Battery drains when jeep is not started for a few days and have to recharge battery

Asked by Jan 10, 2011 at 06:36 PM about the 1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee SE

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

If I do not drive my Jeep every day the battery drains and has to be recharged.  In the process of changing the alternator and would like to know if anyone else has had this problem and if there is a fix for it before I invest a lot of money into it.

38 Answers


You have a electrical draw on the battery. Like a stereo or alarm could be a bad battery to with only a surface charge

12 out of 12 people think this is helpful.


13 out of 13 people think this is helpful.

Check all your wires for corrosion or proper connection to battery and alternator. Have battery and alternator tested. (Yes, in some cases new batteries could have premature failure to cells) Also check for accessories that may still be drawing power after the ignition key is removed. Glove box light, interior lights, stereo, amp, etc...

13 out of 13 people think this is helpful.

check the conditon of the wiring connections to your starter. I had this very same problem, if your battery and alternator tests fine ensure there is no corrosion on the connections to the starter.

7 out of 7 people think this is helpful.

if not driven for more then a couple days turn your alarm off

18 out of 18 people think this is helpful.

I have had the same problem with my previous battery however this was on a 2002 grand cherokee. my alarm system was draining it for some apparent reason. There was a constant draw from it because of the poor charge maintained while running due to alternator problems. If you change your battery and it happens again check your wiring through to your grounds and get your alt checked at a local parts store. Hope this helps.

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.

If you find small current draws, like your alarm system, stereo, etc are putting constant drain on battery, use a solar charger plugged into the lighter socket (assuming you park outside) Otherwise wire up a trickle charger if in your garage, keep it plugged in. Normally you should be able to go several days between starting and the battery should stay up.

8 out of 8 people think this is helpful.

I am having the same problem. Had a new alternator installed & battery checked out fine but when it sits a couple days the battery drains & seems to be from the security system cause it will start blinking when the engine is starting to turn over. Then I have to get out & put the key in the door to stop it. But it does it again. My remote no longer works either. Is there no way to unhook the security system?

80 out of 80 people think this is helpful.

Have the same problem draining my battery.I have a after market radio in which i think is killing the battery.Also have interior light problems.Have disconnected inside lights before but battery was messed up by then. Brought new battery but seems to keep draining aloso

20 out of 20 people think this is helpful.

I'm having the same problem/ Anyone know how to fix this shit?

14 out of 14 people think this is helpful.

Hello, I know this is an old forum, but i need to comment. i have a 1998 jeep grand cherokee laredo that i bought for my daughter to use. the battery was brand new when i got the jeep, but soon after purchasing it i would find if it sat a few days without driving it the battery would be completely dead. i searched online, asked my mechanic friends and didnt hear of anything that made sense to me. Today i had some time and an empty garage so i again tackled this annoying issue in hopes to get to the bottom of it and finally figured it out:2thumbsup: I read a lot about the MUX/T TOW fuse that is under the hood as that is where my draw was coming from. about 175ma i read that someone had a bad door switch in the back door (hatch) so i tore in to the door and while having the dc amp meter installed in the 50 amp fuse location started unplugging different connections under the plastic cover of the back hatch and after about minute i noticed the amp draw dropped to 12ma. So I started plugging things back together and found the latch switch for the glass window was the culprit. so i also left the hatch switch unplugged to avoid that problem later. I will crack another beer and maybe i will attempt on of my other many tasks. :cheers2:

48 out of 48 people think this is helpful.

I also read on a Jeep Forum that the 1995 is known for the under hood light to stay on after the key is turned off and will drain the battery.

6 out of 6 people think this is helpful.

Have 2010 Jeep Liberty. Battery died, was charged 2014. Battery died again, replaced 2015. Only 12,000 miles on jeep. In this cold in Michigan, if not driven for a day or 2 it dies. Multifunction light came on a few days before it died however the manual said that means that gas cap is not on right or bad gas. Never did it say it pertained to battery. Dealership said that the light was because of the battery.

