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Old 11-08-2008, 08:35 PM   #1
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Default Battery drains intermittently

Ok I've almost pulled out the rest of my hair, I'm almost bald anyway. I have a 1988 Bonneville SE. 3.8L V-6 engine code C. Automatic transmission with 185,000 miles on it. PDL,PW, cruise, a/c, power moon roof, remote trunk release, after market radio, etc. My battery will drain down maybe a few tenths of a volt one night, say from 12.5 down to 12.33. After the second or third day of not driving the car, the battery may read 7.49V. Its sitting in my garage and it just drains. The battery is great, 3 months old, specific gravity is fine. The alternator is new, thought that was the problem at first, cables look good. I disconnect the battery every night during the week since I need to drive the car to work. It runs fine and accelerates great. It does seem to be running a little rich though and wants to die at stoplights if I stop too suddenly and don't let the rpms slow gradually. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated since the wife drives it also and I'm getting a lot of static about the car not running right. Thanks, Gary
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Old 12-04-2008, 04:53 PM   #2
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See, "1995 SSEi, Electrical Completely Dead" above. I found diagnosed my problem by pulling fuses one at a time and watching the draw on my battery charger. Wasn't a real high tech approach, but it did solve the problem.
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Old 12-04-2008, 05:01 PM   #3
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As stated, that'* a good way to track down the problem. Once you find the fuse or relay that'* causing the drain, you can then zero in on the problem and correct it.

Do you have any after market things in the car, radar detector, alarm, remote starter, etc?
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Old 10-13-2009, 11:31 PM   #4
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Just a aftermarket cd player. I may pull it and check all the wiring. It was a close fit in the back of the radio.
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Old 10-13-2009, 11:37 PM   #5
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Do you have a ELC Electronic level control, on your car? I've heard of those sticking on. Try pulling a fuse or 2 when your going to let it sit a day or 2. If the voltage does not drop then you have helped narrow down the problem.
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Old 10-14-2009, 12:41 AM   #6
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Default battery drain

No ELC on this car. No power antenna either. Replaced it with a regular non electric one. I will check the electrical connectors though. How would I check out the rear window defogger? I do have a AC/DC clamp-on ammeter though. And a multimeter too.
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Old 10-14-2009, 08:00 AM   #7
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Pull the fuse for the defroster and let it sit. No discharge, problem found.
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Old 10-14-2009, 08:55 PM   #8
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The other thing to check is to have the battery load tested. You might have a cell going bad. I had an electrical issue in a Bronco II that drove me nuts...pulled fuses, multimetered circuits, pulled bulbs, etc. Finally the battery died and I replaced it - never had an issue after that. Since....load test the battery first, then work the circuits - especially if you are having an intermittent problem.
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Old 10-15-2009, 04:10 PM   #9
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If you're a AAA member, call them for battery service. They have a hand-held tester that will test the battery, starter draw, alternator output loaded and no-load, and key off drain.
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Old 12-20-2009, 09:27 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the help. Recently, I've left the battery cables hooked up all week and the battery is fine. I don't know what the problem is/was. Still worried the battery will drain and I will be stranded but I carry jumper cables anyway.
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3.8. l67, 3800, battery, bonneville, bonnie, cables, drains, elc, fuse, fuses, jump, meter, ponitiac, ride control, se, sle, sse, ssei

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