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Dodge Repair/parasite battery drain: ignition off draw?


QUESTION: I have a 2010 Dodge Journey. At least a couple times a week I will wake up to a dead battery. I bought a new battery & the problem continued. I bought a 2nd battery thinking the first might have issues, problem continued. I had a new Alternator installed, problem continued. Here is what I do know! Before I turn off the engine If I leave a window down, don't lock the car with key fob, turn off power to the radio and before shutting off the actual ac, lower the ac blower vents front and rear to the lowest setting where they hardly blow, set ac temp to above 80 on all 3 temp buttons front, middle and back and turn off the snow flake button then turn off the actual ac system.... If I do this check list every evening before shutting off car THE CAR WILL START IN THE MORING WITH OUT A PROBLEM... Is this a fuse, a relay wire, what in the world is wrong with my car?  Ideas appreciated.

ANSWER: Hi Shelly,
I just got up and so will reply after breakfast. Thanks for the details.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I forgot to add to my 1st post that I checked the mopar owner connect and it shows the status of the wireless ignition node (win) recall 14v-373 and the orc module as complete. I figured my issue wasn't related to these 2 things since it shows as being completed.

Hi Shelly,
The most efficient way to solve this is to use an ammeter to measure the current that is being drawn from the battery when you have simply shut off the engine and then wait for about 20 minutes to allow all the control modules to also shut down. This "ignition off draw" should be less than 100 milliamps. You would get/borrow either a volt/ohm/milliamp meter or just a milliamp meter and then remove the - post wire from the battery. Then connect the leads of the milliamp meter between the - post and the disconnected - post clamp. Ideally it should read less than 100 milliamps, the less the better. If not, then go to the integrated power box at the rear left side of the engine compartment and open its lid. Then start removing the fuses, only one at a time, noticing the change in the milliamp meter reading, then replacing that fuse, etc., etc. You will find one or more fuses to be causing the reading to drop significantly. Then tell me the fuse # (socket) of those fuse(s) that significantly caused the current reading to drop when removed. Then we can look at what devices draw current from the fuse(s) that you identify. Be sure all the lights are off (including under the hood, glove box, trunk, courtesy lights in the cabin when you do this test.
The list of items you told me is too long/complicated to search out each one of those circuits for possibilities.

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Roland Finston


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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