Batteries draining down

290

Asked by Jan 22, 2012 at 02:25 PM about the 2000 Ford F-250 Super Duty Lariat 4WD Extended Cab SB

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

The batteries drain down after the truck sits a couple days. Batteries are only 3 year
old Interstates. Took it to my regular shop and they said the ECM was bad and
replaced it. But the problem is still there. As long as I use it everyday it starts fine,
but leave it for a couple days and the batteries are down too far to start it

32 Answers

435

Try cleaning up all ground points. I had something similar happen to me in a Taurus I use to own. Hooked up all new ground wires and moisture sealed them after with a rubber compound. Not sure if this will be the same situation as yours but it's a starting point. Power flows to ground and then back to positive.

6 of 6 people found this helpful.
290

Thanks, I'll try that. What makes it tough to find is that It worked just fine for 4 days after they replaced the GEM module ( not the ECM), but then it started its problem again. So I took it back to the shop, but it started just fine for them after it sat there overnight. And they say they tested it and can't find a draw anywhere.

7 of 7 people found this helpful.
1,725

check your distributor if it is working...right after you start the engine, positive charge powers everything, now if its not distributed properly, the charge will drain the battery completely because its getting power directly...

17 of 17 people found this helpful.
Best Answer Mark helpful
1,725

if that is happening then my advice is dont use any electronics while you are driving... that kind of heavy duty engine will only run a few kilometers then the battery dies out...

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
435

I would start replacing ground wires to anything electronics then in the engine bay and upgrade your negative battery wire to a 1 gauge. That seems to be the area where power is discharging. You should find all the braided wires and replace them but clean all the contact points first and ensure a good ground.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
1,725

yeah but what happens if there is still no ground and the battry is losing it's power? happened to mo once, so i was jumped with a different battery and when i started only the headlights were on (night driving home) and no A/C or radio... my car ran barely 3-5 km then engine went dead again...

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
435

Well, electronics and battery drainage are a bitch to diagnose my friend. I've had my share of them over the years and it takes a real smart mechanic to really find and diagnose the problem. If you can find a Ford shop with some top notch mechanics, I'd go there and let them have a go at it. They may have to have your truck for a week to really find the cause of the problem though. So maybe you can arrange a loaner from them.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
1,725

i agree...besides only the shop mechanics have the equipment for that kind of problem...someone with a know-how on car eletronics would be a big help too...

290

Thanks for all the ideas. They've had it at the shop for a couple of days now and can't find a draw anywhere and its holding a charge fine. So whatever it is its happening intermittently. which makes it even harder to find.

4 of 4 people found this helpful.
435

Well you have to think back as to when this anomaly starts occurring and the shop has to try and duplicate it. Was the truck sitting out in the rain or heavy downpour for instance before you drive it around. We're you going offloading in mud and muck or just driving urban roads. Just some ideas to think about.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.
435

Hi, Did your mechanic/ shop finally figure out what was draining the battery?

6 of 6 people found this helpful.
10

you might want to disconnect the ground cable from your battery then put your battery charger on it to bring it up to full charge then re-connect the ground cable. If your battery is reasonably good and you start / drive your vehicle reasonable distances every couple of days, it should hold. If you only use your vehicle every few days, do lots of short drives, stopping & starting, it could drain your battery. The alternator is a "battery maintainer", not a heavy duty battery charger. Hope this is useful...

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
20

Not offering a solution, just want to share what happened with my car. The driver's side window power motor stopped working so I had it replaced at the local Ford place. When I got it back, if the windows are set on a certain setting (to go all the way down or up with only a slight short touch) it will drain the battery but if I use the setting where you have to hold the button down to get the window up or down, it does not drain the battery. Have no idea whats wrong but I do know for a fact that it is that certain setting on the power windows that drain the battery. I don't use that setting so I just keep it turned off.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Mechanic found that there were some marginal cells on both batteries and said it could only be fixed by replacing both batteries. I bought a bobble tester and found 4 of the 12 marginal even though after charging both, they read 12.8 and 12.7 after charging. After 3 days, voltage was drained.

35

I am currently having the same issue. I have an 2003 F250. They can not seem to find anything wrong. It started happening after i had my Gauge cluster replaced. My gauge cluster, power windows, power locks, and radio all stopped working. I got that all fixed and now the truck dies after about 20 minutes.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.
30

i have the same problem and after lots of time trying to diagnose the problem i figured out it was the ecm and the main harness plug had some corrosion, i figured it out by grabing the main plug and moving it around while running and it shuts off, im still trying to figure out how to clean the female part of the harness plug,

3 of 3 people found this helpful.
110

In my 01' F250 V8 5.4L Triton I was showing a pretty strong, pulsating draw off the battery. Fuse was showing it was the multi function switch (turn signal/wipers) piece so I replaced that and then it was still showing. Unplugged the radio during trouble shooting... and the RADIO with the key off, and the radio off, was causing the power drain. Not sure how common this is but may help. It was also triggering a clicking sound coming from where the headlights are turned on and off (the illumination of that dial and the radio share a fuse).

