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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys. I am borrowing a friend’s 97 Dakota (3.9) and am having an electrical issue. If the truck sits for more than a day or two, the battery dies. The battery is new and when it is running, the volts show 14.2 so the alternator seems to be workings. A friend told me to pull the fuses by the driver’s door and check them with a test light to see if there is power running through them when the key is off. I did that and a few came back with power but I can’t tell if it is a drain or they are supposed to be powered. Any help would be great. Thanks guys.

#4 – Power amp
#12 – OPS
#13 – Power lock (truck doesn’t have power locks or windows)
#14 – Parking lamp
 

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you could have a parasitic drain somewhere (a shorted wire) or the battery could just be bad...have the battery load tested at your local autozone, advanced auto, etc
 

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What all does the truck have for mods on it? If someone else was in the wiring it's very possible they wired something to stay on all the time on accident. Or if there is ANYTHING pluged into the power outlet. On my Blazer I found out the hard way that the little light on my GPS CHARGER with out the GPS hooked up, just the little light that shows it's plugged in, killed the battery sitting for a day or 2. And it was dead dead, wouldn't even come close to trying to turn over.
 

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It sounds like you have a parasitic drain on the system. If you have a good multimeter that is capable of reading amps then you can disconnect the - battery cable and hook one end of the meter to the cable and the other to the battery post. If you have anything more than .050 milliamps than you have to much drain on the system. Make sure that you have the keys out of the ignition and that the drivers door is open but the latch is shut and the switch for the interior light is pushed in. Do not turn anything on when you have the meter hooked up or you stand the chance of blowing the fuse in the multimeter. If you have more than a .050 draw then you can start pulling 1 fuse at a time adn see if the draw goes away. When you pull a fuse and the draw goes away then you need to get a wiring diagram and trace down that circuit and find the issue if it isn't completely obvious. Also when you firsat hook up the meter you may have to let it sit for a while before the draw goes down, some vehicles take a bit before the modules go to sleep. This may not be an issue for you as I don't think that a 97 dak has anything that stays awake for more than 30 seconds or so.
 

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^What he said, although I'll add that unless you want to fry your meter/it's fuse, hook up a jumper wire between the battery cable and the battery for a couple minutes first, then hook on the multimeter leads, then disconnect the the jumper wire. This allows for the draw to go down before you test it as there is a big spike when you first hook it up, enough to blow your meter/it's fuse in some cases. You should also always use a fused wire off the multimeter thats lower then it's internal one.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It sounds like you have a parasitic drain on the system. If you have a good multimeter that is capable of reading amps then you can disconnect the - battery cable and hook one end of the meter to the cable and the other to the battery post. If you have anything more than .050 milliamps than you have to much drain on the system. Make sure that you have the keys out of the ignition and that the drivers door is open but the latch is shut and the switch for the interior light is pushed in. Do not turn anything on when you have the meter hooked up or you stand the chance of blowing the fuse in the multimeter. If you have more than a .050 draw then you can start pulling 1 fuse at a time adn see if the draw goes away. When you pull a fuse and the draw goes away then you need to get a wiring diagram and trace down that circuit and find the issue if it isn't completely obvious. Also when you firsat hook up the meter you may have to let it sit for a while before the draw goes down, some vehicles take a bit before the modules go to sleep. This may not be an issue for you as I don't think that a 97 dak has anything that stays awake for more than 30 seconds or so.
Thanks for the advice!!

I don't have a multi meter that will test amps (At least I don't think. I'm not very good with them and don't know what the symbol/setting would be) but I did disconnect the neg terminal and run a test light from the clamp to the post. I pulled all the fuses and only the OPS made the test light go out. Just for kicks, I pulled the fuse and let the truck sit for almost 3 days and when I plugged it back in, the truck started right up! Looks like that is where the drain is. Now for the fun part....

Is there a common electrical component or part of the wiring that is prone to going out on these? The only aftermarket electrical item is the CD player and it has been working the same in the midst of all this. Also, where online can I find a wiring diagram so I can start tracing the circuit. Thanks for the help guys!!

~AJ~
 
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