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Battery being drained Again!


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The battery is being drained even though the car is turned off.

I had this problem before and while I had a lot of help diagnosing the problem, it stopped before I could find the problem. The title of the thread was "Battery being Drained" and it was dated June 10, 2006. I tried to link to it but I am not that savy with this stuff.

In any case, the problem is back with a vengence. A fully charged battery can be discharged overnight. I left the car for the weekend and went to start it today and when I tried to boost it, it nearly melted my booster cables. Even with that much current, the car wouldn't start. The lights wouldn't even come on. Now I am stumped.

Any idea where I should start looking?

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Probably the easiest way to get started is to disconnect your Batt neg terminal and place an amp meter in series. Don't try to start the car in this configuration. If you are killing a fully charged battery overnight you should see 100 ma and up on the meter. Then start pulling fuses one by one untill you find the system causing the problem. That will at least get you close to the issue. Once the system is identified, you can start disconnecting componants from the system but be careful to disconnect power to the car before disconnecting stuff as some computer systems do not like to have there componants disconnected hot!!!!

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I would start by approaching the car in total darkness and looking for a glimmer of light. There are a *lot* of fuses in a Cadillac.

CTS-V_LateralGs_6-2018_tiny.jpg
-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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As noted above, look the car over carefully in the dark.

My mother called me a couple of times about a dead battery. I was confident the battery was good, I finally found the problem.

When she was getting out of the car, she sometimes managed to turn on the interior light when her hand accidently pressed on the switch, near the grip above the door. As she almost always drove in the daylight hours, she never noticed the light being turned on. On a couple of other occasions she managed to turn the lights on by rotating the headlight switch too far, and accidentally turning the interior lights on during the day. Again she did not notice as when she turned the car off, it was nice and sunny.

To run the battery down over night, points to a pretty good drain. At least a light left on, it should be easy to determine if that is the cause. Don't forget the light under the hood, in the glove box, and in the trunk.

Another problem may be a good battery, getting poor recharging. The battery may start the car fine in fully charged condition, but if the alternator is not putting out the proper voltage and amps, it will not only not recharge, driving the car will continue to discharge the battery. This often is not noticed, until you turn off the car, and cannot restart due to a low battery condition.

Do not overlook the battery cables. Often they look fine, but if there is a small amount of corrosion between the positive battery cables connection at the battery, that will create a poor connection for starting, as well as a poor connection for the alternator to resupply the battery with electrical power. Remove and clean to bright metal ALL battery cables and clean ALL of the ends. Be sure to also clean the battery terminals to bright metal condition, and be sure to clean, or replace, the battery terminal bolts.

Review any error codes and post here, there may be some information that could help.

What is the charging rate at idle with a well charged battery at idle? (over a couple of minutes)

What is the charging rate at idle with a well charged battery at 2500 RPM? (over a couple of minutes)

Be persistent, something will reveal itself.

-George

Drive'em like you own 'em. - ....................04 DTS............................

DTS_Signature.jpg

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When you're trying to start a car that has a fully discharged battery, first make sure that the battery cables are good, clean, and tight against both the battery terminals and the ground, and the starter and the engine. Then, follow this procedure to get the car going while protecting the electronics on both cars and without putting 1,000 amps on the jumper cables:

  1. With both engines dead and the keys OFF, connect the jumper cables between the cars, hot cable first (red-to-red first, then black-to-black).
  2. Start the car with the fully-charged battery.
  3. Run the engine at fast idle for several minutes to put a decent charge on the drained battery and top off the good battery. Use a watch or clock and make it at least 5 or 10 minutes; this will put just a couple of ampere-hours on the drained battery but enough to start the car, with the fully-charged battery helping out.
  4. Turn off the key on the car with the fully-charged battery (to protect its alternator and electronics) and start the car with the drained battery. If the battery still won't do anything and you are still putting 1,000 amps through the jumper cables, it is dead and must be replaced.
  5. Disconnect the battery cables, ground (black) cable first. Drive the car that has the drained battery, being careful not to stop while idling at a light -- particularly with the headlights or A/C on -- which can kill the battery, and the car, leaving you dead in the road. Drive in the daytime if possible and turn off the A/C. Throw the car in neutral when you slow for a stop and keep the idle speed high enough to keep charging the battery.
Remember that it will take several hours of driving to fully charge a drained battery. A trickle charger in the garage is a good thing to have for situations like this. If you leave a car sitting for long periods (my owner's manual says to disconnect the battery if you don't plan to drive the car within the next two weeks), you can get "battery maintenance" chargers that will keep it ready to go without overcharging. I keep one on my motorcycle all the time; it's great to start it right up in the spring without dealing with a dead battery.

