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Parasitic draw from hell removed fuses and alternator alread

This is a discussion on Parasitic draw from hell removed fuses and alternator alread within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; Problem: 3 years in row, a brand new battery (1 optima red top, 2 optima yellow tops) have died on ...

  1. #1
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    Parasitic draw from hell removed fuses and alternator alread

    Problem: 3 years in row, a brand new battery (1 optima red top, 2 optima yellow tops) have died on me. They don't just die, they completely DIE. You can charge them overnight and in the morning they will say 0% charged. So I disconnected the neg battery cable, took a multimeter and put it on the mA setting and connected between the negative battery terminal and negative battery cable and got a reading of 1.36mA.

    1) I am not sure if this 1.36 mA is a normal reading and if it is even something that could be causing the problem. I have read some places that state under 30mA there is nothing to worry about. Also, my multimeter only has a uA and mA setting so I'm not exactly sure if I need to test it another way. However, it shows 1.36mA or 13.6 uA.

    2) I pulled every fuse, even the ones under the hood. I then disconnected the alternator completely and it still shows 1.36mA. Nothing made it drop. No fuse, no alt removal.

    3) I do have an aftermarket stereo system, however even when i completely disconnect it from the battery and head unit and remove the remote wires on the rear amps, it still shows 1.36mA. I have bought all new head unit and amps since the 1st battery died, so it shouldn't be the stereo equipment itself going bad (although perhaps something I'm missing with the wiring of it?)

    4) I hear a whine through my car since the day I installed the sound system that changes as the car is rev'd up like the alternator or something. I also hear my turn signals blink through the speakers. I took the head unit and amps all apart. Re-wired it all, still no help. Tried shielded RCA's etc. Not too concerned with the sound just not curious if its connected to whatever is killing my batteries.

    5) lastly, I only drive this car in the summer. In the winter months, I start it religiously every 10 days and let it run for 22 minutes each time. Eventually each winter during 1 of those 10 days it reaches a point where the battery is just completely dead. won't even charge. 3 batteries now total in 3 years, same result on each.

    Any help or advice you can give me? And is 1.36mA a normal reading I should be getting? Thanks so much. Sorry for the long message. Truly appreciate any help you can give. -wade

  2. #2
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    From everything I've read, I don't believe those optima style batteries can be recharged once dead, It's imperative to keep those fully charged at all times. I'd definately be running a trickle charger on the car when it sits for long periods of time.
    And honestly I'd use a conventional style battery anyway, at least that can be recharged when low.

    As far as the draw, sounds like you've done everything I would have done looking for the source. I've always found it with the fuse trick. However I did have an issue with a Z06 vette I had where someone installed an aftermarket radio, amps, and boom speakers etc....much like you described. It would suck the battery dry quickly, within 1-2 days of sitting.
    I tried like you, removing stereo wires etc...trying to find what part of the system was drawing current. I got sick of it trying to find how someone had wired the stereo, there was shit everywhere some of which I couldn't even access unless I ripped most of the interior out. I said enough is enough.
    I found an OEM radio, spent 3-4 days ripping all that crap out and in the trash, reinstalled the factory radio. No more problems.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eb2phkingood View Post
    Problem: 3 years in row, a brand new battery (1 optima red top, 2 optima yellow tops) have died on me. They don't just die, they completely DIE. You can charge them overnight and in the morning they will say 0% charged. So I disconnected the neg battery cable, took a multimeter and put it on the mA setting and connected between the negative battery terminal and negative battery cable and got a reading of 1.36mA.

    1) I am not sure if this 1.36 mA is a normal reading and if it is even something that could be causing the problem. I have read some places that state under 30mA there is nothing to worry about. Also, my multimeter only has a uA and mA setting so I'm not exactly sure if I need to test it another way. However, it shows 1.36mA or 13.6 uA.

    2) I pulled every fuse, even the ones under the hood. I then disconnected the alternator completely and it still shows 1.36mA. Nothing made it drop. No fuse, no alt removal.

    3) I do have an aftermarket stereo system, however even when i completely disconnect it from the battery and head unit and remove the remote wires on the rear amps, it still shows 1.36mA. I have bought all new head unit and amps since the 1st battery died, so it shouldn't be the stereo equipment itself going bad (although perhaps something I'm missing with the wiring of it?)

    4) I hear a whine through my car since the day I installed the sound system that changes as the car is rev'd up like the alternator or something. I also hear my turn signals blink through the speakers. I took the head unit and amps all apart. Re-wired it all, still no help. Tried shielded RCA's etc. Not too concerned with the sound just not curious if its connected to whatever is killing my batteries.

    5) lastly, I only drive this car in the summer. In the winter months, I start it religiously every 10 days and let it run for 22 minutes each time. Eventually each winter during 1 of those 10 days it reaches a point where the battery is just completely dead. won't even charge. 3 batteries now total in 3 years, same result on each.

    Any help or advice you can give me? And is 1.36mA a normal reading I should be getting? Thanks so much. Sorry for the long message. Truly appreciate any help you can give. -wade
    I'm not going to be much help here but will point out a couple things......it's almost always something in the stereo equipment and the highlighted part sounds to me like a short somewhere. 1.36mA really isn't much draw at all. Are the batteries dying after it sits a while? What's the time frame it's taking to kill the batteries? Another thing.....when you get a battery that's drained completely dead sometimes you have to hit them with high amps for a little bit in order for them to start taking a charge again. I'll put my charger on the "start" setting for about 15 minutes before switching over to the lower amp setting. That'll usually get them to take the charge.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mean Green Z28 View Post
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    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    Does your system have an inline filter? That helps eliminate the "noise"

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    Something Diabolical... chuckie669's Avatar
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    Edited
    Last edited by chuckie669; 04-25-2015 at 06:01 AM.

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    Veteran 0rion's Avatar
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    just to clear up any optima confusion......

    Support - Battery Care - Charging | OPTIMABATTERIES

  7. #7
    Smiles for 9.5 Years cammed goat's Avatar
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    Have you tried leaving the battery disconnected to see if the draw stops? And I agree on the possible short. A bad ground somewhere? Possibly an exposed wire grounding to metal?

  8. #8
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Here's what I was talking about with optima batteries and their known difficulty to recharge when dead.

    How To Charge an AGM Battery - Hot Rod Magazine

    It's a pain in the butt to do it this way but it appears to get these AGM style batteries going again.

  9. #9
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    Did you pull fuses both under the hood and at the driver's side of the dash?

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