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Discussion Starter #1
Before I start, this will be my first post, found this site by trying to diagnose problems with my daughters car, tons of useful info here but still experiencing technical difficulties. Been reading everything I can find on the subject but still not sure what is going on with this car.

I recently got this car for my daughter, its a red 2001 SE 4 door with auto trans, 2.0 liter SOHC engine, 165,000 miles. When I got it (from my sister) it had been sitting a month or so and had to be jump started. Battery was over 5 years old so I replaced it with a new interstate. Car sat for a couple days and the new battery was dead. Recharged battery and noticed it would go dead sitting over night. This time I pulled off the alternator, took it to a shop for rebuild, it tested bad and they recommended I get an new one, everything but the case itself need replacing. So I buy a new one. Put it on and after car starts, maybe 10 seconds later, battery light comes on and stays on. Sitting over night kills battery completely. I contact parts store, they order me a second one, it acts exactly like the first...battery light on, now (maybe before the second alternator, did not check) battery will drain enough in one hour that it will not start.

I have charged battery, unhooked from the car it shows 11.8 volts, same amount when terminals are hooked up to the car. Start car up, test battery running, tested at 14.5 volts, tested back of alternator, it also is 14.5 volts. Put the car in "test mode" voltage flickering back and forth at 14.4 and 14.5 volts, battery light still lit, and it pulls up no dtc.


I read the article on the 3 wire alternator connector being a problem area, it didn't cost much so for good measure, that was replaced when the second alternator was installed. I went as far as to test car for parasitic drains on battery, only fuse that tests for load is fuse 36 in interior fuse box. If I pull relay 24 (battery saver) that load goes from 1.6 amps to .1 amps.

As I am writing this and gathering my thoughts as to be thorough with this post, it dawns on me that I should load test battery itself, it probably should be above 12 volts fully charged. I will have to get that done...just being new, does not mean it could not be bad, internally shorted or dead cell. It will hold a charge when unhooked from the car, but not when the battery cables are attached. Perhaps the lower voltage is messing with the battery saver system? I assume a bad battery would also illuminate the battery light?

I will get the battery tested first of the week, I had to walk away from the car for now, to maintain my sanity. If anyone has any ideas where or what to check next, I would appreciate the input. Thanks!
 

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Old Phart
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Testing for parasitic loads can't only be done at fuses, needs to be done right at the battery.

Do try that with alternator disconnected if it shows you still have a parasitic drain, bad one can cause that.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Testing for parasitic loads can't only be done at fuses, needs to be done right at the battery.

Do try that with alternator disconnected if it shows you still have a parasitic drain, bad one can cause that.
I tried all the methods I could find on youtube, using my volt meter, including at the negative battery lead. With and without the alternator being connected in just in case the second alternator was the problem. But thanks for the input.
 

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Old Phart
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Ammeter side when you get right down to it, better use the 10A function and have a spare fuse/pull leads fast if it looks higher. parasitic draws are usually lower but yours sounds significant. Large spark when connecting terminals means you might need to look more before even measuring.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
For the life of me I can not find a list of components that run through fuse 36, could someone shed a little light on what items are on this fuse. I bought a chiltons manual, but it's wire diagrams don't reference what fuse protects what and there is no owners manual in the car.

Also, this car acts odd in the fact when it is running, the seat belt chime is active when the driver seat is empty. It chimes at regular intervals continuously until the drivers seat belt is latched. Just pondering the idea this oddity may be part of the problem. I think I read somewhere there is a device hooked (GEM module) to the back of the interior fuse box that is a timer of sorts for door chimes as well as many other things, maybe the constant chimes are an indication that it has failed?

After sitting unhooked over night, the battery now tests at 12.4 volts, I will still have it tested to eliminate that as a possible cause of battery drain.
 

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DTC P0606
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I'd say you're on the right track. Fuse 36 controls the central timer module (CTM) which in turn accepts input from the seat belt switch, amongst a whole host of other things. I doubt the timer has failed - haven't heard of that one before - but I'd sort out the odd seat belt behaviour first.
Are you saying if you pull fuse 36 your parasitic drain problem goes away?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
When I did the initial parasitic test by using meter on neg cable, I did not do this test correctly. The meter I had was designed to only work for short periods of time, so I was hooking and unhooking the negative cable. This was done by pulling fuses and met no results. I later realized my error, not allowing relays, timers, etc to remain in sleep mode, which skewed my results. The second method I used was going to milliamp scale and testing fuses themselves with battery connected for over an hour. This method found the draw on fuse 36. When I pulled fuse, I could hear relay 24 (battery saver) clicking when I pulled/ installed fuse. With 36 installed I was able to get drain next to nothing by pulling relay 24.

So basically I'm at square one, but thinking the timer unit may play into the equation due to the odd actions of the seat belt reminder chime. I am thinking with car in park with empty seat it should not be reminding to hook up a seat belt.

