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Old 01-28-2012, 01:36 PM   #1
Whitedove
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2008 VUE 3.6L
Default Dead Car...battery? 08 Vue

My 08 Vue AWD XR, wouldn't unlock w/fob, remote, no alarm, lights, radio, etc. I had to do a manual unlock, car won't start, no sound, nothing at all. After, I can't remove my key because it locks in access? position. My son, removed battery, took it to sears, where I bought it about a year ago. Battery is fast charged? and tests fine.

My son, hooked it back up, vehicle starts right away, everything works fine.
I didn't drive it at all that day or night so then the next day, all the above problems take place again.

Go back to Sears, slow charged this time and again battery tests fine.

Left the battery unhooked all afternoon and overnight, my son just came over and hooked it up and everything works fine.

I am concerned I could drive somewhere and the problem happen again, and I would be stranded, is there anything my son or I (single woman, knows nada about cars) could check to see if there is anything wrong as the battery tests fine and so I do not know what could be the issue.

also, no lights have been left on and nothing left plugged in, etc.

Oh, AND, this problem happened ONCE before about 3 months ago so I am unsure why it would happen again after all this time.

Thank you : )

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Old 01-28-2012, 03:02 PM   #2
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Default Re: Dead Car...battery? 08 Vue

There is a significant parasitic power draw on battery.

You probably realize there's always some small level of power being used for radio, control modules (vehicle security), etc. but a fully charged battery should stay alive for many days or weeks.

I'll check for applicable service bulletins and in meantime check with your son to see if he has a volt-ohm-amp meter. This is the easiest way to determine how much of a draw is placed on battery and its also possible to remove fuses to measure current draw of any suspect circuit.

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Old 01-28-2012, 03:26 PM   #3
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Default Re: Dead Car...battery? 08 Vue

Dear grumpy

Thank you for your reply and willingness to give and search info.
I will ask my son if he has one of those ohm things.

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Old 01-28-2012, 04:27 PM   #4
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Default Re: Dead Car...battery? 08 Vue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Whitedove View Post
I will ask my son if he has one of those ohm things.
Our best hope is 2008 owner with similar experiences will tune in.

I've attached two docs - the Word doc is a few extracts cut-n-pasted with hints on how to use ammeter to isolate the defective circuit.

The other is a GM bulletin with good information regarding care and feeding of the electrical system.

Good luck and don't hesitate to post more questions as well as status reports.
Attached Files
File Type: doc Vue Parasitic Testing.doc (22.5 KB, 72 views)
File Type: pdf 08 Vue - Low Voltage.pdf (66.2 KB, 53 views)

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Old 01-29-2012, 05:30 PM   #5
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Default Re: Dead Car...battery? 08 Vue

so, my son doesn't have a ohm meter. he had something, to check the alternator and he said it seems fine. He is learning about cars and works on his own but his an real old camaro and doesn't have computer etc.

so far car still starts up, however my OnStar light was on all day yesterday, not sure about before...I didn't notice. This morning the light was green but then later red and still is red.

I called OnStar, tech dept. said they can't do a diagnostic because my light is red, and I would need to have it checked by a GM dealer.

Anyway my son doesn't know a lot about these kind of car problems,
I can't afford to bring it in, so I have to wait for now.

If there is anything else please let me know. Thank you.

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Old 01-29-2012, 06:02 PM   #6
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Default Re: Dead Car...battery? 08 Vue

This is an interesting post with something that I thought about and put aside until your last post; OnStar. Somewhere on these forums another member encountered something similar and it was a dead back up battery for OnStar causing the main car battery to discharge. You might want to research this or have GM look into this. OnStar has its own program to turn on periodically and there is a flaw (in my opinion) about its use related to privacy issues as well as how and when OnStar is controlled. In essence, OnStar is not turned off completely by you. Something to consider. The red light is the hint.

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Old 01-29-2012, 06:57 PM   #7
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Default Re: Dead Car...battery? 08 Vue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Whitedove View Post
so, my son doesn't have a ohm meter. he had something, to check the alternator and he said it seems fine. He is learning about cars and works on his own but his an real old camaro and doesn't have computer etc.

so far car still starts up, however my OnStar light was on all day yesterday, not sure about before...I didn't notice. This morning the light was green but then later red and still is red.

I called OnStar, tech dept. said they can't do a diagnostic because my light is red, and I would need to have it checked by a GM dealer.

Anyway my son doesn't know a lot about these kind of car problems,
I can't afford to bring it in, so I have to wait for now.

If there is anything else please let me know. Thank you.
See the attachment for OnStar - same info would be in owners manual or OnStar data-package delivered with the Vue.

I've also attached a schematic in case your son or other members would like to review possibilities.

The BUB instructions indicate strange events are possible within the OnStar module if the main battery is disconnected with ignition key ON.

You may also want to become familiar with the Sleep Cycle information.

You can eliminate OnStar as possible culprit by removing the 15 amp OnStar fuse from the instrument panel fuse block. (A job for your son).

The owners manual should have a chart to locate this panel and the fuse. The panel is located in the center console (access door is near front passenger left foot for 2007 and older Vue's).
Attached Files
File Type: pdf 08 Vue - On-Star Info.pdf (40.3 KB, 60 views)
File Type: pdf 08 Vue - OnStar Wiring.pdf (127.3 KB, 24 views)

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Old 01-30-2012, 08:38 PM   #8
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Default Re: Dead Car...battery? 08 Vue

Just a thought - don't know if it pulls enough power to drain your battery, but Saturn had a fix for the light in the glove box staying on all the time. I finally took my bulb out after their "fix" worked for a while.

