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97 Grand Caravan SE short to ground? Battery drains!

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Old 11-02-2006, 04:30 PM
shawnpd shawnpd is offline
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Default 97 Grand Caravan SE short to ground? Battery drains!

Hey y'all!
Just found this fourm, looks great and seems like a good group of folks!
Here is my problem...a couple of weeks ago we tried to start our 97 Grand Caravan SE, when I twisted the switch all I got was a click! Tried again and click...once more and it actually fired! So we took it over to the AutoZone so they could check the charging system! Sure enough the alternator was bad (failed the diode check!). After many hours a few scrapes and a sore back my wife (yes she is a great mechanic and patient too!) and I got the alternator swapped.
Took it back to AutoZone everything passed but the battery was a little low. Got it home put the Battery Tender on it over night and all seemed well! 'bout 10 days later the oldest kid said the van wouldn't start right away so put the Tender back on it that night so she could drive it work the next day. That night took it back to AutoZone in hopes something simple was wrong...nope all was well! No charging problems, no error codes!

So two days ago I jumped into it and it cranked OK but then no indicator lights, no fan, no radio, no window control...the list goes on! After I got home, switched it off...waited a few sconds switched on, started right up and all the controls worked as expected! Turned it back off, bounced the ignition switch and got back a 12 55 and that was it! Battery is not low and I am completey at a loss!

Does a 97 Caravan have a BCM? Would a failing BCM cause the battery to drain? And act crazy? I was thinking it was a failing ignition switch but could it be that easy? Any ideas? Thanks in advance for the help!


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Old 11-02-2006, 05:10 PM
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dodgerules86 dodgerules86 is offline
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Default RE: 97 Grand Caravan SE short to ground? Battery drains!

Do and Igniton Off-Draw (IOD) test.
You need an amp-meter (multimeter).
[IMG]local://upfiles/948/93072F826BAB450FA4B6E53B1D1C723B.gif[/IMG]
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1996 Dodge Dakota, 4x4, extended cab, 3.9L, automatic. - my baby
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Old 11-02-2006, 05:36 PM
floorslayer1 floorslayer1 is offline
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Default RE: 97 Grand Caravan SE short to ground? Battery drains!

My 97 did same thing and it was a matter of cleaning battery posts/terminals. Check that before you go much further... Take them off and physically look at the surfaces because the contacts can appear good from above, but be oxidized inside. Then check for a constant draw on the circuits in sequence. Good Luck
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Caravan Fan....have owned 7 and praise their virtues, but woe their transnission flaws. I use a broken differential pin as a key chain if that's any sign. 2 1988 w/2.5l, 91 GC w/3.3, 94 GC AWD w/3.3, 2 1997's w/3.3 and 99 w/3.8
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Old 11-02-2006, 06:03 PM
shawnpd shawnpd is offline
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Default RE: 97 Grand Caravan SE short to ground? Battery drains!

That is an excellent point...I actually replaced the cable ends not too long ago! The posts are clean, dry and free from corrosion...I even splurged and spent the 99 cents on the goop that is supposed to protect from corrosion. Who knows how well it actually works! Thanks for a glimmer of hope!
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Old 11-04-2006, 04:53 PM
shawnpd shawnpd is offline
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Default RE: 97 Grand Caravan SE short to ground? Battery drains!

Hey! Excellent Excellent advice! I performed this check and as soon as I got to the EATX circuit the mA draw changed from .0072 to .0008! I think we have a winner here...but I have no clue how to chase this circuit any further. The Haynes manual is pretty general when it comes to these circuits plus there is diagram to show me where to start!

I hate to ask for more help but if you have any further advice, I would really appreciate!

Glad to know I am not the only uneducated military member here (22 years as a REMF in the AF)! Thanks again for all of your help!
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Old 11-05-2006, 12:39 PM
floorslayer1 floorslayer1 is offline
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Default RE: 97 Grand Caravan SE short to ground? Battery drains!

Well thats the transmission controller, and I'd guess that somewhere in that harness you have corrosion causing it to go to ground. It is a small box on the passenger fender wall and you might try probing those wires (on the outbound side to the tranny) with the key off and seeif there is a draw on any of those wires. Then if you're lucky enough to find a draw, chase the wires to thier respective sensor or source and look for corrosion. If you probe wires in the engine compartment, i recommend using a sharpie to mark where you probe so you can go back later and dab some silicon or permatex on those spots to prevent further corrosion. Without actually looking right now, I recall that the Haynes manual has pretty good schematics . Good Luck
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Caravan Fan....have owned 7 and praise their virtues, but woe their transnission flaws. I use a broken differential pin as a key chain if that's any sign. 2 1988 w/2.5l, 91 GC w/3.3, 94 GC AWD w/3.3, 2 1997's w/3.3 and 99 w/3.8
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Old 11-05-2006, 12:39 PM
 
 
 
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