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Car Battery goes dead overnight - Nothing been left on

Davis1 Davis1
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 02/07
Posted: 02/20/07
11:38 AM

I have one for ya. I have a 95 Buick Reagle. The battery goes dead overnight only after I drive it. When I charge it up, and it sits the next day, the following morning it will start right up. It only drains the battery overnight after I drive it. Have any idea?  

citizenbennett citizenbennett
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 02/07
Posted: 02/23/07
07:30 PM

Heres one for you...I own a 92 Cadillac Fleetwood 4.9L Coupe. The car wouldn't start so I took it to my dealer and had them check the alternator, etc. After fully charging the battery they decided it was the starter, so I replaced it. A few days later it was dead again, so I used a jump box and after running the car for two hours I turned it off and tried to start it up again...NO LUCK. If it was a parasitic draw wouldn't it have started up after the 2 hour drive and taken a while to drain? Well they said my alternator was fine so I replaced the battery thinking it was a bad cell and it ran great for a week, then I left it sitting for two days and it's dead again. Back to the parasite theory, or could it be a bad alternator and a parasitic draw? Maybe just a short...GOD HELP ME! PS...I do have a Clifford alarm system which is supposed to use the least draw current of all alarms, but I also have a professionally installed 450watt amp connected to a couple of 12"'s and an Exad DVD deck  

Blueassessor Blueassessor
User | Posts: 53 | Joined: 12/06
Posted: 02/24/07
08:33 AM

I would start with a load test first and go to draw test. All your extra stuff your running might be a little too much for alt if your driving a couple of minutes here and there.  

A Titan A Titan
New User | Posts: 8 | Joined: 03/07
Posted: 03/25/07
05:03 AM

Yes, that cured it - it was faulty diodes on the alternator - could not have them replaced so had to get an exchange unit - by the way - I always leave my battery on trickle charge and my last one lasted for 16 years - then I got cold feet and changed it but it was still good and strong - 2 years later and I'm still using it as a workshop battery - still charge it daily - it is a 72 month one!!! Smile  

caridiot caridiot
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 05/07
Posted: 05/04/07
10:02 PM

ok.  I am having the same exact problem.  My battery was dead.  I charged it and all the lights came on but it wouldnt turn over when I tried to start it.  Then the next day the battery was dead.  I bought a new one, installed it and the car started for a second then died.  Now today the battery I just bought is dead again.   It seems to take a charge, but it's losing it.

Now I saw two things.  A parasitic draw and the alternator response.
How would I check for the draw?  I am not sure what to look for.

Appreciate any help possible...


83TPIcamaro 83TPIcamaro
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 05/07
Posted: 05/06/07
11:05 PM

I have installed 2 rebuilt Palladium alternators on my TPI Camaro, both with the same symptoms.  The wiring is checked as fine according to the wiring diagrams in both the Haynes and Chiltons manuals, and I have the correct readings on the red, brown, and black wires feeding the Field Voltage.  The alternator is confirmed at putting out 14Vs at idle, and the battery drops to roughly 12V with the car off.  The problem is the alternator has a steady low hum, like the sound of a flourescent light, at all times, even with the key off.  The only way to kill it is to unplug the field voltage plug entirely.  With the plug in, the battery drops .01 volt about every 10 seconds.  All loads in the car are verified as being off, and the voltage on the battery holds steady and doesn't drop anymore once the field voltage plug is removed.  Either I'm missing something in the diagrams, I've had two bad alternators in a row, or something is seriousely wrong elsewhere.  Any ideas?  

rainkingkc rainkingkc
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 05/07
Posted: 05/17/07
10:46 PM

Confused I have a '87 Bronco II that is having the same problem.  At first, when I got a voltage gauge, I tested out the volts on my battery without the engine running and I could see the volts slowly draining out of my battery by .01 per thirty seconds.  Then I unhooked my positive amp cable and the drain has slowed to about .01 per five minutes (with engine off, amp unhooked and doors completely closed).  My car has not started once correctly overnight without problems.  I replaced my battery and the issue has slightly improved.  When my engine is running, the battery's charge is between 12 - 12.3, but it still died this morning.  I trickle charged it tonight and got the volts up to 12.6 but after a short 15 minute drive home, my volts were down to 11.75 (and then 30 minutes later, not running, down to 11.68 (everything off after running).

