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I can't find the short. Draining Battery

This is a discussion on I can't find the short. Draining Battery within the Firebird / WS6 forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; HELP PLEASE!!! Problem that I need to fix first 1.5 Amp draw on the battery Quick rundown of problems: 1.5 ...

  1. #1
    Junior Member CORYSTA's Avatar
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    Angry I can't find the short. Draining Battery

    HELP PLEASE!!!
    Problem that I need to fix first
    1.5 Amp draw on the battery

    Quick rundown of problems:
    1.5 Amp draw on the battery
    Security Light is on
    Service Engine Soon Light was on before new battery (Code: P0704 Clutch Switch Input Circuit Malfunction)
    Cruise Control doesn't work (assumed it was due to the code above)
    Headlights open and close as I unlock and lock the car. (Using the Clicker)
    Leaking Clutch Fluid and Squeaky Clutch Master Cylinder
    (I'm sure most of this has nothing to do with the short, but didn't want to leave anything out.)

    Mods:
    Aftermarket radio unit & system
    HID Low Lights
    HID FOG Lights (one never worked.)
    Dual Filter Intake. (It's the blue one from WS6 Project I think starts with a V)
    Tick Performance Clutch Master Cylinder
    Monster Clutch
    Ohh and just installed a turn one power steering pump

    Repairs:
    Altenator (less than a year ago)
    Power Steering High Pressure Hose (recently)
    Thermostat (replaced with JET)

    What I've currently attempted:
    I've bought the circuit tester from O'Reilley's. I first disconnected the negative cable and connected the tester to the negative cable and negative post. Per
    I removed every fuse one at a time and the light never turned off. Then I removed all the fuses and the light still never turned off. After a little research here I proceed to Connect the tester from the postive cable to the positive post and reconnect the negative cable. I watched the light as I put the fuses back in and the light never came on. :/????

    Identification of the short:
    12/26/13: Check of system at Advanced showed low voltage battery, good altenator, starter??? (couldn't check it). There was a lot of difficulty checking the battery as their tester showed system noise. I check with their tester showed a 1.5 amp draw on the battery.

    I had a new battery installed before I left as I could no longer start the car after turning it off for more than ~30 seconds. (Ran fine once started) Even after putting a trickle charge on it for a couple of hours.

    During the battery install the head lights open and closed and the horn went off. The technician noted he believed the short was in my head lights.

    Detailed back story:
    Something is draining my battery. It's been doing it for a couple months, but I've just now had time to work on the car. I've been connecting a trickle charge overnight maybe once a week. Until the last months. It's been becoming necessary to charge it more frequently, until a few days ago it would drain the battery within a few hours to the point yesterday it wouldn't hold a charge.

    Security Light is a pretty recent occurrence (I intend to do the VAT bypass once I fix the short)

    Service Engine Soon Light has been off and on (mostly on) Since I changed my clutch and clutch master cylinder in '11.
    Same for the cruise control.

    Head Lights have been acting up for a couple months. Also did that as my altenator was going out and stopped once I replaced it. I was assuming I was having the same problem again until yesterday.

    Has been leaking clutch fluid since early summer.
    Last edited by CORYSTA; 12-27-2013 at 07:35 AM. Reason: Grammar

  2. #2
    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    Service Engine Soon Light was on before new battery (Code: P0704 Clutch Switch Input Circuit Malfunction)
    Cruise Control doesn't work (assumed it was due to the code above)
    You have a switch that is at the top of the clutch pedal (also the brake pedal) that allows you to engage the cruise control. Most of the time the swtich mounting bracket cracks or breaks and moves from the proper position to engage/disengage the sensor when you press/release the pedal.

    2 fixes, well 3 really. One replace the sensor outright (with the code this might be your only option); 2-use zip ties to hold the sensor in place (this is what I did, going on 4 yrs now); 3-zip tie or press in and tape the switch button in (this one you need to be aware that it will allow your cruise control to stay on if you press the clutch, however if you press the brake it will disengage.)

    Headlights open and close as I unlock and lock the car. (Using the Clicker)
    This is usually a sign that that the headlight gear motor is going out. The gear motor is plastic and the teeth wear out from use. There is a fix that replaces the gear with a brass or now aluminum one. BUT.....

