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Discussion Starter #1
Hi. Didn't want to clutter things up in the title too much, but here are the symptoms I'm experiencing.

1. Battery dies after about a day or two of not being used. Alternator and battery were both replaced. Seems to me like I could have a parasitic drain somewhere, but...

2. Headlamps appear to be going out. I replaced both head lamps two months ago, and now both are experiencing issues. Today, only one headlamp was working. I decided to try and re-seat both of the connector plugs. Suddenly, the "working" headlamp swapped places. So the passengers side was working, then it wasn't. The driver's side wasn't working, then it was.

These are the most important issues for me to resolve. I'm including a couple of additional symptoms below, but only include them in the hopes that it could narrow this down to a single cause.

3. Dancing instrument cluster. My understanding is that this can be fixed by re-soldering a few points on the instrument cluster. This issue also normally corrects itself after a few minutes of driving. I don't believe it's related, but I might as well include it.

4. Cranking the steering very hard in one direction can cause the engine to die. This is an issue that has been around for a couple of years. The only time it was ever an issue was if I was in an awkward spot in a parking lot. So I learned to make sure not to crank it all the way in one direction and it was fine. Again, don't know if this is related but might as well include it.

Does anyone have any ideas? Thank you! :)
 

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Welcome to the FFO!

Questions -
How many miles on the vehicle?
What is the voltage across the battery, engine off?
What is the voltage across the battery, engine on? At warm idle speed? At 2000 RPM?

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Discussion Starter #3
Mileage: ~109,000 miles
Voltage across battery
Engine off: 12.08V
Engine on: 14.27V
Warm idle: 14.22V
2000RPM: 12.5V

I also went in search of some parasitic draws. Removed every fuse and relay that I could find. There seemed to be a decrease in amps drawn when removing Relay 1, Fuse 103, and Fuse 114.

Relay 1: Switched system power relay #4
Fuse 103: SSP4 Relay, SSP4 Relay (Coil)
Fuse 114: SSP3 Relay, SSP3 relay coil

After doing all of this, we noticed something awry related to the hood. The little button that is supposed to detect when the hood is closed, had been rotated out of the way. It was no longer making contact when the hood was closed. It appears that the hood light had also burned out, so if it was drawing power, I would not have been aware of it.

I'm not sure yet what to fully make all of this. I won't really know if the hood issue was the culprit in the parasitic drain until a couple of more days have passed and I can try to fire up the battery.
 

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The voltage at 2000 RPM is a problem. It should be in the 14 range.
At 12 1/2 the system is no longer charging the battery unless it is a smart charging system.
In my opinion you have found a problem

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks! I will look into that. I might have to re-measure the voltage at 2000RPM just to be sure.

Any idea what might cause this? Bad alternator? I replaced both the alternator and the battery within the past 6 months. Is it possible I got a bunk alternator? 😓
 

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The alternator is working, at least at idle speed.
Issue could be alternator, regulator or connections.
And having the system tested for free would be next. If you are in the US a parts store like AutoZone or OReilly's

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