CTS-V_LateralGs_6-2018_tiny.jpg
-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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I have replaced two "new" batteries this month when they would not hold a charge overnight. One Interstate and one diehard. The fellow advising the ammeter in series is good for this check. Be careful and do not blow yourself up with sparks. I have also had to replace stuff when battery cables melted to exhausts.

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Thanks for the suggestions. I got the car running by putting in a different battery. This allowed me to get to my garage to start the diagnosis.

I started with the amp meter test. I think I am zeroing in on the problem. The the car at rest (ie. at least 10 minutes without touching it) there is a draw of 1.79 amps. This should draw the battery down pretty quick! When I removed the radio/phone fuse in the trunk, the drain settled down to 0.02 amps. None of the other fuses seemed to make a difference, so I guess I have to start looking at this circuit. It includes the radio reciever, radio interface module, DAB Relay????, trunk release relay, fuel door release relay and high beam relay.

I will let you know how it goes and am always open for suggestions.

Thanks again,

Phillip

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You're welcome. Look for any aftermarket electronics that someone has added. Add on phones, alarms, remote starts fail regularly. The GM stuff is actually pretty good in comparison. At least you are getting closer. You may want to disconnect your batt when not in use as fully discharging and recharging an automotive battery will shorten its life.

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My '97 had an issue once with the brake light switch. They would just "come-on" by themselves in the middle of the night sometimes :)

Turned out the switch on the pedal was bad. It was easy to notice as the back of the car faced the house and I saw them glowing one night!

Might be worth a look....

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Well the saga continues. I spent some time diagnosing the car tonight. I checked the codes and all except 2 can be explained by the disconnect of the battery. I also got an IR2255 and RS0038. I cleared all the codes and only the RS0038 returned. I have had this for a while and have not had a chance to fix it, so I don't think it is relevant.

While I was checking the codes, I went in to the PZM inputs, outputs and overrides. This stuff is amazing. I doubt it makes much of a difference, but is was certainly interesting controlling so many of the cars functions through the computer diagnostic system.

What I did find, was continued erratic behaviour. The draw on the batter varies from 2.0 A to 0.26 A. It seems to me that the car just will not shut down. As I understand, it is the responsibility of the PZM (body control module) to shut the different systems off. If this is true, it must the the PZM that is causing the problem.

Does this make sense? Is there some conclusive test I can perform with just meter and basic diagnostic tools?

Phillip

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P0038 Heated Oxygen Sensor (HO2S) Heater Circuit High Voltage Bank 1 Sensor 2

B0038 AUX switch open/shorted to battery (an air bag code)

S038 Electronic Level Control Exhaust Valve Short to Ground/Open

P038 (E038) Open MAT Sensor Signal

I don't have any codes numbered 2255. That doesn't mean that you made an error, but please check and see that this is correct.

The module itself won't cause this, so far as I know. My best guess is that you have a problem with the compressor wiring on the automatic level control. Check the plug and wiring on the compressor.

Have you checked the sun visors? They have a lighted mirror, with a dimmer, and if they aren't closed completely they can stay lit and you won't see it.

CTS-V_LateralGs_6-2018_tiny.jpg
-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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The RS0038 code is the Electronic Level Control Exhaust Valve Short to Ground/Open. I thought that this might be the problem, however removing the fuse for this circuit did not solve the problem. The IR2255 code relates to the audio system. The information is sketchy on this one but since it was in history and did not return when I cleared it I don't really know where to go with it.

I think I mentioned earlier the radio/phone fuse is the only one that affected the current and the drain virtually disappeared without this fuse. This circuit controls a number of items but of most interest is the high beam relay. Hmmm.

