battery drains..needs jump if it sits too long

Asked by Jul 02, 2009 at 12:47 AM about the 1998 Chrysler Sebring

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have had this issue for a long time. Never had a diagnostic. Went through 5 batteries. Mechanics cant figure it out. Had the alterator checked. Start right up with a jump. SO frustrating!! Took the bulb out of the trunk to check. still dead. I also carry my own battery charger to self jump. Thats how bad it is, but I love my Sebring....its pd for (yes im a female).

Any advice would be appreciated.

50 Answers


I am having the same exact problem. Did you ever solve it?

65 of 65 people found this helpful.

I have the same problem with my 1999 Sebring. Got brand new battery, but only lasted 3 days. My mechanic has checked everything out, and is going to get a used transmission control module because he thinks that is the problem. He took the fuse out and put it back in, and then hears clicking noises that should not be there. We aren't SURE yet, but you might want to check this out with your mechanic. Nicole

22 of 22 people found this helpful.

Hmm, same problem here. I was hoping there would be some answers, but maybe someone knows... I have had my battery checked, no problem there. Was told it could be alternator or computer. I cannot afford $300 guesses. My dash is digital, and I notice when I shut off my car the dash remains lit for about a minute. Also, key fob and power locks no longer work. Now when I use anything--today was headlights and wipers, the car wanted to stall out. Anyone else having -or had-similar problems?

24 of 24 people found this helpful.

Turned out to be a faulty relay (under the hood, drivers side - the square black ones that are all the same part #) One was shorting/grounding out causing the power drain. Wit the help of a n ampmeter, we pulled each relay, one at a time, until we found the one causing the drain (the meter went to 0) then isolate the problem -- then the querstion is it a bad relay or a problem in the block area itself? Mine was the relay - easy fix $10 for the relay (note: some parts stores list some of the relays, but not the others - thry to do a lookup by the part # on the relay.)

49 of 49 people found this helpful.

Faulty relay or.... Check your fuses. I had one blown and it made the car act like it had a bad altenator and killed my batteries.

25 of 25 people found this helpful.

Body control module runs ALL wipers signals lighting ect, located on back side of fuse box. It may or may not need programming it is nessasary to to replace both if your car has the key that has a grey head as the ecm is vin specific on keyless entry cars

8 of 8 people found this helpful.

Ecm will need (flashed using a dbr) chrysler only

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

I'm taking my 06 Sebring in this week...have been having the same experiences. Had the computer, alternator, battery, etc checked and the problem continues. I am going to tell them to check the relay and see if that is the problem. If I didn't love this car so much, I'd junk it. But I won't buy another Chrysler. Thanks for your info.

12 of 12 people found this helpful.

Gent on here just found a faulty relay stuck on, on the drivers side just behind power distribution block. 10 dollar fix

11 of 11 people found this helpful.

Which relays were replaced? Having same issue draining battery change the alt and battery just bought the car had it a week no problems now light back on

14 of 14 people found this helpful.

i have the same problem with mine if its cold outside i have to have it jumped daily. i replaced all relays and has new battery irratating today i was driving going 65 and battery light came on add a little shake in wheels my abs light came on along the traction light then my cars rpms went up to 4 and i couldnt get speed at all end up dead on side of road. car still start just no go power to move it so tell me what that is.??

23 of 23 people found this helpful.

Mine was i turned my key to aux and never knew i did until i looked at my radio was on so i turned the key back one and my battery stays charged.

7 of 7 people found this helpful.

Same problem so far I spent about 1000.00 I had the ( PCM )replaced the computer the alternator and battery and now the mechanics from Chrysler saying I need there alternator another 300.00 lol yeah right they rip me off enough. They say they fix it runs 2 days than dead nothing I have 2010. By the way if they tell you its the pcm it has a warranty up to 76000 mile on it but I don't think that's the problem if dead and wont start.

6 of 6 people found this helpful.