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.

You guys need to listen to aidman78 he is correct on how to keep the battery from draining. Iv spent countless hours researching the battery drain issue and found the culprit is exactly as aidman78 states. I will post pictures for some of you that just want to remove the sensor. Its also not that difficult to replace in case you want to find one at the junk yard will post pictures later k.

96 out of 96 people think this is helpful.

h-I have a 1999 grand cherokee doing the same thing. would appreciate the pics. thanks

21 out of 21 people think this is helpful.

Jonathan if you have pictures that would be great. It would help me alot. I would like to let everyone know 1 thing I found out. The rear wiper and tow were running mind down once before. I got a new wiper motor and have not had any problems for over a year but after the cold winter my battery has not wanted to stay charged. I can run it one day and in a day or 2 it is dead. We are going to try taking out the fuse again and see if that is the problem. Any other suggestion please feel free to let me know

6 out of 6 people think this is helpful.

This may help someone my next door neighbor has a 2001 jeep grand cherokee and his battery would drain after about 3 days of sitting and the alarm would go off . He ask me to take a look at it for him and i found out that his cigarette lighter was the culpit . Did not have a voltage tester to test voltage but here is a simple and easy way i found to check to see if voltage draw is fixed . First make sure battery is fully charged install battery and connect negative terminal to negative post on battery then slightly drag positive terminal over positive post on battery if you get a spark and ark you still have a voltage drain but if you found whats causing the drain like when i removed his cigarette lighter and did not get a spark and ark then you know you have found the problem . I hope this helps someone .

7 out of 7 people think this is helpful.

Where's the pictures? Jonathan?

6 out of 6 people think this is helpful.

Sorry Mommaspc for not getting back right away with pictures I will post some this Thursday. Iv been so busy everyone with all the work I have had to do to my truck these last couple of weeks you all will probably laugh. So far I have changed parts in the steering wheel because I had the death wobble. I changed the shocks in the rear because it was causing me to bounce into other lanes not fun. I changed the water pump it was leaking not fun. I changed the spark plugs multiple times because of misfires and idle issues , i also forgot to mention its a 97 jeep grand Cherokee Laredo v8. I found out the main reason its was misfiring was because of the cables being mixed up for instance 5 was in 7 and 7 in 5. I found that for my particular model its rated at 40 gap for the spark but up it to 45 and has helped with idle. I also replaced the idle control valve so far it idle pretty good about 500 rpm in park but will update when i replace the throttle valve and ignition coil. I cleaned the terminals connected to the alternator and it increased my volts. I replaced my steering stabilizer to help with making turns. I emptied my ac canister with a pump and refilled with r-134a and now my ac in my car feels refrigerator cool, keep in mind it was like 115 the other day too hot. I replaced my catalytic converter and muffler twice, the first time they were old and they both needed replacing. The second time i ran SEAFOAM in the gas and the stuff from the engine ran down the exaust and got caught in the cat where it looks kinda like a honey comb design long story short the air was restricted because the holes got filled up and the pressure that the engine was pushing caused the comb to tear apart and shoot pieces in my muffler, i wish i had pictures for that but i was too pissed that day and just wanted to replace them both. I had the power drain from the battery that was caused by the alarm not turning off because of the rear hatch switch being bad. i also got voltage to high or low on the 02 sensor on the check engine because of the missfire and a Governor Pressure Solenoid code because i was a little low on transmission fluid it could save you guys atleast 4-5 hundred instead of replacing the parts. I still have to replace the passenger locking mechanism because it doesn't lock with the power switch. Theres more iv done and will update when possible and please keep in mind most of the stuff had warranties and me and my brother has done all the work ourselves so once im finished I will probably have spent 4500 to 5000

7 out of 7 people think this is helpful.

