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Instrument panel draining battery

Here is more detail maybe help explain: It was starting, slow, but starting…it was a week later, The car was dead…Tried jump starting, that did not work…Had to have car towed to dealer…That is how it got to the dealership…Suggested by neighbor, instrument panel thing sounded fishy to him also.
Dealership found a fully charged battery. It is possible that the battery that was in the car was still good, My first instinct was to replace that battery, as it was 5 years old, and the car probably needed a new one anyway. Does this clear up things? If not, I will be glad to answer…thanks Dan


I’ll say a few things

I’m an experienced mechanic

I’ve seen several components causing parasitic draw, including instrument clusters

When you’re performing a parasitic draw test, Fords take a LONG time to go to sleep. That said, somebody without enough patience . . . or knowledge that some cars take a long time to go to sleep . . . might diagnose a parasitic draw that simply isn’t there

It’s possible that the instrument cluster is indeed faulty, but intermittently. It’s possible that this mechanic did indeed perform the parasitic draw test correctly, and rightfully pointed the finger at the cluster. And it’s possible that it “decided” to start behaving again. If that is the case, don’t count on it “staying fixed”

As for Tom and Ray responding . . . don’t count on it. They are retired. They don’t take phone calls anymore. If you listen to the radio sho closely, they straight out say that the phone calls are pre-recorded

If the car wasn’t turning over and a jumpstart didn’t help and the dealership found the battery fully charged then a starter problem is a distinct possibility. It is not the only one, but it is one

It is pretty upsetting when you find out you have paid for something that isn’t the correct fix for the problem you are having. I think about the best you can do in this case is let it go and move on. At least now you know where to go the next time something like this happens. Even the best techs can get fooled at times working on a problem, especially with intermittent ones. What you experienced at the other shop happens every day to customers and with bills a lot higher than you had to pay. That doesn’t help your wallet much but that is just the way it is. Some shops are better than others. If a customer has a legitimate complaint I think the smart shop will negotiate on the bill to try and make the customer happy and still keep the customer coming back possibly. Though some shops may not want some of their customers to come back after dealing with them. It can work both ways.

Thank you Cougar! I think that is what I needed to hear, and I agree too, that even professionals make mistakes. I have a place where I have my radiator drained and flushed, and they do good work. They are a bit further of a drive, but in the long run, I think it will be worth it. Dealerships are more pricey, but I do trust this radiator shop.
Again, thanks for your advice, just suck it up, and move on, lol been nice chatting with you…


A word of caution . . .

A radiator shop is . . . hopefully . . . competent in coolant service and repairs

It may . . . or may not . . . be the place to go for electrical diagnosis and repairs

I agree with you on that db. I only have used them for coolant service, and nothing else. I do believe they do other work there, and I will investigate, if I need any service to my car…Thanks for the reminder…And I learned my lesson about electrical diag’s…lol

Hopefully you won’t have anymore trouble for a long time. If you do just remember, just as Frasier Crane said on his local radio program, “We’re listening Seattle”.

The current draw on on the starter is something they probably should have checked as a matter of course with the battery replacement/slow cranking complaint. In any case, hopefully the problem is fixed and you’ll have no further problems.