I have had the same problem, and found that the seat belts have a solenoid & module, they keep the seat belt energized so they will retract, they stay energized for 30mins. after you shut the car off. What happens is they stay energized and your battery dies. Trust me on this one.

16 of 16 people found this helpful.

I have a 2008 Sebring convertible that started having a dead battery after sitting a while once the weather started getting cold outside even though the car is parked inside a garage all the time. seems that once I boost it off it is fine as long as I drive it or run it about once a week but much longer than that and the battery goes dead again. The last time the battery went dead the "check engine" light came on and now stays on all the time. Not sure what that's all about. We just bought this car last May to enjoy during good weather and it never gave us a minutes trouble until we parked it in the fall. Hopefully all it needs is a new battery but replacing that seems like it's going to be quite a process in itself. Any suggestions or anyone else having the same issues with their Sebring? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

17 of 17 people found this helpful.

I was told from the dealership when these car sit for a long period you need to remove the IOD fuse. It is a 30 amp fuse that regulates the power for the memory of the car under the hood. The fuse panel is located on the driver's side. Pull this fuse up and disconnect front he panel that should help DO NOT REMOVE JUST DISENGAGE . These cars are constantly using battery power to maintain memory through out the car and will drain the battery if you don't drive them. Pull this fuse and your problem will be solved when the car is not used and save battery power..

13 of 13 people found this helpful.

mrmar, Thank you so much for your answer. I will check this and see if it solves the problem until warm weather returns. Will it cause any memory damage under the hood for the car? Should I re-engage the fuse when I go to drive the car again? Just trying to make sure. I try to drive it once in a while on pretty winter days but even then the battery is often dead and needs a boost! Thanks again for your input. I will definitely try this and hopefully solve the problem. km.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

Nothing will happen all memory will be restored when you plug it back in.The point is, it will shut down all electric to preserve the battery when the vehicle is not being driven a not allowing power to be supplied to the memory which is what drains the battery, However you will need to plug it back in when restart or drive it again. I have a 2008 Sebring Convertible (really like this car) and i have this problem "every year" when i don't drive the car this car really uses alot of electric when not in use, i asked the dealership why this is and he (good guy) showed me what to do.

26 of 26 people found this helpful.

Also your check engine light will turn off once the car cycles back to normal usage (3 Cycles).

4 of 4 people found this helpful.

mrmar, Thank you so very much for your answers and your help! I will certainly go down to the garage and get this taken care of! Glad to know my "check engine" light will reset itself eventually also. This is very helpful information and we thank you for your help. We like this car also. I had a 1968 Dodge Polara convertible that I was restoring and sold it last spring and happened across this car the last of May and we have enjoyed driving it and owning it and hopefully this will solve our problems until we can get back to using it again regularly. Thanks again for your help. km.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

I have a convertible Chrysler Sebring can my trunk even with the light out make my car go dead my mechanic is saying that's the problem but never heard of that myself.

4 of 4 people found this helpful.

Its a 2001 btw

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

mrmar, thanks for your info and help! I went down and pulled the fuse you showed in the picture up but it wouldn't come completely out. Hope tat takes care of my problem and I don't have to continue to start it every week just to keep the battery up. Wasting a lot of gas doing that ! Does anyone know for sure if the V6 in our 2008 Sebring convertibles is a Mitsubishi motor or a Chrysler V6 engine? Would like to know for sure for future parts references, etc.! My Sebring also has 91,000 miles on it and I need to know if I need to worry about it soon or not. Thanks for any info you can share about this car. can't wait until warm weather returns so I can start driving it again !! Thanks for your help. km.

4 of 4 people found this helpful.

Candace, I'm not sure I have only owned this car for less than a year and this is my first winter with it but see the above answer and picture about pulling the fuse loose to break connection with the memory in the engine bay. This makes sense to me and I've tried it but it hasn't been long enough to tell if this is the problem yet or not but I sure hope this solves the problem for us, and you !! Good luck and be sure to post any thing that happens or if this works for you or not. Good luck and keep us posted on your progress !! km.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

So what fuse/module is it that keeps sticking on and draining the battery? I had the starter replaced and the battery tests good, but 1-2 days in the cold and battery is about dead and need to jump every time.

