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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2001 7.3 in F250. Mileage 195,000 and something.

I drive it very little now days, maybe 2000 miles a year. Batteries are two years old. (1) - I have-to start it every three days and let it run 30 minutes or so or the batteries are about dead. (2) - I have-to cycle the heck out of the glow plugs (20 seconds each cycle) to have enough umph to turn the engine over fast enough to start. After the glow plugs have gotten hot, and I haven’t tried starting too many times, it spins right over and fired up. I realize that I should put a good battery maintainer on it, (will soon, just had surgery), but my question is, WHAT ya recon that it is that is draining the batteries, and WHY am I needing to cycle the glow plugs so much to start it up?

Everything on the truck is stock. No aftermarket radio, tuner, etc.
 

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You shouldn't need to cycle the glow plugs, the relay stays on for up to 2 minutes once you turn the key on. All you are doing by cycling them is putting wear onto the relay

So you really need to test the relay and glow plugs to figure out where your problem is. Go to the first of this thread on how to test them

 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
2001 7.3 in F250. Mileage 195,000 and something.

I drive it very little now days, maybe 2000 miles a year. Batteries are two years old. (1) - I have-to start it every three days and let it run 30 minutes or so or the batteries are about dead. (2) - I have-to cycle the heck out of the glow plugs (20 seconds each cycle) to have enough umph to turn the engine over fast enough to start. After the glow plugs have gotten hot, and I haven’t tried starting too many times, it spins right over and fired up. I realize that I should put a good battery maintainer on it, (will soon, just had surgery), but my question is, WHAT ya recon that it is that is draining the batteries, and WHY am I needing to cycle the glow plugs so much to start it up?

Everything on the truck is stock. No aftermarket radio, tuner, etc.
2001 7.3 in F250. Mileage 195,000 and something.

I drive it very little now days, maybe 2000 miles a year. Batteries are two years old. (1) - I have-to start it every three days and let it run 30 minutes or so or the batteries are about dead. (2) - I have-to cycle the heck out of the glow plugs (20 seconds each cycle) to have enough umph to turn the engine over fast enough to start. After the glow plugs have gotten hot, and I haven’t tried starting too many times, it spins right over and fired up. I realize that I should put a good battery maintainer on it, (will soon, just had surgery), but my question is, WHAT ya recon that it is that is draining the batteries, and WHY am I needing to cycle the glow plugs so much to start it up?

Everything on the truck is stock. No aftermarket radio, tuner, etc.
THANKS bugman!
I didn’t know about the two minute thing. I had been told by a “reputable” diesel mechanic to cycle them. I will stop doing that. Read the article twice, GREAT information. Thank you for the link. Will test when I can. The IDM was replaced a year or so again (with a used one by a diesel mechanic) because the truck would cut off if I was rolling just above idle and let off of accelerator. I am now wondering if there is a connection to that? Idles fine now.
 

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I use a battery maintainer on my batteries. You can find one for $5.00 and up. Bought mine a Harbor Freight, 10 years old and works great.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I use a battery maintainer on my batteries. You can find one for $5.00 and up. Bought mine a Harbor Freight, 10 years old and works great.
THANKS Richard!
Sounds like an excellent idea! No more than I drive now days, it sure does need one. I would like to figure out why it is draining the batteries while just sitting there, but my research so far has come up some of these trucks just do that.
 

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THANKS bugman!
I didn’t know about the two minute thing. I had been told by a “reputable” diesel mechanic to cycle them. I will stop doing that. Read the article twice, GREAT information. Thank you for the link. Will test when I can. The IDM was replaced a year or so again (with a used one by a diesel mechanic) because the truck would cut off if I was rolling just above idle and let off of accelerator. I am now wondering if there is a connection to that? Idles fine now.
You’re not alone, I wasn’t aware how the GPR worked either until joining this group in 2018. A voltmeter that plugs into the power point (cigarette lighter) to show the voltage drop when the GPR is activated is handy. I wired up an easy to see LED that shows the function of the GPR. After my truck’s been running awhile, warmed up to operating temp, the LED doesn’t come on and just hit the key and go on frequent stops.

post edit: corrected to voltage drop
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You’re not alone, I wasn’t aware how the GPR worked either until joining this group in 2018. A voltmeter that plugs into the power point (cigarette lighter) to show the amperage drop when the GPR is activated is handy. I wired up an easy to see LED that shows the function of the GPR. After my truck’s been running awhile, warmed up to operating temp, the LED doesn’t come on and just hit the key and go on frequent stops.
THANKS Big Horn!
Yep, I have learned a lot too by following this forum, it’s great. Didn’t know about the ideas you just mentioned, I like those!
 

