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Old 10-29-2017, 06:59 PM   #1
janlafata
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Default 2006 VUE With Electric problems

Bought a 2006 AWD and even though it came from an auction, I sill love it!
I bought a new Interstate battery for it several months ago and as you know, they are warranted for 5 years, so when I started getting idiot lights (I got the one with the little engine) I took it to Firestone and they relaced the battery. The next day, I get up to run errands and the battery is shot, no juice, no nothing. So a friend of mind helped me get it out and this time we took it to an Interstate shop.

Once again, the next morning, the battery was shot again, so we replaced it one more time, however the Interstate guy ran some tests to see if he could help fix the problem. He ran two tests of voltage, and he could tell that the battery was draining once the first check, and second, after about ten minutes.

So the new plan was just to take the negative cable off every day when I'm in for the day, then put it back on in the morning when I head out again .

Yesterday however, when I started out, I realized that I forgot to take the negative cable off the night before and when I went to open it, I saw that the lights and everything were fine and everything seemed to work. I estimate that it had been off for about 6 hours, but it worked. So I started it up with my fingers crossed and it turned over just fine, and that's about where I stand now.

I'm tempted to try it again, and I should add that the same morning that it stayed on all night a new idiot light popped up, but went away quickly. I should mention that, with the cable and the car in run I tried a couple of things that I read online, like re-setting something-or-rather by putting the car in run and pressing on the accelerator 3 times within 5 seconds.

Maybe that had something to do with it, I just don't know, but I'm not thrilled about having to pay a mechanic $100 to put it on a scope

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Old 10-29-2017, 11:22 PM   #2
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Default Re: 2006 VUE With Electric problems

Some problems are misinterpreted and going way over the top to troubleshoot what's easily overlooked by anyone. The trick to diagnosing and troubleshooting a problem is to have an overall idea of what the symptoms represent. In your case, the symptoms are about main power and addressing main power issues.

Main power; battery (as power source to power up all electrical/electronic modules and provide power to the starter), battery cables providing main power to the car, their connections (starter, grounds including chassis and engine block), serpentine drive belt and belt tensioner, and alternator. One way to diagnose loss of battery power may be the loss of alternator output as the alternator takes over after the engine is running to relieve the battery of its duties by supplying a slightly higher voltage above battery voltage and supply all the electrical needs of the car. The reason a battery can be disconnected from a running engine in what appears as perpetual motion is that fuel keeps the engine running while the alternator supplies itself with 12v power since its already generating electrical power, feeding itself as long as the engine runs. This isn't recommended except as an extreme test of alternator operation. Disconnecting a battery from a running engine is never recommended.

Testing power at home requires a multimeter to measure voltages, standby/engine off battery voltage and with engine idling to see the two voltage levels. 12.5 volts for battery, between 13-15 volts with engine idling. Store testing can check in similar fashion but can load a battery to test battery capacity and alternator output. They can't tell you whether or not the drive belt is ok unless they're above average and willing to spend time helping diagnose problems. Beware of unscrupulous people suggesting all sorts of parts under the disguise of having expertise. Unless you're willing to pay a certified ASE mechanic specializing in diagnosing engine problems, take anyone's advice with suspicion.

I find it strange for (GM?) a dealer not to test the electrical system and other things and tell you what they found. The more they find and charge fees, the better they're in position to draw you into any type of service.

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Old 10-30-2017, 07:35 PM   #3
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Default Re: 2006 VUE With Electric problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by janlafata View Post
Once again, the next morning, the battery was shot again, so we replaced it one more time, however the Interstate guy ran some tests to see if he could help fix the problem. He ran two tests of voltage, and he could tell that the battery was draining once the first check, and second, after about ten minutes.
You have something electrical on when it should be off that is draining the battery. Quickest way to check is with a voltmeter at the fusebox. Put the leads on the back of each fuse. Should read 0V. If anything more, you have a drain. Some electronics will have a slight draw but anything over around 60mA total is a problem.

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