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1996 Ranger battery drain

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  • #581255
    ChrisChris
    Participant

      Afternoon gents…..

      This is more a question about a peace of equipment I bbought then about the problem. I have a ranger that runs fine and the alternator seems to be charging, but if I let it sit for a week it’s DEAD…can’t get no deader. The multimeter I had would not carry enough amperage to test for leak down so I bought a new one form Electronic Specialties. Not top of the line, but with enough features for me. It omly measures to 10A, but again hopefully will be enough. Now the question…..the documentation says that when measuring current between 1 and 10A it can only be left on for one minute at a time and then needs a 5 minute cool down. Is this the noRM for theses types of testers? I suspect because itt is because it’s relatively low end equipment. Just kind of a pain to race around and see how many fuses you can pull and rplacel in a minute and then wait ,5 before continuing….. Any and all advice/comments are appreciated!!

    Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 29 total)
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    • #581288
      college mancollege man
      Moderator

        Thats a pretty cheap meter. Try sears you will get a decent
        meter without breaking the bank. You need one that will read
        dc milli amps.MA

        http://www.sears.com/search=multimeter?catalogId=12605&storeId=10153&levels=Tools_Electricians+Tools&autoRedirect=true&viewItems=50&redirectType=CAT_REC_PRED&prop17=multimeter

        #581299
        ChrisChris
        Participant

          I knew it wisent top end stuff when I got it. It will read milli amps as well with no restriction on how long it can continously read. The one minute restriction is only on the 1 – 10 A range. I checked some of the sears meters and although they will read to 20A, they will only do it for 30 seconds continuously every 15 minutes……so apparently, it isn’t that unusual for these meters to have a time restriction on how long they can read higher currents…….maybe?

          #581302
          Jeff KetchemJeff Ketchem
          Participant

            Not really I think my Fluke 87 will only do 20A for 30 seconds. If your meter will read millivolts try this instead. Do a voltage drop test on tabs on back of fuses instead of putting your meter inline. You will still need wiring diagram but you will easily be able to jump to each leg of circuit and or component to see where the draw is. I will attach a link with a chart that converts millivolts to milliamps for particular fuses.

            Here it is http://www.angelfire.com/pa2/lberger/Vd_Fuse_Chart.pdf

            #581318
            ChrisChris
            Participant

              Thanks for the infor and the link…it is much appreciated. I never thought about doing it like that …..my mind wisent there I guess. I have a feeling that its the rectifier bridge in the alternator allowing it to leak to ground, but of course I won’t know that until I check it…hope fully this weekend. Again….thanks for the info…it’s amazing what one can learn if they just listen. : )

              #581325
              ErikErik
              Participant

                Eric the car guy shows you how to do it and leave’s his on there no problems.

                #581396
                ChrisChris
                Participant

                  Yep…I’ve watched that vedio. However I suspect that Eric’s meter cost a lot more then the $85 I spent on mine and is designed to measure that kind of load for extended periods. I’ll be working in this weekend and will post the results.

                  #581495
                  EricTheCarGuy 1EricTheCarGuy
                  Keymaster

                    Actually I got my meter for less than $100 because the amp meter didn’t work when I bought it. I replaced the fuses and it works fine now. That said, there have been some great suggestions here, but before you go to the parasitic draw, check the battery. Sometimes batteries go bad like this. If it’s just the battery you can save yourself a lot of headache by not having to worry about a parasitic draw.

                    http://www.ericthecarguy.com/faq/solving-automotive-electrical-problems

                    Keep us posted.

                    #581523
                    ChrisChris
                    Participant

                      Understood Eric. That was the plan. Battery is on charge now and I will get into it tomorrow. Thanks for responding.

                      #581527
                      Jeff KetchemJeff Ketchem
                      Participant

                        Now back to the meter deal. You’re hoping to find a draw that is less than 1A that being equal to 1000mA, of course. So the spec you stated on your meter seems to more than meet standards. Good news! Good buy! lol This also goes back to why I like the test I mentioned its quicker (once you’re used to it), its less intrusive and its safer for your meter. I’d be pretty upset frying a meter or having to buy a $10+ fuse for one of mine or even possibly injuring myself or someone else by overloading a cheap meter. Sounds like you got a good one though. In my opinion.

                        #581601
                        ChrisChris
                        Participant

                          I am neither a mechanic nor an electrician. I understand the current draw thing by placing an amp meter in series with the circuit, I also understand the voltage drop thing….in principle. The practical application of said principle gives me a little pause however. Thinking about how the fuses are mounted, I am thinking I would have to pull each fuse I want to test and place the probes of tthe MM in the slots for each side of the fuse? It is quite possible that the draw will be well over 1000 mA and I think that will be the case here. I shall ponder the sisuation a little more : )

                          #581620
                          Jeff KetchemJeff Ketchem
                          Participant

                            Just be sure to be on the right setting and have your leads in correct position to avoid damage to you or your meter worst case scenario. 🙂

                            #581742
                            ChrisChris
                            Participant

                              Morning Gents….Alternator seems to be OK….13.9 v at idle with EVERTHING on. Cut everything off, hooked apmeter up in series and I have a draw of 244 mA. May not be able to work on it today…got a sick dog I am taking care of, but as soon as I can, I’ll post back.

                              #581769
                              college mancollege man
                              Moderator

                                [quote=”sirdude” post=88498]Morning Gents….Alternator seems to be OK….13.9 v at idle with EVERTHING on. Cut everything off, hooked apmeter up in series and I have a draw of 244 mA. May not be able to work on it today…got a sick dog I am taking care of, but as soon as I can, I’ll post back.[/quote]

                                keep us posted when you feel better. 🙂

                                #581903
                                ChrisChris
                                Participant

                                  Good Morning…

                                  OK….I feel like I am being a real pain here, but these are the test result for my parastic draw test on the 96 ranger. With everything off, I am showing about a 240 mA draw. Working at the “power distribution center” under the hood (contains large and small fuses and several relays), here is what I found when pulling the following fuses labeled: IP Fuse Panel, 240 mA drops to 75 mA. Air bag Sys, 240 mA drops to 190 mA . Parking lamps, 240 mA drops to 125 mA. Are these three circuits interconnected is some way? OK..HERES the kicker…..In the passenger compartment when I pulled all the fused, the one for the speedo caused a drop from 240 mA to 82mA. The reason that is significant in my opinion is that I have recently pulled the speedo to fix the odometer which was no problem, but upon reinstalling the speedo it immediatly read 28mph with truck stopped and turned off. When reassembling the speedo there was no “key” on the shaft to make sure the needled was at “zero”…I figured since it was electrical it self zeroed? I don’t know…I just thing it’s strange I’ve got a draw on that circuit and the speedo is acting strangely. Thoughts, opinion, advice????

                                  #581934
                                  Jeff KetchemJeff Ketchem
                                  Participant

                                    IP fuse panel = instrument panel (fuse box connected to instrument panel). Sounds like you’re on right track with the cluster. The IP fuse you pulled outside has nothing to do with that its like a master for the fuse box inside in a way if that makes sense. Now you need to go down stream unplug the cluster see if draw drops. Do you have the dome light blocked or disconnected? Just wondering because you probably have something from door switch that will also run into the cluster especially if there is a “door ajar” feature sometimes even if there’s not you may have something “awake” with door open.

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