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Old 08-14-2009, 08:48 PM   #1
paul81
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2003 L-Series 2.2L Sedan
Wrench My battery is dead overnight

I don't know if other Saturn users had the same problem as I have, but any information is useful.

I have a 2003 L200 Saturn Sedan, and 2 days ago the care started to make some noises like the battery is dead, but still the engine turned on. Yesterday when I went from home to some friends there was the same sound, and again the car started, and get well to my friends, the problem was when I tried to come back home, after 4 hours of staying, the battery was dead. So I jumped it and started again. On my way home I stopped to Schuck's Auto and they verified the charging, an everything was ok. When I got home I turned off the engine and tried to turn it on again, and everything was ok, but after few hours when I tried to leave home the car needed a jump again.

Today I went to NAPA store so I bought a Test Light and I started to check all the fuses to see where I have a short, and I did that for about 2 hours, and when I got to almost all the fuses I finally found the circuit where all my power is going when the car rests. So I found out that when I remove the radio fuse out and the BCM CLUSTER fuse, there is no short. The problem is that the car won't start without the BCM fuse, it starts an runs for about 1-2 seconds and after that everything dies. I can live without the radio but not without the BCM. If I leave the BCM fuse in, the battery will die in few hours.

The question is if there is a problem with my BCM or is just a short somewhere along the way. And the same with the radio fuse do you think that I have to take off the cd/radio and look in the back maybe there is a short or it has to do with the BCM fuse.

And does BCM stands for?? I know is something like "body control module". And what does this BCM do?

Anything helps. Please post any suggestions or if you know how to fix it.
Thanks

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Old 08-14-2009, 09:22 PM   #2
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Default Re: My battery is dead overnight

Look in the tach or speedometer - is the security light flashing? When you turn the ignition key to the ON/RUN position, does the security light turn OFF or stay ON? It must be OFF to allow the car to start and run otherwise if left ON and starting, the engine will not continue to run; the factory Passlock anti-theft system disables the fuel pump from running to stop the engine from ever running. Pulling the body control fuse somehow enabled the anti-theft system that must be reset first while attempting to find the cause of any short circuiting, if any exists. To reset the anti-theft system simply leave the ignition ON for 11-minutes or until the security light stops flashing. This time-out with the ignition ON and (not starting) allows resetting the anti-theft system. After the flashing stops, turn OFF the ignition and now try starting - with the ignition in the ON/RUN position this time, the security light should go OFF as the other panel lights turn off, leaving only the seat belt, oil, battery, and brake light/indicators ON. NOT seeing the security light at ignition ON will now allow starting and running. You can turn your attention to the original problem; possible battery drain.

Is the battery the original one or a replacement? If original, its likely overdue for replacement and may be the cause of your suspicion of battery draining. The body control module (BCM) runs everything the engine control module (ECM) doesn't. It draws very little current in standby mode when the engine is off. The ECM runs the engine, the bcm runs almost everything else; cruise control, the Passlock anti-theft system, remote key entry, all the lights in the car, and the OBD II system to determine and communicate to an external reader whatever ails the car. The bcm cannot be left disconnected as its part of the vehicle Passlock anti-theft system that communicates with the ecm and transmission control module as part of the anti-theft system to prevent stealing and using any of the three minicomputers. When you disconnected the fuse to the bcm you disconnected electronic communications that the bcm needs to stay in touch with the other computers - disrupting the anti-theft system communications automatically enables it and locks you out from having the engine running. The engine can start but will only run for a few seconds that the fuel pump primed the fuel lines before dying. Exactly as you described.

Either the battery needs a full charge or is in need of replacing. Be sure the battery cables are clean and free of any corrosion too. And be sure the belt tensioner is taut keeping the belt from slipping and allowing the alternator to supply the electrical needs of the car while charging the battery. The battery and alternator can be tested by most auto stores.

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Old 08-14-2009, 09:35 PM   #3
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Default Re: My battery is dead overnight

The battery is charging when the engine is running, yesterday I checked it and was ok. I will go out to look if the security light is on or off.

But still what do you think about the radio fuse, do you think there is a short on that circuit?

If the problem is only with the radio fuse, why my battery dies when is the bcm fuse connected? Do you think that I need to leave it for those 11 minutes and then the problem will be solved? Should I take it to a dealer? this is my only car and i don't have too much money to spend with this issue.

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Old 08-14-2009, 09:51 PM   #4
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Default Re: My battery is dead overnight

So I just came from my car and here is the result.

