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Parasitic Drain Instrument Cluster

BadCJ7

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2008
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OK, First let me say I'm new here so hopefully I don't get flamed. I am having a problem with my 08 Ranger that has got me so flustered I'm about to take a match to it.

I drive truck so my ranger sits all week long in a parking lot. Starting last winter every week when I got back, my battery would be dead and I would have to jump it. Had the alternator tested... Diode Bad... Replaced alternator and battery since it was 6 years old. I still had to jumpstart it every weekend!

Springtime rolled around and I had no problems with it starting. All summer long, no problems, even letting it sit 2-3 weeks at a time.

The first cooler week hit and temps went into the mid to low 40's. DEAD BATTERY! Jump started it at 5 am this morning and drove it 20 miles home. Shut it off and when I went to leave at 2pm it was completely dead again!

I got out my multimeter and did a draw test. I had about .30 amp draw. I started pulling fuses and found when I pulled #33 (Instrument Cluster Battery Feed (B+)) it dropped to .04 amp. After the antitheft light stopped flashing, it went to a flat 0. Put fuse #33 back in and it goes back to .30 amp draw.

Does this mean my Instrument cluster is bad? I see other people posting about a GEM controller? How can I be certain it is the instrument cluster before I spend $279.00 on a new one?

If it is the Instrument cluster will the Odometer be correct when I put the new one in or will it have to be programmed?

I hope someone can help because I am at the end of my rope with this thing and really considering going back to a gas guzzling 70's model truck with no electronics other than HEI!
 


RonD

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Your Ranger should have a battery saver relay and it would be on that circuit.
To test current draw you will need to wait 20-30 minutes for this relay to activate.
And you need to leave the battery cables hooked up, so you need to use a clamp type meter, measures current by inductance.

I would assume this relay is bad which is why battery is draining.
.3 amps is normal draw after shutting off truck, but it should drop to .07 or below once that relay times out, 30 minutes or so.

Not sure on the '08, but on early 2000's that relay is behind the radio as is the GEM module, so you can check both at that time.
My money is on the relay, GEMs do go bad but just not that often.
Since relay is a moving part cold could effect it :)
GEM is solid state, no moving parts
 
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Doofy

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My credo
Shit Happens...Then You Die.
Had the same problem. No patience for actually solving the problem because I don't know where all the gem modules and related items are located. I installed a master disconnect switch using the negative battery cable. The switch is located under the hood and also makes a great theft deterrant.
 

ab_slack

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just makes sure the clamp on meter is DC rated. AC clamp on meters are comparatively cheap.

All I can really say is that yes it is abnormal to have problems starting after a week if you know your battery is good. I regularly travel and never have issues with either my 87 Bronco or 02 Explorer. I would be surprised if a 08 Ranger can't go a week (assuming the vehicle in question is what you list in your profile).

I had a bad battery recently in my explorer and even after a few days it would have problems starting. I discovered it flat after traveling for 10 days. It got to the point that even shortly after driving it wouldn't be able to start the car. After replacement it was fine.

What Ron says is good and if your battery is good all should be okay if the disconnect happens.

If your battery is bad, like my explorer, it won't make a difference cause the self discharge of the battery was killing it.

One thing to keep in mind is that if battery gets discharged too far permanent damage can occur if it is not caught fast enough. Particularly if there is some sort of continuous load. The high cranking amp batteries (compared to deep cycle) have thin membranes and when discharged the electrolyte can crystalize and puncture the membrane and thus self discharge is high.

So even if you replaced battery, if there was a problem with load discharging battery during the week and you find the battery is dead, it may have been damaged so if you sort out the discharge problem, you might still have a battery problem.
 

Road Angels

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If you have aload checker use it if not go to where you bought the battery, have them load check it, it maybe sulfated from lack of use, take your sales slip for warranty
 

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