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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; Originally Posted by pajeff02 I still recommend the test light method -- much easier to see the difference in draw ...

  1. #21
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pajeff02 View Post
    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.
    Ya that works in a pinch,,,but by using the GM manual that will give you actual voltage draw that is acceptable,,,then the volt meter is the only way.
    I'm not good enough to tell how dim the light is and then calculate the voltage in my head
    Plus you can check for other things like alternator charging voltage etc...there are really a million uses for a volt meter including checking those diodes.....should be in everyones tool box.

  2. #22
    Senior Member ss~zoso~ss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Chuk View Post
    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.
    I will check the draw by unplugging the alt relay, My starter is only 2 years old so hopefully that is not the problem

    Quote Originally Posted by allbaugh_04 View Post
    Are you experiencing any headlight or dome light dimming while driving. Gauges dimming?
    no dimming or any symptoms while driving

  3. #23
    Senior Member ss~zoso~ss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firebirdjones View Post
    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.
    I will try this...

  4. #24
    Senior Member ss~zoso~ss's Avatar
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    ok, just checked two things:

    First i let the car run and read the potential between the two terminals, 14.3 V

    Second I pulled the relay for the starter and read the potential between the positive terminal and positive cable, 12.10 (same with relay in and out)

    I have not tested the voltage with the alt unplugged because it looks like i'll need to pull it up on ramps to do that, i did not see a fuse for the alternator.

    ....

    The fight continues...

  5. #25
    Moderator Cutlass's Avatar
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    Electricity only has 3 pathes out of the battery. One cable goes to the 'underhood electrical center', one to the starter, and one to the alternator. So you'll have to unplug the big red cable from those three things (one at a time) to figure which path the current is flowing.

  6. #26
    Senior Member ss~zoso~ss's Avatar
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    so if i check the draw between the positive cable and positive terminal during:

    A. Having the starter disconnected

    and

    B. Having the alternator disconnected,

    i should be able to either eliminate or find out which of the two is causing my draw?

  7. #27
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ss~zoso~ss View Post
    so if i check the draw between the positive cable and positive terminal during:

    A. Having the starter disconnected

    and

    B. Having the alternator disconnected,

    i should be able to either eliminate or find out which of the two is causing my draw?
    Yes.

  8. #28
    Senior Member ss~zoso~ss's Avatar
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    alright, im going to try it right now

  9. #29
    Senior Member ss~zoso~ss's Avatar
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    cant even get at the wires for either

    i can only see one wire harness / plug in for the alt (which i cant reach), and i cant get to the wires for the started because my Pass Side header is in the way

    i read the voltage across the terminal and its 11.99 and between positive cable and termnial its 11.90

    i cross checked this with my other car whose reading across the terminals was 12.47 and between terminal and cable; 11.09

    so it seems the camaro has less draw but the battery goes dead after 2 days.....

    i'm at a loss here guys

  10. #30
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Unfortunately with little room to work on these cars you are probably going to have to pull the starter off to remove wires,,,not that bad really, they have little mini starters, easy to deal with. I've pulled mine off several times with and without headers.
    The alternator will also at the very least need to be removed or loosened in some way to access the wiring.

  11. #31
    Bone it like you own it FORD RECOVERY EXPERT's Avatar
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    My vanity light on the visor drained my tahoe for weeks, i was lost....

    Vato Zone can test alternator/battery/starter whilst they are on the car.....

  12. #32
    Senior Member ss~zoso~ss's Avatar
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    just an update, may have solved the problem

    simple yet seemingly unlikely solution

    seems like my 2nd optima red top battery shitted out. I put my old battery back in and the car has been starting after 3 days, and showing no drop in voltage.

    guy at pepboys said something about the winter being bad for the "gel" in the battery, so who knows. Maybe me leaving my battery in the car during winter storage has been killing it....

    thank you all for your help, definitely learned a lot during this "problem"

  13. #33
    Single Malt rbob93's Avatar
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    crosses fingers

  14. #34
    Senior Member ss~zoso~ss's Avatar
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    ^^^ Exactly

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    So are you saying that the battery was the problem??? Is the engine still starting?

    Would you respond if the problem is fixed?

  16. #36
    Senior Member ss~zoso~ss's Avatar
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    yes it seems the battery was the problem, which did not seem like a possibility due to its age (1 year old)

    but i ended up checking it and found that it was bad

  17. #37
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    I have similar issues with my 98 w/ LS1. I put a new battery in and was good for a few days, then it went dead (8.6Volts) overnight. I did the pulling fuses part and still had a draw (2.4V). Now, I'm going to disconnect the alternator cable to see if that stops the draw, but you know how much of a bitch that is to get at. Then the starter cable is the lst one to pull.

    There is no exterior devices connected, all interior bulbs are unlit, all electrical accessories work and function properly, power seat switch isn't dropping, I'm at wits end.

  18. #38
    Junior Member corvet786c's Avatar
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    Wow I was away from my car for 10 days and it started right up. It has 87,500 miles.

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