My radio is draining 0.5 amps when it's off

Franco

Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2019
Messages
39
Location
Austin, TX
Hello,

The other day I woke up to a dead battery on my 2005 TJ. I did some troubleshooting, installed an amp meter and with everything off, it was drawing 0.5 amps. So I started pulling the engine compartment fuses one at a time. Lo and behold when I pulled the radio fuse, the current went to zero. The radio is OEM. I guess first question is: does the radio fuse serve any other element other than the radio? Second question: why would the radio use 0.5 amps when it's off? And is there any fix? Thanks in advance.

Franco
 
It uses a little to maintain the memory, presets, etc. But nowhere near 0.5A. I think I would open up the dash & unplug the radio to see if that changes the parasitic draw any. Like is it the radio itself, or more likely there's a short somewhere in the wiring.
 
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Holy crap, I just realized that I had turned the key all the way to the "accessories on" position. If I turn the key to the first stop, the current draw is zero. Now what I don't understand is what is using the 0.5 amps? Even in the "accessories on" position, the radio is still off, interior lights off, everything is off. Where does the current go?
 
the ON position basically runs everything but the ignition, right? Computer is on, gauge cluster, etc.
 
Holy crap, I just realized that I had turned the key all the way to the "accessories on" position. If I turn the key to the first stop, the current draw is zero. Now what I don't understand is what is using the 0.5 amps? Even in the "accessories on" position, the radio is still off, interior lights off, everything is off. Where does the current go?

You've been registered for awhile, so I'm going to assume you know how to find the Factory Service Manuals on the forum. If not, just ask. In the FSM for the 2005, page 8W-10-11 (pdf page 635) shows what's powered in the Accessory position (highlighting is mine):
1715791993763.png


Then, page 8W-11-11 (pdf page ) shows where Fuses 17 and 18 feeds go:
1715792124775.png


So, were your wipers on? Was anything plugged into the cigarette lighter receptacle? If no and no, then either the multi-function switch is "finky" or you have an internal issue in the wiper motor or a wiring issue.

Also, if any lights were on at the time of testing, that could be it, too. Generally, a 0.5A would be a pretty small light bulb.
 
I would not expect just anyone to be able to reference easily & understand electrical prints like that without some assistance

Im an elecrrical worker, and know how to read high voltage one lines, but your average Joe may struggle here

I still hate digging thru these newer car wiring prints, such a PITA versus my classic car schematics
 
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Thanks for all that information. I think there might be something wrong with the ignition switch. According to the manual you’re only supposed to be able to remove the key from the “lock” position, but in my car I can remove the key from the “off” position if I want to.
 
Mine does that also

In fact I dont get my accessories on when I turn the Jeep on until I reverse the key backwards a tad to make contact for them. Key comes out in any position

For awhile I was chasing the “no radio, no wipers, no signals@ issue and discovered its the ignition key assembly
 
I still hate digging thru these newer car wiring prints, such a PITA versus my classic car schematics

No doubt! The reason the schematics got complicated is that the electronics got complicated. A one-page schematic is so much easier to interpret, but you'd need a sheet of paper about 10' x 10' to cover a TJ's electrical system, and that's nothing compared to a JL's electrical system.

I would not expect just anyone to be able to reference easily & understand electrical prints like that without some assistance

Im an elecrrical worker, and know how to read high voltage one lines, but your average Joe may struggle here

Regarding these comments, I want to make sure my posts are coming off the right way. My intent is to offer the assistance you mention because I realize that schematics to many people are daunting, and I'm trying to share the experience I have with the forum. Did the post come off another way? Is my tone harsh?
 
Oh no, youre fine bud 😁
I just woke up, and maybe my post came off wrong

Just whenever I see people say “go get the schematic” I kinda laugh because even I hate goin into that wormhole

At least youre helpful
 
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