2002 draining battery at night

I have read many many web stories on battery drain in my 2002 ford thunderbird (purchased it 3 weeks ago). It has only 25,000 miles on it and it appears to have a new battery - it is a Motorcraft and looks new and has a small sticker on it with just 9/20 - perhaps a date. My battery drained in about 3 days without usage. I purchased the necessary tools (multimeter, etc.) and went about testing the system by establishing a baseline drain in amperes and then pulling out all the fuses, one by one, until I could see a reduction in battery drain. I finally found some in the rear trunk fuse box: fuses 23, 24, 27, 32 and relays 001, 002, 004, 005 all showed battery drain (each went from a baseline of .710A to .570A with the fuse out). I am uncertain as to what a "relay is" so not sure what that means, but if I just look at the fuses 23,24, 27, and 32, I would lose about .14 amps per circuit or .56 in total. If I corrected these problems, I would be left with about .15A or 150MA 0 still high I's told, but not severe.

My next step was to consult the fuse box diagrams to see what circuits were a problem. I was expecting to see radio, or lights, etc., but did not. All of the fuses and relays are for circuits labeled SSP (SSP1, 2, 3, 4 Fuses, and 1,2,3,4 Relays)

Can anyone assist me? How do I treat relays vs fuses? And what is an SSP circuit and how might I proceed?

Thx in advance for any help.
 

biddle

Forum Moderator
Staff member
Below is from a post that @dharens shared. For those unaware, the Thunderbird/Jaguar/Lincoln LS are similar platforms. Also see the attached PDF.

The Forscan software and the ELM327 will work on the Ford Thunderbird/Jaguar. You need the latest version and you need to use the codes of a Ford Thunderbird 3.0 v6. It works now and I not only can read the codes but also go into the modules to re-program them.


Here is the Ford drain check TSB:

TSB
05-22-9 BATTERY DRAIN DIAGNOSIS - SERVICE TIPS

Publication Date: October 25, 2005

FORD: 2002-2005 Thunderbird
LINCOLN: 2000-2006 LS


This article supersedes TSB 02-9-5 to update the vehicle model years.

ISSUE:
Some vehicles may exhibit excessive electrical system current draw which could result in a discharged battery and a no crank condition.

ACTION:
Use the following Service Information to monitor the vehicle's electrical system for excessive battery current drain and repair as needed.

SERVICE INFORMATION

Having a firm grasp on the design and normal operation of the electrical system will aid in properly diagnosing and repairing any faults with electrical components and/or circuitry.

When the vehicle is at rest (ignition key turned off and removed), some amounts of battery current drain will be present since many of the modules and electronic components in the vehicle require this to sustain memory and system monitoring. The Powertrain Control Module (PCM), Anti-lock Brake Module (ABS),Electronic Automatic Temperature Control Module (EATC), Front ElectronicsModule (FEM), Rear Electronics Module (REM), Driver Door Module (DDM),Instrument Cluster Module (ICM), Roof Opening Panel Module, Heated Seat Module,Driver Seat Module, Cell Phone Module and Vehicle Emergency Message SystemModule all have power supplied at all times for this purpose. Many of these modules monitor activity and communicate with each other through the StandardCorporate Protocol (SCP) Link.

When the ignition key is first shut off and removed, the vehicle is exited and the doors are closed, the electrical system goes into "stand-by"mode, where the REM and the FEM keep the System Switched Power (SSP) relays activated. After a minimum of 45 minutes, the REM and FEM will power down to prevent battery discharge. Power down mode occurs when the REM and FEM"time out" and release the ground on all four (4) of the SSP relays.The SSP relays are wired in a fashion in which they are either all on or alloff. In other words, the SSP relays cannot be operated independently of each other. If power down does not occur, because of a system fault or errant SCPLink activity, the REM and FEM will remain energized along with the SSP relays and the other electrical devices that they provide power. The REM and FEMprovide power and ground to devices such as exterior/interior lighting and manyof the body modules in the vehicle. The Wiring Diagrams Manual may be referenced for additional information on the SSP relays, the REM and FEM, inSections 13 and 59.

Once the REM and FEM enter power-down mode they will not energize the SSPrelays until they are commanded to "wake up" by one (1) or more of the following commands:

Key Fob Activity (Any Command)
Door Ajar (Any Door)
Luggage Compartment Ajar Switch
Drivers Power Seat Switch
Power Tilt/Telescopic Steering Column
Headlamps/Park Lamps On
Key In Ignition
Key On Ignition
Anti-Theft Hood Switch
Brake Pedal Position Switch
Memory Seat Switch
BATTERY DRAIN DIAGNOSIS

In order to properly diagnose a battery drain concern, the following procedures must be followed exactly as stated to produce the most accurate results.

