Dead Battery After 2 Weeks - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old Dec 22nd, 08, 08:57 AM Thread Starter
 
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Dead Battery After 2 Weeks

Hello. I wonder if anybody could help me with my problem. I have a 1995 Camaro 3.4L and after driving the car from California to Washington state (1200 miles), I left it at a friend's house for two weeks. My friend said that he started the car and left it running for about 10 minutes a couple of days after I left, then two days after that he did it again. He was unable to start it for about 4-5 days, then when he went to start it up, it wouldn't start. I got back to Seattle after 2 weeks and tried to jump it with my truck battery. That didn't work, so I took the battery to Autozone and they recharged it for free. Installed the batttery and the car started right up. Battery is about 2 months old. My question is, why jumping the battery to my truck did not work? The truck engine was running when I tried to jump the car. Also, I know there is a draw in the system, I just don't know where to start looking. I have a manual fan switch, an aftermarket headunit as far as non stock electronics. Manual windows and door locks. Where do I start? Thanks for inputs.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old Dec 22nd, 08, 09:15 AM
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Re: Dead Battery After 2 Weeks

Jumping could not have worked for many reasons. Bad cables, bad connections, battery being jumped too dead, or shorted etc. Disconnect your ground cable at the battery. Connect an multimeter between the battery and the ground and see what the amp draw is. Should be very low <.020 amps. Start pulling fuses one at a time and see if draw goes away. That will tell you which circut is causing a problem. I trust the "experts" at Autozone as far as I can throw them. You could still have a battery with a problem. Go buy a hydrometer to check the status of your battery's charge. A discharged battery can take up to 24 hrs. to fully charge at a low rate. The quick charge they put on it is not the best way.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old Dec 22nd, 08, 09:17 AM
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Re: Dead Battery After 2 Weeks

i would start with a cell check on the batt. then address your draw and check your cars charging system after the batt is fully charged...you can check for a draw the old fashion way.. pull the neg cable off the batt and put a test light on the batt end and the cable end and it will light up.. if there is no draw it wont...pull one fuse at a time till the light goes out..for example.. if the fuse you pull says radio and the light goes out you know its in the radio system somewhere...this is if you dont have a meter...if you do put it on amps...
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old Dec 22nd, 08, 10:34 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Dead Battery After 2 Weeks

Thanks guys!! Now that I know how to test for a current draw, I will begin troubleshooting. Will keep yall posted.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old Jan 8th, 09, 09:46 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Dead Battery After 2 Weeks

ok update to my problem. i did this:
took out negative battery cable from battery terminal.
set multimeter to read amps/dc.
connected a multimeter in series between negative battery terminal and negative cable.
multimeter read 4.51
started taking out fuses, first fusebox inside the car, then fuse box in engine compartment, no drop in reading. started taking out relays, same result.
took out positive battery cable from back of alternator, no drop in reading.
i took out the fuses one at a time, read the multimeter, then put the fuse back and did this to all the fuses, one at a time. no drop.
could it be that more than one circuit is drawing current? i did not want to take all fuses out at the same time as i might not remember which one goes to which socket. once i get my digital camera, i will take a picture of the fuse boxes and take them all out at once to see if there is a change in readings. i am assuming that all electrical circuits in a car are fused, right? so by taking out all fuses, i should get a drop in amp draw. any suggestions welcome. tia.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old Jan 9th, 09, 12:32 AM
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Re: Dead Battery After 2 Weeks

Are you sure the connections on the meter are right? You generally connect the + wire differently to measure current.

Drawing 4.5A will drain the battery over night...
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old Jan 9th, 09, 06:39 AM
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Re: Dead Battery After 2 Weeks

There are several circuits that don't run through the fuses. It could be one of those. Funny story kinda related. I recently bought a 94 Ford Exploder dirt cheap to use as a winter beater. 4x4 is a good thing here in NH. Had the same issue. New battery going dead overnight. Did the draw test using a test light and narrowed it down to the cigarrete lighter circuit. Some kid had put a penny in the lighter socket... On Fords of that vintage they use a circuit breaker rather than a fuse for the lighter so the breaker must have kept resetting until the battery went dead.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old Jan 9th, 09, 07:30 AM
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Re: Dead Battery After 2 Weeks

Quote:
Originally Posted by motoservdog View Post
multimeter read 4.51
Amps or Milliamps? As said, if 4.5 amps, battery would be dead overnight.

Doesn't matter on hookup of a digital multimeter, it will indicate either a positive reading or a negative reading. Benefit of a digital meter.

There are two(?) fusible links on the starter solenoid. You might remove those to check for lack of current.

If the reading is 4.5 MILLIAMPS, excellent! Just enough current to run radio memory, ECM memory, and VATS, if installed.

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old Jan 9th, 09, 09:01 AM
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Re: Dead Battery After 2 Weeks

If the system is drawing 4 milli amps and the alternator has the proper output, I would take a real hard look at the battery as being the culprit here. If it is only 2 months old, it should be under 100&#37; warranty assuming the charging system is up to par.

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old Jan 9th, 09, 08:16 PM
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Re: Dead Battery After 2 Weeks

"Doesn't matter on hookup of a digital multimeter, it will indicate either a positive reading or a negative reading. Benefit of a digital meter."

I didn't mean polarity, but the connections of the wires to the meter. For example My Fluke 75 (which I've had for 25 years (small plug for Fluke)) has 4 places to connect the leads. Newer DVMs may be different...

Common
Voltage, Resistance, Diode check
300mA Current
10A Current

If he's connected using the voltage connector, he may be reading 4.5V, not 4.5A or mA.

To start, he should use the common and 10A current, maybe switch to the 300mA if needed.

Its completely possible to do this since its a high input resistance.
Try measuring voltage on the current connection and bad things will happen...
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