The battery is so dead that when I turn the key there is no light on the dashboard, except the yellow light which kind of an engine. Keep in mind that the engine was off for about 3 1/2 hours and the battery is dead.

Now when I opened the door I heard a flickering noise in the left side of the steering wheel. Because of that noise I think that there is a short somewhere, which is related with the bcm fuse, because the radio fuse I took it out.

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Old 08-14-2009, 10:03 PM   #5
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Default Re: My battery is dead overnight

Is the battery the original 6yr old one? You may be obsessing over something that may not be an issue when you're not answering some questions. A faulty bcm can cause issues but if a dead battery is the issue the bcm may not be the cause of these problems. In order for the bcm to operate, it needs battery power and if the battery is a dead one nothing on the car will work correctly. If you can measure the battery voltage, what's the voltage now? If its below 12.5v, either the battery needs a full charge from a wall charger or you must drive the car for over an hour to have any charge occur with the alternator, provided the alternator and belt drive system are operating correctly.

Last edited by fdryer; 08-14-2009 at 10:09 PM..

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Old 08-14-2009, 10:08 PM   #6
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Default Re: My battery is dead overnight

I think it is the original one, I have the care only for almost 2 years.

But that doesn't have to do with the flickering noise that I heard, and I think the battery is not the problem. I can buy a new one and the next day I'm sure that the car won't start.

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Old 08-14-2009, 10:17 PM   #7
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Default Re: My battery is dead overnight

Well, if you are so sure then you aren't in need of advice from anyone here since you're not using the easiest suggestions given already. Assuming many things at this point will only frustrate you when there are suggestions to methodically test everything in an orderly manner to find the cause of your issues. You have a choice; do this yourself with suggestions given or pay someone to figure it out for you.

A car needs a battery for any power and if you don't know for sure that the battery is new or old, stop guessing and have the battery tested first before going off in another direction. Everything a car needs starts with a battery before you can even think a short exists. Jumping a battery can be interpreted in two ways; the battery is dead/needs charging or the electrical system isn't allowing the battery to charge during normal driving. Then there's the belt drive system to consider. All in good order if you take one step at a time. Beginning with the battery question.

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Old 08-14-2009, 10:20 PM   #8
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Default Re: My battery is dead overnight

Thank you for all your info, but I've already explain in my first post that the battery was tested and it is ok, and the battery is charging when the engine is on. So that's why I skipped the battery problem.

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Old 08-14-2009, 10:44 PM   #9
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Default Re: My battery is dead overnight

Ok, so what's the voltage, before starting and after? If you cannot answer questions such as this one you are making it difficult for anyone to provide help when insisting the battery isn't the problem. You really don't know the condition of the battery, assuming the battery is being charged. A dead battery acts the same way as you're describing; needing a jump start when the engine will take over after starting and the battery just sits and takes a charge. Unless you can provide measurements of voltages, even a weak battery will produce the very symptoms you're having at this very moment.

BTW, my original 6yr old battery just died in the parking lot when trying to return home from work. 6yrs is what I expected from the original battery in NYC. No more, maybe less and I already knew beforehand that it was time for replacing. My car is an '03 L300 with only 50,000 miles on it. Experience is a very good teacher. Batteries don't last forever. Do you know when a battery dies and the way they die?

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Old 08-14-2009, 11:08 PM   #10
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Default Re: My battery is dead overnight

When the engine runs it shows 14V, when the engine is off I didn't measure it, and now is dead anyway so I can't measure it.

I'll try tomorrow after I'll stop the engine to see how much it shows with the engine off. I have a battery charger at home, do you think it would help to try charge it overnight? or it's easier to get a jump from a neighbor tomorrow morning?

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Old 08-15-2009, 12:09 AM   #11
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Default Re: My battery is dead overnight

Use a battery charger overnight if possible, with a low current below 5 amps. Using a charger putting out more than 5 amps can cook one. Measure voltage with a separate multimeter, not with whatever's on the car. Only a separate voltmeter is accurate and the small digital multimeters are worth their weight in gold when working on anything requiring electrical measurements. A good battery will hold its voltage above 12.5v but if below that may be an indication of a dead one. That's why the first question about batteries is the age of one. The average battery life is around 5yrs, maybe more in warm climates, less in desert heat. We're not talking about Optima's or any exotic ones, just the average battery everyone buys and uses for everyday use year in and year out.

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Old 08-15-2009, 08:23 AM   #12
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Default Re: My battery is dead overnight

Even though a battery tests good,it could still have a dead cell in it causing to go down over night as you say, most battery testers The Zone, Advanced,Oreilly's, will not pick up a dead cell.

