Question about 2003 Jeep Grand Cherokee

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1997 Jeep grand Cheeroke

I have some type of problem where the battery is getting drained while my jeep is not running. It has a new battery also and it needs a jump to be started once started if one terminal is disconnected it will still run but connected if I shut it off all I get is click click I have no idea what the prob. could be????

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My Answer:

Being an expert in this Electronics field this should be fairly easy.

It appears your charging system is functioning OK as you did the QUICKIE alternator/regulator test and that part appears to be fine.

Next - Never ASSUME you have a good, or NEW battery. I've seen brand new batts fail a few months after purchase for no known reason at all. Water level should be topped off esp during Hotter weather as water level will drop as the batt ages.

AND - when in doubt - Always do a hydrometer test on each cell, and make sure all cells read equally at approx 1.285 to 1.290 - indicating a fully charged batt.

When doing a LOAD TEST with an external 100 Amp Load Tester make sure you disconnect the POS terminal cable (or better yet both batt cables) on the batt before doing a good Load Test on a fully charged batt.

Batt voltage on a good fully charged batt should never drop much below 11.4 to 11.7 volts doing a 10 second load test using a Load Tester similar to say one bought at Harbor Freight Tools for like $15 when they are on sale.

If the top of the batt is wet (for whatever reason such as dew-point or leaky batt acid) this will cause the batt to self-discharge right across the top of the batt. Just like putting a small light-bulb across the batt posts and causing a drain. It happens more times than you care to know. When I worked at SEARS I seen it day in and day out......trust me I know!

Next - you'll want to check for a couple things at night, or else daylight will work as well - if you have good eyesight. You want to check and make sure your "backup lights" aren't ON when the Headlights Switch is turned OFF and the Ignition Switch is OFF as well. Sometimes a SHORTED Transmission Backup Light Switch will cause a battery drain with everything shut off. Sometimes!

Also - If you have any Interior Lights left on when the SUV doors are all closed that will surely drain the battery down.

A radio/stereo left ON will do the same as well.

A shorted tail-light (or any marker light) will also cause a battery to drain over time.

Jeeps that have a under the hood light Mercury Tilt Switch for the Engine compartment sometimes can have this switch mounting come loose and when you shut the hood the light will actually stay lit thus draining the batt down as well. Make sure you check it at NIGHT during darkness as it will show up better.

If all this proves NOT to be the cause then you will have to do an actual DVM inline amp meter test to see just how much current leakage (shorting) you have. A fuse block isolation test will next have to be done to isolate from which circuit leg the short (or current drain) is coming from.

Once that circuit is isolated then it's just a matter of finding the shorted device or shorted wire(s).

If you just added anything new electrical wise to the Jeep recently- then that is a good starting point - for if the problem wasn't there before that time, and now it is - then there is your culprit!

If you are using an external battery charging PV (Photo-voltaic) panel, and it's bad for any reason - then it will drain your battery down as well, esp if the blocking or back diode goes bad.

Also - If you have a dual battery system with a BATTERY ISOLATOR installed you might want to double check all your wiring there as well - as I've seen them go bad and cause many a battery problem!

It's gotta be something I just went over here - as I covered everything......

Let me know what it was OK?

Thx,

Frank

Posted on Aug 13, 2008

  • Frank JR
    Frank JR Aug 23, 2008



    PS to my previous answer post:



    I know you said you did a Quickie Alternator/Regulator test by
    disconnecting one battery cable and the Jeep still ran, but after
    thinking about what I said above I'm thinking you might still have a
    bad (V/R) Voltage Regulator, or else possibly worn/bad Alternator
    brushes inside. If the V/R output is indeed TOO LOW then you are
    draining the battery while you are driving - PERIOD.



    A leaky Rectifier Diode(s) is/are a possibility as well, but very rare.
    I'm not sure how much driving you do or what loads you are putting on
    the battery and charging system, but here's what you really need to do
    to rule out the Alternator & Regulator as being good or bad.



    While testing the ALT & V/R output make sure you have the Parking
    Brake Set good, and the Trans in Park. Make sure there are NO kids in
    the SUV as well !!!!



    Put a good DVM (Digital Volt Meter) across the battery while the engine
    is running and bring the RPM up to at least 2000 RPM (or else the
    Alternator Sense will not fully energize ON the V/R!), and measure the
    voltage using the 20 volt DC scale on the DVM. The voltage read across
    the battery should read approx 14.7 - 14.8, but no higher. Anything
    much lower then say 14.4 - 14.5 volts could mean a weak V/R and/or
    Alternator.



    If you can't do this check yourself, and you know someone with a good
    DVM have them do it for you, or else you'll have to take the Jeep into
    say a SEARS AUTO store and have them to a system check for you.



    It has to be one or the other if the previous troubleshoots didn't produce or find the problem.



    Please post the solution after you find the fault.



    Thx



    Frank





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