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Welcome to the forum.
Check post #36 above, maybe it is a relay issue.
Does the Check Engine light come ON?
Thanks! I am going to suggest they look at the relays for sure. CEL comes on and has gone out after a few cycles on warmer days.
 

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Good, then have the dealer read the History Codes.

Is the relay issue a Canadian event because it gets so cold or is it a USA issue also?
Does Canada have something similar to NHTSA so you can report safety issues?
 

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We are having the same problem with our 2020, either via remote start or in the car makes no difference. I'm convinced we have a junk battery but the service department isn't able to check it out till Friday. Checking briefly on a error code scanner turns up this "U0100 Lost Communication with PCM" which to me means that the battery voltage dipped too low during the starter cranking and caused a brown-out on the PCM computer, likely other onboard computers too because AlfaOBD shows a huge list of connectivity-related error codes.

It happened yesterday morning for the third time and my wife was in a rush so she left for work as it was with all the messages on. Car also started and died on her again when she was done with work, and she drove half an hour home and the battery only showed 12.0 volts when she got here, so I'm going with 95% certainty that the cheap worthless batteries they put in have let us down before we've even reached our second oil change. I suppose that more than likely I'll get a new battery from them when they check it out on Friday.

I know the service department is in full-time defense mode because they are buried with people having similar issues but I am not going to accept any form of the "oh, the battery cables were just loose" BS. Thats called getting "the runaround".

I asked them on the phone to get me a block heater to install on Friday too but they said the block heaters, or more specifically the block heater cords, are on backorder. Go figure.

I'll put a pigtail on and keep a battery charger on it the rest of the week. Low voltage to the computers is what I believe killed my Body Control Module that they had to replace in my Compass back when that one was new and having battery issues too. I know the real solution is going to be going and getting better brand batteries but I'm going to let them replace the OEM one once just so they can feel our part of the collective hurt they cause when they put crap batteries in new cars.

 

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We are having the same problem with our 2020, either via remote start or in the car makes no difference. I'm convinced we have a junk battery but the service department isn't able to check it out till Friday. Checking briefly on a error code scanner turns up this "U0100 Lost Communication with PCM" which to me means that the battery voltage dipped too low during the starter cranking and caused a brown-out on the PCM computer, likely other onboard computers too because AlfaOBD shows a huge list of connectivity-related error codes.

It happened yesterday morning for the third time and my wife was in a rush so she left for work as it was with all the messages on. Car also started and died on her again when she was done with work, and she drove half an hour home and the battery only showed 12.0 volts when she got here, so I'm going with 95% certainty that the cheap worthless batteries they put in have let us down before we've even reached our second oil change. I suppose that more than likely I'll get a new battery from them when they check it out on Friday.

I know the service department is in full-time defense mode because they are buried with people having similar issues but I am not going to accept any form of the "oh, the battery cables were just loose" BS. Thats called getting "the runaround".

I asked them on the phone to get me a block heater to install on Friday too but they said the block heaters, or more specifically the block heater cords, are on backorder. Go figure.

I'll put a pigtail on and keep a battery charger on it the rest of the week. Low voltage to the computers is what I believe killed my Body Control Module that they had to replace in my Compass back when that one was new and having battery issues too. I know the real solution is going to be going and getting better brand batteries but I'm going to let them replace the OEM one once just so they can feel our part of the collective hurt they cause when they put crap batteries in new cars.

Hi there,

Well... to be honest, that doesn't sound like a dying battery to me. We've seen tons here on the forum, but your case brings different symptoms than what we normally see with low voltage events. I ran mine 8 months with a gradually dying battery and did not experience any of your symptoms, until the engine would barely turn over on cold starts. I'm not saying it is 100% not your battery, but... there seems to be a new pattern emerging with relays...

Edit to add : for the block heater, not sure anyone on the forum has done it, but... how about a pan heater, perhaps temporary until you can get the real deal ? :
 

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I agree with Mark. Judging from the posts on this forum so far, this particular issue only seems to be affecting the 2020s and the relays seem to be the culprit.

