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batt drain

This is a discussion on batt drain within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; i have a drain on my 00 ws6. i know its not the battery. when i put a meter between ...

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    pewter
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    batt drain

    i have a drain on my 00 ws6. i know its not the battery. when i put a meter between the battery and the positive cable what should be an acceptable draw from the car? If it aint the phillies making me nervous its the trans am

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    Member joedude02's Avatar
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    i feel your pain with the phillies man

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    Easiest way to find it is to disconnect the positive battery cable and either hook up an amp meter or a test light between the positive battery post and positive cable. The meter will register your amp draw while a test light will simply glow. Obviously, the higher the amperage, or the brighter the light, the greater the draw.

    With the meter or light hooked up, start pulling fuses one at a time. When you see a significant drop in amperage, or the light dims, you have found your draw. Obviously, several vehicle systems draw small amounts of power even with the ignition off, so you will see minor changes. A draw that will drain a battery is generally more significant and that is what you are hunting for.

    Once you locate the culprit circuit, you can then check individual components to narrow it further. Also, any aftermarket stereo or amp setup, or aftermarket alarm, is usually a good place to start too. Let us know what you find.

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    Senior Member Redphoenix1998's Avatar
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    Jeff's got it right

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    Member fieropope's Avatar
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    50 mA is the maximum draw for any modern vehicle even if they have 72 cpu's onboard

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    Member Z27's Avatar
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    If it takes 2 or 3 days to kill the battery the alternator is a good bet. Watch the voltmeter to see if it reads a bit low at idle. A shorted diode in the alternator can cause the draw.

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    Member turbojimmy's Avatar
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    I wonder if the OP ever figured this out. I'm having a similar problem.

    I went to move my TA yesterday and it was dead again. All it takes is a jumpstart and I'm good as long as I drive it every day - alternator seems to be working. If it sits for more than a couple days, which happens a lot since I don't drive it in crummy weather, it's stone dead. When it first started behaving this way I put a new battery in it, so it's not that.

    I guess I need to check the draw on the battery first? Or is there a common problem that I can check first. The car is bone stock - no aftermarket electrical stuff.

  8. #8
    Electrical Engineer KMdef9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fieropope View Post
    50 mA is the maximum draw for any modern vehicle even if they have 72 cpu's onboard
    No.

    Maximum draw/current is determined by the max resistance, and for things like your starter, it reaches well over 100x 50mA.

    This would explain why we have up to 30A fuses.

  9. #9
    Member 666ws6's Avatar
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    I have the same issue, when the car sits 3 days, the battery is dead. I have a hidden battery kill switch as theft protection and winter storage so I can stop the drain, but it's a nuisance for sure. I really suspect the alternator.
    2000 WS6 TA #2946 - A4, Best 1/4: 12.5s @111mph.
    SLP LTs, 228r Cam, SY 3500, Shift kit, LS6 intake, underdrive pulleys, lid, p&p TB, Borla w/ cutout, Pro-kit springs, poly all around, Hotchkis suspension, 3.90 gears, tuned.

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    Moderator Cutlass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KMdef9 View Post
    No.

    Maximum draw/current is determined by the max resistance, and for things like your starter, it reaches well over 100x 50mA.

    This would explain why we have up to 30A fuses.
    I think he was talking about battery parasitic draw

  11. #11
    Member turbojimmy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 666ws6 View Post
    I have the same issue, when the car sits 3 days, the battery is dead. I have a hidden battery kill switch as theft protection and winter storage so I can stop the drain, but it's a nuisance for sure. I really suspect the alternator.
    Are you saying that a bad alternator can drain the battery, as opposed to a problem with the alternator not charging the battery? I vaguely remember something like this with another GM car I owned. Can't remember which one tho.

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    Life in the Fast lane sunsetorangess's Avatar
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    Yepp if you have a short on the inside Ie diode, it could put a drain on the battery causing it to loose its charge. Best way to check is a "charging system check", alot of auto parts stores do it for free. Also check for dirt or corrision on the battery terminals.
    i have a nifty Snap on Battery and charging system checker that pinpoints the problem, although a little pricey for the weekend mechanic..
    J
    2001 SS, Its not the car its the Driver that matters....

  13. #13
    Electrical Engineer KMdef9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cutlass View Post
    I think he was talking about battery parasitic draw
    Ah, didn't look at it from that stand point because it shouldn't be enough current to kill the battery, in short period of time. But it could help rule out a ACC components.
    Quote Originally Posted by sunsetorangess View Post
    Yepp if you have a short on the inside Ie diode, it could put a drain on the battery causing it to loose its charge. Best way to check is a "charging system check", alot of auto parts stores do it for free. Also check for dirt or corrision on the battery terminals.
    i have a nifty Snap on Battery and charging system checker that pinpoints the problem, although a little pricey for the weekend mechanic..
    J
    Ie as in emitter end of a transistor switch? I Didn't know alternators had them, good to know for future diagnostics.

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    Member lsgunner28's Avatar
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    Good Info! mine goes dead after a week of not driving, I unhooked and pulled the fuses for the radio because that was my first suspicion but the battery gauge only reads a little over 12 so the alt probably needs replaced i guess?
    2000 Z28 M6 125,XXX: SLP lid, K&N, 10.4mm Taylor plug wires, Frost Tune, P&P TB, NGK Iridium plugs, Magnaflow Cat back, BMR SFC's and tower brace, TSP LT's and ORY, LS6 intake, MAC Girdle, UMI LCA's and Panhard, LS7 Clutch Kit, so far..

  15. #15
    Senior Member ss~zoso~ss's Avatar
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    how do you know its not the battery, i had the same problem and it happened to by my Optima Red Top crapped out again, guy at the store says they freeze and the cells crack during the winter, so i'm on my third one now and its inside during the winter storage!

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