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Old 12-28-2009, 09:11 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by perris View Post
I think you guys are way off base, there is definately something wrong with this mans car

my car sits for months at a time with absolutely no problem starting, he has a drain problem or a charging problem

stop telling him he needs to drive more or needs a battery tender, he needs to get this problem respolved
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Old 12-29-2009, 04:11 AM   #17 (permalink)
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well, after the first year, I did add a Pioneer stereo, so when I had it in the other month, I specifically asked them to check to make sure it isn't drawing too much power or anything like that. They said it checked out fine.
That's the only modification I've made so far.
I thought it might have something to do with the ipod being charged constantly in the glove compartment, so I left that out for a few months... it appears that wasn't the problem.

Ooh, I did hit a patch of ice 2 years ago, and slammed the side of the car into the curb. The frame was bent, but fixed. (that's one of the reasons I REALLY don't want to drive it in the winter!)

Ok...so did the problem start after hitting the curb and bending the frame?? You say that happened 2 yrs ago...that sounds like it would be around the time that you started having the problem...second winter season kinda early for a battery to go bad...but Ive seen it happen...third season is more likely that the battery could be the culprit...but I doubt its the battery. Did anything happen to the wiring harness in the area of the frame that was damaged/bent? Did anyone even look at the Harness in that area?? Did anyone look at the Alternator housing for cracks from the impact...loose leads from cracked connectors...same with the starter...Bottom line, this is not a normal condition...someone is gonna have to dig into the electrical system and really look. Its gonna be frustrating not only for you...but most likely for them as well.
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Old 12-29-2009, 06:51 AM   #18 (permalink)
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The problem is not with the car its with the operator. Sorry.

The car is fly by wire. The computers are on all the time. When you open the door, the BCM senses it and starts up the internal systems. There is allways current drain, its the way its designed to operate.

A good battery tender costs about $40 and will keep the battery topped off and conditioned. It will extend the life of the battery and make sure when you want to start the car its good to go.

We have 35 cars in our club. Some will go for 2 weeks and still start, others will go 3 weeks or a bit longer. I dont know of any that will sit for a month let alone 2 months without a battery tender.

If the BCM was not running, it could not respond in a reasonable time following a long sit. We would be complaining about how the car takes for ever to start up.
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Old 12-29-2009, 07:19 AM   #19 (permalink)
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The service tech's at my trusted dealer tested the draw of my "constant on" components and stated that the main drain (and what is killing my battery) is from the onstar module. Whether you have the service or not, the unit is always in atempts to stay connected to the provider. It is part of it's diagnostic service programing (and big brother control). While the signal is connected the draw is minimal but while searching, it is much greater. Unfortunatly by storing it in the garage (unless you have a glass roof or lots of windows on the right side) it can never connect, therefore a constant, greater draw of current and a more rapid battery kill. I was only getting 5 days of storage (any time of the year) and then needing a charge. I run a tender now.
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Old 12-29-2009, 08:20 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I have a dashhawk and if I leave it plugged in I have the same problem car won't start if it sits two weeks. There are many constant drains on these cars, small but constant draws on the power. If the lock is on it means that you lost enough power for the memory to erase. You can try your other key and hope. Otherwise I think you have to go to the dealer for it to relearn without a working key.
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Old 12-29-2009, 08:29 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Just a note, a battery tender isn't going to work for me, I live in a condo, and have my solstice parked in an underground heated garage (there are no power outlets anywhere).
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Old 12-29-2009, 08:42 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Back on track!

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Old 12-29-2009, 09:49 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Sorry, but there's a lot of FUDD here about current draw from the battery while idle. As part of trying to solve the mysterious 'why do LED replacement mirror bulbs glow all the time, when incandescents don't?' question, a couple of us over on the KappaPerfomance forum measured the current draw in an idle Solstice. See: mirror leds

To quote from 2kwk4u... (20mins after turning off the car) "A whopping 6 mA draw with spikes to ~15 mA each time the security LED flashes." In response to Gunny, I measured mine too (has active Onstar and was in a garage). Mine registered 0 current draw at idle - but that was at the 10A range so given meter error >10mA in reality. NOTE: if your dealer measured within the first 15 mins of turning off the car the current draw is much higher: 1-2amps for a while, then maybe up to 200mA for some minutes, before it goes into the longer-term idle (low draw) state.

So.... obviously not a zero-current situation, but pretty low nonetheless and certainly low enough not to drain the battery in a couple of months of non-use.

The real interesting part of the original post is the fact that the poster's immobilizer light was flashing. Getting this thread back on track - anyone have any idea about that?
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Old 12-29-2009, 10:17 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by TomatoSoup View Post
Sorry, but there's a lot of FUDD here about current draw from the battery while idle. As part of trying to solve the mysterious 'why do LED replacement mirror bulbs glow all the time, when incandescents don't?' question, a couple of us over on the KappaPerfomance forum measured the current draw in an idle Solstice. See: mirror leds

To quote from 2kwk4u... (20mins after turning off the car) "A whopping 6 mA draw with spikes to ~15 mA each time the security LED flashes." In response to Gunny, I measured mine too (has active Onstar and was in a garage). Mine registered 0 current draw at idle - but that was at the 10A range so given meter error >10mA in reality. NOTE: if your dealer measured within the first 15 mins of turning off the car the current draw is much higher: 1-2amps for a while, then maybe up to 200mA for some minutes, before it goes into the longer-term idle (low draw) state.

