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Parasitic Draw Issue

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  • #581025
    MattMatt
    Participant

      Hello Everyone –

      First, let me say that I’m not much of a mechanic, though I do have my moments….

      Anyway, I’ve got a bit of a stumper here (for me anyway).

      I have a 95 Jeep ZJ that has a 4 amp parasitic draw. I found that the draw is coming from the ignition switch circuit by pulling the fuse in the PDC according to Eric’s video. I subsequently replaced the ignition switch which was the only component directly protected by the fuse as far as I could tell from the factory service manual wiring diagram yet I still have that 4 amp draw.

      My question then is this: since the ignition switch also supplies battery power to the starter solenoid, could the solenoid or the even the solenoid relay be causing that 4 amp draw and my subsequent crank but no start problem?

      Thanks,

      SI

    Viewing 7 replies - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
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    • #581029
      A toyotakarlIts me
      Moderator

        You have quite a draw there… Is there anything aftermarket on this car?

        To check the starter/solenoid, disconnect the lines to it and try the test again… Many times the problem in a parasitic draw where everything else looks fine is within the alternator… Try disconnecting the electrical connections to the alternator… The diodes go bad and cause parasitic draws… If you disconnect the alternator and do a draw test and it stops, you should look at getting it tested (any major auto parts store will do it for free). You probably will need to get a new alternator (or re-built) it is usually much easier to replace the alternator than try to replace the diodes yourself.

        -Karl

        #581085
        EricTheCarGuy 1EricTheCarGuy
        Keymaster

          The ignition switch is connected to a LOT of stuff and I suppose any one of them is suspect. I know you say the fuse protects the switch, but where does the circuit go after the switch? Personally, I’d be looking there for possible suspects. You might also see if there’s a TSB on your vehicle for that issue. Try googling it.

          I’m also going to link my electrical diagnosis article as it may also be helpful.

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

          Keep us posted on your findings.

          #581394
          MattMatt
          Participant

            Karl –

            Thanks for the quick reply. No, there is nothing aftermarket under the hood – I try to keep everything as close to stock as possible.

            I’ll try the draw tests on the solenoid and alternator that you suggest and report back ASAP.

            Thanks again.

            SI

            P.S. Eric – I have the Factory Service Manual and several TSB’s for the vehicle and there are no relevant bulletins for this particular issue – at least in the collection I have. I’ll try the google search.

            #581489
            EricTheCarGuy 1EricTheCarGuy
            Keymaster

              If you don’t have any TSB’s then you’re kinda at square 1. ToyotaKarls suggestions are a great place to start, but I would also suggest checking the wiring diagram to see what the ignition switch powers directly. Perhaps you can get lucky. Sometimes you can wiggle connectors while observing the draw and get lucky. The ignition circuit is a pretty big one so having a wiring diagram is going to be key. Hopefully there’s a good one in the FSM you have.

              Keep us posted.

              #582738
              MattMatt
              Participant

                Hello Again –

                I finally found that blasted drain! It turned out to be my anti-theft alarm module. After I had run the draw test with the alternator dc’d and still had the drain I was just about to crawl under and dc the starter solenoid to run the draw test again when I got a wild hair up the backside to pull the alarm system fuses (the alarm is spliced into 4 circuits). I managed to eliminate 2 of the circuits as the problem and have to leave the other 2 dc’d until I replace the module – which will wait until I feel better about having to rip apart my dash to get to it. :blink:

                The only other function I lose from removing the 2 fuses is my “flash to pass”, but the end result is well worth the cost: I have gone from a 4 amp draw to a much more respectable 20 milliamps.

                Thanks for the advice and Eric tyvm for your very clear and easy to follow parasitic draw video without which I’d be snatching myself bald by now.

                SI

                #582979
                EricTheCarGuy 1EricTheCarGuy
                Keymaster

                  Let me guess, aftermarket alarm? Nothing but trouble and you now know why. Excellent find. Thanks for the update.

                  #583093
                  MattMatt
                  Participant

                    Actually it’s the original factory alarm. It gave 19 years of service before it decided enough was enough and crapped out.

                    SI

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