You have something draining it maybe a dome light or radio.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

Are you using the key fob to lock the jeep if you do you are arming the security system on the jeep this will use loads of power and flat the battery in less than 2 days. Use the manual locking to not to set the security system this is on the drivers door then when you stut the drivers door it will also lock ☺

6 out of 6 people think this is helpful.

I have a 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited with just over 238,000. Bought this car with just over 35,000 in 2003. It's been a great reliable car and always got me from point a to b without a problem. This is the first problem I have really had with my jeep. The battery would drain if it sat for more than a couple of days. I started out with the most obvious problem, the battery was 11 years old, so I had it replaced and my alternator tested. The problem came back. It spent a week at the jeep dealership and they couldn't find the problem they unplugged just about everything there is to unplug. So I took it to my wife's friends husband who works on electrical stuff in cars and it only took him a few hours and he had the problem solved. It was the rear windshield wiper motor that was draining my battery! A replacement wiper motor was about $400 from the dealership so I just had him unplug the motor because I can live without a rear windshield wiper! Hope this helps!

7 out of 7 people think this is helpful.

Is your rear wiper working? You also smell a circuit board burning oder inside jeep. You are getting a voltage draw at the motor circuit board.. evan with no key in ignition. Quick test - with the battery charged the black plastic box on rear wiper motor will be hot.. Battery will be flat next day if you don't unplug rear wiper motor. FIX replace wiper motor, or just leave unplugged. Denis M

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.

Just had my first problem with something draining my battery, any updates on 2001 jeep Grand Cherokee.

6 out of 6 people think this is helpful.

I have a 2001 Jeep GCL with the same draining problem, only it seems to drain right away. It tested out good battery and charging system so I plan to take some of this advice and hook a voltage tester between the battery cable and the battery to measure the draw and watch the tester while pulling fuses. Hopefully one fues will eliminate the voltage draw on the meter

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Remove the ignition off draw fuse in the fusebox under the hood,,,problem solved!

7 out of 7 people think this is helpful.

What fuse is that Bonnie?

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.

If your battery drain is stopped by removing the 50 amp fuse in the distribution panel, there are a number of things that can cause the drain. The drain in our ZJ was due to a defective Body Control Module. The module is fed by the 50 amp fuse but the drain actually came from the tan wires to both doors. Both door modules are tied to the Body Control Module and replacement of the module solved the battery drain. The module is pricey but we used a module from a parts car.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Thank you workgoats, where is that module located? Can you describe it or post a picture of it? Thank you in advance.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

I only have experience here with a 96 and 97 ZJ. Some of the other years may be in a different location. It is behind the lower dash, under the steering column. You cannot see the module from passenger compartment unless you are laying on your back in the floorboard. Four screws hold it in place and there are three plugs in the module, one from under and two from the firewall side. I'm a fairly large person so I removed the driver's seat so I could lay in the floor and get access. I will post some pics but I won't have time to do that today. The module I used was from a 97. It DID NOT stop the battery drain but I am sure the drain is coming from this device. The one I used was 19 years old and is probably defective too. The drain was isolated to the violet/black and white/black wires from the door modules that go to the Body Control Module. Both sets of wires pull about the same amount of current. I read that the 96 module will not work in any other years but the 97 will work in the 96. There are a number of these module on EBay but I fear buying used modules because, just like my parts car, they may not work either.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Here are some pics of the Body Control Module

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Thank you workgoats, I plan to dig for it this weekend, because I have to remove the seat for the same reason. I'll update you as soon as I do it. Have a good one!