So.... obviously not a zero-current situation, but pretty low nonetheless and certainly low enough not to drain the battery in a couple of months of non-use.

The real interesting part of the original post is the fact that the poster's immobilizer light was flashing. Getting this thread back on track - anyone have any idea about that?
I was just thinking of that thread, Tomato, as I read through this one. My car in OnStar equipped as well, and active. I was also running my test in a garage with no windows. Sometimes I can get an XM signal in there, though... and I have gotten OnStar monthly diagnostic reports that were tied to a period when I knew the car was in the garage.

It is interesting, though, that the 10 months it sat at my father's house, in a garage, the only time I got OnStar monthly diagnostic reports were when he would pull it out of the garage. It got no signal in his garage, and yet sat in there for months at a time... yet started like a champ every time he wanted to take it out (he put *maybe* 300 miles on it in 10 months -- for a total of 5 drives). I think it would creep him out a little when I would call him, ask how the drive was, and tell him to put air in the tires

As for the original poster, it sounds to me like the problem is more than operator error. Bad BCM, maybe? A battery tender, while maybe helpful, would be nothing more than a band-aid fix, IMHO.
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Old 12-29-2009, 11:38 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Here's a little more info, not sure if this is relevant or not:

Last time this happened, a couple months ago, I had the not-starting issue, with the engine lock-out light on. I was able to successfully jump it with my Jeep. I drove around town for a good 30 minutes, figuring that would charge it up ok. But as soon as i turned it off, when I tried to start it again, I would get the engine lock out light on again.

I did this a couple times to make sure, it would jump fine, but would never start again, that stupid engine lock out light would come on. The lock-out light seems to suggest that it "forgot" the magic code in my key, but then why would jumping the car be able to bypass that? that doesn't seem very secure!
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Old 12-29-2009, 12:17 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Here's a little more info, not sure if this is relevant or not:

Last time this happened, a couple months ago, I had the not-starting issue, with the engine lock-out light on. I was able to successfully jump it with my Jeep. I drove around town for a good 30 minutes, figuring that would charge it up ok. But as soon as i turned it off, when I tried to start it again, I would get the engine lock out light on again.

I did this a couple times to make sure, it would jump fine, but would never start again, that stupid engine lock out light would come on. The lock-out light seems to suggest that it "forgot" the magic code in my key, but then why would jumping the car be able to bypass that? that doesn't seem very secure!
this sounds to me like your alternator or regulator are malfunctionung

I left my lights on over night, got jump started, went about 10 miles and came back and the car started as if the battery was new

have them check your charging system, specifically, I believe your regulator might be switching too soon

Last edited by perris; 12-29-2009 at 12:22 PM.
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Old 12-29-2009, 12:24 PM   #27 (permalink)
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I had a problem with my '85 IROC where it sometimes would not start- no click, nothing. AAA said it was the battery so they replaced that, and I still had the problem. Turns out, the starter casing was cracked and grounding out if the brushes were is a certain position.

I had an old Volvo that would not start, would run fine after jumped, srive for 30 minutes, turn it off and it wouldn't turn over. Shortly thereafter it dies on the highway and the prognosis was that the ECM went.

Totally differnt technology, I know, but the symptoms sound similar enough.
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Old 12-29-2009, 12:56 PM   #28 (permalink)
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ok, final question ...

Is there any point in taking the solstice to the dealership NOW? Or can I just wait until spring?
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Old 12-29-2009, 01:13 PM   #29 (permalink)
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ok, final question ...

Is there any point in taking the solstice to the dealership NOW? Or can I just wait until spring?
I would take it now, document the issue, then if I were you I would probably disconnect the battery if they can't resolve the problem

if they can resolve the problem then I would leave battery plugged in and go from there
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Old 12-29-2009, 01:22 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Hi there!

I would definitely investigate this issue, as it doesn't seem normal. If your dealer won't do this, and it's under warranty, find another.

Or, chase this yourself. Suggestions for chasing this with a DMM are good. Once the hood light, interior lights, etc. are all off, there should be almost no current draw on the battery. If there is, it's time to figure out where. I'd start with removing fuses, one at a time, documenting what effect removing each has.

I had a similar issue on my S-10 that showed up as a 200mA draw on the battery due to a wiring fault on some new work. This was easily enough to drain the battery over a week or so.

My S-10 doesn't get driven very much. To help counter that, I bought an AGM battery for it (specifically, an Optima Red Top). AGM-type batteries withstand sitting around not being used a lot better than regular batteries. They cost more but if this car will be sitting a lot, it's worth it.
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