6 of 6 people found this helpful.

See answer and picture above from mrmar about pulling loose the IOD fuse. DO NOT completely pull it out, all you need to do is disengage it so it will break the circuit and no longer allow all the memory to drain the battery. The picture above shows which one it is. It's under the hood and should be the top, white fuse on the right top corner. Just pull it up to disengage the connection and this is supposed to stop the engine memory from constantly draining the battery. Of course you have to re-engage the fuse before starting or driving the car. I have done this on my '08 Sebring a few weeks ago but have yet to try and start the vehicle to see if this really prevented the battery from being drained. I hope this works because it would be a pretty simple fix if it does work and it makes sense to me that this could be draining the battery. I'll start my car again in a few weeks, if not days and let you guys know if I had success with this procedure. Sure hope so. Good luck to all with this. km.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

I have a 2002 sebring convertible we have replaced the battery, starter and alternator and it will still click and will take anywhere between 3-20 tries before we can get it started again it doesn't matter how long the car is off I can go into the store real quick come out and have a very hard time starting it.. what could be the problem?

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

I would use a volt meter and see if the battery is charging while running before spending any more time/parts figuring it out.


Thank you, took it to autozone and they said it is charging while started.. Im at a loss with this car

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

all problems started after having to replace the water pump three weeks after we got the car.. ever since then its been acting up . water pump,stater,battery,alternator, rotors on front ,brakes on front,calipers on front I don't want to spend anymore money on this car.. its also been throwing codes P0841 and P0700 per the in drive clip that we have


I'm having similar problems. My battery light is constantly on and tonight on my way home all my dash lights came on and the car would not shift what so ever!! Anyone have any suggestions on what could wrong??

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Put your car in a lift or a jack take out the battery behind the driver side tire unhook the battery cable for ten minutes then region them positive first. Put the car down from the list out the jack then try to stay the car. You are trying to reset the computer.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Did you, check the starter solenoid

And also unhook the negative side of the battery and leave it unplugged for about 6 hours and let the brain reset its self you, if these two doesn't work you, might check the ignition switch box which is another brain for your electrical system most of your ignition switch boxes are found on the middle of steering column up under the dash

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Thanks to everyone that answered with their help. MMAR helped the most with his answer about pulling the IOD fuse in the fuse block. I done this and had NO more problems. You have to plug the fuse back in before driving again but that's simple enough to do and the fuse doesn't need to be completely pulled, just pop it up enough to break the connection. The only remaining problem is that my "check engine" light never has gone back out, even after driving the car several times this summer. It needs an oil change and service so I guess I'll end up taking it in to the dealer and let them check it out and see why this light remains on constantly. Other than that we have had no problems with the battery since we were told about popping up the IOD fuse. Thanks again to everyone for their help!

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

my check engine light came on replaced gas cap was fine came back on few months after put bit grease around rubber has not came on again


Thank you ! Worth a try. I'll give that a shot and see if it cures the problem. It drives and runs fine, just tired of having the light staring me in the face all the time. Thanks again for your help. km.


2001 lxi convertible 2.7 battery drains. Issue I found. A parasitic draw on the battery caused by the pre amp located under the front passenger seat. A test light placed between the negative battery cable once removed from the battery and the negative battery terminal would light with nothing on and all doors closed. Removed fuses one at a time until the test lamp went out. 40 amp fuse under hood marked parking lights, also feeds pre amp when pulled killed the light and the draw. Amp had gotten wet a few months back but dried out and worked OK for a few months. Apparently just fried after two months. Drove me crazy to track down and figure out the issue. Hope this helps someone one day.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

I have a 1997 Sebring convertible, that the battery was draining overnight! Charged the battery tested it and it was fine! I went through a litany of tests and cleaning contacts , terminals etc, nothing worked! The car ran perfect, everything worked, and I mean everything! I had the battery out and on the charger, and I had to get into the trunk, so I had to use the key! Thing is, is I didn't need it as it wasn't latched, causing a constant drain on the battery! You want to fix this problem? Shut the damn trunk! I did and problem disappeared!

