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

6 of 6 people found this 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~

4 of 4 people found this 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 of 1 people found this helpful.

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

5 of 5 people found this 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 of 2 people found this 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 of 1 people found this 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 of 2 people found this helpful.

Your Answer


Looking for a Used Windstar in your area?

CarGurus has 614 nationwide Windstar listings and the tools to find you a great deal.


Ford Windstar Experts

  • #1
  • #2
  • #3
    Tom Demyan
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Dodge Grand Caravan
159 Great Deals out of 25,723 listings starting at $1,750
Used Honda Odyssey
245 Great Deals out of 21,189 listings starting at $1,250
Used Toyota Sienna
241 Great Deals out of 26,754 listings starting at $1,499
Used Ford Explorer
818 Great Deals out of 62,484 listings starting at $1,495
Used Chrysler Town & Country
220 Great Deals out of 14,063 listings starting at $1,800
Used Ford F-150
2,221 Great Deals out of 180,841 listings starting at $1,500
Used Ford Escape
1,116 Great Deals out of 84,623 listings starting at $1,495
Used Ford Ranger
185 Great Deals out of 5,522 listings starting at $1,000
Used Dodge Caravan
637 listings starting at $2,777
Used Chevrolet Venture
399 listings starting at $1,500
Used Chevrolet Impala
574 Great Deals out of 34,619 listings starting at $1,000

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.