You might want to keep this in mind,

...
06 Saturn Vue, 98 S10 SS 90 GMC S15 4X4,.

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Old 08-15-2009, 10:08 PM   #13
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Default Re: My battery is dead overnight

Low voltage can cause some unusual sounds to come from under the dash. Some relays may not pull in and may chatter. I concur your battery may be long in the tooth, but may not be the direct source of the problem. Be sure to check the side terminal battery connectors for corrosion. They must be removed and cleaned. The side terminals on the battery tend to leak acid into the the connectors and cables, causing them to corrode and rot away. I found I had to cut off the fancy plastic covers on the connectors and replace the bolts.

Based on the data posted, it is also possible you have a problem in the wiring in the circuit you identified. While there have been many BCM failures reported on this forum, I can't recall one being associated with excess power draw.

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Old 08-17-2009, 01:25 AM   #14
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Default Re: My battery is dead overnight

You would be amazed at how many issues can come up with an L/LS car because the battery is weak or the cables are corroded. My LS2 would die at random times as I would pull away from intersections. I'd drift over to the side of the road, park for a minute, then it would fire right back up. The best time was when we had just came out of the grocery store in July in Hawaii and it wouldn't fire up. Lots of stuff getting warm in the back while I was fiddling with the battery cables. The permanent fix was a battery replacement because the positive terminal had separated from the case, causing acid to leak onto the cable connector. Another thing I did was completely remove the rubber cover over the positive cable connector. It seemed like it just collected moisture and corrosion for no good reason.

Six years later, no random dying issues as long as the battery was good.

But, let me ask you this: How well does your high/low beam switch work? Do you notice that your high beams will stay on no matter how many times you pull back on the stalk? That switch assembly failed on my car and would cause the high beams to turn on all by themselves and drain the battery.

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Old 08-17-2009, 09:50 AM   #15
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Default Re: My battery is dead overnight

Quote:
Originally Posted by paul81 View Post
I don't know if other Saturn users had the same problem as I have, but any information is useful.

I have a 2003 L200 Saturn Sedan, and 2 days ago the care started to make some noises like the battery is dead, but still the engine turned on. Yesterday when I went from home to some friends there was the same sound, and again the car started, and get well to my friends, the problem was when I tried to come back home, after 4 hours of staying, the battery was dead. So I jumped it and started again. On my way home I stopped to Schuck's Auto and they verified the charging, an everything was ok. When I got home I turned off the engine and tried to turn it on again, and everything was ok, but after few hours when I tried to leave home the car needed a jump again.

Today I went to NAPA store so I bought a Test Light and I started to check all the fuses to see where I have a short, and I did that for about 2 hours, and when I got to almost all the fuses I finally found the circuit where all my power is going when the car rests. So I found out that when I remove the radio fuse out and the BCM CLUSTER fuse, there is no short. The problem is that the car won't start without the BCM fuse, it starts an runs for about 1-2 seconds and after that everything dies. I can live without the radio but not without the BCM. If I leave the BCM fuse in, the battery will die in few hours.

The question is if there is a problem with my BCM or is just a short somewhere along the way. And the same with the radio fuse do you think that I have to take off the cd/radio and look in the back maybe there is a short or it has to do with the BCM fuse.

And does BCM stands for?? I know is something like "body control module". And what does this BCM do?

Anything helps. Please post any suggestions or if you know how to fix it.
Thanks
it might be charging, but it doesn't do any good to charge a dead worn out battery. no mystery here...just a dead battery. replace it.

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Old 08-17-2009, 09:54 AM   #16
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Default Re: My battery is dead overnight

Quote:
Originally Posted by paul81 View Post
Thank you for all your info, but I've already explain in my first post that the battery was tested and it is ok, and the battery is charging when the engine is on. So that's why I skipped the battery problem.
did they test the battery with a load tester?

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Old 08-20-2012, 08:15 PM   #17
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Default Re: My battery is dead overnight

I would just like to say that I have a 2001 sc2, and having the exact same problem.....I even went and bought a brand new battery, which tested out to be good. The BCM has 3 connects beside each other, and when I pull the middle one, the ticking noise goes away, but car will not start without it. Same thing, if I was to leave battery hooked up overnight, it would be dead in the morning. Any help would be useful.

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Old 08-21-2012, 06:55 AM   #18
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Default Re: My battery is dead overnight

Well What to say Paul If you still facing battery problem you can get free advice from AAMCO Cleveland Centers! but for this you need to call on this number
(216) 688-6000, (216)-381-7730. I am sure you will definitely get best solution over here.

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