Battery Drain....why??? - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old Sep 10th, 09, 03:23 PM Thread Starter
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Battery Drain....why???

I installed a new battery (twice)....new Alt. and regulator (69 Camaro)....and still after a few days....my battery goes dead.....this is the second battery i just killed.....doubt they will give me a second one on the warranty....what could be the cause....I'm lost when it comes to eletrical...even on these simple set-ups as the first gens. The car was in dry storage for 8 years prior to this summer....grounds maybe need a cleanin? Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old Sep 10th, 09, 03:45 PM
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Re: Battery Drain....why???

Something is drawing current. I had it happen to me because the glovebox door was not adjusted correctly and did not close all of the way leaving the light in the box on. Easy to see at night, not so in the day. Otherwise you could pull fuses one at a time until the drain stops and then at least you'd have an idea of what to start looking at.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old Sep 10th, 09, 04:21 PM
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Re: Battery Drain....why???

You need to get a test light. Disconnect the negative battery cable, and connect one lead on the test light to the neg battery terminal, and the other to the loose end of the cable.

If you have a draw, the light will glow. It may be pretty dim, maybe do this in the dark.

Start disconnecting stuff untill the light goes out.

First thing would be the 2 wire plug on the alternator.





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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old Sep 11th, 09, 05:47 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Battery Drain....why???

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Originally Posted by JimM View Post
You need to get a test light. Disconnect the negative battery cable, and connect one lead on the test light to the neg battery terminal, and the other to the loose end of the cable.

If you have a draw, the light will glow. It may be pretty dim, maybe do this in the dark.

Start disconnecting stuff untill the light goes out.

First thing would be the 2 wire plug on the alternator.
Thanks Jim!
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old Sep 11th, 09, 06:53 AM
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Re: Battery Drain....why???

the 12v test light is the best way to find those gremlin drainage issues. I found my direct short and have since used that light on many projects to make sure there was nothing left on when I was done fixing something. A sort of double check.

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old Sep 11th, 09, 02:22 PM
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Re: Battery Drain....why???

Maybe an easier way to disconnect stuff, or locate on a 'short list' is pull the fuses 1 by one.
Stock radio or modern after market?....thats always a good place to start..

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old Sep 12th, 09, 02:06 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Battery Drain....why???

Update.....I re-installed the battery (thankfully--it recharged), hooked it up and fired up the car and checked to see if the new Alt. was charging the battery....not so good....I then noticed that the Horn relay (the part below my new Voltage Reg.) was hot to the touch....could this be my problem....I have not tried the light test yet but i am guessing that this relay needs a good cleaning or? Your thoughts?
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old Sep 12th, 09, 02:17 PM
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Re: Battery Drain....why???

Did you try Jim's suggestion? Have you checked to see what the system is charging using a meter; at the battery and the alternator? And if so what are the results? Have you cleaned all the connections at the horn relay, VR and that pesky junction block behind the battery? 8 years in storage and connection corrosion will fester.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old Sep 12th, 09, 02:41 PM
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Re: Battery Drain....why???

Do what Jim said, you'll find it. Best test I've found so far.It's quick and cheap to do, don't even have to get your hands dirty!

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old Sep 12th, 09, 07:50 PM
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Re: Battery Drain....why???

From what I can remember on the '67 the horn relay is actually also a bus bar and is always hot. not sure about '69

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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old Sep 12th, 09, 09:36 PM
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Re: Battery Drain....why???

Quote:
(thankfully--it recharged),
A side note..many battery charges will not charge if the battary is under about 8 or 9 V
It assumes the battery is dead....(check cells with a hydrometer)
To recharge a very low battary with one of these charges, put another battery in parrell, hoo up the charger, it will see 111 or 12v and start charging...after 3 or 4 mins remove the charged battery and the flat one will keep charging.
EVEN a dud battery will charge right up, it just will not hold the charge for long.

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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old Sep 13th, 09, 07:34 AM
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Re: Battery Drain....why???

Horn relay is probably energized due to a bad horn button. It should not be hot. Try disconnecting the small black wire from the bottom of the relay. https://www.camaros.net/techref/elect...horn_relay.htm If theres a short you'll hear the relay click when you hook it back up.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old Sep 13th, 09, 05:09 PM
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Re: Battery Drain....why???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steptoe View Post
...after 3 or 4 mins remove the charged battery and the flat one will keep charging...
Not much to add to several already good responses, other than this. Be certain that sparks are never present around a battery - especially a discharged one. You've probably heard advice about which battery to connect first and where to hook your ground when jump starting. It all boils down to keeping the sparks away from the Hydrogen or Oxygen that is release when a battery charges / discharges. Steptoe has a good suggestion for fooling a smart charger into charging a severely discharged battery. I'd just add a power cycle step to keep the sparks at bay when removing the paralell battery.


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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old Sep 13th, 09, 07:34 PM
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Re: Battery Drain....why???

Quote:
From what I can remember on the '67 the horn relay is actually also a bus bar and is always hot. not sure about '69
I guess I should have said that you can run power off the horn relay. That in fact it not only powers the horn but other circuits as well. (a/c, power windows, power top, etc..) With the proper ground maybe it could be "hot"

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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old Sep 13th, 09, 07:39 PM
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Re: Battery Drain....why???

Quote:
Originally Posted by markw View Post
Horn relay is probably energized due to a bad horn button. It should not be hot. Try disconnecting the small black wire from the bottom of the relay. https://www.camaros.net/techref/elect...horn_relay.htm If theres a short you'll hear the relay click when you hook it back up.
I like this one.

Does your horn work?
If it does then nevermind.

The horn relay would only be warm to touch if it is energized and has been for quite some time. Even with the horns disconnected, the relay would draw enough to take the battery down pretty quickly.

Disconecting the black wire would eliminate the dead battery until you fix the horn.





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