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Seriously pulling my hair out. Dead battery


rockfangd

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Hi all. 

MY 97 Seville has been killing me since June.

Toward end of June went to start the car one day, Stone dead...

I replaced the battery and the negative battery cable. Great, so I thought.

Next day Stone dead again...

Had a long haul trip the following day so I scrambled and swapped the old charged battery back in just in case I had a defective battery.

Drove 6 hours to my destination. Flawless.

Went out next morning. Dead. Grr. Had to remove battery due to no access to electricity. Recharged battery. Was fine for rest of week.

Same issues intermittently, fast forwarded to last week.

Monday. Was dead. Charged battery.

tues, wed, thurs. Drove without issue. 

Friday stone dead. Grr. (hair starts to come out)

Sunday I replaced the battery. Fully charged and tested. I replaced the terminal bolts, spacer. reinspected terminals. Car started right up.

This morning Car was nearly dead. I was very ticked. Had to unload car for the however many times it has done this to me. Was late for work again.

I left on charger all day. Tonight I got home, First thing I did was look the car over.
No lights on, system was asleep, felt alternator (was cool), Blower motor was not running. Car started fine.

I can assure terminals are clean and tight, Car is nearly 100% bone stock. Nothing aftermarket is installed. 

Problem is intermittent, whatever the cause is is not showing itself. I put about 60 miles a day when driven so there is no issue of not running long enough to charge battery.

I will find out if it starts tomorrow morning. Felt I had to vent. Bears mentioning that I still hate GM side terminals. I have said that so many times over the years, If I wasn't so darn picky with being original I would convert them.

In all the years I have had this car this is the most trouble it has ever given me. Anyone that read this far Bless you. Happy Monday

 

GM FAN FOREVER

Nice, clean, luxury= fine automobile

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Based on the same behavior with different batteries, I suspect you have a power drain or short somewhere.

My suspect list is a seat heater (if equipped), a electric seat trying to but unable to move to a rest position (so constantly stays engaged) or a frayed wire in the trunk hinge to the rear lights.  

What you are looking for is something that still has power after the car is off and retained power is off.

Bruce

2016 Cadillac ATS-V gray/black

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Before you open a door, roll down the window, and verify opening a door shuts off the circuit. Next step will be to leave the dome light on, and verify that after 15 minutes, the RAP (retained accessory power?) turns off the circuit.  If the car has the obsolete onstar module in the trunk near the antenna, disconnect it.

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13 minutes ago, Bruce Nunnally said:

Based on the same behavior with different batteries, I suspect you have a power drain or short somewhere.

My suspect list is a seat heater (if equipped), a electric seat trying to but unable to move to a rest position (so constantly stays engaged) or a frayed wire in the trunk hinge to the rear lights.  

What you are looking for is something that still has power after the car is off and retained power is off.

I will recheck everything tomorrow. Seat heaters work fine. I shut them off when I park. When sitting inside the car it goes to sleep after about a minute. It is silent. You could hear a pin drop.

The last part is where I think of the main blower motor. That happened on my 96. I came out one day and the blower motor had gone bad and was running. Battery was nearly dead. I have never heard this one though.

6 minutes ago, barczy01 said:

I will send you some info tomorrow to start a parasitic draw test . This is what happens with these older cars over time 15 plus years . 

Ok thank you.

I am no stranger to older cars. I can expect parasitic draw, even to be after a week or so, but not overnight.

I don't get enough free time lol so I will have to wait for the weekend. I have done this test before but not one a Caddy with the modules and etc...

Not sure if 1.5 amps is acceptable or low for one of these.  Just throwing that as a number out there

GM FAN FOREVER

Nice, clean, luxury= fine automobile

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1 minute ago, winterset said:

Before you open a door, roll down the window, and verify opening a door shuts off the circuit. Next step will be to leave the dome light on, and verify that after 15 minutes, the RAP (retained accessory power?) turns off the circuit.  If the car has the obsolete onstar module in the trunk near the antenna, disconnect it.

There is a funny thing about that. I did Disconnect the phone in the console early in July. It was wasting space so I put it in storage.

I am pretty sure it must have the OnStar in the trunk as well. 

I have thought about this as cause but it should be consistent rather than intermittent. 

Thank you.

I did both tests with the RAP, and the timeout tonight and both were fine. After 1 minute of timeout the system goes to sleep

GM FAN FOREVER

Nice, clean, luxury= fine automobile

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Hi all. Not great today. 