11 of 11 people found this helpful.
190

I am having a similar problem right now as the battery is being drained while sitting up. In my case, I have had electronics training and I can tell you that most of these solution replies are worthless. That seems to be the problem with searching for solutions anytime now. Answers like scrape the terminals, take it to the dealer, etc show that this is worthless information and only makes the problem solving more difficult. In my case it is caused by a malfunction in the AC circuits. I like most drivers will drive up to a parking place with my AC, Heat, etc on and blower motors running. When I turn off the ignition it kills everything and I don't bother to shut off the AC switch etc. After one of my battery failures and when I hooked up the charger my AC blowers came on. Ignition switch off. I found that I had to turn the AC Select switch off to charge the battery. It worked somewhat. A repairman replacedone of the AC Relays and it came on once but then cleared up. Now it has happened again. This time both the fan speed switch was in the on position and the AC select switch was also in the on position. I turned both off, chugged the battery and everything tests out working. Until I find the problem I will have to make certain that I don't leave these switches on when leaving the vehicle. As you should know, all of the devices powered up by the ignition switch are not powered through the switch The switch only supplies voltage to energize a relay, You have relays that have 12 volts applied to them all of the time. If they have to remain on then they have a set of contacts called latching contacts. That relay will stay on until the power is released by the lathing contacts. I am reasonably sure that I have a set of sticking contacts in a latching relay. To make it a little clearer think of your starting current. It couldn't possibly carry that current. Instead your battery cables stay connected to your starter all of them time. The positive cable goes through an open solenoid . This is nothing but a big relay. The ignition applies 12 volts to the primary and this energies the solenoid contact which allows the full battery current to get to the starter. Now in reading all of this I find nothing to help me with my problem but I can see that most of the problems here are most likely caused by relays are sensors. Hopefully a mechanics code reader might find the problem. If you can get to your local library, most of them now carry Chilton's On Line and there you can find the circuit diagrams and may be able to trace the voltage paths to and through the trouble site. The code readers are wonderful when they work but sometimes you just have to go back to the past and do some old fashion trouble shooting with volt meters and trouble lights. I will continue to search for my problem in the hopes that I might find where someone has the same identical problem and they can advise what their solution was.

19 of 19 people found this helpful.

Check your injectors. I had one bad injector and my truck would not start. I'd only get a couple of cranks out of it and then I had to jump it

435

Just reread your answer, it sounds like you have a moisture leak coming onto one of your electronics. If you have a cracked windshield or a leaky one, moisture could be dripping down onto one of your relays or electronics. I had a explorer with a cracked windshield go right down the middle so it wasn't really noticeable. My power windows stopped working after a while and I even changed the relays. After a very long time and much head scratching, me and my mechanic tore the dash apart and traced every single wire and finally found a set of corroded wires next to another relay box.

8 of 8 people found this helpful.
290

But as long as its running the batteries are charging an everything is working properly. The batteries only drain down after it sits for awhile and then it only does it once in awhile. And its a 7.3 Powerstroke desiel.

18 of 18 people found this helpful.
10

I also have a 2003 F 350 king ranch 4x4 7.3 L Turbo diesel and same problem. It acts like one phase is out on the starter and one battery fails tests. I'm pulling the starter to check it

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
80

I don't have answer, but I have a question;;;;; I have a ford f250 super duty 6.0 diesel. both batteries were replaced about 6 months ago. In the past month or so it has been taking a minute or so (it seems) to start it. Today I left home and the truck was sputtering some. I kept going about 10 minutes but it didnt clear up. My battery light came on. I turned around and went home, I turned it off. Then I tried to start it and it just clicked. What would cause that?

8 of 8 people found this helpful.

I honestly think something is going on with your injectors. Take it to a shop that can hook it up to test your injectors. I have an 06 6.0 powerstroke and have had numerous injector problems. I have already replaced my injectors twice in the last year.

