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dodge van electrical problems

mothersnow1 mothersnow1
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 01/13
Posted: 01/29/13
01:48 PM

I have a 1999 3500 v8 dodge camper van. My battery is completely discharging every night. I have replaced the battery. Does anyone have any ideas on what could be wrong?  

waynep71222 waynep71222
Guru | Posts: 823 | Joined: 03/12
Posted: 01/30/13
08:12 AM

please charge your battery on a charger  bring the battery up until it can pass the first test.. a deeply discharged battery may take 2 or 3 hours at 10 amps setting on the charger to fully recharge the battery...

print this test...


i can help you narrow it down...

let look at these..

Current Draw

you can... ENGINE OFF... key off...  disconnect the battery as shown above and use a digital volt meter in DC AMPS setting to measure the current flow...

1996 and newer cars usually have 0.030 amps DC of current flow..  thats the keep alive memory for the various computers...

professional mechanics sometimes have a low amp current probe like these from aeswave  these are also available from local parts stores in their big tool flyer ..
these are somewhere between 90 and 150 bucks..


with this and a digital volt meter.. you can clamp around individual wires and see which one has current flowing on it..

you can get this 37772 digital volt meter from your harbor freight store for 20 bucks usually...


it has a 20 AMP DC setting...

parasitic draw testing on 1996 and newer cars requires something like this battery disconnect...  as there are components that stay awake for 6 minutes..


with an digital volt meter in 10AMP, 15amp or 20 AMP DC setting..  you have the green knob tight... installed between one cable and the battery...   start the engine .. let it run for 2 minutes, ROLL THE DRIVERS WINDOW DOWN..... shut it off.... look at your watch to note the time... get out and lock the door as you normally would... leaving the drivers window down...

after 7 minutes.. you should have the digital volt meter set to DC amps and the probes on either side of the green knob disconnect device.. loosen the green knob so all the current going into the VAN goes thru the volt meters amp shunt...

expected current is 0.030 amps... thats 3/100ths of an amp..

note.. on the meter shown above.. the test leads are hooked into the yellow and the black connections...  not the red and black...

do not use this configuration to measure voltage.. as its a dead short.. this is for amperage only..

you can.. just install the green knob... and loosen it each night..  or each time you park... until you can figure it out..

if you find current. much above the 0.030 amps... you can get into the fuse box.. pull the dome light fuse...  so you can have the door open without a false reading..  and pull fuses one at a time until the current drops to acceptable levels.. please pull one and put it back in the same place..

this is faster with 2 people...

run both parts of the first test i posted first...  post results.. by number 1,, 2,, 3,,4,,  

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