How do I find what's draining my battery?

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by squid, Mar 12, 2008.

  1. squid

    squid braap

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2007
    Messages:
    4,148
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    91403
    If I park my 03 Avalanche for a while the starter cranks slowly. If I drive it, shut it off, then start it, it cranks ok. I guess something is draining it. Nothing obvious--no lights, nothing running that I don't immediately see. How else can I figure out where the drain is?

    Assuming it's a drain somewhere...if you's have any other ideas let me know.
     
  2. IHAVECRABS

    IHAVECRABS Diversity is our strength. LOLOL

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    Messages:
    13,723
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Country state of mind, MD
    since its an 03...im going to assume you've had the same battery since you bought the vehicle, which would make the battery almost 6 years old.

    it might just be time for a new battery
     
  3. Kenny Powers

    Kenny Powers OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2005
    Messages:
    35,614
    Likes Received:
    3,594
    Location:
    TRUMP IS MY PRESIDENT
    Yup, the battery is probably on it's way out if it's more than a couple years old.
     
  4. Geezle

    Geezle Sweetness :love:

    Joined:
    May 22, 2002
    Messages:
    18,778
    Likes Received:
    0
    That's the same way my car was acting when the battery had a dead cell.

    A lot of auto-electric places will run a quick electrical test to tell you if it's your battery or something else causing the problem for free.
     
  5. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    19,712
    Likes Received:
    0
    My battery is ten years old and it's fine. Whether it lasts more than a couple of years depends largely on climate and on whether it's ever been drained completely dead before -- draining a wet-cell battery causes electrode material to flake off and settle at the bottom of the battery, which will cause the battery to drain faster in the future.

    Anyway, your best bet is to pull fuses one at a time and let the vehicle sit overnight each time, until the battery stops being weak in the morning, which indicates that the circuit you disconnected the night before is the one with the problem.
     
  6. squid

    squid braap

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2007
    Messages:
    4,148
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    91403
    I thought about it being a dead battery but a) it happened all of a sudden, not gradually, b) the thing actually does crank quickly after it's been driven, and c) when I checked it out, it appeared to be a replacement, it's not an AC Delco battery. A cheap as fuck replacement, but a replacement nonetheless.

    I'm going to go to Pep Boys and get it tested though. Thanks.
     
  7. Justintiime

    Justintiime OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2005
    Messages:
    3,768
    Likes Received:
    66
    Location:
    Roanoke, VA
    Do you like to make things complicated? :rofl:


    OP, go to autozone and have them check your battery. Prob time for a new one.
     
  8. popsnbeer

    popsnbeer New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2006
    Messages:
    2,314
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Arizona
    .
     
  9. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    19,712
    Likes Received:
    0
    I addressed the possibility of a dead/old battery. The second part was about tracing down a leak, which is much easier to do before he replaces the battery, because he'll actually be able to notice when the battery stops getting drained.

    Fine, I'll make it simple. Disconnect the battery terminals overnight, and if it still chugs when you start it in the morning, the battery is shot. Otherwise, you have a current leak.
     
  10. squid

    squid braap

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2007
    Messages:
    4,148
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    91403
    new battery, all is well. 800 mha Bosch from Pep Boys. Swapped it out in the rain like a good Darwin candidate.
     
  11. bbo

    bbo New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    what would rain have to do with it? now if it was and AC battery (lol) ....

    did pep boys test out the old battery for you?
     
  12. Justintiime

    Justintiime OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2005
    Messages:
    3,768
    Likes Received:
    66
    Location:
    Roanoke, VA
  13. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    19,712
    Likes Received:
    0
    Booyah nothin'. I never said it wasn't an old battery. I explained how he could trace down a current leak -- which is to say, I was the only person in this thread who actually answered his question.

    Of course a new battery works well. We'll see if it's shot to hell again in six months, though, won't we?
     
  14. squid

    squid braap

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2007
    Messages:
    4,148
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    91403
    It was a cheap as fuck 650cca no-name battery in there, it probably just went bad fast.
     
  15. aim2kill

    aim2kill New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    Messages:
    631
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    deployed.
    i agree with deus, one of my older 4x4s which i used only for having fun on the weekends and doing. i had a current leak from a wire that had some rubbed insolation. if you are having a current drain leak, a new battery is only a temp fix. pepboys and autozone cannot diagnose a problem like that and you would pay a mechanic a retarded amount to find it.

    fuses is actually a good idea, and if not then start thinking about electrical items that are "always hot" such as radio (typically only aftermarket, if its wired as such, check your subs if you didnt wire them, some people wire em hot like dumbasses) and things like cigarette lighters.
     
  16. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    19,712
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thinking about it, I've never had a battery with more than 400ccA when new, and I think I replaced the battery in my old car once, and never in my current car.

    So something is still fucked up with your electrical system.
     
  17. squid

    squid braap

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2007
    Messages:
    4,148
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    91403
    There is no aftermarket electrical equipment on it

    I guess I'll put the old battery in there, charge it up, then yank the cable and see if it still chugs
     
  18. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    19,712
    Likes Received:
    0
    Does your truck have a voltmeter on the dash? Are you sure the alternator is putting out 14V like it's supposed to?
     
  19. squid

    squid braap

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2007
    Messages:
    4,148
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    91403
    yes and it is
     
  20. onefastGTI

    onefastGTI what?

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2001
    Messages:
    388
    Likes Received:
    1
    Did the '03's still have that under hood light that likes to stay on after the hood is closed?
     
  21. squid

    squid braap

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2007
    Messages:
    4,148
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    91403
    I don't have a light.

    I put the old battery in, charged it up, disconnected it, let it sit for a while, then tried to start it. It chuged. Battery is toast.

    I do think 2 new batteries (even a garbage one) in 5 years is a bit weird, but who knows what the previous owner did to the thing.
     

Share This Page