My game plan for tomorrow is to first off test battery to make sure it is not at fault, then repeat the initial parasitic drain test, correctly this go around. If it turns out 36 is still at fault and if I can ever get a lists of items affected by fuse 36, I will start unhooking those items one at a time to find my fault...at least I hope to...lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Kind of thinking aloud, I am thinking this chime/timer issue may be causing the battery saver to remain active. Pulling amperage through 36. I have no idea what items are directly powered through fuse 36, but am guessing the chime/timer unit is one of them.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Does anyone know for sure what items are protected/ in useage on fuse 36? From different sources I have compiled the following list:

Central Timer
Multifunction Electronic Control Module
Battery Saver Relay
Instrument Cluster
Anti-lock Control
Climate Control
Heat/ defrost
Interior Lighting
Power Mirrors

I assume most of these items are in reference to the central timer, I believe it also handles the chimes for warnings (seat belt, light left on, key in ignition, etc). I haven't had the chance to look at cat today, hoping to this evening just trying to get a correct/complete list of items to check out. First on the list is battery itself, going to have it tested. If it checks okay I am still planning on putting known good battery in its place to rule it out as a possible cause for my issues. I have a 2016 focus I can use the battery out of for testing.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Got home from work early enough to pull battery and take it the parts store. Took nearly an hour to charge and run diagnostics, turns out battery tested bad. In the morning I'll exchange it for another, hopefully a good one this go around. Crossing my fingers that this cures my electrical issues, I was hoping that it tested bad, hopefully a new battery and I'll be back up and running!
 

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Not that this helps you in any way, but is good to know when testing.

If I remember correctly from my Porsche days, the battery should read 13.2 volts when fully charged after charging, then will rest at 12.7 volts after 24 hours of sitting.

Min charging is usually at 13.8 volts

6 cells x 2.2 volts = 13.2 volts.
When you read less than 12.7, usually 1 cell is failing, lead plate being coated with acid crystals from sitting.

As far as finding that leak, something is running out there. Things such as light bulbs; interior lights, stereo or amplifier, car alarm. remember that DC current flows from negative to positive. Test everything in the car and make sure it works first and check for proper operation such as the dimming of the interior lights on key off.

On most cars in general, voltage is returned directly to the battery + such as Alternator, Starter motor and junction box.

Electricians use a amp meter, a u shaped magnet on a voltage meter that you can clamp around a wire and measure the flow of electrons with. This would help you isolate or give you direction in which way to go within a couple of minutes. You just keep following the wires that register a significant amount until you reach a device.

You can use a volt meter with penetrating probes, you stick them into the wires insulator but it takes much longer and leaves little pin holes.

Clamp Meter or Amp Meter
Fluke Clamp Meters, Amp Meters and Clamp On Ammeters
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I started from scratch this afternoon, prepped car for testing amperage running through negative cable. Let car sit for about 2 hours with jumpers hooked from negative post to negative cable to make sure all systems were in sleep mode.

Thinking what items I had replaced, 2 window regulators, battery, alternator, water pump and timing belt, I suspected the battery and alternator as most likely causes for issues. I know the battery is 100%, so the first thing I checked is the alternator. Amp meter showing 5.7 amps draw through negative cable, I went to unhook 3 wire plug at alternator and notice the case was pretty warm. I then unhooked 3 wire plug and amp draw dropped to .24 amps. I am guessing the internal regulator is not compatible with the car. This is the second reman alternator I have bought, so had parts store order new alternator. Have to wait 5 days for it to arrive, think I will check everything else tomorrow to make sure I don't have an other issues. These electrical issues make me want to rip out my hair!!!
 

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Old Phart
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Testing for parasitic loads can't only be done at fuses, needs to be done right at the battery.

Do try that with alternator disconnected if it shows you still have a parasitic drain, bad one can cause that.
Hopefully the first guess might be proven out as a real answer.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Replaced alternator with used known good used ford unit so I could keep testing. Start car after a few seconds, battery light comes on, acts same as other alternators did.

Prep car for parasitic drain testing and let set for an hour. This alternator acts same as reman one, it gets warm after setting for an hour hooked to car. Test parasitic drain at negative terminal:

Everything hooked up 5.14 amps, unhook alternator .35 amp

Pull fuse 36 only 4.96 amps, pull alternator plug drops to .21 amps

Just pulling battery saver relay, test results same as fuse 36 except with both alt and 36 pulled .22 amps.

It acts like for some reason power is being sent to alternator, as if car is sending power to the field coil to generate electricity when is sitting.

I pulled apart alternator 3 wire harness and rechecked my connections to verify I didn't cross the wires (new plug has 3 black wires, matched connections to old loom based on wire location).

Any ideas what to check I'd appreciate, I am about to loose patience with this, may be going to ford dealer for them to figure it out.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Just checked, pulling fuse 7 in engine comp fuse block drain drops to zero.

This is driving me nuts!
 

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Check the 12v power points in the car to see if there's something semi conductive lodged in there, same thing happened on my brothers fiesta he had put some tissue paper in there to stop things falling in after he lost the cap, I pulled it out and the battery stoped draining.
 

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Sorry to bump this thread after all the years. I'm curios if @westofb managed to find the root cause because I'm experiencing the same situation with a mk1 focus from 2001 and I cannot find a solution.

So far I checked the following: with ampere-meter on negative and key out of ignition I have a 200mA drain. seems related to fuse 36 (interior lights), the battery saver relay and the central timers module because with any of them disconnected the drain drops to 20mA. Disconnected all doors and the central console suspecting some false input being fed into the timer module but with no luck.

Thank you.
 

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Sorry to bump this thread after all the years. I'm curios if @westofb managed to find the root cause because I'm experiencing the same situation with a mk1 focus from 2001 and I cannot find a solution.

So far I checked the following: with ampere-meter on negative and key out of ignition I have a 200mA drain. seems related to fuse 36 (interior lights), the battery saver relay and the central timers module because with any of them disconnected the drain drops to 20mA. Disconnected all doors and the central console suspecting some false input being fed into the timer module but with no luck.

Thank you.
Is you battery going dead?

Paul
 
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