Mystery Battery Drain
courtesy of Bob, The Auto Answer Man
I have a Chevy with a big problem. Batteries go dead when the ignition is off. We have put three new batteries in over the last 6 months. Some said they were too small. The last one I put in was what the book called for. It is 1000amp / 800 cold cranking. I have checked for drainage with my voltmeter at several stages and don't see any drain. My son-in-law who was a mechanic for 30 years helped me check all the circuits at the fuse box and found no problem.
I took it to an Auto Electrical Specialty Shop. They charged me and said nothing is wrong. "Bring it in when the problem exists." That's a laugh How do I bring it in dead! When I go away for a couple of days I unhook the battery cable. I am at a loss. I feel it may be an intermittent short, but, don't know what to do next. It is a Caprice Classic with the a V8 and automatic
Here are a few things to try. One, remove the negative cable from the terminal and put a test light between the cable and the battery post. If the light glows, there is a drain. To find what circuit is causing the drain, remove one fuse at a time until the light goes away. Then, install them one at a time. When the light glows there is a drain, when the light is off, the bad circuit was removed. You may not get the light to turn off. In that case, it means that there is a drain in some other circuit that does not run through the fuse panel. First place I would look at is the starter. Starters have been known to short out at the solenoid and cause a constant drain to ground.
Bob, The Auto Answer Man
Debt is preventing me from taking a vacation this year or the vacation I'd like to take this year! Tell us: Yes, debt is affecting my vacation plans! or No, we're going exactly where we want to go but we'd love to learn make our trip as inexpensive as possible!
Have a car care question? Visit our automotive center and see if we've already answered it or a similar question.
More Money-Saving Tips for Your Home
- Should I use a HELOC for home remodeling and repairs
- Find the best mortgage rates in your area
- 3 ways to use a mortgage calculator
- Mortgage calculator: Calculate your payment and more
- Home equity calculator: HELOC vs. line of credit
- How much can additional payments save me on my mortgage?
- Who offers the most home insurance discounts?