Anyway, the reason I suspect the PZM is that I thought it would shut down any items that are left on. This is clearly not happening. Further, while monitoring the drain, relays will sometimes click all by themselves and the load will change. I suspect the PZM may be sending signals to these relays without being asked to.

I will keep looking. Thanks for the tips.

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I read about an amp issue in another thread that could be causing your problem. I can't find it right now, but do you have a stock radio or aftermarket? I seem to recall someone saying that they got an aftermarket radio and needed to disconnect the amp in the trunk, otherwise it would continue to drain the battery. Good luck!

Jeff

The RS0038 code is the Electronic Level Control Exhaust Valve Short to Ground/Open. I thought that this might be the problem, however removing the fuse for this circuit did not solve the problem. The IR2255 code relates to the audio system. The information is sketchy on this one but since it was in history and did not return when I cleared it I don't really know where to go with it.

I think I mentioned earlier the radio/phone fuse is the only one that affected the current and the drain virtually disappeared without this fuse. This circuit controls a number of items but of most interest is the high beam relay. Hmmm.

Anyway, the reason I suspect the PZM is that I thought it would shut down any items that are left on. This is clearly not happening. Further, while monitoring the drain, relays will sometimes click all by themselves and the load will change. I suspect the PZM may be sending signals to these relays without being asked to.

I will keep looking. Thanks for the tips.

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  • 5 years later...

The battery is being drained even though the car is turned off.

I had this problem before and while I had a lot of help diagnosing the problem, it stopped before I could find the problem. The title of the thread was "Battery being Drained" and it was dated June 10, 2006. I tried to link to it but I am not that savy with this stuff.

In any case, the problem is back with a vengence. A fully charged battery can be discharged overnight. I left the car for the weekend and went to start it today and when I tried to boost it, it nearly melted my booster cables. Even with that much current, the car wouldn't start. The lights wouldn't even come on. Now I am stumped.

Any idea where I should start looking?

The same thing happened to me and it was the radio. With the car off, the driver's door opened, the radio display would shut off; however, it would still be playing. You couldn't hear it via the speakers but if you opened the trunk and listened very closely you could hear it playing. There was some sort of an issue within the computer that didn't allow it to completely shut off. Battery would drain over night. The only fix was to buy another radio. $400 plus bucks later that issue is fix.....for now.....until another "electrical" issue arises. Cadillac has gone to hell in a hand basket. Everyone that I know that has a Cadillac in recent years has had some sort of "electrical" problem. Heated windshield wiper fluid over heating and causing a fire, headlamps flickering on and off up to simply going out, interior lights coming on for no reason and not going off....the list goes on and on and Cadillac doesn't care. I'm switching to Lincoln after this (my third Cadillac).

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The battery is being drained even though the car is turned off.

I had this problem before and while I had a lot of help diagnosing the problem, it stopped before I could find the problem. The title of the thread was "Battery being Drained" and it was dated June 10, 2006. I tried to link to it but I am not that savy with this stuff.

In any case, the problem is back with a vengence. A fully charged battery can be discharged overnight. I left the car for the weekend and went to start it today and when I tried to boost it, it nearly melted my booster cables. Even with that much current, the car wouldn't start. The lights wouldn't even come on. Now I am stumped.

Any idea where I should start looking?

The same thing happened to me and it was the radio. With the car off, the driver's door opened, the radio display would shut off; however, it would still be playing. You couldn't hear it via the speakers but if you opened the trunk and listened very closely you could hear it playing. There was some sort of an issue within the computer that didn't allow it to completely shut off. Battery would drain over night. The only fix was to buy another radio. $400 plus bucks later that issue is fix.....for now.....until another "electrical" issue arises. Cadillac has gone to hell in a hand basket. Everyone that I know that has a Cadillac in recent years has had some sort of "electrical" problem. Heated windshield wiper fluid over heating and causing a fire, headlamps flickering on and off up to simply going out, interior lights coming on for no reason and not going off....the list goes on and on and Cadillac doesn't care. I'm switching to Lincoln after this (my third Cadillac).

Good luck with your Lincoln...

You may want to join a few Lincoln forums and do some serious reading before getting one, but that's up to you.

I just traded my 2006 DTS Performance with 140,000 miles on it for a 2011 DTS Platinum.

