Battery drainage - Pontiac GTO Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-14-2015, 08:41 AM Thread Starter
 
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Battery drainage

Hey everyone,
I'm guessing this may have occurred to someone else already and if it did and there's a thread out there already addressing it, please point me to it. I couldn't find anything searching so I may not have been entering the right keywords.

Anyway

This is my problem. And before I go to the dealership and have them charge me a $1000 for the wrong answer I want to get some feedback here first if I can.

Saturday I got up and moved the GTO out of the garage. It started fine. Got my stuff out of the attic, started the GTO put it back in the garage. Started fine. Wasn't all the way in the garage, started GTO, backed up more. Started fine. About two hours later I hopped in it to go to the store, turned the key, nothing....no starter clicking, no radio, dash lights, nothing. Turned off the headlight switch, it was on auto, click, click, click from the starter. Battery was dead. I charged it for a few hours and it started up and ran fine.

As the battery was charging I noticed that it was constantly charging. I have an automatic charger that will charge and turn off when it's complete. It never turned off and it would have stayed on forever if I'd have let it.

So, with my Dad's help, we did some digging, looking for drainage. We did it old school and put a test light on the positive cable and the post. Then we started pulling fuses. We came down to three fuses that lit the light, the interior illumination, the instrument panel and the radio/cell phone.

My question is, do any of these naturally produce a draw when the car is off? Are any of them connected to the security system? Can the security system somehow be affecting other things that are drawing on the battery?
Has this happened to anyone else and what did they find out was the problem?

Sorry this is so long but I felt a little background was needed instead of just saying "My battery died".

Thanks.
Dave

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-14-2015, 11:03 AM
 
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Have the battery load tested, or if it's old, replace it.

Due to the alarm system, there will be a small drain, all the time.

Larry

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-14-2015, 11:05 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Larry.
I am taking it to Autozone tonight to have a load test done on the battery. Any more thoughts as to why the battery would just die like that? it started perfectly three times then....nothing. frustrating.

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-14-2015, 11:28 AM
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How long did it sit before you did the back to back to back starts? These cars are energy vampires

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-14-2015, 11:32 AM Thread Starter
 
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It probably sat a couple minutes when I moved it out of the garage and then back into the garage. And then just a few seconds when I started it again because I didn't have it far enough in to close the garage door. Then it was another two hours before I went out to go to the store and it wouldn't start. Something happened from that last start until I went to the store to totally drain the battery. Nothing was left on. (lights, etc)

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-15-2015, 02:49 AM
 
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Sounds like you need a new battery and if you don't drive often keep it hooked to a smart charger (noco genius here). You did couple of starts in a short time and the battery needs time to recharge , but a good battery would be fine.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-15-2015, 08:20 AM Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Qnko View Post
Sounds like you need a new battery and if you don't drive often keep it hooked to a smart charger (noco genius here). You did couple of starts in a short time and the battery needs time to recharge , but a good battery would be fine.
I took the car and had the battery load tested lat night. It maintained 13.11 volts and charged at 14.2 volts. It doesn't appear that the battery is the issue.
When I got home I put the fuses back in for the radio, interior illum. and the instruments, then I let it sit all night. It started fine this morning and I drove it to work. Still concerned about what drained the battery like that though.

I noticed when I turned it off, the clock on the radio and the odometer were still on and they were also on when I got in it this morning. I never paid attention before, but I'm assuming that's normal?

As a side note, were any of you aware that if you remove the instrument fuse the odometer doesn't work? The brake warning light will flash and chime at you non-stop but you could definitely cheat your mileage this way.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-15-2015, 08:49 PM
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I was wondering how long it sat before you started it the first time. If I let mine sit for a week without the trickle charger even my new battery gets drained a lot.

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-16-2015, 11:57 AM Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by svede1212 View Post
I was wondering how long it sat before you started it the first time. If I let mine sit for a week without the trickle charger even my new battery gets drained a lot.
That happened on a Saturday morning and I'd just driven it to work the day before, so I guess it was, what, maybe 12 hours or so.

It's started fine the last couple days. i'm just at a loss for what might have drained the battery. And also a little concerned about it happening again while I'm out somewhere.

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-16-2015, 12:42 PM
 
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I have an alternate theory. There is nothing wrong.

With the modern cars, there are several draws on the electrical system, both when running and when not.

You drove your car home the night before. You didn't say how far, but if you are like the rest of us, we're probably running the AC, radio, maybe even lights.

Then, you started the car 3 times without any significant charging time. On the fourth time, it failed. Starting is by far the biggest drain on a battery.

I suspect your battery is a little worn, but not enough to flag on the auto parts store testing equipment

I would suggest just driving it, but be conscious that your battery may not have as much reserve as it used to. If you need to start it for short periods, either minimize the number of start cycles or let it run.
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