I have a 2004 Chevy Venture with a new battery and a new alternator that I recently put in. I had this problem before I replaced the alternator and battery.
In the beginning it would take a week of sitting (I have been unemployed so I only drive when absolutely necessary) before the battery would go dead. From day one after purchasing this vehicle the electrical system always seemed low on power. Ie; power windows going up slowly, hard starting due to what seemed like low battery juice, dim lighting, etc.
I did read something online about a battery drain issue associated with the power sliding doors (PSD), but the information was very vague and didn't find any more info about this anywhere else.
I have cleaned and physically inspected all connections, tested for a good ground, etc. The only other thing that I suspect is the factory alarm system (light on dash constantly flashing after vehicle is off and locked).
Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Ps. I would donate, but I am unemployed currently. Will in the future when I start working again.
With everything off, remove the battery ground and see if you get a spark. The stereo should have a constant power lead for the memory, as will the alarm system. They shouldn't draw anything more than 2-3 Amps together.
With the key off, see if any of the accessories work. Wipers. Washers. Fan blower motor.
December, 28, 2011 AT 7:38 AM
In case you still have not figured out the problem, I would suggest checking the charging relay switch located on the main fuse panel above the battery.
I had the same problem with my 2005 Venture and it drove me bonkers! And I am an electrical engineer! The local Chevy dealer could not figure it out also and they came out to my house twice and replaced the battery free of charge! Hahaha
The third trip to the dealership they let me stand by the technician in the service bay while the hood was up. I dont remember what made me think to ask him to check all the relay switches, but after a few minutes he said, "Bingo!".
December, 29, 2011 AT 7:58 PM
Forest, I'm guessing you mean the fusible link.
Ruplestilskin, any word in this?
December, 30, 2011 AT 2:59 AM
First off Thank You rivermikerat and ForestGump for the responds.
Update: Ok, I am on my 3 battery in the last 6 months, but let me clarify.
The first battery I replaced was the original (No surprises there, except it still hold a charge out of the Van and works in another vehicle? Go figure?).
The second was a working (but used) battery from the vehicle that I put my old original battery into. This battery worked fine in the other vehicle, but did the same thing in my Van (Last 1-3 day then dead when sitting). Since then this battery completely died (as of 3 days ago), because it sat outside in below freezing temps without a charge for about 3 days. I think it froze and this caused it to go bad.
Installed a Everstart Maxx 800CCA from Walmart. I know, I know, Walmart, but they are actually rated very well and are my by Johnson Controls who make Die Hard, which are rated the best. This is the 3rd battery.
So, river, I did your test and according to my multimeter all the numbers came out as they should. I did this test twice, once with the 1st and 2nd batteries. I plan on doing it again with the 3rd, but assume the result will be the same.
Ok, now I think Forest might be on to something. A relay switches is basically the same thing as the fusible link that you are referring to river (I am also an engineer and understand what Frost meant by relay switch) and this could easily be my problem to. My ex-wife also has this same problem with a 1999 Montana. Her batteries only last about a year. Its all good because they are under warranty, but I can imagine that it's frustrating.
So, I will do your test again river, with the new battery. And if that comes out ok like I expect, I will then switch out the fusible link and post my result after that.
Thank again both of you for your help!
December, 30, 2011 AT 3:22 AM
The fusible link is a length of wire that is calibrated to melt when the current across it exceeds a specific value.
A relay is a type of switch that allows a low power source to switch a high power source.
What I'm thinking Forest is getting at is that maybe your alternator isn't charging properly. You can check the output voltage of the alternator at the battery with the engine running. You're looking for an absolute minimum of 13.2 volts. But you'd prefer to see between 13.8 and 14.2. If you have a meter capable of testing higher currents, you're looking for at least 50 amps.
See the images I have attached.
December, 30, 2011 AT 4:47 AM
I know the wire that you are talking about and I didn't know that they refereed to it as a fusible link. There is also an item in electrical engineering that they call a fusible link and it is sort of like a relay switch that burns out and/or switches off at a given amperage.
I guess maybe "fusible link" is a more general term and can be applied to different applications. Just a thought.
Anyway, back to your other suggestion. I have already (about 3 months ago) torn out my alternator replaced the brushes and actually had it professionally load tested both before and after the brush replacement. I use to work for a company the engineers and manufactures fire trucks. I called a friend that still works there and he had the guys out in the shop test it for me both times. I will however double check while it's in my vehicle to check the output. It tested about 14.0 on the machine at my old work, which was much higher than what I expected. I should of mentioned this before, but for the sake of less typing I just stated that it was new and didn't bother to mention that I had it tested and everything.
So, one would assume that the alternator is good. I guess I am left with a wiring issue, which is where I didn't want to end up.
December, 30, 2011 AT 5:21 AM
In your original post you also mentioned that you thought it might be the alarm system with the blinking light. That's an LED, drawing milliAmps or Amps. I've let my car sit with the alarm enabled for over a week with no problems.
You mentioned that you performed the current draw test with everything turned off. And that your results were within spec at 2-3 amps. Stupid question, but I've got to ask: Open circuit current or inductively tested?
Narrowing the problem down to a particular circuit/accessory is where it begins to be (as my son would call it) a beeyotch. You need to put your meter inline on the ground or power lead (I prefer ground for safety, but either works). Note the current draw reading. Now, remove fuses and relays, one at a time, until the current draw drops noticeably. Once we know what circuit is at issue, I can know which one(s) to send you the schematics for.
December, 30, 2011 AT 5:55 AM
Let me clarify about the relay.
Get your Chevy Venture owner's manual. In mine, its on page 60-6 "Underhood Fuse and Relay Center".
After going through 3 batteries in one week, I discovered that relay number 11 (IGN MAIN)was faulty. The number stamped on top of the grey square relay is '3604'.
The technician at the dealer plugged in a new relay and I have not had a problem since (going on 8 months now).
Happy New Year to all you guys.
December, 30, 2011 AT 6:03 AM
Hey Forest, that's the main Ignition Relay. It has nothing to do with the charging system. If that relay is fried, what's happening is that current is being allowed through a small portion if the ignition circuit with the key off.
Happy New Year.
December, 30, 2011 AT 6:25 AM
River, per your last statement wouldn't that cause a battery drain when the ignition is in the off position? I haven't looked at the schematic on this yet.