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04 Tacoma Dead Battery

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by ssort, May 9, 2010.

  1. May 9, 2010 at 9:09 PM
    #1
    ssort

    ssort [OP] Member

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    i've got a electrical bug on my new to me 04 Tacoma and i hope someone can assist. I've had a number of Toyota trucks, but this is the first Tacoma.

    here is the issue i'm having:

    i use the truck Thursday PM to Monday AM and then it sits for a few days. the past 3 or 4 Thursdays' when hop in to start the truck the battery has been dead. the truck is fine as long as i use it daily. but i have a short that is draining the battery over the course of the 3 (+ or -) days it sits unused.

    I've replaced the battery, no change in the behavior.

    i put a meter in series on the battery and i with the truck off, key out, all lights, radio, dome, personal lights, flashers off, their is a 250+ "ma" drain on the battery. i did find that the dome light bulb housing was bad but the battery drain as noted above did not change with the bulb out.

    i pulled all of the fuses and the one fuse that reduces the ma drain to about 20 (ma) is fuse number 11 in the engine bay. that fuse says it controls: Dome 15 A: Car audio system, interior light, clock, personal lights, day time running light system, gauges and meters.

    my thought is to continue to "unplug" the various items called out above but it looks like i have to go deep to get the radio, etc unplugged.

    i have not left the truck sit from Monday PM to Thursday PM (when i do not use it) with fuse number 11 out. i will do that starting this Monday

    i'm wondering if anyone has had any experience with this or has any suggestions.

    Thanks in advance for your help!
     
  2. May 10, 2010 at 6:25 AM
    #2
    EnolaGaia

    EnolaGaia Well-Known Member

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    Since you mentioned there's an issue with the dome light housing, I'd start there ...

    The dome light housing / module grounds itself (the mounting is the ground connection). If it's messed up or shorted out you'd have an open circuit to ground, and that would explain the drain.

    Same thing goes for the personal / map lights around the rearview mirror (if you have them). Both lights are on the same (DOME) circuit, and both ground to the sheet metal via their housings / fasteners.
     
  3. May 10, 2010 at 9:17 AM
    #3
    ssort

    ssort [OP] Member

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    i did see that the dome grounded to the body and so i did pull the entire unit out. i will pull off the personal/map/mirror lights and see if that drops the 250 ma + drain i have.

    thanks for the tip, i will advise.
     
  4. May 10, 2010 at 10:31 AM
    #4
    Barnone

    Barnone Guest

    I don't believe that a short in the dome light is the problem. A short should blow the fuse and draw more than 250milliamps.
    Does your Taco have an after market radio, alarm system, or amp that is connected to the 20 amp fuse?
     
  5. May 10, 2010 at 12:12 PM
    #5
    ssort

    ssort [OP] Member

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    you are right on the dome light. i pulled the entire unit off of the cab headliner and it made no difference. The radio is 100% stock. nothing aftermarket at all. across the board the truck is very stock. i see no apparent access marks (paint off of bolt heads, screw heads, etc) except for the drivers door. and the windows still work when i pull fuse #11 so i don't think that is and issue.

    Thanks Barnone and EnolaGaia for your help. any other ideas or thoughts?

    note that the 2 additional power ports (below the ash tray and cig lighter) were unplugged when i got the truck. i thought this might be the issue but i have pulled them out of the truck with only the wiring harness clips left.

    i have gone back to the seller but he says he did not have any issues as he never let the truck sit. i wonder about that.......

    one other thing- i did not move the truck for the past 20 hours as i wanted to see what the battery drain was in the period. when i checked it at 11 on Sunday it was 12. at 10 today it was at 11 volts.

    i have the battery terminal off now as i'm sure draining a battery repeadly can't be good for it's health.
     
  6. May 10, 2010 at 12:53 PM
    #6
    EnolaGaia

    EnolaGaia Well-Known Member

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    Is it possible one of the loose power outlet wires / connections is shorting to something else? Or have you taped them off?
     
  7. May 10, 2010 at 1:05 PM
    #7
    Barnone

    Barnone Guest

    ssort,
    This problem is a good one.

    FYI My 2002 Taco sat for six months while I was away with no battery tender and it fired right up. I have the plain jane reg cab (no clock in the radio).

    You sound like you know your way around electrical issues.

