Mechanics

CHEVY BATTERY DRAIN

1994 Chevrolet Cavalier

Electrical problem
1994 Chevy Cavalier 4 cyl Two Wheel Drive Manual 220, 00 miles

I am trying to diagnose this problem as I am like everybody else these days. Broke.
I have tried all that I know to find out what is draining my battery overnight. The most recent work on my car was someone " supposedly" installed an ignition switch and it seems that is about the time this problem began. I guess as crazy as it may sound, can a malfunctioning door lock/unlock system drain down the battery? If so, how can I check it and hopefully fix it?
I know that electrical issues can be anywhere. I just have any money to take it anywhere that will cost an arm and a leg. I do know that the alternator is working. Any suggestions?

updated 1/20/10
Thank you and God bless you for your help, having mercy on a broke man! I did as you said and low and behold, with the " light technique" and found the culprit fuse that was draining my battery. I pulled one fuse and the light went out! This is an awesome step forward. This fuse (CTSY) covers interior light, (dome light, I guess), horn, power locks, audible warning system, remote lift gate release and check oil light.
My best guess would be " power locks" which do not work anyway. The other is the remote tail gate release but that is iffy as I have the manual type that you pull the lever to open the trunk. What are your thoughts especially about the door locks? Should I disconnect them altogether and retry replacing the fuse to see if the light comes back on? Foot notes; They click but do not lock or unlock the doors? Any help would be such a blessing!
God Bless You and Yours
Avatar
Garyd409
January 15, 2010.



Welcome to the forum. I'd have to make sure the battery has a full charge. Using a digital multimeter, leads across the battery posts, everything turned off, the generic spec for a fully charged battery is 12.6 volts. Start the vehicle, take second reading across the battery posts, engine running, the second reading should be higher than the first if the charging system is working.

As far as battery drain, you can check amp draw, with everything tuned off. Different y--m--m may have different spec, one, I can remember is 30 ma, that.030, no where close to half amp. Check for any lites left on, best time to check is in the dark, ash tray-- glove box--under the hood-- in the trunk. An older way to check for battery drain, is to take a battery cable loose, connect testlite between battery cable and battery post, if the lite comes on, you have a drain. You start pulling fuses one at a time, when you pull the fuse on the affected circuit, the lite goes out.

JDL
Jan 16, 2010.
Hi, there maybe a doorlock circuit breaker in the fuse box. Pull the breaker, see if problem goes away? The courtesy fuse serves many circuits, I'd have to isolate the circuits one at a time, slow process. I found a picture of fuse box and fuse ID. Try pulling the doorlock circuit breaker. And test again.


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/170934_fuse_panel_ID_1_1.jpg



http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/170934_fuse_panel_ID_2_1.jpg



http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/170934_fuse_panel_ID_3_1.jpg


JDL
Jan 20, 2010.
Hey, What's up!
It's night and pouring rain so just looking at the chart right now.
When I pulled the courtesy " fuse" the light went out and stopping dome light, horn, power locks, audible warning system and check oil light (I guess) from working. I still have the auto door lock/unlock unplugged from the harness, hoping that was the culprit.
I did, a a while back pull the (breaker) " ACC" marked #18 on your chart. I thought it worked as it started the next morning but day 2? No go. This " breaker" controls power locks and rear window defogger.
I don't have power windows so " breaker" marked #13 would be of no avail I guess.
I do appreciate your patience with me and all of your help. I have been booze free for over a year but this project is really testing my last nerve! LOL
God bless you and your efforts! Hope to hear from you soon!
IN HIS GRIP
IBNJC
Gary

Tiny
Garyd409
Jan 20, 2010.
Hi, is it fuse number 12, that you pulled? Pulling that fuse killed the drain? I'd have to disconnect every circuit, one at a time, that the fuse serves, to narrow it down. Sorry it took so long to answer back. I get wrapped-up sometimes.

JDL
Jan 22, 2010.
Yes sir, it was the #12 fuse that I pulled. 4th row from left and 3rd from the top. Courtesy fuse. It controls interior lights (dome), horn, power locks, audible warning system, remote lift gate release. (I have the pull type on left of driver's seat) and check oil light. Mine shows (Check engine). It has not come on since I have disconnected the fuse whereas it came on and stayed on periodically before the fuse was removed. Presently, I have "of course" the fuse pulled. I have disconnected the power door locks at harness behind switch on doors, removed the dome light bulb, trunk light bulb, checked for lights on at night time. All I can see left is the audible warning system or the horn!? Gotta admit brother, I am lost!! Can a (breaker) it's self go bad????
Thank you again my brother and God Bless you and ALL at 2 car pros. I am having to file bankruptcy at the time but rest assured when it is said and done, you folks will get a good donation and will always save your site and tell all I know about you!!!
IN HIS GRIP
IBNJC
Gary / Son Shine Ministries


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/464703_cross_on_door_1.jpg


Tiny
Garyd409
Jan 22, 2010.
My info shows junction splices, doesn't show the location. You can follow the orange wire to the junction, take each leg loose, one at at time, till you kill the drain. Then the problem is on that leg. For me, trying to find the problem is hunt and peck, at this point. Wish I had a faster way. There is an alarm module in the convenience center, under left side of dash. Probably more than one relay or module, right now, I don't know which is which. Any lites on that fuse circuit that are controlled by the headlamp switch, you might unplug the headlamp swich.


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/170934_convenience_center_1.jpg



With everything turned off, there will be some normal drain, checking the amp draw is the best way. Anything in your vehicle that uses memory has to have some voltage, even with everything turned off. radio--clock-- pcm-- whatever uses memory.

JDL
Jan 23, 2010.
Well, ya' know, you guys did the best you could with what little you had to work with and I sincerely appreciate it more than you will ever know. God will bless you for your efforts!!!
For now, at least it will crank for me with that fuse out. My only concerns are #1 (mainly) Is there a way I can rig up an alternative horn fairly cheap?? and #2, Is there any way I can rig up an alternative dome light fairly cheap in case I need it?? The audible warning stuff drives me nuts anyway so I can do without that LOL!! Check oil light?? No problem either!! Check the dipstick once in a while!! LOL!! Got any thoughts about the horn and inside light?? The horn especially! I have manual roll down windows and God forbid a kid is in the road and I am unable to stop in time!?
Once again, thank you so much my blessed friends. I am sure you will here from me again along with others I have told about you fine folks!!
IN HIS GRIP
IBNJC
Gary Dantzler


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/464703_REVEREND_HOLLYWOOD_1.jpg


Tiny
Garyd409
Jan 23, 2010.
You might talk to some local mechanics in your area. See what they charge, see if they can help.

JDL
Jan 24, 2010.
Since I am broke right now, what would I do just to re-route the horn to a different fuse or wire? Maybe that would get me by until my rich uncle gets out of the poor house. LOL! I already got a make shift dome light that plugs into the lighter. Not quite as bright but will do for now. Kinda' like me! *Smile*
God Bless Your Day
Gary

Tiny
Garyd409
Jan 27, 2010.
I understand the money issue, I'm the same way. I'm just not sure it is safe, not finding the original problem. If something gets hot and starts a fire, then your in trouble. I've wired up plenty of horn buttons on the dash, bypassing the steering column, I'm just not sure that is the safe thing to do? I can ask the boss, what he thinks. It'll probably be sometime tomorrow. If he doesn't ok it, I can't go further.

JDL
Jan 27, 2010.
Page 1 of 2