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I have a 5 amp parasitic draw, have pulled all fuses and relays to no avail.

When I first put the fluke meter across the negative to battery the draw starts around 4.5 and will climb to 5.6 and just sit there.

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Could be in the alternator circuit. Some components use fuseable links instead of actual fuses.

Posted on Apr 12, 2015

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3 Answers

Battery drains overnight


Car And Deep Cycle Battery

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What causes my battery to drain overnight? Parasitic (or ignition key off) drain is the cumulative load produced by electrical devices, for example, emissions computers, clocks, security alarms, radio presets, etc., that operate continuously after the engine is stopped and the ignition key has been switched off. Normal parasitic loads are below 75 milliamps (.075 amps). When the parasitic load is greater than 75 milliamps (.075 amps), batteries will drain more quickly. Glove box, trunk, and under hood lights that do not automatically turn off when the door is closed or shorted diodes in alternators are the most common offenders. Cooling fans, power seat belt retractors, radios and dome lights left on, alarm systems, and electric car antennas have also caused batteries to drain overnight. Leaving your headlights on will generally discharge a fully charged car battery, with 90 minutes of Reserve Capacity (36 amp hours), within a couple of hours.

It is highly recommended, especially if you are using a sealed wet "Maintenance Free" (Ca/Ca) battery, that you allow it to thaw if frozen, fully recharge it in a well ventilated area with an external battery charger, remove the surface charge, and load tested both the battery and the charging system for latent damage from the deep discharge. You could have a damaged or bad battery. If the alternator is warm and the engine is cold, then check for a shorted diode in the alternator.

Below are some methods that are used to test the parasitic load with the engine NOT running, under hood light disconnected, all accessories switched off, and the vehicle doors closed:
  • Connect a 12-volt bulb across the positive and negative battery terminals to test the bulb and the battery. If it glows brightly, then remove the negative battery cable and connect the bulb in series between the negative battery cable terminal clamp and the negative battery terminal. If the bulb continues to glow brightly, then start removing fuses or connections to the positive battery post one-at-a-time until the offending electrical component is identified by the bulb dimming.

  • A better approach is to use a DC ammeter, for example a Fluke 175, inserted in series with the negative battery cable terminal clamp and the negative battery terminal or a clamp-on DC ammeter, like a Fluke 336 or i410 around the negative battery cable. Starting with the highest scale, determine the current load. If the load is above 75 milliamps (.075 amps) after the initial surge, then start removing fuses or connections to the positive battery post one-at-a-time until the offending electrical component is identified by the parasitic load dropping to within 75 milliamps (.075 amps).

Oct 17, 2015 | Cars & Trucks

2 Answers

What would make the battery go dead sitting 2 days without being cranked


Connected ? Could be a light or fault on alternator draining.if it loses charge disconnected battery is finished

Oct 01, 2015 | 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee

1 Answer

98 Jimmy has a power draw it kills the battery within 12 hrs if you pull the 50 amp fuse for the int batt draw goes away any ideas


Yes Steve I do , that fuse supply's power to the I/P fuse block inside the vehicle . It powers AUX/PWR fuse #13 -20amp , RDO/BATT fuse #19 - 15amp ,MIR/LKS fuse #7 - 5amp , CTSY/LP fuse #8 - 15 amp , CIGAR/LTR fuse #2 15 amp , PWR/LKS fuse #14 15 amp , HDLP/SW fuse #1 - 10amp .Do you know where the I/P fuse block is ? You would need to do a parasitic draw test ! This involves hooking up a amp meter in series with the negative battery post an negative battery cable . Pulling each one of these fuses till the battery draw stops ! How To Perform Parasitic Draw Test EricTheCarGuy check out Eric the car guy's video on the subject !

Sep 14, 2015 | Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

My truck is not charging i put brand new battery & alternator on it when i turn it of i need to boost it back up


You need to jump start it next day , is that what your trying to say ? When you turn it off you need to boost - jump start same thing when next day ? It's not your battery or alternator , you have a parasitic draw ! Something it draining your battery , a light is on a control module is not powering down ! You need to hook up a amp meter between the battery negative cable an post to see how much draw is happening ! Then you pull fuse's till the draw goes away ! parasitic draw test Bing Videos

Aug 09, 2015 | Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

Battery draining out checked alternator lights radio etc please advise new battery fitted aswell


You need to do a parasitic draw test with a amp meter hooked up in series with negative battery post an negative battery cable ! Check how much draw there is an then pull fuse's till you see the draw go away . Find a wiring diagram of power flow for that circuit to see what all is powered by that fuse . How To Perform Parasitic Draw Test EricTheCarGuy

Jul 09, 2015 | Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

2006 ford 500 keeps killing battery replaced alternator 3 times and battery and still same problem what can it be??


