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Truck is always dying!

Discussion in '5th Gen 4Runners (2010+)' started by Wildland, Jan 4, 2021.

  1. Jan 4, 2021 at 6:49 PM
    #1
    Wildland

    Wildland [OP] Does Ursus arctos defecate in deciduous forest?

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    I have had trouble with this 4runner ever since I bought it. Sold my low mileage 2010 trail for a high milage 2013 trail. It has 175k miles on it.

    It is always dying. I put a new optima redtop in after I thought it was the old battery and it runs great when it's driving. However, if I don't drive it for 4 days it is dead.

    Could something be drawing power when the car is off and slowly draining the battery and how do I check? My wifes old civic can sit for a week and only be driven a couple miles and starts up each time so I don't think it is from the lack of driving and recharging the battery.

    Thanks!
     
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  2. Jan 4, 2021 at 7:11 PM
    #2
    Gamma Ray

    Gamma Ray New Member

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    Hood protector, mud guards, cross bars, Wonderfulhz screen protector (8 inch)
    Why?

    Anyway, it may be parasitic drain. Have fun. Here's a short video from everybody's favorite 94 Celica owner. Some people think he's a quack. I don't know. At least it may send you in the right direction.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B__DqK90IIc
     
  3. Jan 4, 2021 at 7:12 PM
    #3
    Tama1968

    Tama1968 New Member

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    it does sound like you have a parasitic drain happening. could be a million things....bad ground somewhere, door switch acting up but to name two. I had this problem with my old Trailblazer. there are a lot of experienced people on this forum and hopefully they will chime in with a better way to run it down, but I put a meter on the battery and started pulling fuses to see what might be drawing power. In my case it was a bad instrument panel cluster (turned out to be a common issue on the GM360 platform). Best of luck....I hate auto electrical issues.
     
  4. Jan 4, 2021 at 7:33 PM
    #4
    Agent_Outside

    Agent_Outside New Member

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    It sounds like you definitely have a parasitic current draw. Unfortunately it’s not the easiest DIY friendly thing to diagnose.

    Generally what you’d do open the door and manually latch it closed, put an amp clamp on the negative battery cable and lock the car and let is sit for a couple hours to ensure all the modules have gone to sleep. The 4Runner being an old piece of shit dinosaur of a vehicle you should probably see around 25-30 milliamps. If you’re battery is dying you have significantly more than that. Once it’s asleep you can take a meter and if it’s fuses with exposed test points you came voltage drop the fuse to check to see which ones are drawing power. As an alternative you can pull fuses individually and monitor what it does at the amp clamp. The problem with that method is if you pull a fuse and then reinsert it, you can wake modules up and have to wait for it to sleep again so it’s a timely process. Once you determine which circuit is pulling power when it shouldn’t you need to bust out a wiring diagram to see what modules on that shared fused circuit and start disconnecting them one by one until you find the one that causing the draw.

    The way I personally diagnose current draw is a stand alone amp clamp and a Flir thermal imager. I figure out how much it’s drawing, put the car to sleep and let it sit indoors for 24 hours, then take the thermal imager and look at the fuses. Whatever circuit is pulling power WILL glow a different color on the imager. If there’s electrically traveling through it, there will be warmth. Takes like 10 seconds to determine which fuse is the warmest, that’s your power draw - bust out the wiring diagram and look at what’s on the circuit and start shooting them with the imager to look for warmth.

    In general the common causes are typically radios, amplifiers, modules that control connectivity (emergency assist and things like that) or any module that got damaged from water leaks.
     
  5. Jan 4, 2021 at 7:53 PM
    #5
    Wildland

    Wildland [OP] Does Ursus arctos defecate in deciduous forest?

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    Because I am dumb :laugh: it was just in too great of shape with only 65k miles and bought it for $26k. Was just too nice with a kid and to hunt out of so found one with more miles, a few scratches same color and trim for $15k. It just sits outside until need an offroad vehicle so the first one just seemed like too much money sitting there.

    Thanks for the video!

    Thanks - I hate electrical too. I keep getting an engine code for evap every now and then (been replacing things for that) and wonder if maybe they are connected with a bad ground somewhere.

