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Chris (aka- Moose)
Chris (aka- Moose), Technician
Category: Ford
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Experience:  16 years experience
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2001 Ford Ranger 4x4: v-6 and the electrical system..slow..jump

Resolved Question:

I have a 2001 Ford Ranger 4x4 v-6 and the electrical system has a slow drain on the battery in respect that if it is not started in 3 days, it needs a jump. I have also tried a new battery
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 8 years ago.

Hello, I'm Chris, a current Ford Lincoln Mercury employee.

Thanks for coming to our website Just Answer. I will do my best to help you resolve your concerns. I try my hardest to respond in a timely matter and I will respond to any reply anytime I am online. If you choose to reply after an answer is posted to say Thanks. Please include "I accept the answer" in your text

You will need to perfomr this parasitic battery draw test to locate the circuit causing this.

Battery-Drain Tests

NOTE: No production vehicle should have more than a 50 mA (0.050 amp) continuous draw.

Check for current drains on the battery in excess of 50 milliamps (0.050 amp) with all the electrical accessories off and the vehicle at rest. Current drains can be tested with the following procedure:

WARNING: Do not attempt this test on a lead-acid battery that has recently been recharged. Explosive gases can cause personal injury.

CAUTION: To prevent damage to the meter, do not crank the engine or operate accessories that draw more than 10A.

NOTE: Many modules draw 10 mA (0.010 amp) or more continuously.

NOTE: Use an in-line ammeter between the battery positive or negative post and its respective cable.

NOTE: Typically, a drain of approximately one amp can be attributed to an engine compartment lamp, glove compartment lamp, or luggage compartment lamp staying on continually. Other component failures or wiring shorts may be located by selectively pulling fuses to pinpoint the location of the current drain. When the current drain is found, the meter reading will fall to an acceptable level. If the drain is still not located after checking all the fuses, it may be due to the generator.

NOTE: To accurately test the drain on a battery, an in-line digital ammeter must be used. Use of a test lamp or voltmeter is not an accurate method due to the number of electronic modules.

  1. Make sure the junction box/fuse panels are accessible without turning on interior and underhood lights.
  1. Drive the vehicle at least five minutes and over 48 km/h (30 mph) to turn on and exercise vehicle systems.
  1. Allow the vehicle to sit with the key off for at least 40 minutes to allow modules to time out/power down.
  1. Connect a fused jumper wire between the negative battery cable and the negative battery post to prevent modules from resetting and to catch capacitive drains.
  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable from the post without breaking the connection of the jumper wire.
  1. NOTE: It is very important that continuity is not broken between the battery and the negative battery cable when connecting the meter. If this happens, the entire procedure must be repeated.

    Connect the tester between the negative battery cable and the post. The meter must be capable of reading milliamps and should have a 10 amp capability.
  1. NOTE: If the meter settings need to be switched or the test leads need to be moved to another jack, the jumper wire must be reinstalled to avoid breaking continuity.

    Remove the jumper wire.

NOTE: Amperage draw will vary from vehicle to vehicle depending on the equipment package. Compare to a comparable vehicle for reference.

NOTE: No production vehicle should have more than a 50 mA (0.050 amp) draw.

  1. If the draw is found to be excessive, pull fuses from the battery/central junction box one at a time and note the current drop. Do not reinstall the fuses until you are finished testing.
  1. Check the wiring schematic in the wiring diagram for any circuits that run from the battery without passing through the battery/central junction box. Disconnect these circuits if the draw is still excessive.

 

Battery-Electronic Drains Which Shut Off When the Battery Cable is Disconnected Test

  1. Repeat the steps of the battery drain testing.
  1. Make sure all doors are closed and accessories are off. Without starting the engine, turn the ignition switch to RUN for a moment and then OFF. Wait a few minutes for the illuminated entry lamps to turn off if equipped.
  1. Connect the ammeter and read the amperage draw.

The current reading (current drain) should be less than 50 mA (0.05 amp). If the current drain exceeds 50 mA (0.05 amp) after a few minutes, and if this drain did not show in previous tests, the drain is most likely caused by an inoperative electronic component. As in previous tests, remove the fuses from the battery/central junction box one at a time to locate the problem circuit.

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Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Just a little more....I believe it has a red pulsating alarm light in it which means nothing, a fuzzbuster which I had him take it off to see if it still occurred and finally, I just rewired a part of his trailer harrness last night of which two wires were mixed prior to going to the connector of the vechichle which then would plug into the trailer connector. The two wires that were "questionable" were the ones that made the break light on the trailer get a little dimmer, when attached as well as a qucikened turn signal. When I switched the 2 wires in the pre-harness (rigged with almost black wires until I cut them back and sanded them so you could see the color of copper) then the trailer and car lights all worked equally well and as bright as each other. Could have those 2 crossed wires as well as maybe the conductivity of those "corroded" wires......which still worked, could be causing all these problems? and then we will be done here.
Respectively yours,
And as a Pharmacist for 30+ years, I know mades as you know this.
Timothy M. Stiff RPH
President Dundee Area Business Association
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Just a little more....I believe it has a red pulsating alarm light in it which means nothing, a fuzzbuster which I had him take it off to see if it still occurred and finally, I just rewired a part of his trailer harrness last night of which two wires were mixed prior to going to the connector of the vechichle which then would plug into the trailer connector. The two wires that were "questionable" were the ones that made the break light on the trailer get a little dimmer, when attached as well as a qucikened turn signal. When I switched the 2 wires in the pre-harness (rigged with almost black wires until I cut them back and sanded them so you could see the color of copper) then the trailer and car lights all worked equally well and as bright as each other. Could have those 2 crossed wires as well as maybe the conductivity of those "corroded" wires......which still worked, could be causing all these problems? and then we will be done here.
Respectively yours,
And as a Pharmacist for 30+ years, I know mades as you know this.
Timothy M. Stiff RPH
President Dundee Area Business Association
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 8 years ago.

Did you perform the test and find out which fuse is causing the draw.

Yes corroded or crossed shotty wirning can cause a draw.

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