I bought the 2006 DTS new and it was pretty much trouble free for 8 years and 140,000 miles.

I never had a radio problem,.

I had heated windshield washer fluid and used it a lot... never a problem.

I never had a flickering light problem.

I never had the interior light come on and not go out.

Maybe if the "Everyone I know that owned a Cadillac" would occasionally take them in and have the latest GM updates applied to all the computers and have various TSB's performed, they wouldn't be having all the problems.

That's what I did with mine....

IT IS CALLED MAINTENANCE....

Do it and you will have lots less trouble.

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Everyone that I know that has a Cadillac in recent years has had some sort of "electrical" problem. Heated windshield wiper fluid over heating and causing a fire, headlamps flickering on and off up to simply going out, interior lights coming on for no reason and not going off....the list goes on and on and Cadillac doesn't care. I'm switching to Lincoln after this (my third Cadillac).

How many people do you know who have Cadillacs? Just trying to get an idea of the sample size.

Kevin
'93 Fleetwood Brougham
'05 Deville
'04 Deville
2013 Silverado Z71

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  • 10 months later...

Hello everyone.

I know this is an old post and I am sorry to bring it back up but I recently had success resolving this issue with a 2003 Cadillac CTS I bought.

I didn't have this problem the first week I owned the CTS. Then all of a sudden it started.

I will cut to the chase. The issue draining the battery ended up being the easy exit power seat and not the Radio.

Apparently the seat moves back to the exit position that you set but never fully closes the relay.

Instead of ripping into it and trying to pull fuses etc I thought, what have I done to the car since I bought it?

I had removed the cellular antenna, replaced the spark plugs and coil packs, set the personalized settings in the radio.

So I first looked at the antenna, made sure the wasn't any current or power going through the cable,

Then I disconnected the negative cable on the battery and tested the current draw. It was drawing 2.4 Amps!

I pulled the radio fuse (10A) from the drivers side back floor. The current draw went down slightly to 2.15 Amps.

Then I thought about the personal settings and the easy exit seat. The fuse (also a 10A) was in the same block. Seat Mem or something like that.

So I pulled it. Current draw went to 0.02 Amps!!!!) Put the cable back on the battery....So I went in the settings. Turned off the easy exit seat, put the fuses back in (Radio and Seat Mem)

Started it up. Set my number 1 seat position. Left the exit button alone.

Turned the car off. Got out. Closed the doors. Waited for lights to go out. Disconnected neg battery cable. Checked current..... 0.03 Amps!!!!! My battery has been draining just like everyone else's has over night.

I will check in the morning but I am confident this was the problem based on the meter readings.

Little info on the CTS. Got it for $1500! It has 165K on the clock. Nice Car! Plenty of options.

Hope this helps others chasing this problem.

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  • 5 years later...
On 10/17/2008 at 2:58 PM, Phillip said:

The RS0038 code is the Electronic Level Control Exhaust Valve Short to Ground/Open. I thought that this might be the problem, however removing the fuse for this circuit did not solve the problem. The IR2255 code relates to the audio system. The information is sketchy on this one but since it was in history and did not return when I cleared it I don't really know where to go with it.

I think I mentioned earlier the radio/phone fuse is the only one that affected the current and the drain virtually disappeared without this fuse. This circuit controls a number of items but of most interest is the high beam relay. Hmmm.

Anyway, the reason I suspect the PZM is that I thought it would shut down any items that are left on. This is clearly not happening. Further, while monitoring the drain, relays will sometimes click all by themselves and the load will change. I suspect the PZM may be sending signals to these relays without being asked to.

I will keep looking. Thanks for the tips.

On 10/13/2008 at 9:11 AM, Phillip said:

The battery is being drained even though the car is turned off.

I had this problem before and while I had a lot of help diagnosing the problem, it stopped before I could find the problem. The title of the thread was "Battery being Drained" and it was dated June 10, 2006. I tried to link to it but I am not that savy with this stuff.

In any case, the problem is back with a vengence. A fully charged battery can be discharged overnight. I left the car for the weekend and went to start it today and when I tried to boost it, it nearly melted my booster cables. Even with that much current, the car wouldn't start. The lights wouldn't even come on. Now I am stumped.

Any idea where I should start looking?

 

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