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Friday, March 14, 2014

Dead battery

Yesterday morning I found the battery in my Suburban dead. I put the battery on a battery charge and then took the truck to the auto parts where the battery was tested with an electronic tester and then with a load tester. Both showed the battery was/is good. How can I tell if something is either on or comes on to drain the battery?


  1. If this happened overnight, try this. Let the car set for 10 or 20
    minutes (more is OK). Then disconnect the battery and open the
    glovebox and feel for the light to see if it is warm. Do the same for
    the trunk and the hood (if there's a hood light).

    If any of these lights stay on when the car is off, they could be the
    source of the battery drain. The fix is to replace or adjust the
    switch that activates the light, or to remove the bulb if you don't
    want to bother.

    There may be other sources, but when I worked at a new car dealership,
    this was the course of all the battery draining issues on the brand
    new ones.

    If the vehicle sits for a long time without the battery being charged
    by the electrical system, they can lose charge over time. If you
    haven't used it for months, then this might be the case. There may be
    some small current drains that won't affect the battery much if it's
    used every few weeks.

    If you ever replace your car or truck battery, see if you have an
    Interstate brand battery distributor in your area. If you do, call
    ahead with your battery type or make, model, and year of vehicle and
    see if they have any blems or reconditioned batteries for sale. The
    reconditioned ones are just batteries that sat for 3 months on a parts
    store shelf wihtout being sold or returned by a customer under their
    no questions asked money-back guarantee (30 days, I think).

    They take these back and charge these batteries, then test them to
    make sure that they still meet the specs for a new battery then sell
    them at about 1/3 of the retail price, but the warranty is only 90
    days. One of these reconditioned batteries powered my Chevy S-10 for 8
    years and 3 months. This brand has the least percentage of returns of
    any brand, and I've only bought this brand for a long time because of

  2. leave one battery cable off overnight then put it back on in the morning and see if it starts. If yes, its the car, if no, then its the battery.

  3. Disconnect the battery on one terminal ....

    Connect a amp meter ( milliamp meter as commonly used for voltage and current testing)

    then note the reading. You computer and clock will draw a small amount all the time but

    if you see a larger draw ...then start pulling fuses...until you see the meter drop...then check

    that circuit for the item casing the draw...

    Note its may not be a light. Many vehicles have heaters on the door locks and more, and even

    wet connections can cause "short"

  4. The hood light, glove compartment light and brake lights did not come on (I've had the brake light switch stick and come on intermittently). There was no appreciable drop as the radio clock is off with the key.

  5. There was no appreciable drop as the radio clock is off with the key. So you have to reset your clock every time you turn on the key?

  6. No, it must have a memory chip which holds the time and whatever programmed channels... The clock had to be reset when the battery went dead

  7. Well, this morning we went to do our Wednesday (Hump Day) errands and the Suburban barely started. When we got home I hooked up the battery charger and just a bit ago, when it got dark, I went out and lo and behold, there's a light on in the glove compartment. I had checked it before and no problems but if the truck gets jarred or hits a bump, the door just comes open enuf to let the bulb come on. As the bulb seems to be in a glass or plastic case, there was no heat present. Tomorrow I will disconnect the light. Dunno if there would be a fuse or not....

    Hopefully now the problem is solved

  8. Look for "courtesy" fuse, it fuses all door hood glove box under dash lights.

    Easier than removing bulb for test, if it cures the problem see if glove box door can be readjusted to make seal better or just remove that bulb.

    OR get a fiber anti door slam button (Used on Kitchen doors sold in packs of 4 and up) at your hardware store and stick it on the door where the lamp contact switch hits the glove box door, replace about every 5 years.