Although possible your new battery is bad, it is unlikely and a quick test by the dealer can confirm that. Also note that although you will read lots of posts about failing batteries on this forum, most batteries involved are getting up in age, not new like yours. The battery in my 2019, bought in 2018, is still going strong and starting my Jeep in an instant even in the midst of our current subzero cold snap and without bothering to use the block heater.
 
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Well... to be honest, that doesn't sound like a dying battery to me. We've seen tons here on the forum, but your case brings different symptoms than what we normally see with low voltage events. I ran mine 8 months with a gradually dying battery and did not experience any of your symptoms, until the engine would barely turn over on cold starts. I'm not saying it is 100% not your battery, but... there seems to be a new pattern emerging with relays...
I could see relays as a possibility. The theory being that they "stick" when cold? Maybe.

But I'm still suspicious of the battery. The Cherokee is driven every single day, multiple times per day, and for decently long highway distances too not many short trips and really no usage of the stop/start system either out here in the frigid "sticks". Sunday we were in Wisconsin and it was I think -12, took 3 or 4 start attempts before it stayed running. Drove 500ish miles home. Monday was a little warmer, we drove it about 40 miles into a nearby town to get some things and one short trip over to my folk's place 5 miles away in the evening, but we use the remote start a lot so even for a 5 mile trip it ran for 20 minutes Monday night. No issues at all Monday. Then Tuesday morning it was cold outside again (-15) and acting up, several restarts before it stayed running but she left with it anyways. Half hour highway commute for her. When her day was done it was still cold out (-9), it again took several attempts before it stayed running. It does run for a second or two then dies. She drove it half an hour home, and within 30 more minutes I was out there and the battery only read 12.0 volts. Sure, she used lights and heated seat and wheel and defrost etc all the way home, but Tuesday night within a half hour of having been driven that far the battery should not be down to 12.0.

I am working on collecting more evidence. I put the battery charger on it last night after taking that reading. Very cold again this morning, -13 ish. Had her take my Compass to work, I am working partially from home so I'm not leaving here until about 3:30 today. I went out at 9 AM and the battery charger said the Cherokee bat was full and it was no longer putting current into the battery, so I pulled the charger and read 12.45 volts. I am going to let it sit now until 3:30 and see then if there is any significant voltage drop, and whether there is any issue with starting. It will be warmer by then (probably a balmy -1) so most likely it will start and stay running.

When I go at 3:30 I'll do a cranking test and see what the voltage drops to during cranking. I did a cranking test on the Compass this morning, which has an original battery going on 4 years old and only read 12.18 volts to start with. The average voltage during cranking was 10.18 so my tester passed it, but thats an average over 1800 milliseconds of cranking. The initial drop on crank was to 8.x volts according to my graph. I don't like that, but it did fire up. I've known the Compass was getting due for batteries for a while (stupid dual battery system, glad the Cherokee doesn't have that). I just kinda wanted to see how marginal the Compass battery was getting to be. Will be interesting to see what the Cherokee does at 3:30 today, again noting that it was being charged by an 8 amp charger all night last night. Will post back with results.


Edit to add : for the block heater, not sure anyone on the forum has done it, but... how about a pan heater, perhaps temporary until you can get the real deal ?
Good idea (for a get-by solution). I was actually thinking about one of these magnetic ones, they are sold in a farm and fleet store near-ish to where we live. Then I could easily use it on multiple cars or potentially even my garden tractors which have plows and snowblowers on them.


I feel like the 3.2 V6 is hard to crank over when cold. It has two more cylinders worth of friction and one step more viscous of oil than my Compass (5w vs 0w). Seems like if the engine was not so stone cold it would not likely drag battery voltage down so far during cranking, potentially dodging whatever issue is occurring without changing the battery (albeit probably just barely).

Relays "sticking" just because of low temps sounds a bit unlikely to me, but if they got a big run of a bad batch maybe... I'd also submit the idea that the cold motor turning over hard combined with a marginal-quality battery that can't maintain its voltage while cranking potentially leads to the relay(s) dropping out because of low voltage. If you have a 12v relay it wants 12 volts to actuate/switch/throw, it probably still throws fine at 11 volts and maybe even 9-10... but if your battery voltage dips clear down to 8 for any significant amount of time while the starter is cranking.. seems like you are probably pretty close to the relay's minimum voltage threshold to actuate. A really good quality relay may work at 8 volts but you are still asking a lot of it.

