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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So this car has always eaten up batteries it seems but I just had the dealer fix the 3 recalls I’ve been putting off and they said the battery drain was my shorted out monsoon amp. Had lights and Power to stereo but no sound. So I paid a lot to have that replaced with another factory one and low and behold 5 days later the car is dead. And I started it up everyday since Friday. There’s some drain somewhere. almost as
Strong as the tender I have on the car. Takes the tender like 5 days to bring it back to green. Any thoughts? No aftermarket anything on the car. FYI
 

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This is normal, because these batteries are so hard to replace.
But seriously…

How old is this battery?

If you disconnect the battery and put a volt meter on it, does the voltage stay steady or drop? Does it drop rapidly if you put a small load on it, like a 12V test light?

If it looks like it's holding its own, reconnect it and put your volt meter on it. The voltage should be decreasing. Start pulling fuses, as Shabby suggested, until the voltage stops dropping. To be sure, start putting the fuses back until you see the voltage drop again, then pull the last one you added and make sure it stops.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
This is normal, because these batteries are so hard to replace.
But seriously…

How old is this battery?

If you disconnect the battery and put a volt meter on it, does the voltage stay steady or drop? Does it drop rapidly if you put a small load on it, like a 12V test light?

If it looks like it's holding its own, reconnect it and put your volt meter on it. The voltage should be decreasing. Start pulling fuses, as Shabby suggested, until the voltage stops dropping. To be sure, start putting the fuses back until you see the voltage drop again, then pull the last one you added and make sure it stops.
Yea I’ve replaced like 4 of them since 2008 so that’s not a big deal for me, had the whole fender off about 10 times lol. The battery that’s in there is brand new as of two weeks ago. It showed all good at Napa when I bought it. Made sure to have them double check it because of how annoying it is to change them on this car ( great design GM) anyway I’m gonna start doing power checks with the fuses. Would have thought the dealer would have looked into it a little more when they had it. They were just like new amp is in and that was the problem thanks for the money BYE!
 

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technically speaking if you paid the dealership to fix a parasitic current draw issue with the vehicle and you are still having the problem it is under warranty. Bring the vehicle back to them and tell them to fix it properly. Tracking down a parasitic current draw in a vehicle can be a real headache. Pulling fuses and testing the draw on that circuit is going to help narrow it down but there are lots of things that get tied to a single circuit.

I am going to ask some questions so some things can be ruled out.

Do you have one of those Insurance company things that plugs into the OBD port?

Anything electronic added to the vehicle is worth mentioning no matter how small it is. Right down to a phone charger being plugged into the cigarette lighter.

The first thing I asked about communicates with the vehicles computers. If for some reason the communications does not stop then all of the modules in the vehicle will stay awake and consume quite a bit of power It would kill a battery within 2 days typically if the modules are awake the entire time. If the modules keep on getting woken up at a regular interval it could take a week to kill the battery.

If you have a cell phone charger that is not working correctly and it could draw excessive current even when nothing is plugged into it. there should be no more then 100 milliamps of current draw for the whole vehicle once the cars computers have gone to sleep (after 10 minutes of the vehicle being completely closed up). If you bought the vehicle used there may be a dealership installed GPS tracking unit that can unlock the doors and disable the starter. They will not always remove these things nor do they tell the buyer that they installed one either. maybe a previous owner had one of these things installed into the vehicle and it's still in there. If it is going bad it could be keeping the cars computer awake.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
technically speaking if you paid the dealership to fix a parasitic current draw issue with the vehicle and you are still having the problem it is under warranty. Bring the vehicle back to them and tell them to fix it properly. Tracking down a parasitic current draw in a vehicle can be a real headache. Pulling fuses and testing the draw on that circuit is going to help narrow it down but there are lots of things that get tied to a single circuit.

I am going to ask some questions so some things can be ruled out.

Do you have one of those Insurance company things that plugs into the OBD port?

Anything electronic added to the vehicle is worth mentioning no matter how small it is. Right down to a phone charger being plugged into the cigarette lighter.

The first thing I asked about communicates with the vehicles computers. If for some reason the communications does not stop then all of the modules in the vehicle will stay awake and consume quite a bit of power It would kill a battery within 2 days typically if the modules are awake the entire time. If the modules keep on getting woken up at a regular interval it could take a week to kill the battery.

If you have a cell phone charger that is not working correctly and it could draw excessive current even when nothing is plugged into it. there should be no more then 100 milliamps of current draw for the whole vehicle once the cars computers have gone to sleep (after 10 minutes of the vehicle being completely closed up). If you bought the vehicle used there may be a dealership installed GPS tracking unit that can unlock the doors and disable the starter. They will not always remove these things nor do they tell the buyer that they installed one either. maybe a previous owner had one of these things installed into the vehicle and it's still in there. If it is going bad it could be keeping the cars computer awake.
All no’s to your questions except for the dealer gps possibility. I bought the car with 10k on it in 2008 one owner before me and it’s never had any aftermarket anything on it and doesn’t have anything plugged in. In was in storage for 10 years (clean dry garage) so maybe a mouse chewed a wire somewhere is all I can think.
 