    I think you are on the right track. Something is drawing 250ma on that circuit with the #11 20amp fuse.

    Does the radio work properly?

    I looked at the
    http://ncttora.com/fsm/2003/index.html#wiring_manual
    briefly and the only 20amp fuse I saw was for the EFI.

    Looked at the fuse panel on 2002 and same thing. Your 2004 is probably different but is it the correct size fuse? I ask because maybe the PO had a different radio in the truck. There might be a relay in that circuit that is staying picked and drawing that 250ma or so.

    Just throwing out ideas but you could pull the relays just to see if one is drawing amps.

    Wish I had a real hard copy of the wiring manual. My dinky note book is hard to use with those pdfs.
     
  8. May 10, 2010 at 6:41 PM
    #8
    ssort

    ssort [OP] Member

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    EnolaGaia: the loose power outlet plugs are not in contact with anything. i forget if they work or not when the key is out but they are not on the listing for Fuse #11.
     
  9. May 10, 2010 at 6:48 PM
    #9
    ssort

    ssort [OP] Member

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    Barnone: thanks for your reply. my thought is to dig out the radio and unplug it next. it's in deep and i ran out of time getting the dash panels off. i got the knee panel off, the ashtray slid out but i must be missing a fastener near the cig lighter and i could not find it. if i can get that surround face plate off i can slide the radio out or at least unplug it.

    if it is a short somewhere would not heat be a by product or at least a shorted fuse?

    i'm thinking if i run out of ideas to take it to a dealer (200 miles away) or a good independent shop (same distance) that i use for my old Land Crusher.

    or maybe get a race car kill switch and drill a hole in the fender............

    thanks for your idea's, keep them coming!
     
  10. May 10, 2010 at 8:24 PM
    #10
    Barnone

    Barnone Guest

    Yes, a short would blow a fuse. Plus a short would draw much more than 250ma.

    I think it is a good idea to remove the radio. At least that would eliminate that as a source of the problem.

    Personally I would only take it to a shop as a last resort.

    If you are sure that removing that fuse removes most of the 250ma draw then it's got to be some where down circuit of that fuse.

    Could you put the fuse back in and remove the relays one by one in the fuse box, checking for the 250ma?

    You must be out in the sticks:D
     
  11. May 10, 2010 at 8:38 PM
    #11
    joes06tacoma

    joes06tacoma Well-Known Member

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    My company truck is a 2004 2wd regular cab. Despite having no other options at all, I have noticed it has a light in the ash tray. Not sure where the switch is that operates the light, but definitely check that the light is going out when you close the ash tray.
     
  12. May 10, 2010 at 9:56 PM
    #12
    ssort

    ssort [OP] Member

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    Barnone, pulling the fuse leaves only about 30 or so ma on the meter and i'm told that is normal draw. i have not pulled the relays. i'm not sure i know which ones those are. i'm gone for about 10 days, i left the truck in the garage with the battery disconected. no reason to abuse the battery more then it already has been.

    yeah, i'm in the pucker brush (aka very small town) in North Central WA, just below the Canadian border. also i'm picky about my shops and in terms of dealers, my choice would be the best one i've found and i've not found any of them to be very good.

    on your advice i will look into the relays. and dig deeper and yank the radio power.
     
  13. May 10, 2010 at 9:59 PM
    #13
    ssort

    ssort [OP] Member

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    ash tray light is interesting. i have my garage door opener in it and it does not close all the way but that light almost looks like a very low power led. and i think the light is on only when the truck lights are on.........

    i will add that to my list, when i took the ashtry slide out, i did not pull that clip off. i will when i get back.

    thanks Joes06 and thanks Barnone, i forgot to thank you in my post back to you.

    all the best, you guys are great. i think progress is being made. too bad this business trip is in the way.
     
  14. May 24, 2010 at 5:35 AM
    #14
    ssort

    ssort [OP] Member

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    5/24/10 Update:

    back in town, got the radio out and pulled the wire modules off the back. And, no surprise, the volt meter reading of 250++ ma is gone. now i need to replace the stock unit but that will be easy.

    thanks for all of your help, much appreciated!
     
  15. May 24, 2010 at 11:55 AM
    #15
    Barnone

    Barnone Guest

    ssort,
    Good news and good job on finding the problem.
     
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