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Old 09-02-2010, 11:47   #1 (permalink)
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'06 Escape XLT Key Off Current Drain


I have a 2006 Ford Escape XLT 4WD, 2.3L 4 cylinder, automatic transmission.

High parasitic (no key) battery current drain. 240mA all the time.

The problem is battery dies when car isn’t used in more than a week. Not a problem if driven every day.

I measure battery current and found parasitic drain current to be 240mA or 0.24A of constant draw. The car spec on AlldataDIY is 50mA max.

I do have a remote start installed but I removed that and current only dropped about 10-15mA so not enough to matter.

I did leave the car for a couple hours thinking some of the logic circuit would drop in power over time as they fell into low power sleep modes. I didn’t happen. When you first connect battery current spike up to 1.5A and then drops to the 240mA about 30 seconds later (when radio display goes blank). It never goes low than this, even hours later.

I did find the current is on the two legs on the battery box served by fuse F19 and F21. If I pull both of these fuses the current falls to zero.

I am sure it isn’t leakage at the alternator as well. I disconnected the wire to the alternator thinking leaky diodes/rectifiers where the path of leaky current. It made no difference. There was no measureable leakage current through the alternator.


A few questions:
  • Could AlldataDIY just have it wrong and the key off current really is 200-220mA for this car?
  • The wiring diagrams are vague on AlldataDIY when it comes to the logic circuits. Its hard to say which lines should use how much current. Is there a way to get more detail and how my 200+ mA current should be broken down?
  • The radio alone seems to be 70 mA by itself which is over the 50mA alone.

Any ideas or suggestions appreciated. Obviously this is a subtle problem because there isn’t an obvious or horrendous current drain. It’s still a problem though.
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Old 09-02-2010, 16:36   #2 (permalink)
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Re: '06 Escape XLT Key Off Current Drain

From the '06 manual:

Battery — Drain Testing
WARNING: Do not attempt this test on a lead-acid battery that has recently been recharged. Explosive gases may cause personal injury. Failure to follow these instructions may result in personal injury.
NOTICE: To prevent damage to the meter, do not crank the engine or operate accessories that draw more than 10A.
NOTICE: If equipped with the CD6 audio unit, precautions must be taken when the battery has been disconnected. When reconnecting the battery, make sure no interruption of power occurs for 30 seconds. If power is interrupted during the first 30 seconds, permanent damage to the CD6 audio unit will result.
NOTE: No factory-equipped vehicle should have more than a 50 mA (0.050 amp) draw.
Check for current drains on the battery in excess of 50 mA (0.050 amp) with all the electrical accessories off and the vehicle at rest for at least 40 minutes. Current drains can be tested with the following procedure.
NOTE: Many electronic modules draw 10 mA (0.010 amp) or more continuously.
NOTE: Use an in-line ammeter between the negative battery post and its respective cable.
NOTE: Typically, a drain of approximately 1 amp is attributed to an engine compartment lamp, glove compartment lamp, or interior lamp staying on continually. Other component failures or wiring shorts are located by selectively pulling fuses to pinpoint the location of the current drain. When the current drain is found, the meter reading falls to an acceptable level. If the drain is still not located after checking all the fuses, it is due to the generator.