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All no’s to your questions except for the dealer gps possibility. I bought the car with 10k on it in 2008 one owner before me and it’s never had any aftermarket anything on it and doesn’t have anything plugged in. In was in storage for 10 years (clean dry garage) so maybe a mouse chewed a wire somewhere is all I can think.
Do you have access to a voltmeter and an amp meter? Are you able/willing to do the testing yourself?
A little time with the power distribution diagrams and someone can give you a roadmap of fuses to pull to narrow down the source of the problem with the least confusion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Do you have access to a voltmeter and an amp meter? Are you able/willing to do the testing yourself?
A little time with the power distribution diagrams and someone can give you a roadmap of fuses to pull to narrow down the source of the problem with the least confusion.
No but I’m gonna buy one and give it a shot. Any pointers would be appreciated. I’m kinda novice with electrical stuff lol
 

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No but I’m gonna buy one and give it a shot. Any pointers would be appreciated. I’m kinda novice with electrical stuff lol
The easiest to use is a clamp-on style ammeter, just be sure to get one that will measure DC current. I have (among others) a Southwire Model #21550T that I bought at Lowe's for about $80 and it works pretty well, certainly well enough for this and most automotive work. It also measures voltage and resistance, so it may be the only meter you need.

Most of the car's systems are powered in groups through several large fuses, and then further by smaller fuses, so it may take a series of tries to narrow down the problem. It isn't difficult, but could be a bit time consuming.
 

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FWIW, I recommend getting a digital multimeter. You'll find it much more useful in the long run. You can find a decent one for about $40–50. Just make sure it's auto-ranging and auto-polarity, as this makes it harder to ruin through a rookie mistake.

Instead of using the multimeters ammeter function, I recommend putting the meter in the 20 volt range and connecting it between the battery + terminal and ground. You should see the voltage counting down because of the drain. Then start removing fuses one at a time and checking to see if the countdown stops. When you see it stop, replace the last fuse and see if it starts again. The chemical activity in the battery tends to lag behind the electrical activity, so you night not notice the change right away, but when you find the right fuse, you should be able to start and stop the countdown by plugging and unplugging that fuse alone. Once you've found it, leave it out as you replace the rest of the fuses you pulled and make sure the countdown doesn't start again. (You might have a drain in two different circuits.)

Once you've found the right fuse, you can use the same technique to find the component that's causing the drain. Replace the fuse, observe the countdown, then disconnect the individual circuits controlled by that fuse one by one until the countdown stops.
 

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Looking for a stray current by checking the battery's voltage drop seems a bit backwards to me when checking the current directly is possible.
 

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Looking for a stray current by checking the battery's voltage drop seems a bit backwards to me when checking the current directly is possible.
Suit yourself.

By the way, you don't need to pull fuses randomly. The diagram in the fuse box tells you what the fuses control, and you might already have a hunch which circuits are most likely to be involved, and you can also tell which ones you might want to avoid pulling until you've eliminated everything else.
 

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.......
By the way, you don't need to pull fuses randomly. The diagram in the fuse box tells you what the fuses control, and you might already have a hunch which circuits are most likely to be involved, and you can also tell which ones you might want to avoid pulling until you've eliminated everything else.
Correct, although the service manual power distribution diagram provides a bit more detail.
 

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The easiest thing to do is to pull the wire loom off the harnesses that plug into the fuse box. Use a pair of "amp clamps" which are specifically designed to measure amperage. These meters can be bought from your local big box hardware store for around 30.00. They don't have an internal fuse like a digital volt ohm meter that you can accidentally blow because the current doesn't actually run through the meter.

We can tell you what wire colors to clamp around to test the current. Testing is actually a pretty quick process, removing the loom from the harnesses is what is going to take the longest amount of time.

 

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I found it easiest to use the main cable that attaches to the underhood fuse block under the red flip-cap.

Many of the less-expensive clamp-on ammeters are AC only, so be sure that you check for the ability to check DC current.
 

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That one does DC.

I guess you could just clamp onto the main power feed for the fuse box and pull one fuse at a time until the draw goes away.

I am thinking there is something that is keeping the modules in the car from sleeping because of how long it takes before the battery dies.
 

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That one does DC.

.......
Are you sure?
The Commercial Electric Digital Clamp Meter CM-2033R features solid structure and rubber shell. The clamp meter features AC Current, AC/DC Voltage, data hold, back light, flash light and temperature measurement. The safety rating for the meter is CAT III 600.
Or did I look at the wrong one?
 

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Maybe the one I have is not the same model as that one. Let me go and grab it and check.I can swear that it does DC current, I could be going crazy tho, not the first time.
 
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