Parasitic Battery Drain!!!

Feb 15, 2015
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#1
Hey Guys!
I need some Electrical Genius up on here! My battery keeps going dead within a week. The battery itself is fine, keeps a charge on the bench if not in car. I have a 200mA draw on my battery. I tried removing every glass fuse underneath driver side dash, draw never goes away. Tried disconnecting alternator, draw still there. How do I fix this?

Help!!!!!
 

ddgermann

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#3
Not sure about your Pace car but all C6s and C7s require a battery maintainer be plugged into the cars otherwise the computers will drain the battery in a short time.

Maybe your 8 track player is shorting out a bit... OK i'm just kidding. Parasitic draws are a bugger to find. GM dealers have a device they can plug in to help you narrow it down. I have had limited success with this on my H1 Hummer that had the same type of issue.

Basically it may come down to trial and error with a meter.

Maybe some other guys with C3s can give you a direction to start with.
For sure I would buy a battery maintainer and leave it plugged in in the meantime. Cheaper than replacing the battery. Hopefully you sort it out before it gets worse or becomes a short and dangerous.... although the circuits should be fused.

Good luck
 

Black 03 Z06

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#4
Wasn't there someone who recently joined the forum who was an automotive electrical expert? I remember making some crack about a toaster but cannot recall his name.

Anybody else remember.

OP good luck these electrical gremlins can drive you nuts. If you are in the garage can you shut off all light sources to see if there is a bulb glowing somewhere. Glove box, under hood, trunk light, licence plate bulb maybe the dash lights? Is there anything that does not function any longer but could still be drawing power?
 

nascar03

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#5
Good idea with the dark garage Murray..

hotjay... You do not have parstitic(?) loss..that is usually on the later computer controlled models, C4-C8.
Constant searching of modules and sensors causes battery drain.
On a C3-C1 you have a problem as almost everything shuts off when you remove the key, except if something is plugged into the ‘always live’ cigarette lighter.
Your idea of pulling fuses and disconnecting the alternator is sure the right place to start.
Has anyone ‘monkeyed’ with the wiring before you got this car(or since?)..
Add-on audio system?

Power seats. I don’t have those but they may be energized even with the key off?

If I think of anything else I’ll be back
Good luck.

Graham
 
Nov 16, 2015
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#6
A 200 milliamp draw may be a normal draw for that car. A bad battery only needs a small draw to make it dead quick and if this battery has gone completely dead even once then you'll probs need to change it. If you feel that the drain is the issue there is another way to investigate besides your method. Keep the meter on between the post and cable and unplug stuff like the wire to your distributor. I don't think you can cover all your circuits just by pulling fuses. Good luck.
 
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#7
I don't know the C3's at all, but if you've taken out all the fuses and it still drains, it could be a live wire somewhere that is on the main harness and over time has vibrated against the body/ground. That would suck because it means hunting a lot. Thankfully the C3 has less gadgets than later models so it should make this easier (a bit) to find.

One thing you can do, set an amp-meter to display that 200ma drain, and then wiggle some wires/cables. If it momentarily drops, you might be getting close.

Also, while your amp-meter is plugged in, disconnect the ECU, just to see if that drain could be coming from that. (assuming C3's have some sort of ECU, again, not familiar with them).
 

Keith Tedford

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#9
With our 2005 six speed 1SB car, I put it in reverse, put on the emergency brake, shut the car off and never have a problem. I have a C-tek battery tender for winter storage. Had the car since 2012. The electrical systems in these cars are my one worry. Knock on wood that problems don't start for me. Fortunate so far.
 
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#10
My 80 had a problem with the under hood light. The switch was stuck and the bulb was dead but still had a bit of a short.
 

Rruuff Day

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#11
We had a big discussion on this around last November. Discussion also wrapped around failure or overcharge occurences with some tenders.I went to Costa Rica for 24 days in the winter and decided to unhook my battery tender, Then I forgot for a few days. Close as I can tell, Ginger went roughly 30 days without. Jumped in and it started right up... no sign of a weak battery... Go figure.
 

SlyMart

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#12
Maybe check the battery terminals. I think there is 3 of them since I removed mine. Maybe check your starter terminal connection? It could be a defective relay?
 

theboss

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#13
200MA for a car without plenty of module and computers seem hight to me. My next step would be to disconect the fuse link at the starter, they supply many circuit without passing true a fuse as the link is the fuse.
Stephane
 

Keith Tedford

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#14
I don't know about other years or why, but with our 2005 six speed standard, the manual specifically tells you to put the transmission in reverse and apply the emergency brake when shutting off the car. Never had a problem with battery drain but I do use a C-Tek battery maintainer/charger when storing the car. New battery in 2012 and never a problem.