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Jim Grant Tech Tips Jim Grant Tech Tips
A collection of helpful articles based on reader submissions
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Below is a collection of Jim Grant's Tech Tips sorted by Vehicle Make. These Tech Tips were answers to questions submitted to Jim by users over the course of many years.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email us.



Lincoln - Mercury
  Jim Grant's Tech Tips

'00 Chrysler Sebring Convertible, Dead Battery Problem!!!

Q: I bought my wife a used ‘00 Chrysler Sebring convertible last year. As long as she drives it at least every one/two days, all's well. As soon as she lets it set for a few days, the battery is dead, dead as a doornail! I took it to a local dealer under warranty and was told that it had a bad cell in the battery and they replaced the battery. Great!!! The problem is, it hasn't changed!! Four days and the battery is dead!! A service rep at the local GMC dealer told me that the Sebring has a big problem with batteries going dead in a short time. Can you give me some pointers on how I should try to get this problem resolved with the dealer, or is this "that's the way they are, use them or the battery will die"? Are there any Chrysler bulletins on this that I might find for my "ammo bag" when I take it back this time?

A: I was not able to find any Technical Service Bulletins (TSB’s) or recalls for your complaint. But from your description it sounds as if you have a parasite in your electrical system. This electrical leech sucks a very small amount of electricity, but over time (days) it is enough to kill a perfectly healthy battery. This condition has a name, it is called a parasitic draw. But not to worry there is a diagnostic procedure to find and destroy this nuisance. The parasitic draw is a condition/problem that has developed right along with computers, as they became an integral part of today’s vehicles. Your vehicle, for example, has multiple computers. These computers don’t shut off just because the key has been turned off. These computers just keep on running for a programmed amount of time before they shutdown/timeout. There are 2 computers on your vehicle that will stay running for up to 20 minutes and one evens keeps running for 30 minutes after the ignition switch has been turned off. What makes these computers more interesting is that they’re easily awoken, even with the ignition off. Here’s where the fun begins. When the computers are napping they draw very little electricity but once awoken they use up to ten times as much electrical power. This is not enough power to kill a battery in a day, but over 2 or more days the battery will be taking a real beating. There are a variety of inputs/switches that are used by these computers. If a switch is not operating correctly the computer will sit and watch that switch, all the while waiting for it to send the right information that would allow the computer to take a nap. The diagnostic procedure for trapping and terminating a parasitic draw is not a problem for a technician with a good multi meter and Chryslers Ignition-Off Draw (IOD) Test. So once you wake-up the right people your battery should not be a problem.

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