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Chuck
Chuck, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 2100
Experience:  33 Years Experience,Ford Senior Master,ASE Master,L1 Advanced Engine Performance
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my 2000 ford rangers battery dies after a few days without

Customer Question

my 2000 ford ranger's battery dies after a few days without starting it, its a brand new battery and its not the alternator, because i unhooked the battery after i got it started and it kept running. then i shut it off and unhooked the battery and checked for a short by using a ohm meter between the positive end to the chasis. it read 20k Ohms. any suggestions?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  Chuck replied 4 years ago.
Does your meter read DC amps?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
yes, its a multi-meter. its also a brand new battery, just bought it 2 days ago.
Expert:  Chuck replied 4 years ago.

You will need to check it for a draw using the DA amp feature. Set it on the 10 amp scale and unhook the neg. cable then hook a jumper wire with alligator clips in between the neg cable and the battery neg post. This is to keep from blowing the fuse in your meter until the computer goes to sleep. Here is how you will hook it up.

 

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Before you begin open the drivers door and then take a screw driver and trip the latch on the door so the interior lights will go out. This way you can get to the fuses to unhook them. After hooking up your meter wait about 30 to 45 minutes so the computers will go into the sleep mode. Then unhook the jumper wire so all the amps are going thru your meter and take a reading. You are looking for 0.05 amps(50 milliamps) or less,anything more is excessive. If you have more than 0.05 amps then start unhooking fuses one at a time. Start in the under hood fuse panel first. Now you have to be patient while doing this,sometimes when you unhook a fuse your reading may jump up but should go back down in a couple of minutes unless you activate something like a interior light.

 

The reason I state to start in the under hood fuse panel is because all of the interior fuse panel fuses are fed by the under hood fuse panel so this will help you to narrow it down to which fuses to unhook in the under dash fuse panel to try and localize the circuit causing the draw.

 

DO you have an owners manual so you can see what the fuses feed?

Chuck, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 2100
Experience: 33 Years Experience,Ford Senior Master,ASE Master,L1 Advanced Engine Performance
Chuck and 8 other Ford Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
i do have the owners manual. its too late for me to check it tonight. but ill take a look at it tomorrow if the weather permits. thanks a lot. ill let you know what i find.
Expert:  Chuck replied 4 years ago.
Sounds good. just remember to be patient when unplugging the fuses give your meter a chance to stabilze before moving on.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
ok chuck i have it narrowed down to 2 fuses, 26 and 29 26 is the battery life relay a bunch of stuff for the automatic transmission model (mine is a manual) and the instrument panel, it was drawing 200mA. and 29 which is the radio was drawing 500mA so the both together were drawing 700mA. I think that the person i bought it from may have put the stock radio back in it, and maybe wired it wrong or something. and that could cause the short in the instrument panel too, if they messed it way up. so for a quick fix to keep it from killing my battery im just going to pull those 2 fuses at night until i can take the dash apart and see whats going on. any thing you think i should look for exactly? oh and a quick background about me. im in the navy as an electronics technician. so i have a pretty good know how, but without a electrical diagram or tech manual it makes it a bit difficult but i really appreciate your answer. got it narrowed down.. any suggestions from here?
Expert:  Chuck replied 4 years ago.

Well thats good to hear that you are an electronic technician. Makes it alot easier when posting information for you, I don't have to try and explain every step.

 

Here are the wiring schematics for the systems you are needing.

 

Now the main thing you need to concentrate on is the GEM module it is tied into both of the items you have here .It is located right under the radio and you may be right on about a wiring concern.

 

Here are the schematics for the GEM

 

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Here are the schematics for the radios

 

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Here is what fuse 26 feeds

 

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Here are the instuctions to remove radio and GEM module

 

Remove the radio chassis

  • Remove the center instrument panel finish panel.
    1. Remove the screws.
    2. Remove the center instrument panel finish panel.
    3. Disconnect electrical connectors.

    graphic

     

  • Remove the generic electronic module (GEM)/central timer module (CTM).
    1. Remove the screw.
    2. Disconnect the four connectors from the GEM/CTM.
    3. Remove the GEM/CTM.

    graphic

     

     

     

     

    Now one thing I need to point out to you is the GEM is a module or computer operating on a windows based operating system. So think of it like your home computer, is something keeping it from going to sleep or screen saver like something activating, like moving the mouse so to speak. Look at all the inputs if you do not find nothing at the radio.

     

    If you need pics of the connectors at the radio let me know and let me know which radio it is that you have.