    Thanks for the detailed post! That is unfortunate it sounds likes parasitic draw and a pita to solve. I like your method of the thermal imager - gotta get my hands on one :laugh:
    Well, I'll pull the battery and charge it and get to diagnosing!
     
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  6. Jan 5, 2021 at 12:54 AM
    #6
    bear1998

    bear1998 New Member

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    Its a bandade until u get it figured out but in the meantime....maybe put a tender quick connect on battery n run it out in the grill. Connect n plug in tender to keep the battery up until needed....just a thought...GOOD LUCK
     
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  7. Feb 4, 2021 at 12:49 PM
    #7
    Wildland

    Wildland [OP] Does Ursus arctos defecate in deciduous forest?

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    So I've tested the in line method with 3 different voltmeters (2 of them Fluke, and one brand new one). Always black on COM and red on 10 amps on voltmeter on the 10 DC position. Red on the negative battery terminal and black on the clamp. It always reads 0.00. Anyone know why? Is the car really not pulling anything when its off?
    I tested the voltage of the battery - 12.58 v, will test it again tomorrow at the same time to see if drain is really happening or I really did have two bad batteries (which is hard to believe).
     
  8. Feb 6, 2021 at 2:45 PM
    #8
    ElectroBoy

    ElectroBoy Ad astra

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    Just so I understand this correctly. You used your meter like the photos below to read voltage, and current?
    With your meter in the current reading mode (Amps) and red lead plugged into the meter 10A socket, you take off the positive battery clamp and connect the leads inline to complete the circuit. You should get some kind of reading. But at rest the drain from the battery is in the milliamp range. Mine reads about 150 mA. That is 0.15 Amps. So to get a more accurate reading you then plug the meter lead into the 300mA socket and repeat.

    Remember, if the meter is in this Current reading mode and you connect the leads across the battery terminals you will blow the internal fuse. You’ll then have to remove the back cover to replace the fuse.

    A514F66E-FA17-4353-9545-72074C00B16D.jpg
    326381E5-C2E5-4690-99DA-C16DCF29DD89.jpg
    A0733768-8CB1-448A-B01D-F48B3E5F20BA.jpg
     
  9. Feb 6, 2021 at 6:51 PM
    #9
    Wildland

    Wildland [OP] Does Ursus arctos defecate in deciduous forest?

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    So my problem was a blown fuse in the DMM so that is why it was reading no current.

    How do I go about not blowing a fuse again (not sure if it was even me who blew it though - this is a work DMM - just don't want to have the right info incase it was me)? I was doing this all through the negative terminal not the positive.

    Is this what you are saying? I connect the DMM inline between the battery positive and positive cable so the current flows through it. I have the black probe set in COM and the red probe set in 10 Amps and turn the dial all the way to A? If I need more accurate I move red probe to the 400mA (on mine). Should I have the DMM on before I put it inline or does it matter?
     
  10. Feb 6, 2021 at 10:31 PM
    #10
    wdsteven

    wdsteven New Member

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    LOL he is a Quacker but he is right.... I have the Same simple resistor set up to do the Same thing.
     
  11. Feb 7, 2021 at 7:11 PM
    #11
    ElectroBoy

    ElectroBoy Ad astra

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    You can connect the meter leads inline in either the positive or negative battery lines. Make sure you are in DC Current measuring mode on the meter dial switch and the meter leads are connected like in the previous photos.

    In this configuration do not connect the meter directly across the battery posts + to -.(As if you were reading the battery voltage. Set up the meter and probes into the voltage configuration before doing that see pic). It would be like connecting a wire across the terminals which would spark or arc weld the wire. In this case that wire is the fuse in the meter which blows instantly. Don’t worry, everybody has done this at one time! (PS, it’s possible someone had already blown those fuses before you got the meters. Voltage measurements still work even with a blown current fuse).

    The reason to get into the habit of connecting the red lead first to the 10 Amp jack is a relic of the analog meter days where there was a sweep needle. If you put a large current into the meter it would quickly peg that needle to the max and maybe bend it. So you put it in the high range first to get a rough idea of the current then change the setting to get a more accurate reading.

    Don’t worry about the red (pos) or black lead (neg) connection to thd battery cable. The digital meter will just show it as a positive or negative current. No harm to the meter.

    Below is a diagram of this, but not very good. Hope this helps.

