Ok...for those interested.....HRL.....you were right on the money. I didn't
leave the meter hooked up long enough. I checked with my neighbor again.
After about 20 seconds or so, the initial current of 1.2A settles down to
about 48mA or so. I started pulling fuses in my car and found that it drops
to about 450mA when I pull out the radio fuse, but not to about 48mA like my
neighbor's car. There's a lot of prgramming that must be done through the
radio to personalize settings for the convenience equipment (courtesy
lights, locks, etc) so is it possible that something else is waiting for a
signal from the radio before the current drops...and since the fuse for the
radio is now pulled, the radio can't give that signal?? Am I stretching it
at this point....or do I possibly have more than one problem?? No other
fuses pulled provides any other drop in current.
That is still too much current. I didn't expect the radio to make that kind
of change. You might be right that something in the program is causing the
extra current. Does that radio have the anti-theft protection (a flashing
LED when stopped)? However, I don't know how that could affect it.
Wonder if the alternator/regulator could be causing it. I would try pulling
the plug into the alternator and see if that might change the current. Do
you read about 14 volts at the battery when the engine is running? Fully
charged battery should read 12.6 after it has been sitting for a long time.
There is a fuse under the hood for the L/H Instrument panel which, when
pulled, results in the same current draw, 48mA like my neighbor's car.
Other than tearing open the L/H instrument panel to find it, at first
glance, the radio fuse has the biggest effect. I need to dig up some
diagrams somewhere for this car.
GM has published that any key off draw exceeding 50 milliamperes is
Do both cars have all doors closed and key off or out of ignition?
Did the car salesperson that sold you your car fail to mention you were
buying a unofficial test car?
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It looks like you just answered your question. 11.8 volts after running the
car is too low. It should be in the high 13 or low 14 volt range. Check the
voltage with the car running and it should be around 14.5 volts. Turn the
headlights on and it should stay around there. You have either a bad battery
or bad charging system. Take it to a shop and get it load tested. They can
tell you in a few minutes if they are bad....
I just went out and tried measuring the current on an '03 Chevy. When I
first hooked up the meter the current jumped up to about the 1.2 amperes.
After about 20 seconds or more it dropped down to below 80 ma.
If I had been real careful to get the meter hooked up before breaking the
connection to the battery it would have never gotten to above 1 ampere.
I bought an Olds that had a similar problem of running the batt. down over
night. The previous owner had 2 shops look at the car and they couldn't
find the problem. He put on a batt. disconnect to stop the run down over
night. The car ran fine which is why I bought it.
I got a factory shop manual off ebay to help with the trouble shooting.
While studying the problem I heard soft clicking from the engine after I
had started it and shut it off. The idle air controler was cycling on and
off. It wouldn't do it after the batt. had been disconnected and
reconnected, only after the engine was run and shut off with the batt.
connected. From the shop manual I found out the ECM controls the idle air
controler. I got an ECM from the junk yard for $30.00 and it has been
fine since. It was a bad ECM that made a ground for the idle air controler
when the key was off.
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