Battery draining

Asked by Apr 13, 2017 at 10:12 PM about the 1999 Dodge Ram 1500 2 Dr ST 4WD Standard Cab SB

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a '99 Dodge Ram 1500. It has something
draining the battery. We bought a new $100 battery
and eventually the same thing. Dead. So we have
been removing the negative from the battery each
time we park for more than a couple hours. When I
go to reconnect the negative, it has a slight "spark"
when it touches the battery post.

I bought a voltage meter and between the battery
terminal and the battery cable, it reads 0.67 which I
think (correct me if I'm wrong) is way too much. I'm
suppose to be seeing more like 0.05..!? I also
pulled each fuse in the fuse box under the hood
AND on the side of the dash, (just inside the door
jam) and the numbers never dropped.

A while back, my first thought was the alternator,
so had it tested at my local parts store. They said it
was good but bearings were starting to wear and
that it will EVENTUALLY need to be changed.. Fast
forward to the second new battery, and I think I
might replace the alternator anyways!? I can start
the pickup and remove the negative and the truck
stays running... So that's why I initially thought the
parts store was right, that the alternator was ok.

I also plan on changing the battery terminals
themselves bcuz both the negative and positive
terminal connectors are a little lose.

Any ideas what to try or any opinions..??

19 Answers


Id check to make sure door pins are ok. Sometimes domelight draws power. Next the ignition , radio , sometimes under hood light

Ok! I was looking at the ignition tonight, I removed the plastics around the steering column to get to the ignition, and of course, it takes a funky tool to get it out... So I liked at what I could, and everything that I can see looks to be ok. But not I can't get the pickup to start at all now, could be coincidence, or could be the battery is too low again..!? Or maybe that's it and I bumped a wire...?

And as for the radio and other lights.. What an I looking for, bare wires and lose connections right!?


There is a number of youtube video's that show ways to narrow down the circuit draining your battery in-which you can located it and repair it. You can look for them but as a note you can check the circuit 's fuse without taking them out, each fuse has two metal tab(small) you touch to with multimeter, when the voltage is showing you know that the drain circuit and fine what is on the fuse.

I've watched a few YouTube videos.. But didn't think to check each fuse with the voltage meter itself. So I would put the ground on the negative on the battery then use the positive lead on each fuse...??


Th There is a number of youtube video's that show ways to narrow down the circuit draining your battery in-which you can located it and repair it. You can look for them but as a not you can check the circuit 's fuse without taking them out, each fuse has two metal tab(small) you touch to with multimeter, when the voltage is showing you know that the drain circuit and fine what is on the fuse. e reason I am posting this video is because it point out how to test without pushing any power threw the circuit possible harming the computer/electronics. copy & paste it:

@TrannyMan...I did that pull of the negative a while back and have been running the pickup many times since. Just threw that out there as things I've tried before. A friend suggested that, but I know now not to do that again! I don't need any more complications! Well I have to turn and push the battery calls a certain way just to get it to start, normal is like one or two times, but I did it many times tonight and nothing. I gave up for the evening and gonna try again tomorrow... after I replace the battery terminals!


Here is a video showing the no fuse pull technique.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

@enginecreator...I will check it the video you posted for me! Thanks!


I agree to leave the neg battery cable in place.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Ironically, I run an electrical department for a trailer factory. I can fully wire and work on, chase shorts, and everything on a camp trailer, by myself if needed. Lol I can do most basic things on older pickups just by taking them apart and watching videos on how to do it. But I also know that a parasidic draw on an electrical system can stump many people. So for my own sanity and to save face, I've got to do this on my own with a "real mechanic".


This one show leaving the neg cable attached:

*without a real mechanic...

OK, I watched that video on checking the fuses with the VM.. definitely gonna try that tomorrow! Thanks again guys!!


Cool, hope you find it

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

nice question.. but there are really 3 type draws but parasitic draws "key-off" loads even if everything is off. so a 85-milliamp draw is not all that uncommon on newer vehicles. That is absolutely true. Memory seats, mirrors, radio presets, satellite radio, GPS systems and lots of other fancy electrical gadgets have combined to greatly increase the electrical demands of many newer vehicles. However, just because an 85-milliamp draw may be normal, that doesn't mean an 85-milliamp draw won't adversely impact battery lifespan and performance, if the battery isn't properly-maintained...... **** i think your battery is no good...and would fail a good BATTERY LOAD TEST..i run several little 12 volt dah lights at night out back and my battery is still ok..... also my ZO6 has so much stuff sucking on the battery RESERVES.. that if it sits 4-5- days its gone dead dead...


Hello, please describe how your car is not starting, is it making any noise when you go to crank? Id like to know if your getting a starter output from your ignition, (+ polarity), than, I would like to know if your starter is ok. jump the car or use a new battery, if it starts right up, than starter should be fine. I have seen a loose starter wire also where the bolt that attaches the o - ring comes loose. But first I need to know the symptoms when its not starting. A picture of your battery terminals may help me determine, have some wiggle the wires while maintaining safe distance from moving parts of engine and see if any changes while cranking, it may have loose wires...

Hi! I have the same exact truck, and am having the same problem. Got a new battery and it will still drain after about a hour of driving, pulled the fuses, dome everything you have and I was wondering if you found out what it was?


Each could be draining for various reasons, I would look up on youtube and net to find instructions to hunt down the circuit in question.

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