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New Battery goes dead after sitting for 3 days

This is a discussion on New Battery goes dead after sitting for 3 days within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; So like the title says, my new battery goes dead if I let the car sit for about 2-4 days. ...

  1. #1
    Senior Member ss~zoso~ss's Avatar
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    New Battery goes dead after sitting for 3 days

    So like the title says, my new battery goes dead if I let the car sit for about 2-4 days. No auxiliary units ie lights fans etc... are on to my knowledge. This has been a problem for a while now and its getting annoying, alternator always reads fine, and my battery is a brand new optima red top.

    Today I went to start the car after it being in the garage since friday and it would barely turn the motor over, then it went right to that dreaded rapid clicking noise... after putting it on the charger for 5 min or so it barely started up, it read 8 volts when i first got in the car , me knowing that it was probably low....

    I'm not sure what is drawing on the battery when it sits, I do have the stock car alarm system (which i never use), and the 12 disc CD changer

    Any help would be greatly appreciated,

    Jeff

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    Member nillam1's Avatar
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    Do you have electric cutouts on your exhaust? If so they will kill your battery if wired to a constant power source.
    2002 Camaro Z28 Bolt ons, Flowmaster catback w/3" QTP electric cutout, Superchips tuned, Granatelli MAF, SLP cold air induction Lid & filter, ZEX powertune plugs, Taylor 10.4mm wires, 160 T-stat w/fan control, Eibach sportlines & BFG-KDW's on 17" SLP SS rims.

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    Single Malt rbob93's Avatar
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    Did you fully charge the battery before putting it into service??

    Alternators are meant to maintain battery charge, not to be used as battery chargers.

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    Senior Member bigrondownhiller's Avatar
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    Could also be a light staying on like the ashtray or glove box.

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    Junior Member formula1804's Avatar
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    alternator is not throwing a charge to it IF there are no lights left on, just because it reads fine doesnt mean its actually charging the battery

  6. #6
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    If you are suspicious of something drawing on the battery you could always check it the old fassion way. I believe this would work on a 4th gen,,,but I do this on the old stuff when needed and it works every time.

    Remove the positive battery cable and put a volt meter between the cable and battery. With everything turned off there should be little to no draw on the battery,,,,maybe the clock or radio memory or whatever other crap these 4th gens have to keep hot.

    If the pull is excessive,,,,you simply pull a fuse,,,one at a time and check the volt meter. If you pulled a fuse on something that is supposed to be dead,,,and the volt meter dropped,,,,then you found the culprit.
    You simply have narrowed down the circuit causing the problem,,,now concentrate on that circuit until the issue is resolved, (ie: pinched wires, shorted etc...)

    The only problem with this method is all the damn fuses these 4th gens have, it'll take a while

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    Senior Member ss~zoso~ss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nillam1 View Post
    Do you have electric cutouts on your exhaust? If so they will kill your battery if wired to a constant power source.
    Na no cutouts

    Quote Originally Posted by rbob93 View Post
    Did you fully charge the battery before putting it into service??

    Alternators are meant to maintain battery charge, not to be used as battery chargers.
    The battery was fully charged and this still happens

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    Senior Member ss~zoso~ss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigrondownhiller View Post
    Could also be a light staying on like the ashtray or glove box.
    i'll check these... i dont recall my ashtray light ever working tho

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    Quote Originally Posted by Firebirdjones View Post
    If you are suspicious of something drawing on the battery you could always check it the old fassion way. I believe this would work on a 4th gen,,,but I do this on the old stuff when needed and it works every time.

    Remove the positive battery cable and put a volt meter between the cable and battery. With everything turned off there should be little to no draw on the battery,,,,maybe the clock or radio memory or whatever other crap these 4th gens have to keep hot.

    If the pull is excessive,,,,you simply pull a fuse,,,one at a time and check the volt meter. If you pulled a fuse on something that is supposed to be dead,,,and the volt meter dropped,,,,then you found the culprit.
    You simply have narrowed down the circuit causing the problem,,,now concentrate on that circuit until the issue is resolved, (ie: pinched wires, shorted etc...)

    The only problem with this method is all the damn fuses these 4th gens have, it'll take a while

    You can also can use a test light between the positive battery post and disconnected positive battery cable -- the brighter the light the more draw you have on your battery. As stated above, start pulling fuses to locate the offending circuit. When the test light intensity drops dramatically you found the draw.

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    Moderator Cutlass's Avatar
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    do you have any aftermarket electrical accessories? radio? radar detector?

