How Do I Determine where my short is located?

Asked by May 10, 2013 at 09:38 AM about the 2000 Ford Windstar LX

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Hello thx for reading this first of all and taking the time, i have a 2000 Ford Windstar LX
3.8L, my car died while sitting overnight i thought my wife left the car door open, so i
charged the battery becuase it was dead, then took it to AutoZone and they said i
might have a bad alternator so i bought a brand new alternator and brand new battery
and i checked it with the voltmeter and when the car is powered on im still loosing volts
to the battery it starts of at 12V and starts to slowly drain? can someone help me plz
dont have money to repair and we need this vehicle somewhat mechanically inclined
but no to much experience

9 Answers

It sounds like you have a 'parasitic drain' Yeah, the parts guys will sell you anything they can, sometimes I wonder if the get commissions. Anyway, there is a way to test for that. tenspeed knows exactly what the link is, I will try to find it in case tenspeed does not see this

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.

It has to be a process of elimination if the drain isn't readily apparent...the glovebox light, trunk and hood courtesy lights are suspect elimination, start pulling the fuses one at a time until the drain disappears~

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

I've bought these crazy "short detectors" and they are more trouble than they are worth~ did not help to find a short on the rear hatch of the volvo I had, took the next owner to disassemble the rear hatch hinges to find the short~

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

ttp:// a better one is "Ericthecarguy' He knows his stuff :

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.

The easiest way to know is simply take the negative cable off the battery and use a test light or multi meter to see if there is power going from battery neg to ground. With car off, But those videos provide far more detailed information..or just take the negative cable off overnight and see what happens, a car clock draws 0.02 amps. Almost nothing. And an LED red security flashing light has a step down to 2 volts from a capacitor also at very low amperage

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

...most people struggle with the concept of Amperage, Eric the car guy seems to take it all in stride--

Glovebox light stuck on.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Courtesy light on the make-up visor left on.


David H is correct as usual, Fords spec. for parasitic draw is .050amps anything less is considered acceptable. But I like to see it less than or close to .020amps.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

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