    With you having highlights mod, I'm thinking your short is with the setup. It may be that the person that did it made a mistake or the not properly grounded out. I would start there. Disconnect the lights and see if the drawl stops.

  3. #3
    Junior Member CORYSTA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SMWS6TA View Post
    You have a switch that is at the top of the clutch pedal (also the brake pedal) that allows you to engage the cruise control. Most of the time the swtich mounting bracket cracks or breaks and moves from the proper position to engage/disengage the sensor when you press/release the pedal.

    2 fixes, well 3 really. One replace the sensor outright (with the code this might be your only option); 2-use zip ties to hold the sensor in place (this is what I did, going on 4 yrs now); 3-zip tie or press in and tape the switch button in (this one you need to be aware that it will allow your cruise control to stay on if you press the clutch, however if you press the brake it will disengage.)



    This is usually a sign that that the headlight gear motor is going out. The gear motor is plastic and the teeth wear out from use. There is a fix that replaces the gear with a brass or now aluminum one. BUT.....

    With you having highlights mod, I'm thinking your short is with the setup. It may be that the person that did it made a mistake or the not properly grounded out. I would start there. Disconnect the lights and see if the drawl stops.
    Thanks.

    I've got the switch to fix it I just haven't gotten around to fixing it. In order for me to reach it I need to take the driver seat out. I was putting that off until I got ready to fix the clutch cylinder. 2 birds one stone.

    Assuming they are wearing out is there a write up for the aluminum gear fix?

  4. #4
    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    Why do you need to remove the seat? I'm a big (as in wide) guy and I can get to it. PITA = yes.


    None of our sponsors sell this so:

    Replacement Headlight Gear For 93-02 Firebird / Trans Am

    Instructions:
    4th Generation Headlight Fix

  5. #5
    Junior Member CORYSTA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SMWS6TA View Post
    Why do you need to remove the seat? I'm a big (as in wide) guy and I can get to it. PITA = yes.


    None of our sponsors sell this so:

    Replacement Headlight Gear For 93-02 Firebird / Trans Am

    Instructions:
    4th Generation Headlight Fix
    Can I get to it yes. Am I willing to do it again without taking out my seat no. HAHA

  6. #6
    Junior Member CORYSTA's Avatar
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    So I've disconnected the VAT wires and my car still starts. :???

  7. #7
    Junior Member CORYSTA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SMWS6TA View Post
    Why do you need to remove the seat? I'm a big (as in wide) guy and I can get to it. PITA = yes.


    None of our sponsors sell this so:

    Replacement Headlight Gear For 93-02 Firebird / Trans Am

    Instructions:
    4th Generation Headlight Fix
    I can't seem to get the site to let me order anything. Is it just me?

  8. #8
    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    both have the gear. Might not be able to on a phone.

  9. #9
    Junior Member CORYSTA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SMWS6TA View Post
    both have the gear. Might not be able to on a phone.
    Alright got it. It seems the link is to an old page. I found it at Rodney Dickman's Automotive Accessories

    Ok so when we're talking security light staying on we're talking the "security" light on the dashboard correct and not the red light on the dash?

  10. #10
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    right....the light on the gauge panel. Is it on solid all the time? How did you disconnect it? Was there any spliced resistors there already? It almost sounds like the bypass was done already but not done correctly. As far as your battery problem the first thing I would look at is the stereo system. How's it wired in and does the install look professional as far as the wiring goes? Does it have an aftermarket amp and where is that amp drawing power from? Electrical issues are a pain in the ass and just take time to track down.

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    ^^ Agree. Could be that the trigger wire that tells the amp(s) to turn on is wired incorrectly.

    Best procedure to find the offending circuit is to disconnect your positive battery cable and connect an amp meter between the battery terminal and cable (you can use a test light in lieu of a meter, and watch for it to dim). After connecting the meter, start pulling fuses one at a time until you see a significant drop in amps - that will be the problem circuit. There will always be some draw on the battery, but nothing close to 1.5 amps. If you get through all the fuses under hood, then go to the panel on the side of the dash. After that, disconnect the aftermarket accessory power feeds one at a time as well. That should help you find the cause of the draw.

