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Old 11-26-2017, 12:36 PM   #1
Dr Moreau
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Member#: 32106
Join Date: Jan 2003
Chapter/Region: TXIC
Location: Waco, Texas
Vehicle:
2002 WRX 2006STI eng
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Exclamation Electrical drain - tracker device fail

I had an electrical drain in my 2002 WRX that I could not find using the normal method of pulling fuses to find the bad circuit. The battery would drain in about three days and then not have the mojo to start the car. I took it to the dealer and they could not find the drain. Neither could an independent mechanic. In desperation, I took it to my local stereo installer to see if he could find a short in the aftermarket stereo. He found the problem in the security system!

Apparently, when the car was sold 15 years ago, a "Force Tracker" was added to the security system and powered by a separate lead with its own 5 amp in-line fuse. The stereo guy found a 1.6 amp drain on the circuit that disappeared when he pulled the in-line fuse. Then he replaced the fuse and pulled the Force Tracker. Bingo, that was the current draw. With the Force Tracker gone the electrical drain is no more. The Force Tracker is very non-descript - it's just a black plastic box about the size of a small paperback novel. If you have a devil in your car that you cannot find, check out something that the dealer may have installed without your knowledge. Apparently, Force Trackers are used by dealers to locate cars of deadbeat buyers who don't pay their monthly $$ Repo Man trick!

As well as paying the stereo guy for the fix (last week), yesterday I took him a very nice bottle of bourbon. He had a big smile of total surprise - that guy saved me a ton of grief and the cost of the whiskey was small compared to having my car reliable. Be kind to your local mechanic!
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Old 12-02-2017, 11:10 AM   #2
Elbert Bass
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Only bottom feeding Buy-Here-Pay-Here high risk used car dealers install that kind of crap. You know the places - you see the same cars show up on the lot for sale every 6 months or so...
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Old 12-05-2017, 05:55 PM   #3
Dr Moreau
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Vehicle:
2002 WRX 2006STI eng
Silver

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The car was bought new in 2002 at a Los Angeles Subaru dealer. Maybe they had sketchy buyers in that area - it was 15 years ago so who knows how many cars they sold were heisted off to Mexico or out of state? It could be that the buyer had a bad credit rating or? I'm just glad the tracker/electrical drain is fixed and the car runs great now!
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Old 12-07-2017, 02:51 PM   #4
PARANOID56
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it might also be showing you signs of a dying battery, as if this is the first time its caused issues, your battery might be on its way out.
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Old 12-11-2017, 03:34 PM   #5
Dr Moreau
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2002 WRX 2006STI eng
Silver

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Oh yeah Paranoid56, the dying battery was the first sign a while back. We went through three new Interstate batteries in a year. Fortunately, after the first one, the rest were free. I thought the kill switch would solve the problem as it disconnects all circuits on a regular fuse box.

The sneaky thing about the tracker is that it was not wired through a standard fused system so therefore could draw current even when the kill switch was engaged.

A very nasty item when it fails as finding the current drain defies normal procedures. This is why I wanted to share...
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