After charging battery all day yesterday, I started it this morning. Started good.

Went to work, on my lunch I decided to stop to grab a bite to eat, got stranded. It did crank a little slow when I left for lunch, but after lunch it was too dead to crank.

I sat in the car while I waited for someone to bring a jump pack and in the meantime I checked every bulb, noise, seat motor, RAP, The only thing I didn't touch was the moonroof, I never use that. I am not a fan of them.

I have decided not to drive it anymore til I can get to the bottom of it.

I am going to keep a trickle tender on it until I can find time to look into it.

I will try the seat fuse, and will unplug the useless OnStar unit in the trunk.

Thanks all

GM FAN FOREVER

Nice, clean, luxury= fine automobile

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@rockfangd 

watch this video on voltage drop, this is where I would start.  

 

 

 

Pre-1995 - DTC codes OBD1  >>

1996 and newer - DTC codes OBD2 >> https://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/gm/obd_codes.htm

How to check for codes Caddyinfo How To Technical Archive >> http://www.caddyinfo.com/wordpress/cadillac-how-to-faq/

Cadillac History & Specifications Year by Year  http://www.motorera.com/cadillac/index.htm

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23 hours ago, Bruce Nunnally said:

for it to drain that fast seems like a large load

I completely agree. 

I felt around for something obviously warm, making a noise, something...

Honestly my first guess was the alternator, but I need to find out more. 

GM FAN FOREVER

Nice, clean, luxury= fine automobile

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I had this same issue with my 94 Buick century rat.  One time it was the antenna not cycling all the way and the relay

staying on killing bat. overnite.  Cure was to disconnect at relay on pas. side bulkhead. 

Made sure the ant. was up cuz it went dead after res. disconnect.

Another was the brake to shift interlock failed and killed the bat. 

Cure for that (cuz i dont drive it anymore) was to pull the acc. fuse.

FSM said the BTSI relay was on the steering column.  There are 3 of them.

Pulling them didnt help so i said F it and went out and took my new Caddy for a ride!

 

Edited by sonjaab

93 DeVille-13 Chevy Impala

72 GTO - 77 Triumph Bonneville

84 Z-28

Syracuse NY

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So car was not completely dead today, but did not have enough to start. It has been sitting since Wednesday night.

Today I unplugged 2 modules in the trunk, 1 must be the ONStar module, and the other must be the Phone module. I felt the antenna while I was there and no noise or warmth.

I will have to see if it makes any change. 

Will have to do the test for draw

GM FAN FOREVER

Nice, clean, luxury= fine automobile

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Hmm, i wonder if disconnecting the phone caused this?, you removed the phone from the console right?

Pre-1995 - DTC codes OBD1  >>

1996 and newer - DTC codes OBD2 >> https://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/gm/obd_codes.htm

How to check for codes Caddyinfo How To Technical Archive >> http://www.caddyinfo.com/wordpress/cadillac-how-to-faq/

Cadillac History & Specifications Year by Year  http://www.motorera.com/cadillac/index.htm

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I am wondering as well.

I guess I will find out. Car is on charge now. Will take off tonight and see if it starts monday

GM FAN FOREVER

Nice, clean, luxury= fine automobile

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Well some hopeful news.

Car sat a whole week off charge. Started right up tonight with no resistance.

I am going to try to drive it Tuesday- Friday and keep my fingers crossed.

If issue is gone I am thinking it was either the OnStar unit or the Phone receiver in the trunk. As longas it does not interfere with the power antenna or radio it is ok with me to leave them unplugged

GM FAN FOREVER

Nice, clean, luxury= fine automobile

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I am kind of excited. I fired it up tonight when I got home and although I do not have my hopes up yet it seems like it starts right up (better than it would have before after sitting for a week)

GM FAN FOREVER

Nice, clean, luxury= fine automobile

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 8/26/2019 at 11:05 PM, winterset said:

Before you open a door, roll down the window, and verify opening a door shuts off the circuit. Next step will be to leave the dome light on, and verify that after 15 minutes, the RAP (retained accessory power?) turns off the circuit.  If the car has the obsolete onstar module in the trunk near the antenna, disconnect it.

Just wanted to Thank you for the useful info.

Car has been flawless ever since I unplugged them. Have had no problems, parked or driving.

GM FAN FOREVER

Nice, clean, luxury= fine automobile

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