    Edited by Chuck on 1/4/2010 at 1:28 AM EST
    Chuck, ASE Certified Technician
    Category: Ford
    Satisfied Customers: 2100
    Experience: 33 Years Experience,Ford Senior Master,ASE Master,L1 Advanced Engine Performance
    Chuck and 8 other Ford Specialists are ready to help you
    Customer: replied 4 years ago.
    thanks alot. i will give this a shot when i get the chance. about to start the work week. so may take a while. until i get a chance get my hands in there ill just keep removing the 2 fuses at night. ill keep you posted with what i find when i get a chance. may be a few days. thanks alot for your help. im actually having fun doing this. thanks again chuck and look forward to keep working with you.
    Expert:  Chuck replied 4 years ago.
    Sounds good,hollar back if you need any more info.
    Customer: replied 4 years ago.
    ok chuck so here is what i have learned.. sorry it took me so long. been busy with work. so i went to a Ford Dealer ship today, bc my check engine light came on, turns out that is because either the coolant sensor is bad or my coolant was low. well the coolant isnt low so maybe my sensor is going bad.. but thats not what you and i are trying to figure out. well while i was there i talked to one of there mechanics, he didnt seem to think that it coudl be 2 seperate problems. he said it wasnt impossible, just unlikely. well this morning i discovered that with power off my radios time will stay on for a minute or 2, then shut off, then a few seconds later it will come back on, etc etc. he suggested to do the same Amp test but to disconnect the radio, so he popped the radio out for me so i could do that. well i did it, and when i unhook the radio directly the Amps go from 700mA to 200mA which tells me that the radio is the actual problem for that. does that sound about right? he also said that they have had some troubles with stock radios b4. also while i was in there i disconnected the GEM and guess what that Amps dropped to 10mA so could they both be bad? now a radio i can do for cheap. just buy a after-market and the harness addapter and put that in.. should fix that. i think. now the GEM? is that going to be an expensive part to buy? i could replace it myself dont look to hard.. not alot of room to work with, but i think i can get my sausage fingers up in there. do you think replacing those 2 could fix the problem, or do you have any other suggestions as to narrow it down even further?
    Expert:  Chuck replied 4 years ago.

    Curtis:

     

    I would say the radio is a definite problem but the GEM may or may not be. After you unplugged the radio and the amps dropped from 700ma to 200ma did you wait another 30 minutes to see if the GEM would go to sleep? The reason I asked is that maybe the radio is keeping it awake. Now if you wait the 30 minutes after you unplugged the radio and you still have the 200ma draw then you definitely have another problem. Now it would be premature to jump on the GEM module because it could still be receiving a signal from something that is keeping it activated. Think of it like your home computer and you keep wiggling the mouse or touching a key on the key board to keep it from going into screen saver.

     

     

    Here are the schematics for the GEM module so you can see what all it hooks to,remember it is a computer. It is not that hard to replace it but it has to be programmed so this would have to be done by the dealer or by someone with a scan tool that is capable of doing this.

     

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    Chuck, ASE Certified Technician
    Category: Ford
    Satisfied Customers: 2100
    Experience: 33 Years Experience,Ford Senior Master,ASE Master,L1 Advanced Engine Performance
    Chuck and 8 other Ford Specialists are ready to help you
    Customer: replied 4 years ago.
    i didnt realize that the GEM was the computer you were talking about. now that you say mentioned that, it makes sence.. i will have to redo the test with the radio out wait 30-40 minutes to see if the amps drop. i will let you know what happens. i dont think the GEM is bad. but when i unhooked it it did reset my Check Engine light. its off now.
    Customer: replied 4 years ago.
    you were absolutely right. the radio was keeping the GEM awake. i just went out after leaving it be for about 45 min. turned on the meter and removed the jumper wire and it was sitting there at about 10mA. so we have troubleshot and resolved this electrical problem. i want to thank you alot, i coudlnt have done it without your assistance. now i just need to buy a new radio.
    Expert:  Chuck replied 4 years ago.

    Curtis:

     

    Glad to hear you have your problem solved.

     

    Thats the reason you have to be patient and so careful when you are working on these things.Imagine trying to do this on like a Lincoln MKS that has about 20 computers on it.

    Customer: replied 4 years ago.
    ummm... im good.. ill stick with my little old ranger, although i here rangers are a pretty reliable dependable truck. for a pick-up, especially when compared to others in its class like the chevy S-10. the guy i talked to at the dealer said he only sees rangers for oil changes and routine maintenance. other than that they dont really have many problems... in your experiance does this hold true?
    Expert:  Chuck replied 4 years ago.

    Yes I have experience 1st hand.

     

    I have a 93 model 2.3L 5 spd that has 180K miles and still runs strong.It has been thru 2 teenage sons and the only thing besides maintenance has been an alternator, clutch,and a heater core.

    It is affectionately referred to as the danger ranger by my two boys.

    Customer: replied 4 years ago.
    well up until now we are through, however, next problem i have i will look for you personally! thanks alot you were a tremendous help!
    Expert:  Chuck replied 4 years ago.
    Thanks for using Just Answer and hope you don't need us any time soon but if you do we are here.

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