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Good morning everyone, my husband and I just bought a 2005 durango limited 5.7 Hemi with 185k miles. The truck drives like a brand new rig, however it has a terrible battery draw and multiple codes come up with scanned the check engine light. I have attached the codes to this post. I am wondering if anyone would have ideas where to start? I ran the vin and there are 3 recalls that haven’t been fixed. 2 airbag and 1 instrument cluster. There is a brand new stereo in it because the old owner thought it could have been the stereo. The truck hasn’t been driven much in the last 8 months and just sat. The battery dies overnight every night. Has anyone else ran into a similar issue?
 

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A lot of the codes in there (the ‘B’ codes, codes stored in the BCM, body control module) are SRS (supplemental restraint system codes) related to air bags and seat belts.

I hate to say it, but that is A LOT of codes and a most of them are related to it being in a wreck. CLASSIC indications that this rig was wrecked, repaired and promptly sold off.

Curtain squib codes indicate the side curtain airbags were deployed

seat belt pretensioners also indicate a serious accident

believe it or not, ‘squib’ refers to small explosive charge that deploys the airbags. The seatbelt pretensioners also have a small explosive charge that goes off in a wreck and locks the seatbelts momentarily.

invalid key and key comunication issues refer to what Chrysler calls “sentry key”. Its an RF chip bedded in the keys themselves that are programmed to the vehicle. Aka: “chip key”; its part of the vehicle security system. It means that veh was attempted to be started with a non-programmed key, and the computer bypassed the fuel/ignition preventing it from being started.

battery disconnected/battery sys voltage low could indicate someone tried to clear the codes by disconnecting the battery, or could indicate a bad battery or alternator, or could be from when the battery went dead.

If the unit has an unexplained electrical draw and has an aftermarket audio unit, id start there. People often incorrectly wire up the “headunit background lighting” circuit and this can cause a battery drain.

obviously, im not there to check any of these things but my advise is based on things iv seen many, many times before.
 
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Can always do the basics:
1. Battery terminals clean, no corrosion/green buildup on the terminals
2. Search the systems for the drain source

To do that you'll need a volt-ohmeter, or find someone that has a volt-ohmeter. Disconnect the negative cable at the battery and clip the negative probe from the meter to the cable. Set the meter to AC-Amps. Touch the positive probe from the meter to the battery negative post. For a normal draw the meter should show 0.05 amp, or 50 millamp, with the ignition off.

Anything higher than 50 millamp indicates an abnormal draw. You can them use the meter attached to the cable and battery post, and go through the fuse panel, relay panel, connections panel, and systematically take out a fuse, check the meter, or take out a relay, check the meter. Go through every fuse/relay/connection. When you find the connection that makes the meter drop to zero, you've found the suspect circuit. From there you can either dig into that circuit or function and find the connection or part causing the draw. Or, once you identify the draw, take your vehicle to a shop and tell them what you found. A reputable shop can repeat your test, or take your findings, and find the trouble.
 

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👆Thats a great description of a proper draw test. Well said.

Only thing I can add is for you to make sure you dont forget about pulling fuses and relays, as described above, on the internal fuse panel as well as the one in the engine bay. Some newer vehicles even have 3, so refer to your owners manual to find them.

Also, its very unlikely that an abnormally high electrical draw that kills the battery overnight would cause any of the air bag codes. Since the trucks electrical/sensor/computer uses a Can/Bus comms system, overall system voltage being out of range CAN cause strange things under the right circumstances, usually while the truck is running, not just sitting. I have seen this often with Overcharging situations, like the known issue on Dodge Cummins diesel’s when they over change and blow up the batteries. But that doesnt mean it CANT happen with undercharging or discharging.

FYI on the ‘squib’ and pretensioner codes; thoes parts are “one and done” parts. Once they have been deployed (detonated) the whole parts need to be replaced. In this case, the side air bag units and seat belt assemblies; im some cases even the air bag control module has to be replaced or reprogrammed. It never hurts to clear the codes first and see if they come back (sometimes people do actually replace the parts after a wreck, but dont have the ability to clear the codes). Sadly, what i have seen more often is, someone buys a total loss vehicle at an auction, does a 1/2-ass job fixing it as cheaply as possible, leaves the original belts in it, cuts out or stuffs the deployed bags behind the interior trim and promptly sells it off.

I hope this is NOT what happened to you, but its a possibility.
 

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Good info. I have used the amp draw test method on motorcycles, which is great because everything is in a much tighter overall package. Have not yet done it on a car or pickup. Biggest thing is tracking down the circuit that has the draw. Once that is found its pretty much just follow the wiring to the problem spot.

Remember too, keep it simple BEFORE replacing parts. I had a lawn tractor draining the battery, would not crank over, but I could pull start it. And sometimes it would start with the key, weird. I replaced: the starter, the starter reply, the ignition switch, the battery, cleaned the contacts at the battery and frame, all with no consistent results. Hmm, took the original ground cable off (this is an 82 lawn tractor), connected my ohmeter, no continuity, flexed the cable, continuity! Had I just checked the ground cable 1st, would have been done in 1/2 hour, and saved $$$
 
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