NOTE: To accurately test the drain on a battery, an in-line ammeter must be used. Use of a test lamp or voltmeter is not an accurate method due to the number of electronic modules.
  1. Make sure the junction box(es)/fuse panel(s) is accessible without turning on the interior lights or the underhood lights.
  1. Drive the vehicle at least 5 minutes and over 48 km/h (30 mph) to turn on and activate the vehicle systems.
  1. Allow the vehicle to sit with the key off for at least 40 minutes to allow the modules to time out/power down.
  1. Connect a fused jumper wire (30A) between the negative battery cable and the negative battery post to prevent modules from resetting and to catch capacitive drains.
  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable from the negative battery post without breaking the connection of the jumper wire.
  1. NOTE: It is very important that continuity is not broken between the battery and the negative battery cable when connecting the meter. If this happens, the entire procedure must be repeated.
    Connect the battery tester between the negative battery cable and the post. The meter must be capable of reading milliamps and should have a 10 amp capability.
  1. NOTE: If the meter settings need to be switched or the test leads need to be moved to another jack, the jumper wire must be reinstalled to avoid breaking continuity.
    NOTE: Amperage draw varies from vehicle to vehicle depending on the equipment package. Compare to a similar vehicle for reference.
    NOTE: No factory-equipped vehicle should have more than a 50 mA (0.050 amp) draw.
    Remove the jumper wire.
  1. Note the amperage draw. Draw varies from vehicle to vehicle depending on the equipment package. Compare to a similar vehicle for reference.
  1. If the draw is found to be excessive, remove the fuses from the smart junction box (SJB) 1 at a time and note the current reading. Do not reinstall the fuses until you have finished testing. To correctly isolate each of the circuits, all of the fuses may need to be removed and then install 1 fuse, note the amperage draw, remove the fuse and install the next fuse. Continue this process with each fuse.
  1. If the current draw is still excessive, remove the fuses from the battery junction box (BJB) 1 at a time and note the current drop. Do not reinstall the fuses until you have finished testing. To correctly isolate each of the circuits, all of the fuses may need to be removed, then install 1 fuse, note the amperage draw, remove the fuse and install the next fuse. Continue this process with each fuse. When the current level drops to an acceptable level after removing a fuse, the circuit containing the excessive draw has been located.
  1. Check the wiring diagrams for any circuits that run from the battery without passing through the BJB or the SJB. If the current draw is still excessive, disconnect these circuits until the draw is found. Also, disconnect the generator electrical connections if the draw cannot be located. The generator may be internally shorted, causing the current drain.
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'09 Ford Escape Limited, V6, 4WD
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Old 09-02-2010, 20:24   #3 (permalink)
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Re: '06 Escape XLT Key Off Current Drain

Thanks for the procedure. Followed it and got the same reading. 250mA continuous draw or 5x the 50mA max spec.

I am pretty sure the problem is the electronics on the smart junction box under the console. The fuse that feeds the logic circuit of this module seemed to drop the current the max when I removed it. I suspect a leaky capacitor or two on the PCB. I removed the SJB for the car but the covers didn't seem to want to come off so I didn't want to damage it. I suspect the SJB is pricey so for a 250mA problem I think I just see the car gets run at least every few days. Maybe I'll put one of those battery switches under the hood if the car is going to be parked for several days.

Does anyone know of a source for the PCB internal schematic for the SJB? That might help me see where the problem could be inside it.
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Old 09-03-2010, 04:17   #4 (permalink)
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Re: '06 Escape XLT Key Off Current Drain

Quote:
Originally Posted by curiousB View Post
Thanks for the procedure. Followed it and got the same reading. 250mA continuous draw or 5x the 50mA max spec.

I am pretty sure the problem is the electronics on the smart junction box under the console. The fuse that feeds the logic circuit of this module seemed to drop the current the max when I removed it. I suspect a leaky capacitor or two on the PCB. I removed the SJB for the car but the covers didn't seem to want to come off so I didn't want to damage it. I suspect the SJB is pricey so for a 250mA problem I think I just see the car gets run at least every few days. Maybe I'll put one of those battery switches under the hood if the car is going to be parked for several days.

Does anyone know of a source for the PCB internal schematic for the SJB? That might help me see where the problem could be inside it.
I doubt if you'll find a schematic for it, any other module or PCM either.
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'09 Ford Escape Limited, V6, 4WD
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Old 09-03-2010, 19:57   #5 (permalink)
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Re: '06 Escape XLT Key Off Current Drain

Well I dug into this further. I found a chunk of the 250mA drain current (5X the max spec. limit) was flowing into one of the fuse circuits.

Fuse F7 (related to radio and a few other things) was about 80mA of the 250mA. So I pulled the radio and unplugged it thinking that would be a chunk of the drain. No change. So then I pulled the instrument panel. There it was an 80mA drop. Down to 160mA drain still 3X the max but quite a bit less than what I had.

The puzzling thing here is the instrument panel alone is drawing more than the 50mA total budget. That said the remaining current is still well over spec.

So I am starting to think the instrument panel is fine but it is being exercised by the system controller in the SJB which is causing it to draw more current. That might explain why the SJB is drawing more current as well. The mystery question is why doesn’t the SJB go to sleep and minimize power drain. There must be some stimulus causing it to stay awake and consuming power. I am a a loss as to what it could be. Doors were all closed, no key in the ignition, more than 60 minutes since the car was running, ……
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