Go Back   DODGE RAM FORUM - Dodge Truck Forums > Dodge Ram Generations Forum > 2nd Gen : 1994 - 2002 > General Discussion


General Discussion

Something is killing my battery


This is a discussion on Something is killing my battery within the General Discussion forums, part of the 2nd Gen : 1994 - 2002 category!
I just bought a 1999 ram 1500 Sport last week. Ive notices that if i leave it sitting for few ...


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-26-2016, 11:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: California
Age: 25
Posts: 5

Ram Year: 1999 Dodge Ram 1500 Sport
Engine: 5.2L
Default Something is killing my battery
I just bought a 1999 ram 1500 Sport last week. Ive notices that if i leave it sitting for few hours and start it it will start but after it turns over a few times.
Recently I parked it at 2:30 AM Xmas eve and the next time i went to start it was 5:00 PM Xmas day, so it sat for 14 1/2 hrs and it would not crank, the battery was dead and i had t use my jumper. The battery is a Pro Start battery from pepboys and it has a sticker date of 7/16 so its New. I disconnected the negative and put the test light on the cable and touched the pen on the Neg. I then pulled fuses to see if any would kill the test light, nothing. The test light is pretty dim though so i figured its because of the PCM draw. Im stumped on what is killing the battery and wondered if there is anything that is common with the rams? What else can i try to see if its the truck or the battery? Any help would be appreciated.


Sponsored Ad
Register to remove this ad.
C2ndLTpigeon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2016, 09:37 AM   #2 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Bay City, Mi
Age: 74
Posts: 258

Ram Year: 2014
Engine: hemi
Default
Have pepboys check the battery. You really need to be sure the battery is 100% before you do anything else. It wouldn't be the first battery that crapped out early.
avantiguy is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2016, 10:24 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
charonblk07's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Calgary, Ab
Posts: 3,556

Ram Year: 2009
Engine: F1-A forged 349ci
Default
The easiest way to determine where the draw is from is with a multimeter; remove the negative cable and install the multimeter between the negative cable and the negative post. With the multimeter set to test amps through the internal fuse you can see what the off-key draw is and to narrow it down to a specific circuit you just pull fuses in sequence until the draw really drops off. Most off-ket draws are ~100mA or less, if you're above 150mA then you're pulling a lot from somewhere. With the age of your truck it may be hard to track some down as they could easily be thin or cracked wire insulation but you won't know where to start looking until you figure out what circuit it's bleeding from.


__________________
'09 Ram 1500 Sport 4wd Green Mamba- 4.5/6.5 dropped, forged 349 block, cog driven F1-A Procharger
charonblk07 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2016, 12:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
Gr8bawana's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 188

Ram Year: 1997
Engine: 5.9
Default
I also had a mysterious battery drain for a while. It ended up being that I used the 12 volt power outlet, not the cig lighter, that is in the dash to run a small air compressor and melted the connectors on the back of it. It created a short that drew just enough that it would drain the battery if it sat for more than 1 day.
Gr8bawana is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2016, 03:22 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
DodgeTx's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: San Antonio
Posts: 547

Ram Year: 2000
Engine: 5.9L
Send a message via Skype™ to DodgeTx
Default
I had an issue where my ground cables and terminals had a ton of corrosion within the wires on the terminal, I used a wire brush and cleaned them up and put it all back together, with a new ground wire to the radiator core support. Haven't had a problem since.
DodgeTx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2016, 11:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: California
Age: 25
Posts: 5

Ram Year: 1999 Dodge Ram 1500 Sport
Engine: 5.2L
Default
So i disconnected the Negative and used a multi meter with one lead on the cable and one on the neg post. I set it to 10 AMPs. It shows its pulling .031 amps when the truck is off. It doesn't seem like its alot, is this normal?

I wouldn't doubt a new battery as ive had it happen before, but i wanted to make sure I test it before going to the next step.
C2ndLTpigeon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2016, 02:00 AM   #7 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Lansing, Michigan
Age: 21
Posts: 998

Ram Year: 2001 1500 Sport with enough electrical modifications to make your head spin
Engine: Magnum 360
Default
What you're reading is 31 milliamps key off current. The problem is, by disconnecting the negative wire you completely shut down all running loads, potentially whatever may be draining the battery.

If you really want to find your key off draw, follow these steps.

Get a jumper wire of sufficient size as to handle 20A for a second or two, 14g wire should work if you use vise grips or clamps.

With one of the terminals disconnected use your jumper wire to connect the lead to the battery. If you have a top post simply clamp it to the post and lead. If you have a side screw in type, auto stores sell adapters that turn it into side post batteries for out of vehicle charging purposes, that is the easiest way to set this up.

Once you have the jumper wire in place, turn everything unnecessary off, such as lighting, fans and other accessories. Then turn the key to run until the dash lights go out to indicate that everything is properly booted. Then shut the ignition off, remove the key and get out.

Back up by the battery hook one lead of the multimeter to the lead you disconnected from the battery and the other to the corresponding post of the battery. Make sure the multimeter is turned on and in the proper 10A setting. Then remove one side of the jumper wire and read the measurement.