well - I have a 2015 Renegade. Been in the shop 5 times for the same thing. Go out after it sits for the weekend and the car won't start and the key gets stuck in the ignition. Just got the Jeep back yesterday after having it in the dealers shop for a week. I was instructed that we don't drive the car enough! The computer uses a little power all the time to hold the memory. After a few days it drains the battery just enough that it won;t start. REALLY!?! Their advice: 1) put it in the garage/car port/on the street and trickle charge it every day; 2) drive it at least 15 miles once a week to keep the charge up (because we don't seem to drive it enough to charge the battery); or 3) let it run in front of my house for 10 minutes every few days. This is BS. It's brand new with 3,300 miles on it in one year. I bought a gas powered car, not a hybrid. Any thoughts? I'm ready to take it back. It's obviously not working properly.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

I have a 1997 Jeep grand Cherokee limited ,I also have an automatic starter installed for at least ,10 years from a separate company,the battery starts with a jump but when I shut it down ,it will not start again without a jump ,and now my alarm key pad is broken and they told me it will take two weeks to order another ,do you think the automatic starter is causing the problem or bad battery or alternator


I've had my starter replaced five time the alternator five times the battery five times and I read where all of you are having same promblems jeep won't start battery dead if not driven for a few days I really think that jeep manufacturer should recall all the keeps from 1995-now cause everyone is having similar if not the same problems this is rediculas we bought the Kees for reliability and they sell us lemons all these same problems shows there is a recall needed how many people have died that we are unaware of because the jeep just died in the highway my did it just shut off as I was turning onto a ramp I've had the starting problems the battery dies and the mechanics who work on it can't find its problems at the dealer or shops there is a design flaw and they JEEP designer needs to fix it and make amends to the owners who bought the keeps there are thousands that are having this problem not just a few they should have the integrity and loyalty to stand by there merchandise what are they waiting for lots of people have called them about this problem and they haven't budged waiting for a family with little children to be hit by a semi truck and die because their flawed jeep just died and couldn't start before it hit them. We had to wait for someone to die in our town before they put in a traffic light that we had asked for for over 20 years guess what after the lady died they put in a light. Why wait for something bad to happen they need to fix their flaws. My uncle told be not to get a jeep but I always wanted one so when he said they were crap I didn't listen and he was a army mechanic I should of listened this is so irritating and exspensive and they won't return my calls. Yes I'm mad I can't afford another vehicle to pay for again at this time and who knows it may be a lemon too!!! Guess I vented enough I'm not a mechanic and my uncle passed away so he can't help but I'm sure he wish he was here to help or tell me I told you I wish he was here regardless. I hope you all get your keeps fixed And you should write to the Jeep Management and give them a word or two.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Got a 98 cherokee laredo, stumbled upon this thread. because I hadn't started the jeep for 4 days went out on day 5 and wouldn't start.. my father came over after I had gone to work and he took it in and they say some type of module is bad, blah blah, they don't make the part that they need so they installed something under the hood so the battery doesn't drain overnight etc. after reading these posts, this is what has been happening.-- I thought it was completely unrelated the rear wiper works on/off for months now, I just figured- the jeep is old, big deal, I can live with a rear wiper that sometimes works. but it sounds like possibly may or may not be related?? Jeep told him if it is started every day there may not be any issues, the 4 days that the jeep was not started it was incredibly cold here, we had ice storms etc.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Found one issue with my 2001 was that the battery itself was too TALL!! It was causing it to drain because both posts were coming into contact with hood. Changed to a shorter battery and it worked fine for several days. Believe alarm is draining battery cause the little red light on top of the dash that shows the alarm is armed, blinks fast when battery is up, as charge drops it blinks slower. Have tried the manual lock instead of key fob but interior lights on doors won't go off....


I had the same problem. Finally solved it this weekend. Turned out to be a constant drain from the security system. To locate the problem, I removed half the fuses, problem went away, so I knew the problem was coming from one or more of the fuses that I removed. Then I replaced half the fuses that I initially removed. I continued to "half split" the problem until I had a single fuse remaining. Instead of repairing the problem, I decided not to replace the security lamp fuse (#1). I don't need the security system on a 1994 Cherokee. If it had been a critical system, I would have traced that particular fuse back to the battery. Good luck!

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

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