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Chrysler Repair/'04 Sebring: unexplained battery drain


car starts and runs. I have no headlights no wipers and after 5 days of sitting It has drained a brand new battery.
Is there a relay that would power all of these things that may have gone bad? If so, where would it be so I could replace it.

Hi Michelle,
There is one relay for the wipers which is able to get current even with the key off, and that comes via fuse 18 in the power box in the engine compartment. Similarly there is a fuse 20 in that box which powers part of the headlamp circuit that also goes to a relay. Those relays should not normally be activated unless requested. It may not be either relay but rather the request function that is faulty or a short circuit. But you could try removing those fuses one at a time to see if a re-charged battery will then hold its charge.
The best way to approach this would be to recharge the battery, then put an ammeter between the - post clamp and the - post proper and measure how much current is being drawn when ignition switch is off and all the doors/lights are closed/off. It should read less than 0.2 amp. If not, then I would remove the fuses in the power box one at a time and watch to find which of the fuses when removed is causing the current to drop down to a low level such as about 0.1 amp. Then let me know and I can tell you which circuits that fuse feeds.
If you don't have headlights or wipers, that still doesn't give us a clue as to where the drained current is being lost. We have to either hear/see something running or measure the current as we remove one fuse at a time to find the pathway that is abnormally draining away current.
Both the headlamps and the wipers have part of their circuitry in the multifunction switch, but otherwise they are independent circuits. So my thought is to find which of the fuse(s) are carrying unexpectedly large current to focus on the faulty circuit and ideally that will then lead us to why you don't have headlamps and wipers.
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Roland Finston


Get a Free Fast answer to your repair question about a Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth car, minivan, SUV, or truck. Problems with electronically controlled engines and transmissions as well as body wiring problems are my specialty. This free troubleshoot advice forum helps you diagnose faults, minimize repair costs or do-it-yourself.

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