Problems with Battery

Old 09-04-06, 11:43 AM
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Problems with Battery

I just replaced the battery on my 2001 Ford Ranger PU. In less than 24 hrs the battery was dead, no lights, no radio, etc, completely dead. I don't know if I have a electrical short somewhere. Is it possible for the starter to drain the battery?

One thing that I did notice when I installed the new battery was that when I connected the negative terminal I heard a rapid clicking sound that sounded like the selanoid sticking, could this be my problem.

Thanks in advance for any assistance.
Old 09-04-06, 02:03 PM
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Unless you ahve bought a defective battery, you do have an electrical drain somewhere.

re the clicking:

be sure the key is off when installing the battery. If the key was on,there are several relays that would engage upon application of voltage.

I would disconnect the battery and charge it. With the help of another set of ears, connect the + side and then while listening, connect the - terminal. If the clicking will stop, try disconnectin the - cable and reconnecting trying to pinpoint the clicking.

When you do locate it, let us know what it is. If it is the solenoid (I'm not sure if your has 1 or 2 solenoids) it would definately indicate a problem. The only time the solenoid(s) would engage is when the attempting to start the vehicle.
Old 09-05-06, 04:28 AM
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Mustang, were you having any peculiar electrical problem at the time you bought a new battery, or had the old one just slowly been going downhill, and finally refused to hold a charge? I assume that you did not reverse polarity with the new battery.
Old 09-05-06, 11:03 AM
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The easiest way to narrow down a short is simply to use an amp meter clamp on style. Measure the flow of current. Then pull fuses out one at a time until the current drops. If you do not have a clamp on style. Use a battery charger with an analog ampmeter on it. Disconnect your battey and let the charger provide the voltage and current for you electrical system.

Once you find the circuit, Use a mulitmeter set to continuty and see if you have any continuity between the positive where it comes out of fuse box and ground. If you have any resistance at all you have a dead short. Otherwise disconnect each device listed on that fuse one at a time. When the current drops you will know that device is the problem.
Old 09-05-06, 11:20 AM
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How can you determine if the amount of current flow is acceptable (clock, security system, other minimal drains created by systems which stay live all the time), and a drain which is enough to run the battery down?
Old 09-05-06, 12:07 PM
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I think the threshhold current is 20-40 milliamps. Anything above that is considered undesirable parasitic drain.

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