That is your actual key off drain.

There is another test i'd like you to do. Take your multimeter in the highest milliamp range and put one lead onto the positive terminal and scrape the other lead across the top of the battery. Note the highest value, this is parasitic drain due to the top of the battery being dirty.
dudeman2009 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2016, 11:03 PM   #8 (permalink)
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: California
Age: 25
Posts: 5

Ram Year: 1999 Dodge Ram 1500 Sport
Engine: 5.2L
Default
Originally Posted by dudeman2009 View Post
What you're reading is 31 milliamps key off current. The problem is, by disconnecting the negative wire you completely shut down all running loads, potentially whatever may be draining the battery.

If you really want to find your key off draw, follow these steps.

Get a jumper wire of sufficient size as to handle 20A for a second or two, 14g wire should work if you use vise grips or clamps.

With one of the terminals disconnected use your jumper wire to connect the lead to the battery. If you have a top post simply clamp it to the post and lead. If you have a side screw in type, auto stores sell adapters that turn it into side post batteries for out of vehicle charging purposes, that is the easiest way to set this up.

Once you have the jumper wire in place, turn everything unnecessary off, such as lighting, fans and other accessories. Then turn the key to run until the dash lights go out to indicate that everything is properly booted. Then shut the ignition off, remove the key and get out.

Back up by the battery hook one lead of the multimeter to the lead you disconnected from the battery and the other to the corresponding post of the battery. Make sure the multimeter is turned on and in the proper 10A setting. Then remove one side of the jumper wire and read the measurement.

That is your actual key off drain.

There is another test i'd like you to do. Take your multimeter in the highest milliamp range and put one lead onto the positive terminal and scrape the other lead across the top of the battery. Note the highest value, this is parasitic drain due to the top of the battery being dirty.
I followed your instructions and i did get a different reading. I am now getting .004, alot less then before. Im starting to think this is not a problem with the truck but the battery itself. What do you think?
C2ndLTpigeon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2016, 11:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
charonblk07's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Calgary, Ab
Posts: 3,556

Ram Year: 2009
Engine: F1-A forged 349ci
Default
Originally Posted by C2ndLTpigeon View Post
I followed your instructions and i did get a different reading. I am now getting .004, alot less then before. Im starting to think this is not a problem with the truck but the battery itself. What do you think?
Battery or alternator then. Get the battery tested and if it comes back in good shape then have then test the alternator, if it's not charging properly then your battery is only getting a surface charge and you'll have a very low reserve capacity.


__________________
'09 Ram 1500 Sport 4wd Green Mamba- 4.5/6.5 dropped, forged 349 block, cog driven F1-A Procharger
charonblk07 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2016, 01:52 AM   #10 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Lansing, Michigan
Age: 21
Posts: 998

Ram Year: 2001 1500 Sport with enough electrical modifications to make your head spin
Engine: Magnum 360
Default
4 milliamps is about right. After 10-30 minutes that would have risen slightly, but thats ok. Any problems on this age of vehicle would've been apparent right away.

I would complete that second test I wanted you to do, or clean off the top of the battery really well.

To test the alternator, start the vehicle and let it idle for about 5 minutes. Then turn on everything, high beams, fogs, high speed blower motor, interior lights, etc. and let it idle for another minute. Then test voltage at a few places.

Across the battery terminals.
From battery positive to bare metal on the engine or the alternator casing.
From battery negative to the alternator positive stud.

The battery terminal measurement is your baseline, neither of the other two readings should vary from it by more than a volt. The battery voltage should be no lower than 12.8V during the test.

To test the battery, charge it first. To test if it is charged measure the terminal voltage with the lights off. If the reading is above 12.8V you must first remove the surface charge by running the headlights for 2 minutes. Then let the battery settle for 5-10 minutes after that. Then measure the battery voltage, it should read no lower than 12.4V. Anything less indicates a weak battery for a standard flooded lead acid battery.
dudeman2009 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
battery dead, volt short

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Killing some chrome! Tyler__Beck Exterior 1 10-15-2014 09:56 PM
Its killing me!!!! Razzaa Engine & Performance 5 09-20-2013 04:47 PM
Starter solenoid/alternator/battery junction for dual battery? 12TrueSport Audio & Electronics 10 07-09-2013 05:56 PM
Killing TM with Trinity UNBROKEN Engine & Performance 17 12-26-2012 06:36 PM

<




GM Truck Forum
Ford Raptor Forum
Chevy Tahoe Forum
Chevy Cobalt Forum
Chevy Camaro Forum
Toyota FJ Cruiser Forum
Ford Truck Forum
88-98 GM Truck Forum
73-87 Gm Truck Forum
Ford Expedition Forum
Chevy Equinox Forum
Chevy Cruze Forum
Jeep Liberty Forum
Jeep Forum
Dodge Ram SRT10 Forum
Chrysler 200 Forum
Scion xD Forum
Scion xB Forum
Dodge Challenger Forum
SRT Forum
Nissan Titan Forum
Buick Enclave Forum
Cadillac Forum
Cadillac XTS Forum