    Edit: Yes to your questions. The meter can be on when you hook things up. Also, if you have alligator clips it’s a little easier to connect rather than probe tips.
    A50C3560-FB94-480A-A88A-9D9334AAA6C5.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2021
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  12. Feb 8, 2021 at 8:53 AM
    #12
    08TXRunner

    08TXRunner New Member

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    Now I see why you're ElectroBoy. Good info.
     
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  13. Feb 11, 2021 at 11:31 AM
    #13
    Wildland

    Wildland [OP] Does Ursus arctos defecate in deciduous forest?

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    Replaced all the DMM fuses and guess what - it works! So first picture is of the truck awake 1.753 A. Second picture is it asleep after 1hr at .01 A.

    So... nothing is pulling power above normal power when it is asleep. What would cause battery drain then? Bad battery cables, bad ground somewhere?

    I do get an intermittent p0441 and p2420 every now and again - maybe they are inter connected?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Feb 11, 2021 at 12:00 PM
    #14
    SR5 Limited

    SR5 Limited New Member

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    Can you pull the alarm fuse? They always seem to crap out, the aftermarket ones, I’ve never had a problem with my factory one just a suggestion...
    Or the trailer hitch connection, they corrode, so I keep mine inside the vehicle...
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2021
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  15. Feb 11, 2021 at 1:28 PM
    #15
    Wildland

    Wildland [OP] Does Ursus arctos defecate in deciduous forest?

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    Yeah I only have a factory one.

    Hmm.. so my fuse for the trailer hitch was blown. Might be some connection theee
     
  16. Feb 12, 2021 at 1:41 AM
    #16
    ElectroBoy

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    That 1.75A reading is immediately after you first hooked up the meter and battery? That seems like a lot of current, but I haven’t checked mine in a while. It may be all the ECUs starting up and initializing. IIRC mine was in the range of 0.2 to 0.5 A. I’ll try to look into mine tomorrow for a comparison. But the 0.011A looks like a good sleep value.

    If you have time, try repeating this. Hook it up and take current readings every 15 minutes or so (whatever is convenient) to see when it goes to sleep. I believe it decreases in stages. If it keeps drawing that 1.75 A for a long time it could be a problem.

    Then there’s that evaporative pressure test that kicks on 5 hours after being driven that take some extra current for who knows how long.
    There’s a thread on the other forum about those error codes:
    P0441 - evaporative emission system(Incorrect Purge Flow
    P2420 - P2420 Evaporative Emission System Switching Valve Control Circuit high

    Maybe when that motor kicks on if stays running too long. Is this stock? Any additional aftermarket electrical mods like alarm, remote start, audio equipment, lights, dash camera, front and back cameras?

    Do you have anything plugged into your OBDII port? It’s got constant 12V available on it. I noticed that when I left my Carista interface dongle plugged in that there’s a red light on the unit that stayed On all the time.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2021
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  17. Feb 12, 2021 at 7:03 PM
    #17
    ElectroBoy

    ElectroBoy Ad astra

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    I did a little bit of testing today on my 18 ORP. Stock setup, LED interior bulbs, some electrical mods but nothing is active, except where noted.
    So here’s some reference points for you to consider while troubleshooting yours. It’s possible your truck behaves differently.

    After driving, 10 minutes truck has been parked, now everything is Off, alarm Off.
    0.14A

    Open Driver Door, turn On parking lights, shut door. (Interior lights stay on for 30 seconds).
    2.5A

    After 30 seconds interior lights timeout Off. Parking lights still On.
    2.0A

    Open door, turn Off parking lights, shut door (Interior lights stay on for 30 seconds).
    0.7 A

    After 30 seconds interior lights timeout Off.
    0.56A

    30 seconds later current drops to
    0.14A
     
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  18. Feb 12, 2021 at 7:30 PM
    #18
    Wildland

    Wildland [OP] Does Ursus arctos defecate in deciduous forest?

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    Correct, that 1.75A is when I connect the meter. So seems pretty similar to the reference below (btw, thanks for doing that!! Really helps). I'll test how long that 1.75A stays on - I know it is less than 1 hour so shouldn't be too long to test.

    Did not know about that pressure test. Might look into that.