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THANKS Big Horn!
Yep, I have learned a lot too by following this forum, it’s great. Didn’t know about the ideas you just mentioned, I like those!
i went back and post edited my above reply “it should have been voltage drop” ☺ (not amperage)
 

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Batteries shouldn't have run down that quickly. I had mine sitting for 6 years while waiting to repair some body damage, started it every weekend or two for 30-45 minutes to keep the batteries going and never had trouble. Something else is draining your battery down if they're losing charge that quickly.
 

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It seems that the OP is guessing about his GPs using all that "juice" "these days". Maybe, maybe not. It could be that the "juice" is not there to use. One should know the electrical use patterns of a unit. How? Well it is no more complicated than getting a cheap lighter plug in digital voltage meter and leaving it there. Observe n Observe
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
was

i went back and post edited my above reply “it should have been voltage drop” ☺ (not amperage)
understand! 😜😇
Batteries shouldn't have run down that quickly. I had mine sitting for 6 years while waiting to repair some body damage, started it every weekend or two for 30-45 minutes to keep the batteries going and never had trouble. Something else is draining your battery down if they're losing charge that quickly.
It seems that the OP is guessing about his GPs using all that "juice" "these days". Maybe, maybe not. It could be that the "juice" is not there to use. One should know the electrical use patterns of a unit. How? Well it is no more complicated than getting a cheap lighter plug in digital voltage meter and leaving it there. Observe n Observe
Batteries shouldn't have run down that quickly. I had mine sitting for 6 years while waiting to repair some body damage, started it every weekend or two for 30-45 minutes to keep the batteries going and never had trouble. Something else is draining your battery down if they're losing charge that quickly.
Yep!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
It seems that the OP is guessing about his GPs using all that "juice" "these days". Maybe, maybe not. It could be that the "juice" is not there to use. One should know the electrical use patterns of a unit. How? Well it is no more complicated than getting a cheap lighter plug in digital voltage meter and leaving it there. Observe n Observe
Your input has been noted. Nope, not guessing, the glow plugs ARE pulling the batteries down when they are activated and the engine is cold, (makes sense, they need a lot of "juice", but in the past, when I drove a lot, this was not a issue). After they heat up and the engine has warmed up (by running), the engine spins over fine at start the rest of the day as long as the engine still has some heat in it (not been sitting and long time and not running). Batteries have been load test and passed, so that ruled that out. I DO understand electrical systems, but simply seeing a voltage or amperage drop on a meter doesn't tell me much because there's a lot of "gadgets" on these things that are pulling "juice" at the same time, thus, the reason that I came here to ask, there are folks smarted than me on here, and some have even been there - done that. I have gotten some GREAT leads to follow from the replies to my question, so as soon as I am over my surgical recovery and I am able to lift the hood once again, I will start with the sticky link that bugman lead me to, then work my way through it. Heard some GREAT feedback on this one. THANKS y'all!
 

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Your input has been noted. Nope, not guessing, the glow plugs ARE pulling the batteries down when they are activated and the engine is cold, (makes sense, they need a lot of "juice", but in the past, when I drove a lot, this was not a issue). After they heat up and the engine has warmed up (by running), the engine spins over fine at start the rest of the day as long as the engine still has some heat in it (not been sitting and long time and not running). Batteries have been load test and passed, so that ruled that out. I DO understand electrical systems, but simply seeing a voltage or amperage drop on a meter doesn't tell me much because there's a lot of "gadgets" on these things that are pulling "juice" at the same time, thus, the reason that I came here to ask, there are folks smarted than me on here, and some have even been there - done that. I have gotten some GREAT leads to follow from the replies to my question, so as soon as I am over my surgical recovery and I am able to lift the hood once again, I will start with the sticky link that bugman lead me to, then work my way through it. Heard some GREAT feedback on this one. THANKS y'all!
Bob
I live in an occupational world of diagnostic quantifications. I tend to regard anecdotal descriptions as less accurate than quantified data. That's my personal practice and I meant no disrespect from my verbiage used, "guessing".
Using a simple volt meter one can tell, in a quantified minimal sense, when the GPs are on, when they are not and when they come on and time out. It's a cheap way to have some quantified data where none is available.
It seems, to me from years of observing my own unit, that a faultless GP system will pull X volts and amps. A GP system with a fault or faults will pull < X. Either could pull batteries down if in a parasitic drain condition. But that is not necessarily a GP solo problem.
To support either scenario or a no fault condition the supporting systems, charging and storage must be acceptable, also by quantification.
Units, in what to many is a near perpetual long term storage condition, are very hard on those vital support systems.
Wishes to you for a speedy and complete recovery from your surgery.
Jim
 
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