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GM-GMC/battery keeps getting drained

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Glen wrote at 2007-03-26 15:25:38
I had the same problem with my 1999 Sierra 3500 pickup [battery draining]. Some times it would drain very quickly (over night) and sometimes over a week or so.



I put an ammeter between the battery and the battery cable.  It registered 800 milliamps. I understand it should not be more than about 50 to 100 when everything is off. This was apparently the cause of my SLOW drain.  



I removed the under-the-hood light bulb and the courtesy-light fuse, since I had the hood up and the door open to get at the battery and fuse panel in the door hinge area. I started pulling fuses while watching the ammeter.  Bingo! When I got to the RADIO-BATT fuse the ammeter went down to 60 milliamps from 800 milliamps.  



I have no idea what the RADIO-BATT is, but the radio no longer plays with that fuse out.  I can understand the wording RADIO fuse but not RADIO-BATT fuse.



I also found that the passenger-side front door courtesy-light switch was defective, sometimes allowing the courtesy lights to come on or stay on after leaving the vehicle (even after their 30 to 60 second time-out relay would normally shut them off).  This  5 amp (5000 milliamp) drain was the cause or the QUICK drain.


HVLee wrote at 2007-10-16 17:25:12
I had the same problem on my 1997 S-10 Pickup.  First, a four-year old battery went dead and tested bad at Auto-Zone.  The replacement went dead overnight.  The next one went dead over a weekend when I didn't drive the truck.  After pulling the fuse for the interior lights and the bulb from the under-hood light, I put an ammeter on it and found a draw of about an amp.  Pulling the "Radio-Batt" fuse, as you suggest, put the current draw in the normal range.  



My radio still works, but it loses its memory when turned off.  I guess that's what that fuse is for.  It keeps the memory alive in the radio while the switch is off.  Why it eventually becomes a current monster is a mystery to me.


MARK wrote at 2014-12-31 23:26:41
I HAVE A 1999 GMC, HAD THE SAME PROBLEM WITH MY BATTERY. DEAD BATTERY EVERY 3 WEEKS OF SITTING. AFTER PUTTTING IN A NEW BATTERY AFTER 3 WEEKS SITTING SAME THING. GAVE IN AND TOOK IT TO THE STEALERSHIP, $85 SAID I NEEDED A NEW BATTERY EVEN AFTER I EXPLAINED IT WAS A BRAND NEW BATTERY. ANOTHER NEW BATTERY 3 WEEKS LATER SAME DEAD BATTERY. TOOK BACK TO DEALER ANOTHER $85 IT WAS ONE THE THE SUNVISOR VANITY MIRROR FLAPS, THE HINGE BROKE AND THE VANITY LIGHT WAS STAYING ON. COULD NOT SEE IT DAY/NIGHT WITH SUN VISER UP. THAT DEALER WAS ONE OF THE LOCAL DEALS THAT LOST THEIR LISENCE 5-6 YEARS AGO. KARMA!


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Harry Jacobson, P.E.

Expertise

I specialize in Chevrolet and GMC 6.2 diesels, particularly the early versions. I own a 1983 G-20 and a 1984 K-2500 and have removed and installed engines, suspensions, electrical systems and parts, and performed general maintenance on them.

Experience

I have over 30 years of repairing cars and trucks as my primary hobby. I have worked on many different makes and models. I also own two 1985 Toyota MR2s. I have replaced the clutches in both of them and the engine in one of them. I wired one of them for power windows and door locks, using parts obtained from a dismantled MR2.

Education/Credentials
Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, 1980, University of Memphis.

Licensed Professional Engineer since 1991, Utah.

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