    Yeah complete stock! Factory alarm, factory backup camera, factory bulbs, nothing I have done to it. I have a wifi OBDII module I only plug it in when I need it.

    What I do know is that my battery drops .1 V a day undriven. So when it's driven it rest at 12.67 when I get home. The next day at the same time it is at 12.57. etc. Will test this again though to make sure that is still happening. I'll have to wait until after tomorrow to test over a few days when I won't be driving it.

    If this is still true then something is coming back on after it has been asleep. We shall see!

     
  19. Feb 12, 2021 at 7:52 PM
    #19
    Sixgunz

    Sixgunz New Member

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    Check your battery cables. Your rig is old enough to have corroded cables under the tape/jacketing at the terminals and you won't see it unless you peel some back. That would prohibit your battery from getting a good charge. If not that, maybe it's your alternator - easy enough to check. Good luck.
     
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  20. Feb 12, 2021 at 8:06 PM
    #20
    Wildland

    Wildland [OP] Does Ursus arctos defecate in deciduous forest?

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    I'll look into that. Yeah my alternator is good (battery reads almost 14v when truck is running)
     
  21. Feb 22, 2021 at 7:13 PM
    #21
    Wildland

    Wildland [OP] Does Ursus arctos defecate in deciduous forest?

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    Here is my mA after running the car and shutting it off for 6 hours of reading during 15 minute intervals. I may have messed up because I didn't lock my doors before this all started (maybe it doesnt matter?). There is that little peak to 43 a little after 5 hours. This is all without clearing the codes listed above. I'll try it again with my doors being locked and reset code this week.

    Screen Shot 2021-02-22 at 8.10.39 PM.jpg
     
  22. Feb 24, 2021 at 5:18 PM
    #22
    ElectroBoy

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    The profile of your resting current draw looks good. It actually is lower than I’d expect since mine is around 130mA. But that’s only one data point. Maybe some other folks can chip in with their measurements to compare so we can tell what is typical.

    In any case your current seems pretty minimal and I would not expect it to be harming your battery. As long as it’s a healthy battery and is getting a proper charge when driving.

    If you’ve cleaned up your battery cable connections and determined the alternator is charging properly, I’d suggest what others have, get a battery tender like the Noco 5 Genius. The battery could have been bad from the start or if it’s had a few deep discharges it could be damaged. You might as well try to condition it as much as you can before declaring it a bad battery.

    Two questions:
    1. You list a min and max current. Is the current jumping around a lot while it’s being measured?
    2. What’s the battery voltage at night after driving, then in the morning after sitting for 8+ hours?

    Good luck, let us known what happens.
     
  23. Feb 24, 2021 at 9:40 PM
    #23
    Wildland

    Wildland [OP] Does Ursus arctos defecate in deciduous forest?

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    Maybe I am not reading the meter right because it seems low to me too. My red probe is on the 400mA and my dial is at the ~mA on the Fluke 77.

    Something is eating my batteries because my current redtop is my second one after they warrantied my other one in the first post (they said it was a bad battery). The Carquest battery before tested fine and it kept dying. Not letting this Optima fully die! And not probable that I have 3 bad batteries in a row. Can't warranty another one. That's why I am thinking I'm reading this meter wrong?

    1. Yes it is jumping around a bit! But as you can see the average is on the lower side so those peaks are only every so often and not sustained.

    2.The other day I tested it at night at 12.72 volts after driving. The next morning it was at 12.2 (however, I left my OBDII scanner in so maybe that ran it down but I have left that in my previous 4runner all the time and it didn't do anything). Other times I tested it has dropped between .2 and .4 V over night. So something is happening at some time! Will do a full day diagnostic once I confirm I'm reading my DMM right
     
  24. Feb 25, 2021 at 6:32 AM
    #24
    ElectroBoy

    ElectroBoy Ad astra

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    Also, make sure the meter is reading DC amps. Gotta hit that selector button for DC or AC mode. Check the manual or this:
    https://dam-assets.fluke.com/s3fs-public/80v_____qreng0000.pdf
     
  25. Feb 25, 2021 at 7:13 AM
    #25
    Wildland

    Wildland [OP] Does Ursus arctos defecate in deciduous forest?

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    Yeah I made sure it was DC. Just was thinking if those numbers are off by a decimal or two then would cause a problem
     

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