I'm really not sure of anything at this point, though. I mean sometimes it runs for a good little while, several seconds, before stalling out with that U0100 error code set. My wife just sent me this helpful short video showing exactly whats happening, this is from when she went to leave work and come home last night:

 

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I'd say yes, judging from Thumpers posts. Same exact issue, it started right up and then died seconds afterwards. New relays installed and his problem was fixed.

I do agree though that the battery shouldn't be reading only 12 volts after sitting for a half hour. Just checked mine for example, after sitting for 12+ hours in the cold and it had 12.5. However, if you have a dash cam or something sucking juice from it while parked then 12 volts wouldn't be surprising.

EDIT for @arudlang: Are you using full syn oil in it? I see you live in MN, and the dealers here in the Minneapolis/St Paul area all use conventional oil if you are getting the free Jeep Wave oil changes from them....
 
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I'd say yes, judging from Thumpers posts. Same exact issue, it started right up and then died seconds afterwards. New relays installed and his problem was fixed.

Still doubt very much that the battery has anything to do with it. It certainly has no issue firing up the Jeep in that video posted.
Defective relays or replacing with better quality ones may well be the core solution. It makes sense.

On a granular level I still think the battery could be related. A battery needs to do two things; it needs to supply a massive amount of current to crank the motor over and it needs to maintain a minimum voltage during cranking so the electronics do not "brown-out". I can go buy a new 6 volt tractor battery from the local farm-and-fleet and it can happily supply enough current to crank a cold motor but it will not have sufficient voltage to satisfy sensitive computers or 12v relays.

If I run a cranking test later and find the battery I had on the charger all night is dropping to 7.x volts during cranking (big IF, but will be curious to see) then I would say "Sure, maybe better quality relays can deal with 7-8 volts and avoid the overall issue, but you could also justify a need for a better quality battery that performs in the cold."

Its going to be fun to see how it works out and what the dealership diagnosis is. I know I really don't need to dig into it at all myself but I'm always curious about whats really going on and what I can do to help myself vs relying on them.
 

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Again, this is purely anecdotal :

My Cherokee started just fine with an unhealthy OEM battery in -20F... no block heater. It never-ever stalled after a start. Just before I replaced the battery, the engine was having more and more difficulty turning over in the -15 to -20F range (no block heater), but once it fired up after a scary slow cranking period, it fired up and that was the end of it.

A battery accepting a full charge can be close to dead. Battery chargers indicate charged even though capacity can be wayyy down.

Don't focus on resting voltage numbers : too many variables at play. We've discussed this many-many times here and the consensus seems to be that only a true battery health test is reliable, forget voltage readings...

Batteries don't charge very well in cold temperatures, but hooking up to a charger is still a good idea. Just don't expect full capacity or full cranking power below 0F, even with a new battery.

OEM batteries are Johnson Controls lead-calcium AGMs. They are... crappy, but should get roughly 3-4 years life. Your driving habits hint at decent battery life (more highway, no ESS. etc...).

I now have a monster group 27F Northstar AGM (premium, thin plate pure lead, higher capacity and cranking power than a group 94R...) and now my Jeep turns over in -20F (no block heater) like it was 50 degrees outside. The difference I saw when I installed this battery during a cold snap in January 2019 was very revealing as to how weak my OEM battery had become. Yet the dying battery would still get the engine started on very cold mornings, until... it failed to remote start once - never fired up ; that was th end of my OEM battery.
 

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Tried to get some more clues about our battery when I left yesterday afternoon but it didn't go perfectly smoothly so I didn't get any data that I trust. The Cherokee did start and stall on initial attempt and I think the stalling confused my cheap tester and it didn't record that result. The second attempt the car stayed running, on the tester it looked like a drop to about 8.2 volts on initial crank but of course the motor had just been started and ran for 3-5 seconds prior so you might say it was already "loosened up"... I don't trust my cheapie tester anyways but I like clues and data.

I will try not to be hung up on voltage but its hard not to note when its suspiciously low.