Ask the customer how long the vehicle must sit before the battery goes dead.The vehicle is equipped with a 750 amp hour battery from the factory. If the battery is in proper working order, it will be able to withstand a 1 amp draw for 48 hours without dropping the battery voltage below 10.5V. This information may help determine the amount of current drain present. For example, if a vehicle with a fully charged battery will not start after an overnight soak, it can be assumed the battery current drain is greater than 4 amps. This knowledge may aid in diagnosis.
Check for any aftermarket equipment installed in the vehicle. Ask the customer if they removed any aftermarket equipment before bringing the vehicle in for service. All aftermarket equipment remaining should be removed before proceeding with this test.
Ask the customer if any electrical component(s) is inoperative or malfunctioning. In many cases, a draining battery concern can usually be traced back to a component that has experienced operational trouble.
Using an appropriate scan tool, check all available modules in the vehicle for both on-demand and continuous memory diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs). Repair any on-demand DTC's before continuing with this article. Record any continuous memory DTCs which may aid in future diagnosis.
Check that the vehicle battery is properly charged and that the charging system is operating correctly. Refer to Workshop Manual Section 414-00.
Install a quick disconnect style Battery Saver/Vehicle Anti-Theft Switch between the negative battery post and cable, such as Littlefuse Part Number ATD100 BP or Moroso Part Number 74103.
Drive the vehicle for at least 20 minutes over 30 mph (48 km/h) to reach full engine operating temperature and to turn on and activate vehicle systems. Make sure all electrical components operate correctly like the horn, audio system, exterior/interior lighting, climate control, etc.
Open the Left Front and Right Front door and engage the latches so the vehicle interior can be accessed without disturbing the modules during this test.
Lift the hood and compress the Anti-Theft Hood Switch with a clamp (if equipped).
Open the trunk lid and unplug the electrical connection to the LuggageCompartment Lamp. Lift and secure the trunk floor panel hook to the trunk opening pinch weld. The battery and the Rear Power Distribution Box are now easily accessible.
NOTE: DO NOT ALLOW BATTERY POWER TO BE DISCONNECTED FROM THE VEHICLE AT any time DURING THIS TEST. IF BATTERY DISCONNECT OCCURS, THE ENTIRE TEST MUST BE PERFORMED AGAIN STARTING AT STEP 5.



Use a Multimeter (DVOM) with a MIN/MAX feature to measure the battery current drain. The DVOM must be capable of reading DC milliamps (minimum 1mA) and have10 amp - fused capacity.
Use the following procedure to measure the current drain.
Turn on the DVOM and select DC AMPS.
Attach a large alligator clip on each side of the Battery Saver/Anti-TheftSwitch Terminals.
Connect the DVOM in series by securing the leads to the alligator clips on the battery Saver/Anti-Theft terminals.
Loosen the knob on the Battery Saver/Anti-Theft Switch to break the contact between the negative battery terminal and cable.
NOTE: DO NOT USE A TEST LIGHT OR A VOLTMETER AS A CHECK FOR EVIDENCE OFCURRENT FLOW. A TEST LIGHT WILL NOT ACCURATELY DETERMINE THE AMOUNT OF CURRENT FLOW.