You have a parasitic draw , something is shorted , or on , or a module is not powering down when it's suppose to. You need to hook a amp meter up between the battery negative post an the negative cable end . Check the meter to see how much draw there is . Pull fuse till the draw goes away or stops ! Find a wiring diagram to see what all is on that fuse an then disconnect thing's on that circuit till you find the culprit ! How To Perform Parasitic Draw Test EricTheCarGuy

Jul 06, 2015 | Ford Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

Battery loses charge overnight


either you have a bad battery, dirty connections or you have a parasitic drain. go to your local parts store for a battery test .to test a parasitic drain you need a multimeter. disconnect your negative battery cable. put your meter in the amperage setting. hook one lead to the negative cable and the other lead to the negative battery terminal. make sure that the cable is DISCONNECTED from the battery or you will blow fuse in meter or blow meter. read your meter. if it is anything over .5 amps or 50mA then it will fail the test. to figure out where the drain is coming from start pulling fuses. pull a fuse and put it back before pulling another. if the readings drop below the .5a then the problem is in the circuit of the fuse you just pulled. from then on it depends which circuit it is to determine the problem.

Apr 10, 2011 | 1998 GMC Sierra

3 Answers

Something pulling battery down on 1990 olds 98


You may need to test for a parasitic power drain, for example a horn switch that is stuck closed causing the horn relay switch to stay on continuously even if the wire was unplugged from the horn.

You will need multimeter to test for a parasitic power drain.

1. With the key off, disconnect the negative battery cable.
2. Connect the black multimeter test lead to the negative battery post, connect the red test lead to the negative battery cable.
3. With the meter set to the DC milli-amps scale note the current draw displayed. If it is over 20 mA, there is likely something drawing power that shouldn't be.
4. Leaving the meter connected have an assistant pull fuses one at a time (replacing them before pulling the next) until the meter reading drops. The circuit that this fuse powers is where the problem most likely is.

Mar 21, 2011 | 1990 Oldsmobile Ninety Eight

1 Answer

If van is not driven for few weeks it would not start and the battery be drained completely, jump starting it still did not help but caused mufler to blew.


to check for a parasitic drain, you will need a multimeter. with battery fully charged, remove negative cable from battery. set meter to 300mA and put negative lead on the battery's negative post. put positive lead on vehicle's negative cable and check meter reading. usually, there's an initial draw for a short time (1 or 2 seconds) for the vehicle'ssecurity system, relays, etc. after that, it should only pull 30-40 mA or so, for the digital clock, radio settings, etc. if you're seeing higher numbers, try removing the main fuses (under hood fuse box) one-by-one to see where the problem is. it's also possible that a diode has gone bad in your alternator, which will draw current when the vehicle isn't running. you can check this by disconnecting the alternator's electrical connector to see if you notice a difference on the meter.

Feb 05, 2010 | 1996 GMC Savana

1 Answer

2002 pathfinder killing the battery for no reason. Sometimes overnight others it takes a couple days. Replaced batt. and alt. but problem still exsists. Ive already checked each circut by pulling fuses for...


to check for a parasitic battery drain, you will need a multimeter. set it on the 300 mA setting then remove the negative battery cable on the vehicle. put the multimeter's negative lead on the battery post and the positive lead on the vehicle's negative cable. the meter will tell you how many amps are being drawn. usually, there's a temporary spike (a second or two) for the vehicle's security system, relays, etc. after that, you should only see a draw of approximately 30-40 mA, which is the digital clock, memory settings on the radio, etc. if you're seeing a larger draw, you can begin removing main fuses in the fuse box under the hood to see where the draw is coming from. it's also possible that you may have a bad diode in the alternator, which would cause the alternator to draw current away from the battery when the engine is not running.

Jan 28, 2010 | 1995 Nissan Pathfinder

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