1999 Holden Statesman Battery drains flat over night

Tiny
KMCBD
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 HOLDEN STATESMAN
  • 3.8L
  • 6 CYL
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 205,000 MILES
Battery is heavy duty and 5 months old, alternator is Bosch and 4 months old, when I jump start it sparks are coming out from under starter motor, problem does not happen all the time. Battery charges up ok and has been tested alternator has been changed over but problem persisted with new alternator, the car charges up enough with driving and will start ok but drains flat over night, I have checked for lights etc left on in boot and glove box but no issues there. Am thinking maybe a short some where? Any ideas before I race it off and get ripped off by auto elec?
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Saturday, December 28th, 2013 AT 11:43 PM

8 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Why do you assume you're going to be ripped off? Do you have any idea how much training and continual retraining is involved in learning how to work on your car? Any idea how many thousands of dollars shops have to spend every year on new and updating test equipment? Most shops charge by the hour, just like in many other professions. The difference is mechanics are held to much higher standards than doctors, accountants, carpenters, and lawyers. If they don't find the problem on the first visit, they must be incompetent. If they bill you for their experience and expertise, they must be ripping you off. I can't figure out why everyone thinks mechanics should work for free. No one else does. The exception is us mechanics who fight with repeated computer crashes, as I am tonight, so we can try to help you, .. For free. Sorry if I sound frustrated, but I'm typing as fast as I can before this one starts acting up, ... Again!

As for your battery drain, that sparking is a pretty good clue. We don't get those very often. Check in the area of the starter for a frayed battery cable or a wire that has fallen against that terminal and melted the insulation. Arcing leaves behind a carbon track which is further electrically conductive. It's not likely that carbon can be so bad that it kills the battery in a day though. That's why I'm leaning toward another wire making contact in that area.
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Sunday, December 29th, 2013 AT 12:55 AM
Tiny
KMCBD
  • MEMBER
Thanks for your prompt reply, sorry if I came across the wrong way but have had some bad experiences from the experts, VR wouldn't turn over and was charged $635.00 for the expertise of putting a new fuel pump in, had a bearing go in the rear wheel of same car, they rang through and told me the brake pads needed re-placing I had done those 3000 kms prior needless to say that was another try at getting the most out of me, just because your Blonde and female doesn't mean your dumb! So yes I do ask around and try to fix the problem myself where possible. Will let you know tomorrow how I go and am happy to make a donation for your expertise if I locate the issue. Cheers Kathryn
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Sunday, December 29th, 2013 AT 1:31 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Sorry too if I came off as frustrated. I typed for over an hour a little while ago, then suddenly it took almost 20 minutes for two sentences to show up, one painfully slow character at a time every five seconds, then I lost everything. Luckily, when I built this computer 14 years ago, I built two identical units. Transferred the hard drive and power supply to the other one, and here I am again, but I'm still holding my breath. Been fighting "Not Responding" issues for over a year. So far this one is doing okay, but time will tell. The old one always started out okay for the first half a minute to couple of hours.

You did get one thing right: "Blonde and female doesn't mean your dumb". I taught four areas of Automotive Technology in a community college for nine years, and three of my top students were girls. The guys had a lot of respect for them.

Hope this 'puter works tomorrow when I wind it up again, and really hope to hear some good news on your car.
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Sunday, December 29th, 2013 AT 2:04 AM
Tiny
KMCBD
  • MEMBER
Thank you and sounds like you need to get an iPad, awesome and hasn't let me down yet! Cheers again and hope I find the problem sooner rather than later jump starting has whiskers on it after awhile! I even jumped in the boot to make sure light was not on in there :)
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Sunday, December 29th, 2013 AT 2:11 AM
Tiny
CJ MEDEVAC
  • EXPERT
I'M GLAD TO SEE NO ONE GOT HURT IN THIS THREAD

YEAH......TO ME IT SOUNDS LIKE THE SPARKAGE MAY BE DUE TO A LOOSE CABLE AT THE STARTER ALLOWING IT TO FLOP ABOUT AND TOUCH SOMETHING ELSE

PICS OF THE AREA (WHICH MAY HELP US) OR EVEN A PIC SHOWING WHAT YOU FIGGERED OUT ARE NICE TO SEE....

IF YOU ARE GONNA ATTEMPT DIY, A PAPER OR CYBER REPAIR MANUAL MAY POINT OUT STUFF TO CHECK OR TEST 1ST, 'FORE YOU START SNATCHIN' STUFF APART!

DIYing BASIC CAR STUFF MAY NOT BE SO BAD.....IT'S THE COMPUTER STUFF AND "BIGGER STUFF" THAT SOMETIMES GETS COMPLICATED OR NEEDS SPECIAL DIAGNOSTIC EQUIPMENT

http://www.2carpros.com/questions/2007-ford-taurus-tune-up

KEEP US POSTED ON PROGRESS AND A PIC OF YOUR CAR!

THE MEDIC
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Sunday, December 29th, 2013 AT 11:55 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
AAAAAGGGGHHHH! I can't believe it. Out of 400 kids in my high school graduating class, I was WAY at the top, ... Of the bottom third of my class, but I know how to spell and use correct grammar, and I pride myself on proof-reading all of my replies at least three times before I post them. My new friends deserve no less effort on my part. In following up on these posts to remove them from the waiting list, I just saw that I typed "your" instead of "you're". Please forgive my ignorance and oversight. If I could, I'd delete my entire reply and retype it correctly. I just went and looked at it again, twice, and I can't stop mentally kicking myself. In the future I promise to proof-read everything four times.

I ain't gonna get ta sleep tonight!
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Tuesday, February 18th, 2014 AT 1:01 AM
Tiny
KMCBD
  • MEMBER
Hi just got notification on your message re- spelling. All good? Been meaning to follow up on my problem with the Statesman, still haven't located the problem, had a new starter fitted but after sitting in the driveway went flat again. Have now fitted a Kill Switch on the battery so at least I'm no longer stranded, any fresh in-put as to where I should look next would be appreciated.
Cheers Kathryn
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Tuesday, February 18th, 2014 AT 3:12 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
One common cause is an aftermarket radio that is wired incorrectly so it doesn't turn off with the ignition switch. Also look at glove box lights, trunk lights, and under-hood lights that are staying on. You may be able to narrow the cause by removing one fuse overnight. When you find the one that no longer kills the battery, we can figure out the things that might be on that circuit.

To really dig into it, you would have to remove the battery's negative cable, insert an amp meter, then pull fuses to see which one makes the current go down. There's a problem with that method though. Often there are computers that take 15 - 20 minutes to "time out" and turn off. During that time they can draw high enough current to blow the fuses inside most amp meters. I have a procedure to work around that if you need it.
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Tuesday, February 18th, 2014 AT 7:10 PM

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