The timeline yesterday was that it had been on the battery charger all night on Tuesday night. Took the charger off Wednesday morning at 9 AM to put on another car. At 4 PM came out to it reading 12.0 volts, tried those crank tests, idled for 10 minutes and then drove it 10 miles into town. Drove it 10 miles home at 9 PM, and when I got home I turned off the HVAC, headlights, radio, etc etc. Shut it down and then turned back on to accessory mode. It went from 12.8 volts to 12.1 in the space of 2 minutes. At that point I just turned it off, got out of the car and went inside for the night. Doesn't seem like the battery should plummet to 12.1 volts that quickly, but I realize there are still a few electronics running even after turning everything else off that I could.

When the start-and-stall happened to me yesterday afternoon I did take note that like in the video it sounds like it cranks decently well and not for a long time, and also noted that it runs strong for a good 4-5 seconds before it shuts down. I agree that just listening to the time and speed of cranking it doesn't sound like a "bad" battery or that the motor is turning over all that hard. I'm building confidence in the relay theory. The battery may still not be a great battery overall but is looking less and less like the main culprit.

Tomorrow morning is the appointment for the service department to look at it. Its expected to be about -22F tomorrow morning. To ensure the folks at the dealership see the issue occur we are planning on dropping the Cherokee off in their lot this evening so it sits nice and cold all night. Then there is almost no way it won't demonstrate its little issue tomorrow morning (or so we hope). We're not going to leave the key for them because we don't trust that they won't try to move it before seriously looking for the problem and miss it while not paying attention. It will only do this issue once, maybe twice and after that its fine until it gets cold again, so we only have one shot to show it off.

Its going to be even a little colder yet Saturday morning, so we will probably leave it with them Friday after showing the issue and if they give me any balogna about "loose battery cables" (which I have obviously already checked for), I'll stop in early Saturday morning and see if it "fires right up". If they don't change anything on Friday then there is pretty much no way it will start up first-try on Saturday at -24 (so long as they park it outside).

Hopefully they will do an honest test on the battery, find its generally passable (although cheap and low quality), and then swap the relays which I dream they will magically have in stock (my dealer never has anything in stock, and everything is always backordered...) and that will be the end of it. If I pick it up Saturday and they tell me they changed relays and the battery is fine then I'll happily drive 3 more miles up the street to Batteries Plus Bulbs and ask them for a group 27F X2 AGM, and then I'll really be good to go.

We pretty much knew we would want to swap batteries before too long no matter what, as we do a lot of camping with a 12v compressor/refrigerator cooler in the trunk and want to be able to run that over a camping weekend without worrying about our battery too much. We were hoping not to necessarily have to swap batteries the very first year of having it, though. I already need to go buy one of those expensive X2 batteries to swap out the 4 year old OEM one on my Compass so the Cherokee was ideally going to wait a while, but, plans change.

Thanks for letting me do all my thinking out loud here, I'll post updates as we get it to the service department and see what they make of it.
 

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Tried to get some more clues about our battery when I left yesterday afternoon but it didn't go perfectly smoothly so I didn't get any data that I trust. The Cherokee did start and stall on initial attempt and I think the stalling confused my cheap tester and it didn't record that result. The second attempt the car stayed running, on the tester it looked like a drop to about 8.2 volts on initial crank but of course the motor had just been started and ran for 3-5 seconds prior so you might say it was already "loosened up"... I don't trust my cheapie tester anyways but I like clues and data.

I will try not to be hung up on voltage but its hard not to note when its suspiciously low.

The timeline yesterday was that it had been on the battery charger all night on Tuesday night. Took the charger off Wednesday morning at 9 AM to put on another car. At 4 PM came out to it reading 12.0 volts, tried those crank tests, idled for 10 minutes and then drove it 10 miles into town. Drove it 10 miles home at 9 PM, and when I got home I turned off the HVAC, headlights, radio, etc etc. Shut it down and then turned back on to accessory mode. It went from 12.8 volts to 12.1 in the space of 2 minutes. At that point I just turned it off, got out of the car and went inside for the night. Doesn't seem like the battery should plummet to 12.1 volts that quickly, but I realize there are still a few electronics running even after turning everything else off that I could.

