What can drain batteries when engine off? - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 10-21-2013, 03:39 AM Thread Starter
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What can drain batteries when engine off?

Hi. We bought a 2000 ford excursion 7.3 a few months ago. On a long trip pulling our camper, a p1211 code came up and gas mileage went from 8.5 down to 6.5. Brought it to mechanic in town. They said oil looked bad, that could be the cause. So got new oil (switched to synthetic too). They, and everyone we talked too said we said we should be getting at least 10-12 mpg even when pulling our 28 foot 6000 pound trailer. Said to test drive it. Took it out for drive with camper, mileage was back up to 8.5. Noticed they didn't put oil cap on. Brought it back, they gave new oil cap. They took it for a spin with computer hooked up, couldn't find anything wrong, suggested we buy performance chip to increase mileage. Came home and left town 2 days later with different car. My mother in law was going to use it when we were out of town. She told us the day we left, it wouldn't start at all. When we get back, I jump start it, it worked, thought I must have left lights on. A few days pass, went to start it and it was dead. Took 1 yr old batteries out to O'Reillys to test them, told they are bad. I asked if vehicle wasn't ran in winter, can that freeze the batteries (MN). They said yes, warranty covered them, so got 2 new motorcraft batteries. Put them in and it started fine. A week goes by without being used, went to start it up and it won't start, no crank, like batteries are bad.

Wife worries mechanic did something. Like we took it in asking them to find us something wrong and that they gave it to us. And since they didn't put the oil cap back on, said it was dropped down in engine compartment.do you think this is a coincidence and just bring it back to them? Just seems so fishy that everything worked fine until they had it and couldn't find anything wrong.

What could make the new batteries drain when it's sitting there unused? Thanks so much.

Ps, what is a good computer/performance chip to get better than 8 mpg when towing??
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post #2 of 6 Old 10-21-2013, 05:04 AM
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Welcome to the site. First off the oil dosnt have anything to do with the battery. Going synthetic was a good idea so its not like you wasted our money. But with a diesel the oil always looks bad.
You stated that your vehicle wasnt ran last winter. Around here if a car sits that long mice will make it a home. And they love to chew wires! And once they start this it can be a major pain to find what they have torn up. But as long as your batteries are at full charge they can sit just fine over the winter.
My suggestion would be that if you do let it sit for periods of time you might wanna look into a solar charger. I got mine on my camper for $80 and it keeps the batt's at 100%.
I would suggest you do the easy things first. Check the grounds and make sure nothing is lose. Just went through this with Grand ma. One loose ground was enough to kill the system.
Also go out at night and have a look around. Last month my Daughters Blazer was dieing. Come to find out she had left the dome lights on and nobody saw it.
These are just easy things but it's a start. Keep us posted.

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post #3 of 6 Old 10-21-2013, 05:32 AM
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Your pcm is always drawing very slight power. But will take along time to drain batteries. Go to your fuse panel with a multimeter (set it to amps/current) and and put the stabs across each fuse.

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post #4 of 6 Old 10-21-2013, 05:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hucorey View Post
Your pcm is always drawing very slight power. But will take along time to drain batteries. Go to your fuse panel with a multimeter (set it to amps/current) and and put the stabs across each fuse.

And what he said about your grounds. ^^^^^
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post #5 of 6 Old 10-21-2013, 06:39 AM
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Check condition of battery cables when checking the grounds. Also, check glove box light/switch. I've heard batteries can discharge if the tops are severely corroded/dirty, but this shouldn't be in your case with new batteries.

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post #6 of 6 Old 11-09-2013, 12:48 PM
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I had an alternator that drained my batteries for about a year before I finally figured out what it was. I was changing an o-ring on the HPOP with my ear by the alternator and could barely hear it humming. Got a new one and no problems since. Good luck.
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