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'93 XLT static current draw

austinrick

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I had a detailer clean 360,000 miles of grime off the 3.0L engine of my Ranger last week, knowing there is some risk in that. When he was through she would not start, but after drying out the inside of the distributor cap she started and has run like normal.

She sat for 2-3 days over last weekend and when I tried to start her yesterday got nothing but a clicking starter (machine gun style). Took the battery to AutoZone, it tested old but good. Took home, put on charger, back into truck and she started right up, ran like normal. Started sluggish today, battery measured 12.5ishV, but she started.

I saw on another forum that static current draw measured between neg battery post and cable should be around .01A. Mine is reading .22A so something is drawing current.

What I noticed is that with the multimeter set to 10A and leads across post > clamp, the reading drops from .22A to .01A (normal) by itself over about 10-15 seconds. Is this normal? How am I supposed to pull fuses and watch for the current draw to drop to normal when I interrupt the offending circuit if it drops to normal by itself?

Any other advice appreciated.
 


94b2300ranger

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I had a detailer clean 360,000 miles of grime off the 3.0L engine of my Ranger last week, knowing there is some risk in that. When he was through she would not start, but after drying out the inside of the distributor cap she started and has run like normal.

She sat for 2-3 days over last weekend and when I tried to start her yesterday got nothing but a clicking starter (machine gun style). Took the battery to AutoZone, it tested old but good. Took home, put on charger, back into truck and she started right up, ran like normal. Started sluggish today, battery measured 12.5ishV, but she started.

I saw on another forum that static current draw measured between neg battery post and cable should be around .01A. Mine is reading .22A so something is drawing current.

What I noticed is that with the multimeter set to 10A and leads across post > clamp, the reading drops from .22A to .01A (normal) by itself over about 10-15 seconds. Is this normal? How am I supposed to pull fuses and watch for the current draw to drop to normal when I interrupt the offending circuit if it drops to normal by itself?

Any other advice appreciated.
Dropping to 10 mA and staying there is perfect and won't drain your battery. Problem seems like your battery, even though it tested good. I would take the caps off and check the fluid levels and test each cell for 2 volts. Way to do this is get your meter and starting from left to right or right to left, doesn't matter. Stick one probe into the first cell and second probe in the next one, should read about 2.1 volts, 6 cells x 2.1= 12.6 volts, which is good for a battery(well as long as it holds 12.6). Then just repeat the process until you find a dead cell, all cells should be fairly close to each other. Hope this makes sense and helps.
 

austinrick

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Thanks much, I will follow your instructions for testing cells. I guess my next question is, when I put the meter leads across the battery neg post and cable clamp and it reads .22A, is that also normal? Why?

If starting at .22A and dropping back to .01A is normal, I'll take it. The battery is over 5 years old and AutoZone will still give me $60 toward a new one, but I don't want to replace it if the problem is a current leak somewhere.

So when I measure across neg post to clamp and get .22A, then watch it drop back to .01A, is that to be expected?

-thanks again
 

94b2300ranger

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So when I measure across neg post to clamp and get .22A, then watch it drop back to .01A, is that to be expected?
Yes, it's your electrical system shutting down.
 

austinrick

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Well, I pretty well figured out that there is no current leak, the battery is good, and the problem was likely dirty battery connections, which I've cleaned. I'll let her sit a few days and see if the battery has lost any juice, but all cells tested good, so I'm hoping it's problem solved. I was so concerned about cleaning the engine with chemicals and water that I assumed the starting problem was a direct result.
Thanks again for your input.
 

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