Wake the electrical system up by depressing the lock or unlock button on the key fob. Observe the reading on the DVOM. The current flow will"jump" momentarily then after 1-2 minutes settle to the level listed below (a). Actual readings may vary slightly depending on vehicle equipment, battery condition, ambient temperature and DVOM:
.85 amps (850mA) or less (Stand By Mode)
.035 amps (35mA) or less after 45 minutes minimum (Power Down Mode)
During Stand-By Mode, current drain readings of 850mA or less indicate the vehicle is performing normally. However, the concern may be intermittent in nature. Set the MIN/MAX feature on the DVOM and periodically check the meter for evidence of excessive current drain. The MIN/MAX feature will record the highest measured current reading.
An electrical system that is operating normally will power down to 35mA or less after 45 minutes minimum. However, it may not be necessary to wait for PowerDown Mode to begin diagnosing the source of excessive battery current drain.For example A current drain reading of 2.5 amps is observed during Stand ByMode. Knowing a normal system will measure 850mA current drain, we can estimate the suspect component is consuming 1.65 amps from the system.
With the Wiring Diagrams Manual and Owner Guide easily accessible, begin to track the 1.65 amps excess drain by removing fuses one at a time until the battery current drain drops to an acceptable level. Once the problem fuse is found, use the EVTM to guide you through the schematic identifying all potential components or circuits. The complexity of the vehicle makes it impossible to diagnose the source of the current drain without the appropriate model year Wiring Diagrams Manual.
Start diagnosis in the Rear Power Distribution Box (RPDB) located in the trunk. Remove the smaller amperage mini-fuses, listed below by vehicle, one at a time while checking the meter for current drain drop. If the current drain does not dropdown to 850mA, leave the fuse out and move on to the next. Continue to remove mini-fuses until all are removed from the RPDB. If the current drain does drop to an acceptable level, proceed to Step 20. If the current drain is unaffected, proceed to Step 18.
Lincoln LS - Fuses 4.01 through 4.18
Thunderbird - Fuses 4.17 through 4.41
NOTE: REMOVING AND REINSTALLING FUSES 2.20 (LS AND THUNDERBIRD) AND 4.14 (LSONLY), DURING THE FOLLOWING TESTS WILL PROMPT THE SYSTEM TO "WAKEUP". THE CURRENT DRAIN ON THE METER WILL JUMP MOMENTARILY FOR 1-2 MINUTES THEN SLOWLY DECREASE TO PREVIOUSLY MEASURED LEVELS.


NOTE: DO NOT REMOVE THE LARGE AMPERAGE CARTRIDGE FUSES OR ANY RELAYS FROM THERPDB. BY DOING SO POWER WILL BE LOST TO MULTIPLE FUSES, RELAYS AND COMPONENTS AT THE SAME TIME. THIS TEST IS ATTEMPTING TO LOCATE THE BATTERY CURRENT DRAIN AS CLOSE TO THE COMPONENT LEVEL AS POSSIBLE.



NOTE: DO NOT REMOVE FUSES 4.23, 4.24, 4.27, 4.32 (LS) - 4.10, 4.15, 4.27, 4.28(THUNDERBIRD) OR SSP RELAYS 1, 2, 3, 4 DURING STAND BY MODE. REMOVING THESEFUSES AND RELAYS WILL LESSEN BATTERY CURRENT DRAIN BECAUSE YOU HAVE REMOVEDPOWER TO THE REM AND FEM DURING STAND BY MODE. DO NOT FALSELY DIAGNOSE A REM ORFEM PROBLEM AS A RESULT OF THIS ACTIVITY.



If the current drain is not discovered in the RPDB move to the Central junction box (CJB), located behind the Right Interior Kick Panel. Remove the mini-fuses one at a time, 2.01 through 2.35, while checking the meter for current raindrop. If the current drain does not drop down to 850mA, leave the fuse out and move on to the next. If the current drain does drop, proceed to Step 20.
If the current drain cannot be located in the RPDB or CJB, continue to the auxiliary Junction Box (AJB) located in the engine compartment. All fuses in the AJB are hot at all times. Start by removing the mini-fuses 1.01 through1.12. If the current drain does not drop down to 850mA, leave the fuses out and move on to cartridge fuses 1.13 through 1.24. If the current drain does not drop to850mA, remove the relays from the AJB and check for the current drain drop. If the current drain does drop, proceed to Step 20.
If the excess current drain is discovered when removing any of these fuses or relays, use the Wiring Diagrams Manual, Section 13, to determine the component and/or mini-fuses that are wired downstream in the circuit. Remove those mini-fuses or disable those components to help determine the root cause of the current drain. Use these findings to repair the vehicle as needed and repeat the process starting at Step 7 to verify the repair.
NOTE: IF IT'S DETERMINED THAT A MODULE IS THE SOURCE OF THE CURRENT DRAIN, SELFTEST THE MODULE WITH A SCAN TOOL FOR CODES. ALSO, CHECK THE MODULES AVAILABLEPIDS INDEX FOR POSSIBLE ERRANT INPUTS THAT MAY BE CAUSING THE MODULE TO OPERATEABNORMALLY.



By following this procedure, we have eliminated all potential sources of the current drain while not disturbing SSP relays 1 through 4 or power to the REMand FEM. Continue to Step 21.