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

I have a 2000 lxi and I ink my battery keeps draining, as well as something, because I was going about 130 when my gears changed to what sounded like first gear. As ridiculous as it sounds. It just went up to a massive rpm. Revving like mad. I ended up on the side of the road- it worked again after a minute, i don't know why -any suggestions? After I put it on the charger it works but only temporarily.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

I was aiming my sights towards that trunk light also....Im gonna give that a shot myself. But I'll be driving along and all of a sudden my 97 CIRRUS 2.5 just loses power and all lights dim and car stahls out. I've had 6 stratus/s, Intrepids, and so on but never have i had this electrical bullshit. Also if the radio and dome, power locks don't work and just keeps blowing the radio fuse pull the smaller of the two plugs off the back of the ac/heater module because there is a short on the motherboard for the back lights for the heater controls. Leave the main bigger on just pull the smaller one and put ur fuse in and all will work again. but still have this issue of it dying/draining power issue.

please note For some reason some Ac/heating Switches unit attached to the centre console trim CAN I REPEAT CAN drain your battery


Had overnight battery discharge problem with 2001 Sebring GTC Convertible. Changed alternator, then battery. It helped only for couple of days. Recently I decided to investigate why oil and break lamps on the instrument claster are still working, when car is locked. Checked all the fuses, and then when I disconnected fuse 11 from the dash fuse box - lights went off. –°hecked overnight - car starts w/o any problems. Just wonder should I insert this fuse back every time. Today I've made a ride without it, and see no problems at all for now

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

mine would die as soon as the jumper cables were removed. changed alt checked bat cleaned cables...I found the problem was ground to body corroded ! look for multiple black wires together near or under pcm. sand and replace. works perfect now. KB

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

My car does the same

I hate chrysler vehicle's I have had problems with all 4 of my cars

I have a Sebring 2005 and am having the same problems with it not starting. It is not winter her yet, no cold weather. Had it in the shop due to having to jump it every to every other day. They could not find anything wrong. Brand new battery. I also love this car and owe nothing on it. I am not ready to take it to the auto cemetery (LOL.) My boyfriend has checked everything he can think of and can't find the problem. My engine light is on almost all of the time and has been for a couple years. Had that checked twice long ago, fixed for a few days, back on. It lives with me. Now my airbag light comes on but not all the time.

You may check your ignition switch when you turn your car off. You might have to turn the key just a little to the left to get the airbag light to go out, that's what i had to do. The way cars are being made these days, we are driving computers with wheels. Good luck! Sammy


I had a 2002 convertible with 20,000 miles, it ran like a charm for 8 years and 183,000 miles but the check engine light went on and off and the air bag light was on almost all the time. (I covered it with a picture to get it passed inspection). It also shifted really rough from 1st to 2nd most the time I owned it, so I was light on the gas when starting out, I had the usual tune-ups done on it regularly along with the radiator cap, gas cap, air- conditioner fan, just some odds and ends. It died on the freeway going 85mph. Dead - So I bought a used 2006 with 85,000. It has exactly the same issues - rough shifting, engine light, air bag light, replaced the fan switch, gas cap, radiator cap. But it just hit 172,000 miles and is giving me fits with the battery light on all the time, but loosing no power. Replaced the batter, alternator and switch. But no problem starting or any sign of battery/alternator issues and no loss of power. All have tested out just fine. I know it doesn't have a ton of life left in it, although I love it, but not sure if I need to keep investigating the issue or just drive her until she dies.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Had same problem after replacing battery on 2002 lx 2.7l. Alternayor was fine. Replaced headlamp delay relay on inside vehicle fuse box on drivet left side and seemed to work. That relay was making clicking sounds the last time the battery died

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

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