If it's my alternator, fine.  Do most shops run a free quote diagnostic on your car to help determine the problem and if you want proceed further from there?  

medicjordan916 medicjordan916
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 05/07
Posted: 05/28/07
11:40 PM

I have a 1994 v6 camaro. It has been sitting for a few months. I tried to start it but the lights wouldnt even come on. So I bought a new battery and i turned the key and it showed on the volt gauge that it was were it was supposed to be. As soon as I turned the key it killed the battery. Does anyone know whats going on???  

Shag Shag
User | Posts: 136 | Joined: 04/07
Posted: 05/29/07
10:40 PM

To medicjordan916 - It killed the battery? As in the new battery no longer has a charge? Or the gauge dropped way down while in start and came back up when in run? If it dropped off and didn't come back you probably have a bad connection or cable if not a defective battery. If it came back up then the amp draw to turn the starter is exceeding the battery. This could be the cables or one of the four cable connections or the starter. A lot of the time tapping the starter with a hammer while someone turns the key will start the car. If your smart you won't even get run over. If you want to check for a bad cable or connection you can use a volt meter and check for voltage drop. Measure for voltage between the negative post and a good engine ground and between the positive post and starter battery terminal. Do this while engaging the starter because if a small strand of wire is still making contact it wont handle the large draw and will show the difference in voltage between the two terminals but will show good without a load.  

Balboa455 Balboa455
User | Posts: 69 | Joined: 05/07
Posted: 05/31/07
01:46 PM

Has no one thought maybe he should try a new battery first? Then go after the parasitic draw and possible alternator problems. In my experience, not as a teech but as an advisor, 75% of the time that a battery would expire "overnight" it was just a battery whose cells had gotten weak. It happens that way.  

Homunculus Homunculus
New User | Posts: 11 | Joined: 12/06
Posted: 06/04/07
03:24 AM

Did you find out what the problem was eventually? I would be intrested to find out what it was as a friend has a similar problem (not as severe though)  

87iroc 87iroc
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 06/07
Posted: 06/25/07
04:32 AM

any news on what your prob might be?  I seem to be going through the exact same symptoms as you are in an 87 TPI.  Hopefully we'll get to the bottom of this.


jgate-#002 jgate-#002
Guru | Posts: 953 | Joined: 06/07
Posted: 07/02/07
07:35 PM

3 days ago I replaced an alternator  because of the same reason, battery drain, every thing fine since , no battery drain,a bad diode in the alternator's regulator will send positive to ground and kill the battery overnight. Could of just replaced the regulator but the car is a 99 so why not a new alt?  

carver carver
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 12/07
Posted: 12/09/07
04:22 PM

I am having the same problem with my GMC pickup. If I don't start it every day or two the battery is completely dead.  I had heard the (rdo battery)fuse could be a culprit so I pulled it out monitoring the amperage in the battery circuit.  140mA with or without the fuse in. Pulled all the other fuses one at a time and still 140mA remains.  Not much current draw though, do you think it could just be a short in my battery? I wouldn't think 140mA would take a battery down too fast.  

zipposusa zipposusa
New User | Posts: 2 | Joined: 05/08
Posted: 05/25/08
10:19 AM

 First of all I am NOT questioning your ASE CERT., but in your posts you say that most cars shouldn't have anymore than 2-4 milliamps. Then is another one you say it shouldn't have anymore than .02-.06ma.  Which is it? As the .02 and .06 ma is 20 and 60 milliamps. I know difficult these drains can be I have done many of them. Second I have a 1993 chevrolet 3500 truck.  I thought maybe you have a thought or an experience on this one.  I have a 56ma draw or .056ma draw on my optima battery.  I hook up the neg. and I get sparks.  I placed the VM between the battery post and the Neg. Cable.  I am showing 56ma draw and my bettery goes dead in about 3 days.   I found one draw of 9ma. but the battery goes dead anyway even after charging for 24 hours and testing it. I found a 30ma draw on a single lead. I have found that the lead goes to the Heater control panel.  I then traced it to a 4 pin plug that comes off of that harness and goes across over to the driver side.  When that harness is unplugged it goes away.  When I plug it in, it comes back but when I disconnect the fuse for the HTR/AC it doesn't go away.  Now when I disconnect the harness it goes away again.  But now I take the harness plug that comes from the heater control plug and I ground 2 of the wires with a test light (to keep from burning things up, and not for the light just a resistive ground) the draw comes back.  I can't find where those 4 wire from that harness go to.  I can't find a wiring diagram either.  Any ideas of what that harness goes to or the draw.  Keep in mind I have removed the harness that is on the driver side that goes through the fire wall under the brake booster and master cyl. So nothing is plugged in that goes through there.  Let me know your thoughts.  

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