When the start-and-stall happened to me yesterday afternoon I did take note that like in the video it sounds like it cranks decently well and not for a long time, and also noted that it runs strong for a good 4-5 seconds before it shuts down. I agree that just listening to the time and speed of cranking it doesn't sound like a "bad" battery or that the motor is turning over all that hard. I'm building confidence in the relay theory. The battery may still not be a great battery overall but is looking less and less like the main culprit.

Tomorrow morning is the appointment for the service department to look at it. Its expected to be about -22F tomorrow morning. To ensure the folks at the dealership see the issue occur we are planning on dropping the Cherokee off in their lot this evening so it sits nice and cold all night. Then there is almost no way it won't demonstrate its little issue tomorrow morning (or so we hope). We're not going to leave the key for them because we don't trust that they won't try to move it before seriously looking for the problem and miss it while not paying attention. It will only do this issue once, maybe twice and after that its fine until it gets cold again, so we only have one shot to show it off.

Its going to be even a little colder yet Saturday morning, so we will probably leave it with them Friday after showing the issue and if they give me any balogna about "loose battery cables" (which I have obviously already checked for), I'll stop in early Saturday morning and see if it "fires right up". If they don't change anything on Friday then there is pretty much no way it will start up first-try on Saturday at -24 (so long as they park it outside).

Hopefully they will do an honest test on the battery, find its generally passable (although cheap and low quality), and then swap the relays which I dream they will magically have in stock (my dealer never has anything in stock, and everything is always backordered...) and that will be the end of it. If I pick it up Saturday and they tell me they changed relays and the battery is fine then I'll happily drive 3 more miles up the street to Batteries Plus Bulbs and ask them for a group 27F X2 AGM, and then I'll really be good to go.

We pretty much knew we would want to swap batteries before too long no matter what, as we do a lot of camping with a 12v compressor/refrigerator cooler in the trunk and want to be able to run that over a camping weekend without worrying about our battery too much. We were hoping not to necessarily have to swap batteries the very first year of having it, though. I already need to go buy one of those expensive X2 batteries to swap out the 4 year old OEM one on my Compass so the Cherokee was ideally going to wait a while, but, plans change.

Thanks for letting me do all my thinking out loud here, I'll post updates as we get it to the service department and see what they make of it.
The semi rapid 12.8V to 12.1V drop after turning the key to ACC is normal, many little sub systems are draining power. 12.8V resting is actullay good.
The battery's ability to turn the engine over is one thing, but once the engine has fired up, battery power/capacity/health is no longer at play (unless it is 100% dead).

FWIW : the 27F X2 Power (= Northstar) is not a perfect fit in the Cherokee. The bottom lip for holding it down on the tray is not like a 94R, so I tinkered a bit with mine to allow a better tie-down. The 27F is much heavier at 68 lbs (94R is 54 lbs IIRC), so you want it secured to the tray. The 27F is also taller, so the battery connectors barely make it up to the battery posts, but they make it, some battery wiggling required. I also got an extra pair of hands to help me get that monster up and into the Jeep, to make sure I didn't drop it or bang into anything.
The 94R X2 Power (or Northstar, or Odyssey 94R-850) is a big step above OEM, so you might consider that one as well.
 

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The semi rapid 12.8V to 12.1V drop after turning the key to ACC is normal, many little sub systems are draining power.
I'll only agree to that if we add an asterisk that a "12.8 to 12.1 drop is normal for the OEM battery in Cherokees/FCA vehicles", surely none of you with a Northstar or X2 see such nonsense as a drop to 12.1 volts within two minutes of shutting the car down after just being driven? I would not accept a drop to 12.1 as "normal" after just shutting off the fully warmed-up vehicle for any other car with any other battery.

12.8V resting is actullay good.
To be clear, it did not "rest" at 12.8, I shut it off after driving all the way home and 12.8 was only what it read immediately after shutting the engine down, and only very briefly because within 90-120 seconds after that it was reading 12.1 with no lights, no radio, no HVAC blower fan, no heated seats or wheel, etc etc. That is not normal for any healthy, quality car battery.
 

