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Old 09-21-2012, 01:33 PM   #1
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2004 Focus Parasitic Electrical Drain

Calling All Electrical Experts,

The Missus has a 2004 1.6 Zetec, whose battery keeps running down when left for any period. I have connected a multimeter in series with the positve battery lead and have 3.5A draw on the battery with everytine off and all the doors closed and locked. I have pulled all of the fuses in the main (interior) and auxillary (engine bay) fuse boxes, nothing affected the reading significantly.

Any ideas where to look next?

Thanks!


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Old 09-21-2012, 02:09 PM   #2
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could have a bad alternator, it 'should' have it's own built in fuse. Has the alternator been changed out before?
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Old 09-21-2012, 02:32 PM   #3
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my '03 SVT does the exact same thing, and I have never been able to narrow it down myself either. As long as I drive it once or twice a week it's never weak enough to cause me an issue.....but leave it more than a week and it's dead. I went through the same process as you with the same results.
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Old 09-21-2012, 03:08 PM   #4
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Hi lildisco,

No, the alternator has not been changed before. The alternator is charging fine once I get the engine running, but are you saying that the alternator could be draining the battery when the engine is not running?

Thanks.
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Old 09-21-2012, 05:43 PM   #5
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Good somebody that knows how to use a multimeter!!

You DO realize that it might take up to an hour for all the electronics to go to 'sleep'.
Any connection or disconnection of your multimeter on the Amps setting will cause the electronics to 'wake' again.

Well after securely connecting an ammeter and waiting an hour do you still see current?

Next pull the radio. Then do this all over again any change? SOL if you installed an Amp or hodgepodge a different radio in

Now if I were you I would obtain a DC current clamp on ammeter

Sure they cost more for a DC ammeter but paying a Ford technician will be like getting bit from some blood sucking vampire

With DC current clamp on ammeter. Kluge up some auto fuse extensions , probably have to make them your self.

With [e.g.] four fuses extended, wait an hour and see if those fuses have unusual high current. If not then move to the next four fuses, etc etc

Alternator might be bad so you could see if the alternator is sucking current after an hour-might be some leaking regulator or diodes.
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Old 09-21-2012, 06:37 PM   #6
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Or you could disconnect the charge wire from your alternator and see if you still have a 3.5 amp draw. How old is your battery? Any chance even there's a bad cell?
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Old 09-22-2012, 09:09 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gread View Post
Hi lildisco,

No, the alternator has not been changed before. The alternator is charging fine once I get the engine running, but are you saying that the alternator could be draining the battery when the engine is not running?

Thanks.
Thr alternator has a direct connection to the battery. There's an inline fuse too. But components in the alternator could be bad or failing causing a constant draw. Just my thoughts on the matter.
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Old 09-22-2012, 10:55 AM   #8
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Hi,
Your parasitic drain problem has happened before; happened to me about 5 years ago. Its a weird problem because normally you don't suspect an alternator that is charging OK when engine is running. That is precisely what happened to me, and I spent several weeks disconnecting fuses and relays trying to prove that it wasn't the alternator. Here is the URL from my saga.

HELP Somethings draining my battery

It turned out that the diodes were bad on the alternator, and their job is to allow current to move in only one direction--into the battery, and not out of it.

I could not find a place to change out the diodes so i got a new alternator. If there is a rebuild shop that you can drop your car off at, that is usually a better option than a rebuilt alternator. Ask them if they can swap out your diodes.
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