Radio/CD Player Stays On -- Drains Battery - North American Grand Cherokee Association
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Old 04-30-2019, 10:52 PM   #1
RedToad
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Join Date: Jun 2018
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Default Radio/CD Player Stays On -- Drains Battery

Got a 2005 GC Limited, 5.7 with 160K miles to flat tow behind our RV about a year ago. Great car! Have towed it about 5,000 miles in the time we've had it.

All was (or seemed!) well yesterday when I washed and vacuumed it out. Today, found the battery dead. After jumping it, drove to auto parts shop for an OBD2 readout. Nada. But on the way, I saw the Speedo and Tach needles do a little curtsy, dropping simultaneously toward zero, then immediately rebounding. There was no accompanying loss in power, rpm, or road speed. In fact, in 6 miles of driving, mostly Hiway, they did that 8 or 10 times.

Techie suggested something must have sucked the power, so pull the fuses one by one, checking for current at terminal.

Sure enough, my test light showed power flowing with key off and out. Lit an 1157 bulb nicely. None of the fuses under the hood fazed it. So I was prowling under the dash for additional fuses boxes, and realized my radio / NAV / CD player was making noises. Faint hum, muffled clicks.

Reconnected the battery and confirmed, with key in ACC or RUN, radio behaves normal, on/off seems normal, all other controls work.

But turn the key off, and the unit tries playing a CD. It cycles between black -- appearing to be Off - and AM radio, then CD, then FM. Often displaying the JEEP screen briefly, then going black.

Clearly this will run down the battery. So for now, I have disconnected it.

Techie at the parts store suggested a blown fuse on one circuit might activate an undesired draw on another. Is that likely?? Where do I look for a fuse feeding the Radio? Why does it behave normally when the key is on?

Six months ago had the ignition switch replaced under warranty. Could an error in doing that create this? Why so long after the fact?

Does spooky action of dash gauges suggest a bad ground to the instrument cluster?

Thanks for any tips or suggestions on where to find the Gremlins!
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