Why do I have a dead battery?

Ed Cobia
10

Asked by Ed Nov 10, 2011 at 08:26 PM about the 2004 Saturn ION 1

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

About once a week I have a dead battery. I charge and load test the battery with a Blue Point digital load tester and the battery is putting out 105% of it's rated capacity. I have replaced the battery twice in 6 months. I disconnected the negative battery cable from the battery and put a multi meter in series. It is drawing about 5.5 miliamps of current after it goes to sleep. What is killing my battery? I also pulled the fuse out of the stereo circuit to see if the stereo memory is draining my battery. I still have the same problem with the fuse out.

4 Answers

Bryan Brumfield
25

good start for diagnosis. there could be a possible faulty module/connection that is waking up the vehicle after it goes to sleep. another thing to look at is the output of the alternator.typical system voltage while the vehicle is running and with accessories running is somewhere near 14V with a lot of loads and it running i'd tend to say 13.5v should be minimum

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
Ed Cobia
10

Thanks for your help. I have done the alternater test. Battery is putting out 12.9 volts with motor off. I then start motor turn on all accessories and it puts out 14.1 volts. I do not think it is the alternator. All the symptoms point to a bad battery. I know for a fact that it is not the battery because I even pulled the battery out of the car and sat it on my work bench for 2 weeks and the load tested the battery again and it passes with flying colors. I do however believe that the computer maybe waking up. It always tends to happen when its cold out. I have read some forums pointing to a relay in the steering colume and also the ignition switch. The car doesn't have alot of value so I don't want to play the guessing game by replaceing parts. Times are hard and I have a son in college so I need to figure out the problem before I start being a certified parts replacer. I am a certified boat mechanic (Mercruiser) so I have some basic knowledge how things work but this one is tough. Do you have any more help?

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Verne Janke
55

may have to start pulling fuses one at a time to locate draw- light on in the visor, glove box, trunk, underhood,

Frosted Blood
20

Same thing happened in my car... easy fix if you have this problem... I thought i threw a belt or that a demon possessed the alternator. Unfortunately my ecu puts the car in safe mode and turns off electronics(including power steering, Thanks GM.) when there is an electrical problem. After running/testing/tracing every wire and fuse in my car I solved the problem with an extended positive terminal bolt for my battery. Keep in mind when diagnosing electrical issues - it all starts at the battery. ;) if your terminal/post can wiggle AT ALL, there is a bad connection. I found that my stock terminal bolt just didn't screw into my side post battery far enough-fixed with a longer bolt. if the positive connection is intermittent or stifled while the negative is grounded, not only is it COMPLETELY UNSAFE and an accident waiting to happen - but it will drain your battery.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

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