Battery draining, Ghost cranking with no key

Asked by Nov 10, 2016 at 09:22 AM about the 2004 Chevrolet Tahoe Base 4WD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

My wife's '04 Tahoe Z-71 has been slow to crank,
like the battery is low.  Other times it cranks fine.  
Yesterday it wouldn't start, only clicking noise. I
brought wife to work and came back about 6 hours
later to look at it.  When I pulled up, I noticed the tail
lights and head lights come on then go off.  It was
in the garage, no key in ignition, in park, on off
position, trying to crank.  Lights would come on,
engine would make clicking noise, then lights go
off. It repeated that every few seconds.  I stuck key
in ad tried to start it, only clicks. After I pulled key
out, it didn't "ghost crank" any more.
Battery is good, had it checked.
I'm at a loss here, any advice??

2 Answers

228,115

Check the battery voltage yourself using a multi meter, should be 12.3V or have your local auto part store test it. Low battery voltage/amperage does strange things on vehicles. If that checks out, I suspect some corrosion on the battery terminals or a wiring problem with the ignition lock cylinder or switch. Have a local garage diagnose it for you.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

The battery was really low when it was having the self cranking issue. With a full charge, it hasn't done it again. I checked by putting my meter in line on the negative terminal and there's a parasitic draw of 3.16 amps with everything off. Guess it's time to start pulling fuses. I've never heard of a low battery causing a truck to act so crazy, but your right. Thanks, hopefully it's a fuse with a simple fix.

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