diagnosing a mystery current drain

Jim Wright wrightj at apple.com
Tue Nov 18 12:57:25 CST 2008

On Nov 18, 2008, at 10:27 AM, davidpertuz at mindspring.com wrote:

> Can some of you who are more electrical people than I am (I'm an  
> engineer, but while I am a lot better at electrical diagnosis than I  
> used to be, I'm much more of a mechanically-minded person) lay out  
> for me the most time-effective method for finding what'd draining my  
> battery?

Here's what I would do.  First, you'll need a meter with an ammeter.   
Open the fuse box, and with the keys out and the car off, pull each  
fuse, insert the meter probes, and see if there is a current.   
Continue through each fuse until you find something interesting.  A  
small draw will be normal for some things (keeping dash/radio clocks  
set, dome light, etc), but I'm guessing that the culprit will be  
obvious when you find it.

Having a wiring diagram for your vehicle will be very important in  
tracking things down further. 

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