Freestar:Radio coming on and draining the battery - Ford Forum - Enthusiast Forums for Ford Owners


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Old 03-08-2017, 04:28 PM
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Unhappy Freestar:Radio coming on and draining the battery

Hi all, we have a 2004 Ford Feestar (3.9L V6, ) that has developed a peculiar problem. When we go out to start the car in the morning and put the key in the slot and begin turning, the radio comes on (to an AM station even though we only listen to FM stations when we listen to the radio) as we get to the "ON/Accessories" selection (just before the start engine selection). Then of course as we proceed to start the car we get the infamous 'click,click,click' sound of a dead battery. This happened once in a while when when we first got the car but I assumed the kids had left the radio on all night and drained the battery. Now it is happening all the time, even when I make sure the radio is OFF before locking the vehicle up at night. I have skimmed the internet and have found a couple of articles from people who have the same problem (the radio coming on & having a dead battery), but I have not yet come across any solution or TSB. Does anyone know or has anyone heard about this problem happening with Freestar vans? Or does it happen with any other Ford vehicles? Is there a fix out there that I can follow to get this problem repaired? Can anyone give some helpful troubleshooting steps? Any and all help is appreciated!

Last edited by oldad; 03-08-2017 at 04:41 PM.
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Old 03-09-2017, 03:06 PM
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The radio is one of a string of modules in the network. This may require the use of a scan tool to check "module health". If the module is found to be defective it will require replacement.
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Old 03-11-2017, 11:32 AM
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First thought would be an issue within the SJB..

All the time?,, meaning every night?

When you exit the van for the night. roll the drivers window down, after exiting reach in and see if the drivers window will raise with the master switch button. Yes/No?
Again, reach in (door closed) and see if the audio unit will power on. Yes/No?
If neither operate, try again late as possible, or if possible every hour/few hours prior to the battery going near flat. Yes/No?

Power for the audio unit (in part) as well as power windows comes through one of the Accessory delay relays mounted to the SJB (smart junction box/fuse panel) and their "control" (completed ground to activate the relay) is logic module controlled within the SJB. Under the Delay function,, a timed power distribution for both audio/window remains hot/active until 'either' the time is exceeded or the power interrupts, or, the door is opened while exiting breaking the power distribution. If the power windows operate (door closed, 'after' exiting) could be just a delay relay stuck closed. If so, swap the 2 relay relays in the SJB. Same results? Yes/No?

If after 'first' exit of the van (window/radio test) neither prove active, chances are a relay wouldn't short later on or make contact on its own. Possible,, yes, but unlikely, but more a chance the SJB is under control if they prove active after exiting. Keep in mind,, that both audio and window functions would steer you/me towards a delay relay/SJB.

If the audio/window test doesn't show any resolve or indication, removing the fuses,, F1.59 20 amp (Hot at all times) in the BEC (Bussed Electrical Center under the hood, left/driver side forward) and F2.20 in the SJB (switched/hot in Start) may point to a audio unit issue. Being the key needs to be cycled to activate the input to the audio unit from fuse F2.20, that should eliminate that circuit unless a key/ignition issue..

Nothing else remains ON after exiting, correct?

Last edited by Hayapower; 03-11-2017 at 11:41 AM.
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Old 03-12-2017, 07:05 PM
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Another thing to look at... Double check the battery terminal connections. I had the same scenario just prior to the folks picking up my Freestar that I sold them. I had recently did some electrical work on the van and forgot to fully tighten the negative cable connection. As soon as I tightened the terminal, everything has been fine since.
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