Cycle the key fob unlock button several times to make certain the vehicle is"awake". Leave the vehicle unattended and observe the battery drain after 45 minutes minimum. The vehicle should have entered Power Down Mode by this time which drops the current drain to 35mA or less.
If the current drain is greater than 35mA, reach inside the vehicle and turn on the left Front Map Lamp (LS - button on the dome lamp assembly, Thunderbird -button on the rearview mirror). Does the lamp illuminate?
Yes - The FEM and REM are awake and the SSP relays are active. Continue to the next section of this TSB
No - The FEM and REM have Powered Down. Return to Step 4 and repeat diagnosis
If the current drain is 35mA or less the vehicle is operating normally at this time. However, the concern may be intermittent in nature. Continue with the next section of this article.
Errant activity or a false "wake up" message present in the SCP Link will not allow the system to power down, or may wake up a system that has been powered Down. This condition may be intermittent in nature.

USING THE NGS CLASSIC TO CHECK FOR UNWANTED ACTIVITY

This section advises how to use the NGS Classic tester to check the SCP Link for this type of unwanted activity. The NGS Classic Service Card is equipped with a SCP Link Monitor Tool which allows the technician the ability to monitor the communication, or traffic, between all modules equipped in the vehicle that use the SCP Link. Many of the vehicle functions are accomplished as a result of the communication between modules.

NOTE: THE NGS Classic WILL CONSUME 507mA AT 12.6V. IF MEASURING CURRENT DRAIN WITH THE NGS Classic INSTALLED, 507mA MUST BE SUBTRACTED FROM THE CURRENT DRAINDISPLAYED ON THE DVOM TO DETERMINE THE ACTUAL AMOUNT.



Using NGS Classic Service Function Card version 10.1 or higher, select SCP LINK MONITOR TOOL from the main menu.
With the ignition key in the OFF position, connect the NGS Classic to the16-pin Data Link Connector.
Select the SCP LINK MONITOR TOOL from the main menu and press the START key.
At this point, a normally operating vehicle should have no messages present in the SCP Link. If no messages are present, leave the NGS Classic connected to the vehicle and periodically check for SCP activity. If the concern is intermittent, it may take some time before the suspect component behaves in an undesirable fashion. If a message is eventually observed, continue with Step 5in this section. Because of the excessive drain caused by the NGS Classic, it may be necessary to connect a battery charger to prevent a dead battery.
If messages are present, press the STOP key. Scroll through the messages on the screen using the scroll dial. The following information will be displayed in order on the NGS Classic. Match this information with the data on the MessageList found at the end of this article.
NOTE: WHEN USING THIS TOOL FOR 2003 - 2006 VEHICLES, SOME OF THE MODULE CODES MAY NOT SHOW ON THE CHART. ENOUGH INFORMATION FROM THE SOURCE SHOULD BE AVAILABLE FOR MODULE IDENTIFICATION AND CIRCUIT AFFECTED. EXAMPLE: FCU = FRONT CONTROL UNIT (RADIO).



FNCT (FUNCTION): Displays the two (2) digit ID that represents a category of function to be carried out by the module(s) receiving the message. Match this ID with the Function column on the message list
SRC (SOURCE): Displays the module acronym responsible for sending the SCPmessage. Match the module source displayed on the NGS Classic to that on the source column of the message list
DATA 01 - 06: Displays more specific information related to the function. Match these characters with the data on columns 1-7 of the message list, along with the source observed, to define the message being viewed on the NGS Classic
FLTR (FILTER): Displays the current status of the FILTER function. You may manipulate the NGS Classic to capture messages that are sent from a particular or chosen module (Source) or Function.
Compare the messages received on the NGS Classic to the message list tables at the end of this article. These will help determine the function, source and name of the message read from the SCP Link. The message list tables provide all possible SCP Link messages listed in order by Source. Most messages are the result of an input to one module being transmitted to another module that carries out a vehicle function. messages may contain information that commands module to perform a function, while other messages may provide information related to vehicle status that will allow or not allow a function to be performed. Depending on the command, a module may be able to accommodate the command entirely on its own or it may require another module to operate in a certain fashion to achieve the desired initial command. This is all communicated through the SCP Link.

For example, by turning on the headlamp switch the ICM receives the command(input) from the switch to activate all exterior lamps. The ICM does not directly control the exterior lamps, but instead will send a message out over the SCP link telling the FEM and REM that the customer has requested all exterior lamps be turned on. The FEM will receive this message and provide aground activating all the lamps it has within its control in the front of the vehicle. Simultaneously, the REM will receive the same message over the SCP link requesting that all lamps in the rear of the vehicle associated with headlamp operation be activated.