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    Veteran 0rion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firebirdjones View Post
    If you are suspicious of something drawing on the battery you could always check it the old fassion way. I believe this would work on a 4th gen,,,but I do this on the old stuff when needed and it works every time.

    Remove the positive battery cable and put a volt meter between the cable and battery. With everything turned off there should be little to no draw on the battery,,,,maybe the clock or radio memory or whatever other crap these 4th gens have to keep hot.

    If the pull is excessive,,,,you simply pull a fuse,,,one at a time and check the volt meter. If you pulled a fuse on something that is supposed to be dead,,,and the volt meter dropped,,,,then you found the culprit.
    You simply have narrowed down the circuit causing the problem,,,now concentrate on that circuit until the issue is resolved, (ie: pinched wires, shorted etc...)

    The only problem with this method is all the damn fuses these 4th gens have, it'll take a while
    this was the method I was going to recommend. You have a draw somewhere...you just have to track it down. Can be a real pain to find too. Like everyone else has said....if you have any aftermarket electrical stuff start there. Make sure your hatch is closing all the way too. I've closed mine but it didn't close all the way leaving the interior lights on.

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    LSX whore allbaugh_04's Avatar
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    I would take the alternator to get it tested first, that's free, so i'd try that, then try firebird jones' method.

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    Senior Member ss~zoso~ss's Avatar
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    i dont have any aftermarket electronic devices, I checked the glove box light and its off, i'll check the trunk, but it sounds like i may be doing the fuse pulling method....

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    Senior Member ss~zoso~ss's Avatar
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    ok just did the method posted above

    I found the following, with the keys out of the ingnition the battery read 12.26 across the terminals and 12.19 between positive terminal and positive cable

    upon pulling EVERY fuse in the car (2 locations under hood and 1 location near drivers door inside) I found no increase or decrease in voltage between positive terminal and positive cable. None what so ever. I'm completely stumped now. I was using a good multi meter too.

    Any suggestions?

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    LSX whore allbaugh_04's Avatar
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    You didn't take the alternator in to get tested yet? It's free

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    Senior Member ss~zoso~ss's Avatar
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    no, its not free to take off tho, I dont have the time to do so, I'm pretty sure that its not the alternator

    I know this because the battery reads 12.XX volts now and I will guarantee in 3 days it will be dead, totally eliminating the alternator as a possibility due to a full charge when parked

    In addition, I would not be able to drive my car 100 miles with a bad alternator It would drain the battery, and my alternator gauge always reads in the correct margin

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    Junior Member Big Chuk's Avatar
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    Ok 2 possibilities......The altenator could have a bad diode,which will let it charge correctly,but will also let it drain the battery when not running. Also your starter could have developed a low voltage short which will drain the battery when not running. I have personaly had both of these happen to me.

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    LSX whore allbaugh_04's Avatar
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    Are you experiencing any headlight or dome light dimming while driving. Gauges dimming?

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ss~zoso~ss View Post
    ok just did the method posted above

    I found the following, with the keys out of the ingnition the battery read 12.26 across the terminals and 12.19 between positive terminal and positive cable

    upon pulling EVERY fuse in the car (2 locations under hood and 1 location near drivers door inside) I found no increase or decrease in voltage between positive terminal and positive cable. None what so ever. I'm completely stumped now. I was using a good multi meter too.

    Any suggestions?
    WOW!!! you found 12.19 volts of draw between the positive battery cable and the positive battery terminal with the key off????? That my friend is a ton of draw and will pull that battery down quickly!!!! You definately have something hot.

    If pulling the fuses didn't find the culprit,,,then try unplugging the alternator and checking again. Then try unplugging the starter and checking again. You might be able to do this by removing those big square relays under the hood, if not then disconnect at the source.
    You can also test to see if the alternator is charging with your volt meter. You don't have to remove it and take it somewhere.
    Simply connect the volt meter to your positive and negative battery terminals,,,it should show somewhere around 12 volts. Now start the car,,,if the alternator is doing it's job you should see 14.7 volts or somewhere in that range on the volt meter. It's more accurate than watching the dash gauge.
    As Big Chuk mentioned,,,the alternator can charge fine but have a bad diode that would pull on the battery. But again, unplugging the alternator and doing the volt meter test should show something.

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    I still recommend the test light method -- much easier to see the difference in draw as you pull fuses versus watching tenths of a volt on a meter. As noted in other replies, the draw could be the alternator if no other problems are located.

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