the engine running you can drain your batteries to the point where the engine won't start. If there is an electrical short in the vehicle or a malfunctioning accessory it could be drawing much more than its normal load causing a drain on the batteries. If you leave your door open and the inside lights stay on all night you could drain the battery down till the car won't start.

Here's also a good resource for your car specifically on narrowing down the cause of the drain.

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Battery draining when rear defrost is turned on what casing this

You do not say what brand and model vehicle you have.

The rear window demisters drain a lot of power and are usually programmed to switch off automatically after about 15 or 20 minutes of use. They should also cut out fully when the vehicle's ignition is turned off and of course when you manually switch them off.

1. When you are driving and running a host of electrical units simultaneously in winter there is maximum power drainage and any shortfall in power from the alternator has to be drawn from the battery. This will be a problem if you have a weak battery that is not holding it's charge well or if the battery is not fully charged once it has been nearly or fully drained. It will also be a problem if the alternator is not producing it's optimum power while the vehicle is running.

Batteries do not respond well to being drained frequently and when they are they should always be fully charged again each time with a battery charger at the earliest opportunity. (Running them down and then expecting the vehicle's alternator to do all the battery recharging is not a sound practice).

2. It is possible the rear demister is not shutting down automatically after a period of operation as it is likely to be programmed to do in your vehicle. This is easily checked. If it is not shutting down, and the battery is needed to supplement the vehicles power supply when driving, then the battery can be run down in time.

3. If the rear demister is left active but not shutting down when your ignition is turned off your battery will quickly drain.
You should check that power to the rear demister is off once the ignition is switched off (and when you switch the demister off manually). This is unlikely to be a problem but in the unlikely event that you find it is still operating then you can pull the fuse dedicated to the rear demister.

I hope this helps.

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Have the alternator tested, perhaps the battery as well. Otherwise, there may be an electrical drain somewhere and that would have to be looked at by someone who knows about vehicle electrical systems. Try the battery and alternator first....

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