more battery drian questions! - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 08, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
 
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Unhappy more battery drian questions!

I read the posts here and disconnected the neg terminal. then put my tester to the neg terminal and the other lead to the body. it shows 12.49.. i then went and took out each fuse one by one the tester still shoewed 12.49.... i disconnected the signle lead on the alt. (its a one wire type) still showed 12.49. disconnected the amp for my stereo. still 12.49... dont know where else to look. I have been thru two batteries. am i testing wrong or can someone else tell me where to look...
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 08, 04:24 PM
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Re: more battery drian questions!

The technique you describe is to be used with a test lamp - not a DVM. I know a test lamp sounds low tech, but it will regulate currente to protect you from short circuits and it will give you a visual read-out from a distance. Try it again with a test lamp. I've got an 1153 (or whatever) tail lamp that I soldered two wires with allegator clips on that I use.

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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 08, 04:28 PM
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Re: more battery drian questions!

If you have a DVM, it will read 12+ volts from the negative terminal to ground as long as there is a connection to the positive terminal and any tiny load on the battery. The impedance of the DVM is in the megohms, so compared to any other usual automotive load it is what will drop the voltage in the circuit. 1 milliamp through 1 megohm requires 1000v.
You should use the current scale or a series resistor. If you went to Radio shack and got a 100 ohm resistor and put it in series with your negative cable, you will be able to measure a very small current draw quite easily across the resistor. Each milliamp will read 100 millivolts, or 0.100 volts
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 08, 04:31 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: more battery drian questions!

i see .. i just went thru with the test light instead and found that it lights up when i get to the fuse for the stop lamps, which not surprisingly has given me troubles in the past i had a problem blowing that fuse.. any ideas what to look for when im searching for problems
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 08, 04:37 PM
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Re: more battery drian questions!

I thought you were supposed to take the positive terminal off and connect the test light from the terminal to the battery then pull the fuses.

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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 08, 04:45 PM
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Re: more battery drian questions!

Quote:
Originally Posted by david calligan View Post
I thought you were supposed to take the positive terminal off and connect the test light from the terminal to the battery then pull the fuses.
Electrically, it doesn't matter which lead you use, the trick is to insert a "measuring device" in SERIES with the circuit. Makes no diff which end of the circuit.

Practically speaking tho, it is a LOT safer to use the negative terminal. That way, should a mishap occur, you won't have a 300 amp arc welder flopping around the engine compartment.





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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 08, 04:52 PM
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Re: more battery drian questions!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimM View Post
Electrically, it doesn't matter which lead you use, the trick is to insert a "measuring device" in SERIES with the circuit. Makes no diff which end of the circuit.

Practically speaking tho, it is a LOT safer to use the negative terminal. That way, should a mishap occur, you won't have a 300 amp arc welder flopping around the engine compartment.
Thanks I wasn't sure I guess I was asking a question but came out wrong.
A buddy of mine said to use the positive,is this realy dangerous?

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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 08, 05:04 PM
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Re: more battery drian questions!

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A buddy of mine said to use the positive,is this realy dangerous?
Only if you drop it.

I did that when I was a kid, under a car taking it off the starter. It hit the exhaust pipe or something, drew a giant arc, welded itself to the car so solid I couldn't pull it off, and then all the cables started smoking. I had to crawl out from under and disconnect the cable at the battery to stop it. Hit my head, of course.





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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 08, 05:57 PM
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Re: more battery drian questions!

You learn by your mistakes I guess thats not true we have TC now. The only welding I'm gonna do is mig when I learn how...lol...

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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 08, 06:31 PM
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Re: more battery drian questions!

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Originally Posted by JimM View Post
Only if you drop it.

I did that when I was a kid, under a car taking it off the starter. It hit the exhaust pipe or something, drew a giant arc, welded itself to the car so solid I couldn't pull it off, and then all the cables started smoking. I had to crawl out from under and disconnect the cable at the battery to stop it. Hit my head, of course.
At least your battery didn't explode... (happened to a buddy of mine in highschool).


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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 08, 07:01 PM
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Re: more battery drian questions!

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Originally Posted by JimM View Post

welded itself to the car so solid I couldn't pull it off, and then all the cables started smoking.

Hit my head, of course.
I have done something similar but I didn't hit my head. Burned my hand.

I was explaining to my son quite a few years back how we may forget some of our experiences in precise detail, but still remember the lesson. The more detail we remember of the lesson is DIRECTLY PROPORTIONATE TO THE PAIN.

Short in the stoplights. Start at the back and work forward. Pull the bulbs and repeat the test on that fuse.Pull the flasher. My nickel says if it's not those 2(and it shouldn't be cuz you have no power to the bulb until you hit brakes or turn signal) it is in the indicator switch itself or the power wire running up the column.

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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old Jan 22nd, 08, 04:51 PM
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Re: more battery drian questions!

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Originally Posted by Hgoy View Post
i see .. i just went thru with the test light instead and found that it lights up when i get to the fuse for the stop lamps, which not surprisingly has given me troubles in the past i had a problem blowing that fuse.. any ideas what to look for when im searching for problems
So you're saying when you insert the fuse for the stop lamps the test lamp lights up correct? If so then you have narrowed the problem down...good work.

As Wolf said, now begin the process of eliminating portions of the stop lamp circuit one at a time. Remove the bulbs, unplug the brake light switch, fiddle around with the hazzard switch and turn signals. Also there is a connector on the underside of the column you can take apart (we are talking first gen here aren't we). Behind the driver's-side kick panel, above the E-brake, is another connector to the rear harness you can separate. You might even remove the sill plate inside the driver's door and make sure the harness hasn't been pinched, peirced, or worn through in one spot or another.

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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old Jan 24th, 08, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: more battery drian questions!

I have unplugged the rear lights, the horseshoe connector for the column, the other conntector under the dask next to the drivers side kick panel... and even the headlight connector at the switch...no good. Any hints guys. am i looking for a shor of a bad ground or what. this bites~
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old Jan 24th, 08, 02:01 PM
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Re: more battery drian questions!

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am i looking for a shor of a bad ground or what. this bites~

You are looking for the path that 12V+ is taking to ground on this circuit when no load should be ocurring. Since it is the circuit that made the test light illuminate.

It is the only circuit that lit the lamp, eh? You did check ALL of them?

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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old Jan 24th, 08, 02:04 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: more battery drian questions!

the only other that made it light was the door jam swith but when its pushed in its off. so i am not looking for a bad ground. im lookng for a switch that is not turning off or a short?
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