03 minivan electrical flickering

Last Edited By Krjb Donovan
Last Updated: Mar 11, 2014 07:45 PM GMT

Question

QUESTION: Hi Roland

Pulled every fuse from the fuse panel band there was no change from the meter. The wires from the positive terminal look fine at the batter end. The one goes to the fuse box. I haven't checked that end of it yet but I also would like to check the other end of the other red wire. This disappears into the loom and I need to know where it terminates to check its integrity.

ANSWER: If you pulled every fuse (there are 32 of them!) and the battery stayed at 10V, then fat red wire to that box is not the cause of the battery being drained down. The other fat red wire on the battery + post goes to the starter motor, and it also continues on a similarly fat red wire to the alternator. I would suspect that the alternator is what is dragging down the battery so try disconnecting that red wire at the alternator and see if the battery voltage goes back up. If so, then either that wire or the alternator is shorting to ground. Be sure to remove the + post from the battery when handling the bolts on that wire as it is "hot" and can burn you if your wrench shorts it to metal nearby. Then reconnect the battery and see what voltage is then shows. PS Please use follow-up questions to maintain the stream of messages rather than starting a new question. Thanks for the ratings and nominations.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi Roland

I disconnected the battery, disconnected the alternator, reconnected the battery and there was no increase on the meter. I then repeated the same process for the starter motor and had the same results. No increase. When the canles are hooked up to the battery it reads at about 10.5v and with the cables off it reads at about 12.5v. Feels like we're getting somewhere with this.

Answer

If you pulled every fuse and nothing improved and you disconnected the starter motor and the altenator and still no improvement in the reading at the battery then you have a hidden short to ground in one of those two battery cables or your battery is shot. I am beginning to think that you may have a rotten battery, because nothing that you have done to remove all the possible drains (by pulling all the fuses, disconnecting the starter and the alternator) has caused the battery to stay anywhere neare 12v. When the ignition is 'off' and all the doors and lights are off there is very little 'draw' on the battery so the fact that as soon as you connect the + clamp it drops to 10V sure looks to me like you have a very weak or shot battery. By the way, you said in the past that the relay started clicking... which relay was that?

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