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Mystery energy vampire

Hey Guys, I love your show. And I listen when ever my kids will let me.

Here’s the problim that no garage or dealership can seem to figure out. We have a 2000 ford windstar with over 100,000 miles on it. And for the last sereral years we have been dealing with an issue with our battery, more often than not being drained completely dead. We have turned all the lights off and made sure that the doors are all closed. In hopes that by keeping all possible energy draws to a minimum. We now have purchased a portable battery jump. We had a new battery put in less than a year ago. And we still have this issue.

There you go boys. My prayer is that you can solve this riddle.

Thank you!


Finding parasitic draws can be time consuming but not impossible,standard diagnostic procedures must be used,I have no explaniation why your not getting results.

Get the battery load-tested anyways. Even a new battery can have faults. That is why there are warranties. I had less than 2 years on a battery that failed to start my Explorer. Took it straight in, and had them do a battery test. The battery failed, and they replaced it for free under warranty (2 year replacement warranty). Never had another problem with it.

But, since your dealing with the same problem that you had before the latest battery, I suggest you do as ‘oldschool’ said, and track down the draw. One method I’ve used successfully was to get a single-filament tail light, and with everything off and doors closed, hook it in series with the negative post of the battery. This makes it a ‘shade-tree’ amp gauge. If it glows, you have a bad draw.

Get an amp meter.  Turn off the car.  Wait about ah hour.  Check the amps.  Now have someone watch the amps while you remover fuses on at a time.  Record any changes.  Don't assume the first drain you hit is the one you need to adjust.  Check all the fuses you can find or that are listed in your owner's or repair manual.  

Check back with your results.  It is normal that some circuits are always on, but for very small amounts.

This may be too far out, but I remember that on the 2000 Ford Windstar that I owned, there was a circuit that would allow the radio, power windows and other accessories to remain powered for about 10 minutes aftter the ignition switch was turned off and before any of the doors were opened. You could test that circuit by turning the ignition switch to off and play the radio (don’t open the doors). If after 10 minutes or so the radio goes off and the windows don’t operate, you’ve eliminated this as a possible cause. On the other hand, if the radio continues to play after 10 minutes or so, it may be something about this circuit.