50

@ sherrie, that would be your alternator. Get a fluke or multimeter and test your battery 1 at a time. 1 wire to positive terminal, 1 wire to negative. With the vehicle off, a good battery will read usually above 12volts. A bad battery is typically in 10 volt range. Now lets test alternator. Just start the vehicle and do the same test. A good alternator should charge ur battery so it reads about 14 volts. Anything lower is a bad alternator. On a side not before u do any of this, follow your negative battery terminal into the motor and be sure u dont see any visible signs of corrosion on anything thats grounded. This is always the culprit. Remove and wirebrush clean, reinstall, and spray w corrosion resistant spray. Hope this helps

3 of 3 people found this helpful.
50

@ sherrie, that would be your alternator. Get a fluke or multimeter and test your battery 1 at a time. 1 wire to positive terminal, 1 wire to negative. With the vehicle off, a good battery will read usually above 12volts. A bad battery is typically in 10 volt range. Now lets test alternator. Just start the vehicle and do the same test. A good alternator should charge ur battery so it reads about 14 volts. Anything lower is a bad alternator. On a side not before u do any of this, follow your negative battery terminal into the motor and be sure u dont see any visible signs of corrosion on anything thats grounded. This is always the culprit. Remove and wirebrush clean, reinstall, and spray w corrosion resistant spray. Hope this helps

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
30

Hey guys I have a 2000 F350 with a 7.3, 8 bought brand new batteries not even a month ago and something seems to be draining the power when it sits for a couple days. When it starts it runs amazingly! I dunno what's going on! Anything pop into your minds at all?

3 of 3 people found this helpful.
20

If you had to replace your injectors twice in the last year I would look for a new shop if I was you!

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
90

Pull your negative terminal and put an idiot light continuity tester between the negative cable and the negative battery post. When it lights up, go start pulling fuses, one at a time until you shut the light off. Mine was the radio fuse, and it would drain the batteries in a couple of days. Mine was the 7.3 diesel, so you have to pull both neg and pos on 1 battery, but leave the positive on the other. Works like a champ. Old school trick a mechanic taught me 30 yrs ago, but works perfect.

9 of 9 people found this helpful.
90

ZoFast how do you fix it once you figure which fuse it is?

9 of 9 people found this helpful.

Was there ever a solution found for the slow draw in the 7.3 ?

look guys before you check for a draw killing your batteries or battery. always find your gem module general electronics module it controls all electrical in the vehicle. also called wakeup module, if you don't then any door you open plug you unplug will wake up a control and draw of power sending you to the wrong place. so find gem first! unplug it then disconnect positive side of battery put a test light between positive cable and post. if! it lights up then pull fuses one at a time till light goes dim or out then you found your problem. ps watch out for cars like bmw, Mercedes, audi, they can have a lot of gem modules hope this helps Patrick kopyless.

Your Answer

F-250 Super Duty

Looking for a Used F-250 Super Duty in your area?

CarGurus has 44,630 nationwide F-250 Super Duty listings starting at $1,799.

ZIP:

Ford F-250 Super Duty Experts

  • #1
    Tracy Hooks
    Reputation
    870
  • #2
    kbro
    Reputation
    650
  • #2
    Tom Demyan
    Reputation
    650
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Ford F-350 Super Duty
335 Great Deals out of 24,271 listings starting at $2,488
Used Ford F-150
2,304 Great Deals out of 183,573 listings starting at $699
Used Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD
295 Great Deals out of 28,906 listings starting at $3,550
Used Dodge Ram 2500
162 Great Deals out of 4,955 listings starting at $2,499
Used GMC Sierra 2500HD
109 Great Deals out of 13,423 listings starting at $3,875
Used Ford F-250
471 listings starting at $4,000
Used Chevrolet Silverado 1500
2,107 Great Deals out of 165,844 listings starting at $1,498
Used Ford F-450 Super Duty
44 Great Deals out of 2,398 listings starting at $3,995
Used Toyota Tundra
451 Great Deals out of 31,933 listings starting at $2,990
Used GMC Sierra 1500
877 Great Deals out of 65,113 listings starting at $2,495
Used Dodge Ram 3500
83 Great Deals out of 2,221 listings starting at $3,950
Used Dodge Ram 1500
353 Great Deals out of 10,728 listings starting at $1,500
Used Toyota Tacoma
623 Great Deals out of 42,231 listings starting at $1,500

Used Cars For Sale

2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty For Sale
18 Great Deals out of 29,307 listings starting at $24,748
2016 Ford F-250 Super Duty For Sale
27 Great Deals out of 2,005 listings starting at $21,967
2015 Ford F-250 Super Duty For Sale
14 Great Deals out of 2,008 listings starting at $12,995
2014 Ford F-250 Super Duty For Sale
16 Great Deals out of 876 listings starting at $9,958
2013 Ford F-250 Super Duty For Sale
30 Great Deals out of 839 listings starting at $8,900

Content submitted by Users is not endorsed by CarGurus, does not express the opinions of CarGurus, and should not be considered reviewed, screened, or approved by CarGurus. Please refer to CarGurus Terms of Use.