Battery drained repeatedly

Tiny
CWUTZKE
  • 2009 BUICK LA CROSSE

Electrical problem 6 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 500 miles

My aging mother purchased a 2009 Buick Allure (in Canada) new in the fall of 2008. Her previous car was a 1997 Cadillac Calais, which she has kept, thankfully, because this new Buick frequently will not start due to a completely dead battery. The Buick has been towed into the local GM dealership several times, where they have checked the alternator, starter, etc. And replaced the battery at lease a couple of times. They claim to have found nothing wrong with the car. The voltage gauge on the dash reads 13.8 volts while the car is running. The last time this happened (this morning), she had had it back from the shop for only 10 days, drove it 15 kms (10 miles) during the period, before it had a dead battery. It is in the shop right now as I write this. I have provided them with a C-tek float charger with a quick connect plug to mount on the batter so that my mother can have it charging between drives.

Their explanation is that she does not drive enough. You see, my mother only has 650 km (400 miles) on the odometer after a year. They explain that the many computers and electronics require the car to be driven regularly for at least 10 minutes a day.

I'd accept this answer if it weren't for two issues:
1. Her Cadillac always starts, even after sitting for six weeks. The Buick doesn't exactly seem to be bristling with technology compared to the Cadillac.
2. How will my mother ever go on vacation for 2 to 3 weeks anywhere, and return to a car in the parking lot that she can trust to start? This just doesn't seem like good engineering. It doesn't seem unreasonable to expect that a car should be able to sit for a month and start.

Could you advise:
a. Should we believe the service technicians?
b. Might the alternator be weak (perhaps not charging enough at 13.8 volts when the car is driven?
c. How much more electrical draw does the Buick have than the Cadillac (while the car is not running) and what is causing it? I'd like to at least understand what awesome electronics we are enjoying in exchange for the inconvenience of regularly putting the Buick on a charger. In this day of flash memory, how much power must the electronics draw to maintain memory and settings?

The GM technician told me that the draw was 8 milliamps when he tested it. I said "that seems awfully low, practically nothing". He responded by saying that this was what his test showed at the time of the test. Various computers and electronics go on and off from time to time after the car is shut off, eg. On star. He said that the car would have to be monitored constantly to see what is coming on and off, and then at the time of a large draw, figure out what is causing that draw. Help. This still leaves us with no answer and a car that may not start.

Thank you for your help.

Do you
have the same problem?
Yes
No
Wednesday, October 21st, 2009 AT 9:09 PM

8 Replies

Tiny
2CARPROS KEN
  • ADMIN
  • 8,641 POSTS

Hello,

This sound like a computer problem. If the computer does not "go to sleep" then it keeps the electrical system alive which will drain the battery down. The dealer should have checked this when the car was plugged in but they must have missed it.

Here is a guide to help you see other causes of the battery going flat.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/car-battery-dead-overnight

Please let us know what you find ;)

Cheers, Ken

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, May 22nd, 2017 AT 1:32 PM
Tiny
MOOFDOG
  • 2005 BUICK LA CROSSE

Electrical problem
2005 Buick La Crosse 6 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 17,000 miles

My mother in law's car has had a bad battery lately. New battery and it still ends up dead after about 2 weeks. Well she had the local dealer come up and jump it and take it for diagnosis. They said it is a bad electronic brake control module? It caused the drain on the battery. It is not under warranty, it costs 350.00 and total of 500 to purchase and install it. Is this a plausable explaination of what could happen. Is there any recall information on this or, warranty claim she can site? This is a real head scratcher. And the parking lights do not work. Not sure if this is all related. Thanks for any help.

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, May 22nd, 2017 AT 1:32 PM (Merged)
Tiny
MERLIN2021
  • EXPERT
  • 17,546 POSTS

Let me see if I have this right, the noe=rmal 3 year-36month warranty does not apply here?

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, May 22nd, 2017 AT 1:32 PM (Merged)
Tiny
MOOFDOG
  • MEMBER

Correct. THe car is an 05 and the dealer said it is not under warranty.

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, May 22nd, 2017 AT 1:32 PM (Merged)
Tiny
MOOFDOG
  • MEMBER

So I replied and still no response.I donated 12 dollars for a mechanic to ask me a question. What a rip. Good buy

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, May 22nd, 2017 AT 1:32 PM (Merged)
Tiny
MERLIN2021
  • EXPERT
  • 17,546 POSTS

Soory about the delay, I don't do this for a living. But yes if the dealer hooked the car up the a DRB III scan tool, then it is showing a code for a problem in the module, can happen.

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, May 22nd, 2017 AT 1:32 PM (Merged)
Tiny
LUVBUG3
  • 2005 BUICK LA CROSSE
  • V8
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 153,556 MILES

On Friday 09/05 I got a brand new battery and alternator put in and my battery is still going dead and have no clue what is causing it to drain and my battery light will no go off well for a few minutes it a go off and cut back on then my lights get dem and start flashing the head lights go out first and it jus cut off and sometimes it will not let me turn the key all the way back to take it out.

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, May 22nd, 2017 AT 1:33 PM (Merged)
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
  • 49,708 POSTS

Have a pro check for a parasitic draw or go to how to repair under battery item 9 will tell you how to do it.

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
-1
Monday, May 22nd, 2017 AT 1:33 PM (Merged)

Please login or register to post a reply.

Related Battery Drain Content

Recommended guides