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Old 12-30-2006, 11:21 AM   #1
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Default Battery drain

The 89 SE is giving my son some trouble. Something seems to be intermittently draining the battery overnight. We disconnected the negative cable & hooked up a #90 light bulb (map light) between the cable & battery. The bulb lit up. I would say it was 60 -70 % of its normal brightness. While the light was on my son pulled each fuse from the driver'* side panel but the light never went out. We then connected a multimeter to get an actual measurement. I had to go up to the 10a scale to get a reading - .67 amps.

We still need to go pull the fuses on the passenger side but wanted to see if anyone has any ideas. The power antennae has been disconnected for years.
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Old 12-30-2006, 08:00 PM   #2
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Ted, That .67a is quite a significant load on the battery as I'm sure you know. (16 amp/hrs every 24hrs.) It represents approximately 80 watts of power coming out of the battery continuosly. I'd continue with fuse & relay isolation which is what you have already started. I'll be anxious to see what the culprit is. Good luck with it.
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Old 01-01-2007, 03:33 PM   #3
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Played around with it some more yesterday & couldn't find anything wrong. We decided to go over to Autozone & get the battery checked. Sure enough the battery was bad. They gave us a new battery under warranty, the old one was only 16 months old. Started fine this morning. We'll see if it gives us any trouble this week.
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Old 01-01-2007, 04:00 PM   #4
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That'* a big load though...

Was that hood light
Radio and anything else drawing power still?
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Old 01-01-2007, 04:09 PM   #5
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With the new battery it'* now showing even more of a drain - 1.25 amps.
Could old batteries in the meter affect the readings?
Has anyone else tried this & know what their reading was?

Edit - Hood light & radio were off.
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Old 01-01-2007, 06:05 PM   #6
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The '93 peaked at .05A and seems to like to sit at .03A.

My sisters' '90 Olds 88 Royale sits steady at .03A also.
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Old 01-01-2007, 11:54 PM   #7
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That is a significant drain. I wouldn't think the meter battery would cause the reading to vary that much. Any after-market stuff that may drawing it down? Maybe even something buried? Glove compartment, and trunk light, if equipped, shutting off properly?
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Old 01-02-2007, 12:19 AM   #8
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The meter is 7-8 years old & still had the original batteries so I decided to change them just to be on the safe side. After opening it up I found one of the 2 fuses were blown. I'll replace the fuse tomorrow & recheck.

Damemorder - thanks for checking that. If I get the same reading tomorrow I'll know we have more work to do.

Archon - Radio was replaced about 2 years ago & I help him install some cheap after market foglights a few months ago. Foglights only worked for about a month. Glove & trunk lights were checked.
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Old 01-07-2007, 06:37 PM   #9
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I put a new fuse & batteries in the meter & worked on this a little more today. I think the glove box might have been opened when we were getting the 1.25 amp reading. I didn't really know what to try except go back over what we alredy did. I don't know how we missed it during the 1st check but we went from .7 to .02 amps when fuse #15 was pulled. So we have it narrowed down to a problem with the courtesy lights , power mirrors, door locks & possibly the fog lights.
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Old 01-08-2007, 07:57 AM   #10
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The doors aren't open when you are testing fuse 15, right?
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