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Battery Drain

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by G.M.H, Jan 17, 2004.

  1. G.M.H

    G.M.H Registered Member

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    On three separate occasions my battery has gone dead.No accesories were left on,and the truck started and ran fine with a boost.Where would be the most likely source of an intermittent drain like this? Ignition switch,starter,??? I would like to find a faulty part to replace so my confidence will be restored.Any help would be appreciated,thanks. Oh, the truck is a 1980 k5.
     
  2. big d

    big d 1/2 ton status

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    bad battery ? possibley dead cell in the batt ? just some suggestions. hope this helps. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif /forums/images/graemlins/k5.gif /forums/images/graemlins/usaflag.gif
     
  3. BamBamblazer

    BamBamblazer 1/2 ton status

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    There is an easy way to find the cause. Charge the battery with the cables unhooked, put the cables back on, if there is sparks when the cables are re-attached there is something drawing power somewhere. If no sparks then its the battery. Make sure you have anything that has a memory unhooked, like the radio. It only draws a small amount of power but it will still cause sparks. If you do get sparks and conclude there is a power drain and its not the battery, just start unhooking stuff and re-attaching the battery till you get no sparks and that will be the drain!!! /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  4. bryguy00b

    bryguy00b 3/4 ton status

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    hmm i dont like the sounds of that, ive been having the same problems but figured its just the cheap battery finally crapping out, but when i hook mine up i do get sparks...only thing i can think of is the radio..
     
  5. mud390

    mud390 1/2 ton status

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    I had a similar problem and took my battery to the O'Reilly and they checked it for free. Found out I had to two bad cells.

    Kris
     
  6. Okiemuddog

    Okiemuddog 1/2 ton status

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    Is the area between your terminals clean? You can take an ampmeter and draw it across the the battery between the terminals and see the draw. The reason why is that dirt contains iron deposits that conduct electricity between the terminals, causing the battery to drain itself. This is called parasitic draw, if your battery is clean, chack the water in it, if the water is full then tkae it in and have it checked, might have a bad cell. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    Krennen
     
  7. rooferbret

    rooferbret 1/2 ton status

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    A mechanic friend of mine showed me the dirty battery trick /forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif That is the first thing I check on other peoples cars.
     
  8. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Is the area between your terminals clean? You can take an ampmeter and draw it across the the battery between the terminals and see the draw. The reason why is that dirt contains iron deposits that conduct electricity between the terminals, causing the battery to drain itself. This is called parasitic draw, if your battery is clean, chack the water in it, if the water is full then tkae it in and have it checked, might have a bad cell. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    Krennen

    [/ QUOTE ]

    NO NO NO!!

    A DC ammeter is hooked in SERIES with the load. That means you've got to disconnect the cable and put the meter between the battery and the disconnected cable.

    Connecting a meter like you said will either blow the fuse or burn up the meter!

    If the battery is fully charged you should get 12.6 VOLTS or more across the battery with the engine off. A volt meter CAN be put in parallel with the load like that so just throw that across the battery.

    If your battery won't charge up to 12.5 or more, it's probably not any good. If it is, have a buddy hit the key and watch the volt meter. If it drops below 10 volts, the battery is no good.

    To test your alternator, leave the volt meter across the battery and start the engine. Turn on the wipers, headlights, radio, heat, and anything else you can think of that is electrical. If the volt meter drops below 13, you're not getting any output from your alternator. Anything from 13-15 is acceptable, but it must be more than 13 and never drop below that at any time.
     
  9. jjlaughner

    jjlaughner 3/4 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    hmm i dont like the sounds of that, ive been having the same problems but figured its just the cheap battery finally crapping out, but when i hook mine up i do get sparks...only thing i can think of is the radio..