  12. #12
    Junior Member CORYSTA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 0rion View Post
    right....the light on the gauge panel. Is it on solid all the time? How did you disconnect it? Was there any spliced resistors there already? It almost sounds like the bypass was done already but not done correctly. As far as your battery problem the first thing I would look at is the stereo system. How's it wired in and does the install look professional as far as the wiring goes? Does it have an aftermarket amp and where is that amp drawing power from? Electrical issues are a pain in the ass and just take time to track down.
    Yes it stays on. I disconnected it under the dash where the bypass is suppose to be done. There was no spliced resistors. It started fine being disconnected.

    I found an aftermarket security system under the dash during this that was wired into the system. I removed it sodering the wiring back in series.

    This leads me to believe that the VAT was programmed out. Is that feasible? If so them what does the security light being on mean?

    Yes I put a complete aftermarket system in. The 2 amps were put in professionally and grounded in the trunk. I put the dash unit in. This isn't the first unit I've put in this car and I've never had a problem.

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    Junior Member CORYSTA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pajeff02 View Post
    ^^ Agree. Could be that the trigger wire that tells the amp(s) to turn on is wired incorrectly.

    Best procedure to find the offending circuit is to disconnect your positive battery cable and connect an amp meter between the battery terminal and cable (you can use a test light in lieu of a meter, and watch for it to dim). After connecting the meter, start pulling fuses one at a time until you see a significant drop in amps - that will be the problem circuit. There will always be some draw on the battery, but nothing close to 1.5 amps. If you get through all the fuses under hood, then go to the panel on the side of the dash. After that, disconnect the aftermarket accessory power feeds one at a time as well. That should help you find the cause of the draw.
    I've done this and according to that tool I don't have a short.

    I've bought the circuit tester from O'Reilley's. I first disconnected the negative cable and connected the tester to the negative cable and negative post. I removed every fuse one at a time and the light never turned off. Then I removed all the fuses and the light still never turned off. After a little research here I proceed to Connect the tester from the postive cable to the positive post and reconnect the negative cable. I watched the light as I put the fuses back in and the light never came on. :/????

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    A "short" occurs when you have a direct path from power to ground -- this will blow fuses and can damage electronics. A "draw" is when something is consuming battery power even with the ignition off. Again, there are things like the security system, power door locks, radio memory and such that always pull some power with the key off. However, this normal battery draw should be negligible and with a good battery it would take a couple of months to actually kill it.

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    Junior Member CORYSTA's Avatar
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    I think I've found it!!! At least I hope I have. The headlights have stopped opening and closing when I use my clicker.

    Thank y'all for all the help!!!

    I think it was my fog light. Several months ago I installed HID low lights and fog lights.
    4703 HID 8K XENON CONVERSION KIT H4703 : Amazon.com : Automotive
    Amazon.com: Kensun HID Xenon Conversion Kit "All Bulb Sizes and Colors" with Premium Ballasts - 880 - 8000k: Automotive

    One of the fog lights blew when me and a mechanic buddy of mine put them in. I was just now finally installing the new one. There's an error in the assembly of the fog lights. The connection with the car's power supply is backwards if you put the connectors together so the clip locks them together. The positive connects to the ground and vice versa.

    The fog light that blew was connected this way and the one that's working was connected correctly.

    Other than that it's a good set of fog lights.

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    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    glad you found it.

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    You could always ohm out your key and put some resistors in there to see if that turns the light off. There are a few different levels the vats works on....it's not a fail no fail deal necessarily. I would hate for it to strand you somewhere though so that's why I would try some resistors or at least follow that wiring and see if they put resistors somewhere else. I'm wondering if the security light has been on a while due to the wiring in the ignition switch so they put the aftermarket system in there as a back up and never bothered to fix the light?? Easy and cheap to do though.

    sounds like you found your short....congrats on that part

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    Junior Member CORYSTA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SMWS6TA View Post
    glad you found it.
    Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by 0rion View Post
    .... I'm wondering if the security light has been on a while due to the wiring in the ignition switch so they put the aftermarket system in there as a back up and never bothered to fix the light?? Easy and cheap to do though.

    sounds like you found your short....congrats on that part
    Honestly the light could have been on since I bought the car back in '10. I only took notice of it when my mechanic buddy pointed it out.

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