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Old 01-07-2004, 10:31 AM   #1
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Default unknown cause of battery drain

Frequently throughout the past 2 weeks my battery has been randomly dead. I installed a new cd player, all new speakers, and 4 channel in that time.
I've came to the conclusion that it'* not my stereo.

We currently have a "breakaway" on the negative terminal of the battery, so everytime i get out of my car for a significant amount of time I disconnect my battery. I've been placing a test light on the breakaway and the test light randomly goes on. If i open my doors the light pulses like it should. But there has been times when i leave my car and the test light is off, and somehow magically gets a current draw hours later. I've came back to the car after an 1 1/2 hrs before and the light has been on hardcore when there was completely no sign of battery usage.

has anyone even heard of this problem before??
o also, i came to the conclusion its not my stereo because one night when the test light was on, i had the deck completely unplugged(remote, wiring harness, rcas) and a disconnected power cable for the amp.

i also pulled all cigarette lighters and my radar detector.

next time the light is on i'm going to start pulling fuses.

good times, hopefully someone has some thoughts here


EDIT - also, it there any way a relay or something is staying on?
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Old 01-07-2004, 12:31 PM   #2
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Default Re: unknown cause of battery drain

Quote:
Originally Posted by zzzzzeke
Frequently throughout the past 2 weeks my battery has been randomly dead. I installed a new cd player, all new speakers, and 4 channel in that time.
I've came to the conclusion that it'* not my stereo.
Um, why? If this problem has only begun occurring since you did that work, it looks an awful lot like that'* the problem in there somewhere.

Quote:
[...]But there has been times when i leave my car and the test light is off, and somehow magically gets a current draw hours later. I've came back to the car after an 1 1/2 hrs before and the light has been on hardcore when there was completely no sign of battery usage.
You're assuming that the power drain should be nonexistent when you shut off the car, and that'* simply not true. You're also not doing the car any favors by killing all power like that, since you're wiping the Keep Alive Memory in the ECM that fine-tunes the engine operation for maximum performance and efficiency, which it is designed to learn and remember from one driving session to the next.

Exactly what the attempted power draw was that you were seeing with the test light is hard to tell; you _should_ have had a constant draw anyway for the ECM memory and clock/stereo presets. If you have an Automatic Level Control, it'* possible that the air pump was trying to activate and lift (i.e. re-level) the rear suspension.

In short, cutting all power to the car as a routine practice is a bad idea; work on finding that current leak, so that you can go back to leaving the battery connected full-time like it'* supposed to be.

Quote:
Also, I came to the conclusion it'* not my stereo because one night when the test light was on, i had the deck completely unplugged(remote, wiring harness, rcas) and a disconnected power cable for the amp.

i also pulled all cigarette lighters and my radar detector.
Yes, but your ECM and possibly ALC are still going to be drawing power; the fact that your test light stayed on after you disconnected your audio equipment does not tell you anything about current drain (i.e. how _fast_ the power is draining) or what'* really killing the battery.

Quote:
good times, hopefully someone has some thoughts here
Bottom line: Did you have this problem before you installed the new equipment? If not, there'* something in the new equipment that'* not shutting down when it'* supposed to. For example, is there a power amp that'* supposed to remain off until it senses voltage on the receiver circuit? Might it be staying on all the time? You might try selectively cutting power to the audio components when you leave the car, and see if your battery problems go away that way.

Quote:
also, is there any way a relay or something is staying on?
If you mean a relay that'* stuck on after its control circuit switches off, it'* possible but highly unlikely; the contacts are wide flat things that really have no way of staying together unless there'* a truly massive current flow welding them together. (Okay, there was that one time I pulled a horn relay out of a '78 Firebird that had so much arcing across the contacts that one contact had a hole in it and the other had a buildup, and the contacts physically hooked themselves together one day, but that was a rarity...) I would rule out the more likely possibilities first.
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Old 01-07-2004, 12:49 PM   #3
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Default

i came to the conclusion its not my stereo because one night when the test light was on, i had the deck completely unplugged(remote, wiring harness, rcas) and disconnected power cable for the amp. what else could draw from the stereo?


i know the pcm looses the memory, but i can't have a dead battery...i have places to be
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Old 01-07-2004, 01:11 PM   #4
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If you ahve hte autoride suspension that may be doing it. Maybe the battery just can't hold a charge anymore?
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Old 01-07-2004, 02:13 PM   #5
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don't think i have the auto ride suspension

the battery seems fine - less than 2 years old

its just weird that it doesn't drain everytime i shut the car off. And that it just starts drawing sometimes after a couple hours with nobody near the car
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Old 01-07-2004, 02:21 PM   #6
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Old 01-07-2004, 02:26 PM   #7
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thanks fuddy...i'll check the power antenna.

i can't be i pulled off a repost!
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Old 01-15-2004, 09:13 AM   #8
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heres an ODD update


hasn't done it once in the past week and i haven't changed anything???
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Old 01-15-2004, 11:54 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zzzzzeke
heres an ODD update

asn't done it once in the past week and i haven't changed anything???
I'm guessing that something'* loose, but it hasn't been disturbed in the "wrong" way, whatever that is, over the past week. (Ruled out the usual stuff like loose cigarette lighters, that kind of thing, right? Nobody left one of the overhead back-seat reading lamps on?)
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Old 01-15-2004, 12:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acg_ssei
Nobody left one of the overhead back-seat reading lamps on?)
nope, not lights were left on, i checked on that. i think it was a pretty big drain...i wouldn't think a reading light would drain the battery that fast.
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