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Glove box light done me in a couple times
    If its an aftermarket radio it might have a memory wire constant power for time and stations, pull the radio fuse and retry.
    Another problem he's in canada... it's got to cold there too, cold weather can kill a battery if its old or not being fully charged...
    Have the battery drain tested at the local auto place, if its good clean all the alt and battery contacts and reinstall, if the problem persists it could be the voltage regulator/alt /forums/images/graemlins/deal.gif
    My .02 anyhow
     
  10. bryguy00b

    bryguy00b 3/4 ton status

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    yea its a JVC cd player, and it does have a a memory wire or something, something i noticed though it wont keep the memory, the time and preset stations, usually after you turn the truck of and turn it back on its all gone.
     
  11. jjlaughner

    jjlaughner 3/4 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    yea its a JVC cd player, and it does have a a memory wire or something, something i noticed though it wont keep the memory, the time and preset stations, usually after you turn the truck of and turn it back on its all gone.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    your memory wire is probley hooked into the keyed switch then... thats not your battery problem though
     
  12. darkshadow

    darkshadow 1 ton status

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    call CAA and have them put a tester on it next time it gose dead they can tell you exactly how much or a draw you have and weather or not it is the batt, or a draw. Hey all right another hoser on here eh? (yanks wont get that unless you've seen bob and doug /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif) /forums/images/graemlins/k5.gif /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  13. bryguy00b

    bryguy00b 3/4 ton status

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    oh..well thats good to hear i gues...thought it was weird anyhow that it would just start causing a problem all of the sudden though...
     
  14. Ryan B.

    Ryan B. 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    If ya don't have an ampmeter, you can use a voltmeter, and hook it in series between the negative battery terminal and the negative battery cable..
    All you should see is a few tenths of a volt at most which would be your memory circuits for your stereo, alarm, or possibly pcm...
    if your battery is getting drained more than a few tenths of a volt then its time to start pulling fuses out of the fusebox to narrow it down to which circuit is the culprit of your problem... Remember though there are usually several things running off your one fuse in the fusebox, so you have to then narrow it down further as to what is shorting out on that one fuse circuit.
    I had a similar situation and after pulling all the fuses one at a time and the voltage didn't drop i suspected maybe the alternator, and when i disconnected it.... the voltage dropped to zero. A bad alternator was draining voltage in my case. /forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif
     
  15. bigyellowjimmy

    bigyellowjimmy 1/2 ton status

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    if after having the battery tested and alt voltage output tested you still have a problem remove the neg battery cable and use your test light between the neg terminal and the cable, if it lights up you have a draw. shouldnt be enough amp draw even with a radio memory to light up the bulb. if you do have a draw start pulling fuses one by one until you isolate the circuit. if that doesnt work remove the alt and have the diodes tested, it can draw amps with the key off if defective.
     
  16. bigyellowjimmy

    bigyellowjimmy 1/2 ton status

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    /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif ha ha Ryan B. I see you and I think alike! /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  17. RingMaster4x4

    RingMaster4x4 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    I had the same thing happen with my chevelle recently and it turned out the alternator was out in mine.
     
  18. Ryan B.

    Ryan B. 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    /forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  19. gravdigr

    gravdigr 1/2 ton status

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    I'm suprised no one else mentioned this. You do not have to take your batterey out to be tested if it isn't of the sealed variety. Get a tester called a hydrometer. Mine looks like a turkey baster with a glass tube inside. What you do is pull the caps off the cells and suck some of the batterey juice into the hydrometer. It tests the specific gravity of the acid and will tell you if the cell is good or bad. Obviously this will not work for a sealed batterey but it can save trips to the local garage to have a batterey tested and it will make you feel smart knowing words like hydrometer, specific gravity, and turkey baster /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  20. G.M.H

    G.M.H Registered Member

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    I will try this the next time it happens.A bad battery would be bad all the time,would it not? This one started the truck at -35 afterwards,and has been working fine since. It is an orbital gell cell.It seems to be an intermittent problem which makes it harder to diagnose. I will take the battery in and have it tested just to rule it out.
     

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