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I'll only agree to that if we add an asterisk that a "12.8 to 12.1 drop is normal for the OEM battery in Cherokees/FCA vehicles", surely none of you with a Northstar or X2 see such nonsense as a drop to 12.1 volts within two minutes of shutting the car down after just being driven? I would not accept a drop to 12.1 as "normal" after just shutting off the fully warmed-up vehicle for any other car with any other battery.



To be clear, it did not "rest" at 12.8, I shut it off after driving all the way home and 12.8 was only what it read immediately after shutting the engine down, and only very briefly because within 90-120 seconds after that it was reading 12.1 with no lights, no radio, no HVAC blower fan, no heated seats or wheel, etc etc. That is not normal for any healthy, quality car battery.
You might enjoy reading this : Power-down current draw
(credit to @Rojhan )

Power can be drawn when we think everythihg is Off...
 

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You might enjoy reading this : Power-down current draw
(credit to @Rojhan )

Power can be drawn when we think everythihg is Off...
Sure, I understand that the car doesn't ever truly "shut off" completely and that a little current is always being drawn, 30-600 milliamps or whatever, but even still, battery voltage is a reflection of the state of charge and the battery just cannot be 'healthy/OK' and also dropping to a 50% state of charge in the space of 2 minutes, right? That seems impossible.






If a stock battery has around 60 AH of capacity how could half of that (30 AH) be "consumed" in the 120 seconds after I shut off the car and watch the voltage plummet down to 12.1? Similarly, how could 30 AH be drawn and burned up as the car sits overnight and we find it at 12.0 volts in the morning? 30 amp-hours @12v is a huge amount of energy. Either I'm really missing something with the relation of voltage to SOC or I have proof that my battery is bad.

The explanation I'm seeing, based on what I understand, is that the battery is defective or damaged and either does not hold anywhere near its rated 60 AH and/or it has a bad cell. Either way, even if you hedge for current being drawn maybe by the fuel pump and all the other electronics in the car that I could not manually shut down there is simply no way that my 60 AH OEM battery can be draining like that in auxiliary mode, and even if there was a full-time 1-amp parasitic load that was always on 24 hours a day it should technically take ball-park 30 hours before a healthy stock battery could get down to 12.0/12.1 volts. Maybe cut that down to 15-20 hours in our current cold conditions, but not 120 seconds. Just can't be (can it?)

There is something to this that is just out of my mind's grasp...

Anyway, I decided to put the battery charger on it at 11 AM today. It hasn't been driven since 9 PM last night and I am not driving it anywhere until 8 PM this evening when we are going to run it down to the dealership service lot and let it chill overnight in that -22 weather. 8 PM will be about -10F here, if I pull the battery charger off at 8 PM tonight and it still stalls out after starting up then sticky/defective relays is all but confirmed as the root cause. Still think the stock battery is suspicious though, even if it is relays causing the current problem, and like I said before I still think it could be a more complicated, interconnected issue of how low of a voltage the stock relays will function at. Will be interesting to see what it does tonight. Curiosity always gets the better of me, will be good when its in the dealership's hands and I can no longer sit here in the house staring at it out the window and pondering it.
 

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Don't forget : resting voltage is not the same as voltage under draw. Your 12.1V was under draw. Remove battery from car, let it rest 8 hours at room temperature (70-ish), take resting voltage : if 12.1V, you are indeed below 60% SOC.
 

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Don't forget : resting voltage is not the same as voltage under draw. Your 12.1V was under draw. Remove battery from car, let it rest 8 hours at room temperature (70-ish), take resting voltage : if 12.1V, you are indeed below 60% SOC.
For a reference point, yesterday after reading his post about 12.1v, I went out to my Jeep which had been sitting in a cold garage for 12+ hours and I got a reading of 12.5 volts under draw.

So yeah, I agree with arudlang that his battery dropping to 12.1 shortly after turning it off doesn't seem right.
 

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I agree that measuring in-car in accessory mode is not going to be wholly accurate but still seems odd/unlikely that there would be so much draw in accessory mode with everything else off (?) Still, pulling the battery out and letting it rest would be the only way to truly know for sure. Too many variables with it still installed.

I wish the OEM battery could fit in my Compass, I'd get a nice X2 for the Cherokee and have a good-enough battery for the 4 year old Compass but I checked the dimensions and it looks like a total no-go. Oh well.
 
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