96 Jeep Cherokee - Battery is discharging until dead when not running


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Old 09-16-2012, 03:26 PM   #1
Brodiem
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Default 96 Jeep Cherokee - Battery is discharging until dead when not running

I have a mystery that I hope somebody can help me solve. My 1996 Jeep Cherokee runs like a dream. The alternator is working, and when I shut off the Jeep all systems are off, and if the vehicle sits for more than two days the battery is completely dead. I should also mention the battery is brand new Die Hard from Sears. The Jeep cranks right up when boosted and if it runs every day no problem getting it started but if it sits for more than two days the battery is dead.

Checked the alternator, it is charging, putting out 13.9 volts after boosting. Checked all systems and nothing appears to be actively drawing power. What could be discharging the battery while it sits idle?


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Old 09-16-2012, 03:32 PM   #2
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Glove box light remaining on after you close the door?

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Old 09-16-2012, 04:16 PM   #3
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You can use a multi meter to find out how big the drain is which may give you an idea of what it might be. Other option is to put a dead man switch on it which will isolate the battery when the vehicle is not being driven. Harbor Freight sells them for about $10
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Old 09-16-2012, 10:00 PM   #4
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Does your jeep have an alarm system?
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Old 09-17-2012, 05:38 PM   #5
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Disconnect the battery and see if it discharges.
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Old 09-17-2012, 07:50 PM   #6
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Wouldn't be the 1st time I've seen a brand new Die Hard battery found defective. However, the starters (from what I've read not personally experienced) are a common thing to cause a draw and go bad.

What I normally do is get a test light or a meter, remove the negative battery terminal and run the light or meter in series to the battery. Neg cable to one end of test light then the other end of the light to the negative post. If the test light comes on you have a draw. On some vehicles, you can get a small draw from a security system or anything hooked up that requires a memory to be stored. Normally with a test light it would be dim under those circumstances. If you have a direct draw, the light will be bright. What I normally do if there is a draw is start pulling the fuses and relays one by one until the light goes out. That will give you an idea of where to go next. Good luck.
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Old 09-18-2012, 05:18 PM   #7
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Normally we see radio and alarm parasitic draws of a week before it will not start, most likely leaking diodes in alternator. Disconnect battery, remove the battery cable from alternator, tape it off, and reconnect the battery post, if the battery does not go dead it’s your diodes, if it does it is something else, just pull fuses one at a time and let it sit, when you find the one that does not kill the battery you know which circuit to look into. This is assuming the battery is good.
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Old 09-18-2012, 06:17 PM   #8
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Thanks to all, I will definitely do more testing and I am also suspicious that I got a bad Die Hard.
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Old 09-24-2012, 05:41 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brodiem View Post
Thanks to all, I will definitely do more testing and I am also suspicious that I got a bad Die Hard.
Have it load tested.
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Old 12-04-2012, 08:31 PM   #10
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Replaced the alternator, not the diodes! Getting really frustrated trying to solve this problem.
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Old 12-06-2012, 04:33 PM   #11
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As below:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyon View Post
Normally with a test light it would be dim under those circumstances. If you have a direct draw, the light will be bright. What I normally do if there is a draw is start pulling the fuses and relays one by one until the light goes out. That will give you an idea of where to go next. Good luck.
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:57 PM   #12
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Good info guys. Planning on replacing my battery for the winter. Think this ensures I will get that YELLOW top battery. Buy few buy well right!
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Old 12-29-2012, 08:28 AM   #13
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Okay, I am at that point where I am getting really frustrated. I replaced the alternator, I replaced the positive cable because it was corroded, and I replaced the battery. Now the battery is discharged at a quicker rate, and as an added bonus the engine will start up and run but now it can't hold an idle. The only thing that is active when the engine is shut down is the clock in the radio. I never had a problem before with that radio. Any ideas where to go from here?
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Old 12-31-2012, 09:41 AM   #14
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I know you said you've already replaced the battery, but my '96 does the exact same thing when the battery is going out. I'll charge it and the rig will start up but not idle and I was at my wits end til I put a new battery in and that solved the whole problem. Maybe grab a test battery out of another vehicle for a quick try? Good luck
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Old 12-31-2012, 10:33 AM   #15
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Load test that new battery!


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