NOTE: DO NOT PREMATURELY DETERMINE THAT THE SOURCE MODULE IDENTIFIED IS THE CAUSE OF THE BATTERY DRAIN CONDITION. IN MOST CASES, THE MESSAGE CAN BE TRACED TO A FAULTY COMPONENT SENDING A FALSE INPUT ON THE SCP LINK. THIS CONDITION MAY NOT ALLOW A MODULE TO POWER DOWN. IF THE ERRANT MESSAGE OCCURS AFTER POWERDOWN, IT MAY WAKE UP A SYSTEM THAT HAS POWERED DOWN.



The following function keys are active when monitoring the SCP Link:
RESET: Clears the screen while the monitor is running
FLTR: Turns the filter feature ON or OFF as indicated by the FLRT display in the upper right screen
SETUP: When SETUP is pressed, the filter setup screen will appear. This will allow the operator to specify the capture of only certain messages by either its source (particular module) or function
START:The START key will start the NGS Classic in monitor mode, and display all traffic on the link. The START key will now be displayed as STOP. Pressing the stop key will stop the monitor from reading any further traffic on the SCP link
NOTE: PRESSING THE START KEY AGAIN WILL CLEAR THE SCREEN OF ALL CAPTUREDMESSAGES.



NOTE: THE NGS Classic WILL CONTINUOUSLY CAPTURE MESSAGES BUT WILL ONLY DISPLAY UP TO 100 MESSAGES AT ONE TIME. ONCE 100 MESSAGES ARE STORED, THE FIRST MESSAGE WILL BE DELETED FROM THE LIST. THE MONITOR OPERATES ON THE "FIRST IN, FIRST OUT" PRINCIPAL.



NOTE: THE PCM AND ABS SHOULD NOT DISPLAY ANY FORM OF MESSAGE ACTIVITY WITH THEKEY IN THE OFF POSITION. IF ANY PCM OR ABS MESSAGES ARE DETECTED AT THIS TIME, CHECK FOR VOLTAGE ON CIRCUITS WHICH SHOULD ONLY HAVE POWER WHEN THE KEY IS ON ORIN THE CRANK POSITION.



USING THE NGS CLASSIC TO CAPTURE MESSAGES FROM A PARTICULAR MODULE

If needed, the NGS Classic may be manipulated to capture messages that are sent from a particular module (source) or function. To setup the FLTR feature to capture only messages sent by a module use the following procedure:

Enter the SETUP menu and press the SRC key.
Use the scroll to select the desired module and press Trigger.
Press the Cancel button to return to the monitor screen.
Press the FLTR button to toggle the FLTR display in the upper right screen toon.
The NGS Classic will now display only messages sent by the module that you specified in the SETUP menu.
USING THE NGS CLASSIC TO CAPTURE MESSAGES RELATED TO CERTAIN FUNCTIONS

To setup the FLTR feature to capture only messages related to certain functions use the following procedure:

Enter the SETUP menu and press the FNCT key.
Use the scroll to select the desired function from the message list and press trigger.
Press the Cancel button to return to the monitor screen.
Press the FLTR button to toggle the FLTR display in the upper right screen toon.
The NGS Classic will now display only messages relating the Function you specified in the SETUP menu.
NOTE: GEM AND FEM ARE INTERCHANGEABLE IN THE FOLLOWING FIGURES.
 

Attachments

  • Switched System Power (SSP) The SSP is invoked by both the FEM and REM. This function removes power from relays that provide power to the exterior lamps, interior lamps, and power door locks. This is only accomplished when both the FEM and the REM are in sleep mode.
A failing FEM/REM could be the issue. Do you have the wiring manual?
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Thanks. I did get a manual but I could not even understand the introduction. The manual puts into perspective the incredible complexity of a car wiring system. After reading the entire TSB above (twice), I have determined that I can do some of the initial checking (just for fun like trying to solve a puzzle during Covid), however, I am convinced that I will need to take the car in and likely spend a good deal of money to have an expert look at it. (or alternately just live with it and use a battery charger 100% of the time when idle). I did call a Ford dealership near my cabin in Wisconsin to sort of evaluate their capabilities (I referenced the TSB) to work on the electronics issues of a 2002 Thunderbird. They assured me they have an individual That can accomplish the task. So, I will work on it over the winter checking and rechecking fuses, etc., then take it in to service in April. Thx again
 
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