inline test light? - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


Everything Electrical & Electronic Have an electrical problem? Lighting, Alternators, gauges, DIC, HUD, etc? Post it here. Please post Audio problems in the Audio forum, and Engine control problems in the appropriate Mechanical forum for your year.

Reply
 
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 08-30-2006, 11:42 PM   #1
Member
Posts like a V-Tak
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: the rose city, OR
Posts: 76
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
meechv is on a distinguished road
Default inline test light?

I've got a battery drain coming from somewhere, and I got a test light to check it, but I can't seem to figure out how to put it in line with the battery. I've read that it should go between the harness and the positive contact of the battery, but it doesn't seem to work. Does it matter whether the black end clips onto the harness or the battery? And yes, the battery is fully charged. Made that mistake a couple days ago...

The grounds are sparkling clean, as well as the contacts. There'* a good chance that I have a corroded cable (antifreeze leak last year at the water pump fitting), but I'm going to figure out how to check that after I eliminate a low drain from something pulling power. Alt is less than 6 months old, battery is 1 month old.

Thanks for your help!
meechv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2006, 12:11 AM   #2
Senior Administrator








Certified Car Nut
 
Mike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Horseheads, NY
Posts: 15,643
Thanked 995 Times in 772 Posts
Mike has a reputation beyond reputeMike has a reputation beyond reputeMike has a reputation beyond reputeMike has a reputation beyond reputeMike has a reputation beyond reputeMike has a reputation beyond reputeMike has a reputation beyond reputeMike has a reputation beyond reputeMike has a reputation beyond reputeMike has a reputation beyond reputeMike has a reputation beyond repute
Default

Test light won't really help much. Need a digital volt meter. You need to see the voltage increase when you start pulling fuses one at a time. Or an ammeter will work.

Depending on how much power(amps) your problem is pulling, your test light might act like a fuse and just blow the element in the bulb if you use it inline with the battery.
Mike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2006, 02:27 AM   #3
Member
Posts like a V-Tak
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: the rose city, OR
Posts: 76
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
meechv is on a distinguished road
Default

I'll try that, I do have a little Harbor Freight voltmeter. How do I connect it into the system to check for draw on the battery? I'm really bad with electrical stuff. My voltmeter comes with two little pointy ends. Should I get one with two clamps, and attach one end to the positive terminal on the battery and one end to the harness? Is that how you set up an inline test?
meechv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2006, 07:09 AM   #4
Senior Member
True Car Nut
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Groton, CT _NEBF 05, 06, 07_
Posts: 2,703
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
markwb is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by meechv
I'll try that, I do have a little Harbor Freight voltmeter. How do I connect it into the system to check for draw on the battery?
Does your meter have the capability to measure DC current? If it does, configure the test leads for measuring DC current by placing the leads in appropriate jacks on the meter. Select correct scale on meter then connect the meter in series between the battery positive post & the battery positive lead that you disconnected. Do not turn on any large loads with this lash up in place. Monitor current flow with ign. off, key out of ign. switch.
markwb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2006, 06:47 PM   #5
Member
Posts like a V-Tak
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: the rose city, OR
Posts: 76
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
meechv is on a distinguished road
Default

So now I think I have more questions than answers...

I rigged up the voltmeter inline with the positive terminal. Once I got it connected, before I shut my drivers side door, I remembered that I had pulled the 60A ignition maxifuse the night before. When I put it back in, the dashboard started dinging like I had just started it up. The keys were on the radiator in front of me, not in the ignition. I thought that maybe some power surge had triggered the remote start, so I pulled the tester off, and cut the power. When I reconnected the battery again, it was fine, no dings. Is that normal?

Once I got the door shut, the tester showed a draw of only 0.04 A, which I don't think is nearly enough to be killing the battery every couple of days. I thought for a while that when my antenna occasionally snags a twig as it'* closing, the motor was killing the battery, but it'* since died without any branch in there.

Any new ideas out there for what I can check? Could this be a corroded cable? I cleaned all the contacts until they were sparkling clean last month, posts, grounds, everything.
meechv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2006, 09:44 PM   #6
Senior Member
Certified GM nut
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Western New York
Posts: 1,942
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Technical Ted is on a distinguished road
Default

I'd disconnect the power wires going to the antenna.
Technical Ted is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2006, 10:14 PM   #7
PopaDopaDo
True Car Nut
 
popatim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: NY
Posts: 4,957
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
popatim is on a distinguished road
Default

I had a problem like that in my 71 AMX, which turned out to be a battery with an internal short - a real pain to find! and another problem like that in my 74 Capri which turned out to be the glovebox light not going out when it was closed.

Also you might want to check the ELC pump. I think I remember reading that in some years its always live so If your struts leak it'll pump 'em up in the middle of the night, all night long.
popatim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2006, 08:45 AM   #8
Senior Member
True Car Nut
 
toastedoats's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Fitchburg Ma _ToastedRice_
Posts: 6,837
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
toastedoats is on a distinguished road
Default

.04 Amps might just be enough to kill your battery. How long is the system at idle for between start attempts that it is draining enough to not start?
toastedoats is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2006, 11:49 AM   #9
Senior Member
True Car Nut
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Grand Rapids, Mi
Posts: 5,656
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Archon is on a distinguished road
Default

The 40 ma draw that you have is above the recommended maximum of 30 ma that GM lists. The typical listed draw is 7 - 12 ma. The example they use is a 30ma draw will discharge a fully charged battery to the point where it can't start the car at 23 days...65% (green dot barely visible) 15 days.
Archon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2006, 11:52 AM   #10
Senior Member
True Car Nut
 
toastedoats's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Fitchburg Ma _ToastedRice_
Posts: 6,837
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
toastedoats is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Archon
The 40 ma draw that you have is above the recommended maximum of 30 ma that GM lists. The typical listed draw is 7 - 12 ma. The example they use is a 30ma draw will discharge a fully charged battery to the point where it can't start the car at 23 days...65% (green dot barely visible) 15 days.
plus, if the battery is old, or has been fully discharged and stressed severely, it will not hold a charge like that of a healthy battery
toastedoats is offline   Reply With Quote
 
 
Reply

Related Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
PS pump inline screen filters? TurboSedan 1992-1999 3 02-06-2007 06:50 PM
Nice sounding inline 6 VigCS Your Other Rides: Pics & Videos 6 10-15-2006 11:48 PM
3400 Inline MAF Sensor install maybe2fast Performance, Brainstorming & Tuning 2 03-02-2006 11:06 PM
How an inline 6 SHOULD sound (repinS, this is for you) VigCS Your Other Rides: Pics & Videos 4 02-03-2006 10:22 PM
inline fuel pump on my car and questions Tosun26 1987-1991 4 10-21-2005 11:07 PM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:36 AM.


We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.