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 Post subject: Battery drain from gauge illumination dial
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 1:37 am 
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For many years I have been dealing with a mystery battery drain. If left un-driven for 2 days in cold weather, the battery drains and won't start the car. Thought it was a bad battery, so replaced it with a larger new one but it didn't solve the issue.
A few years back I discovered that when my car is off and doors closed, my interior lights were turning on and off briefly about every few minutes. I found that if I turn my gauge illumination dial on the turn signal all the way off, the lights no longer cycled and my battery drain went away.
So I just got in the habit of, turning up the dial when getting in the car so I can see the dash at night, then turn it all the way back off when parked. This also turns off the interior lights when the doors are opened, so it was kind of a nuisance, but no more battery drain.
As time went on, that dial started to malfunction, where it didn't turn off the lights when dialed off, and sometimes the interior lights would turn on while driving, and sometimes my dash lights would turn off while driving. Random and erratic behavior. Even though the interior lights didn't always turn off when dialed off, the battery wouldn't drain like it did before from the interior lights cycling and I would continue the habit of turning the dial off and on when needed.
The other day, I decided to replace my turn signal switch since the piece that holds the turn signal in place when turning broke.
With the new switch, the new gauge illumination dial worked like it should again and turned off the interior lights when dialed down and no more erratic behavior of turning on while driving or gauge lights turning off randomly.
I decided to test my luck and leave the dial in the middle area (interior lights turn on when doors open, but turn off when doors close). When I returned to my car 3 hrs later, my battery was dead! I jumped it and started investigating further.

I tested the amperage draw on my battery while adjusting the dial. I also pulled different fuses to see what might be causing the issues, and noticed that a large draw comes from one of the JB Power fuses that also has the alarm/remote key fob on it and also is affected by the illumination dial.

When the illumination dial is turned all the way off, the current draw is 0.009 amps. When the illumination dial is turned to any of the middle positions, the current draw is 0.138 amps. Nothing internally is illuminated when the dial is turned to the middle positions and I can't see any visual difference with anything when the dial is in the middle vs off, but there is definitely a different current draw. While this is a larger current draw and odd that there is a difference at all when turning the dial, I still can't see how this would be draining the battery in a couple days or less.

Does anyone have any thoughts on what could cause or fix this? I would love to be able to just leave my illumination dial where I want it, close to the upper region so my interior lights turn on when opening the doors, and my dash is illuminated to the level I want without draining my battery when car is off and doors closed?

I looked into the F-35 recall TSB (module causing a battery drain) but my dealership said it didn't apply to my vehicle. I also saw no difference when pulling the trailer fuse or other fuses that people have suggested have battery drains.

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2006 CRD Limited, ~130k miles, GDE Hot Tune and Eco tune, weeks101 Intake Elbow Kit, Samco Hoses, ARP Head Bolts, EHM, Straight Pipe, Factory Towing, 245/75R16 (no lift)


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 Post subject: Re: Battery drain from gauge illumination dial
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 1:45 am 
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I should also mention that the amperages I gave above are the resting amps after the system settled down. For example, when I turn the dial (with door closed and car off and all interior lights off), the amps jump much higher, then settles down after about 1-2 minutes to the 0.009 or 0.138 depending on if it's off or in the middle positions. Just like when opening a door, it triggers a module to draw more power for a minute before settling down to the values stated above. Probably the alarm or body module waking up and going back to sleep associated with an event, but strange that the dial illumination knob would be causing it to wake and to draw more at some positions.

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2006 CRD Limited, ~130k miles, GDE Hot Tune and Eco tune, weeks101 Intake Elbow Kit, Samco Hoses, ARP Head Bolts, EHM, Straight Pipe, Factory Towing, 245/75R16 (no lift)


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 Post subject: Re: Battery drain from gauge illumination dial
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 1:39 pm 
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Why not try replacing the switch and see if the problem follows? Could grab a spare at a junkyard. I think I have a spare here you could test with.

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 Post subject: Re: Battery drain from gauge illumination dial
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 1:55 pm 
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Hi Sam. I had the same issue with my old switch but was hoping it would go away when I bought a brand new switch.
Aras

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2006 CRD Limited, ~130k miles, GDE Hot Tune and Eco tune, weeks101 Intake Elbow Kit, Samco Hoses, ARP Head Bolts, EHM, Straight Pipe, Factory Towing, 245/75R16 (no lift)


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 Post subject: Re: Battery drain from gauge illumination dial
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 2:08 pm 
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arasb wrote:
Hi Sam. I had the same issue with my old switch but was hoping it would go away when I bought a brand new switch.
Aras


Well, shoot.

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 Post subject: Re: Battery drain from gauge illumination dial
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 4:31 pm 
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I have a spare fuseblock/BCM you could try swapping in and see if the draw changes.

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 Post subject: Re: Battery drain from gauge illumination dial
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 4:50 pm 
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Oh cool. That would be a good test. Someone a long time ago suspected that it could be the bcm. I’ll email or PM you.
Thanks Sam!

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2006 CRD Limited, ~130k miles, GDE Hot Tune and Eco tune, weeks101 Intake Elbow Kit, Samco Hoses, ARP Head Bolts, EHM, Straight Pipe, Factory Towing, 245/75R16 (no lift)


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 Post subject: Re: Battery drain from gauge illumination dial
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 10:15 am 
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Just wanted to update my status. I borrowed Sir Sam's spare BCM, tested it in my jeep and it fixed the battery drain!
Thanks again!
Aras

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