Homer

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Old 01-30-2012, 11:10 PM   #9
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Default Re: Dead Car...battery? 08 Vue

Quote:
Originally Posted by homerec130 View Post
Just a thought - don't know if it pulls enough power to drain your battery, but Saturn had a fix for the light in the glove box staying on all the time. I finally took my bulb out after their "fix" worked for a while.

Homer
Homer - you could be spot-on. I didn't think of that because I've not had a light in a glovebox in a long time.

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Old 02-23-2012, 10:33 AM   #10
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Default Re: Dead Car...battery? 08 Vue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Whitedove View Post
My 08 Vue AWD XR, wouldn't unlock w/fob, remote, no alarm, lights, radio, etc. I had to do a manual unlock, car won't start, no sound, nothing at all. After, I can't remove my key because it locks in access? position. My son, removed battery, took it to sears, where I bought it about a year ago. Battery is fast charged? and tests fine.

My son, hooked it back up, vehicle starts right away, everything works fine.
I didn't drive it at all that day or night so then the next day, all the above problems take place again.

Go back to Sears, slow charged this time and again battery tests fine.

Left the battery unhooked all afternoon and overnight, my son just came over and hooked it up and everything works fine.

I am concerned I could drive somewhere and the problem happen again, and I would be stranded, is there anything my son or I (single woman, knows nada about cars) could check to see if there is anything wrong as the battery tests fine and so I do not know what could be the issue.

also, no lights have been left on and nothing left plugged in, etc.

Oh, AND, this problem happened ONCE before about 3 months ago so I am unsure why it would happen again after all this time.

Thank you : )
This happened to me two weeks ago.

The car went dead on a parking lot for no reason. I called AAA to jump the battery. The car started right there without a problem. Then I realized I didn't have enough gas to go back home, so I asked the AAA driver to go with me to the Gas station on the edge of the parking lot. I turned the engine off to refuel, then it started without a problem. The AAA driver seemed amused. He said there must be something wrong.

However, it hasn't come back, so far.

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Old 02-23-2012, 11:04 AM   #11
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Default Re: Dead Car...battery? 08 Vue

I have had this problem on 3 different occasions with my Wife's '08 VUE.
The first time was about a week after we bought it as a used vehicle in 2009.
Called the Saturn dealer, I jump started it, drove to the dealer and left it for the day.
They found the OnStar battery was dead. They replaced both the OnStar battery, and the car battery at no charge.
Since that time, on 2 occasions my Wife has gone out in the morning to find it dead. I run home from work and find it so dead that not even interior lights will glow.
I jump start it and all seems fine.
This is always in the back of my mind, just waiting for it to happen again.
It's clearly a parasitic drain, but so intermittent that I don't know how anyone could go about tracking the source down.
This is the first I have heard of the glove box light being the source, but don't lights that are left on time out after 20 minutes or so?
And really, a glove box light even if it were left on shouldn't drain a 12v car battery inside of 12-18 hours.

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Old 02-05-2013, 03:27 PM   #12
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Default Re: Dead Car...battery? 08 Vue

Quote:
Originally Posted by far2grumpy View Post
Our best hope is 2008 owner with similar experiences will tune in.
2008 Vue Redline ~60K miles bought it new.

Every now and then my wife's car does not have enough power to start. If I jump it or recharge the battery everything is fine for while until it randomly happens again. The car gets used all the time so there is no reason for the battery to be dead.

Alternator output is 14.8V at idle and the battery (8 months old) tests OK I have not done a parasitic draw test yet.

Does anyone have a link to the TSB about undercharging? I couldn't find anything under my alldatadiy.com subscription.

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Old 02-05-2013, 05:11 PM   #13
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Default Re: Dead Car...battery? 08 Vue

Quote:
Originally Posted by 68rustang View Post
2008 Vue Redline ~60K miles bought it new.

Every now and then my wife's car does not have enough power to start. If I jump it or recharge the battery everything is fine for while until it randomly happens again. The car gets used all the time so there is no reason for the battery to be dead.

Alternator output is 14.8V at idle and the battery (8 months old) tests OK I have not done a parasitic draw test yet.

Does anyone have a link to the TSB about undercharging? I couldn't find anything under my alldatadiy.com subscription.
I made fast-pass thru the GM electrical problem area ... found the usual suspects (OnStar, Class2, glove-box light) ... there could be more and will look more later.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf 08 Vue - Batt Drain Diagnosis.pdf (33.3 KB, 26 views)
File Type: pdf 08 Vue - Batt Dschrged.pdf (20.6 KB, 18 views)
File Type: pdf OnStar Battery Drain.pdf (23.2 KB, 15 views)

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Old 02-27-2013, 06:37 PM   #14
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Default Re: Dead Car...battery? 08 Vue

WE just experienced the same issue, odd 'dead' battery. Actually it was down to 10.8 volts; enough to kick the headlights and locks but no starter.

I put a charger on it, got the battery to 75% and kicked it over and started it up. Took it to the GM dealer for a check out. Alternator and battery check fine.

What we did NOT notice was that the Garmin and a 3 outlet adapter had been left plugged in, but was covered up down in the center console where the cup holders are. The car had been sitting about 3 days or so and that's what caused it. The outlets are HOT all the time, even with key OFF and alarm on.

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Old 02-27-2013, 07:02 PM   #15
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Default Re: Dead Car...battery? 08 Vue

Are you aware that the power outlets were always HOT? If you grew up with smokers and cigarette lighters in older cars you'd understand - anyone smoking always had the electric cigarette lighter available for use without the ignition switch turned on. Its was a feature when smoking was big and made people 'mature'....................

The electrical heating element/cigarette lighter is left out since a more educated public now sees smoking as a health hazard. The term 'power outlet' replaces 'cigarette lighter outlet'. Same 12v outlet, always HOT.

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Old 02-27-2013, 08:39 PM   #16
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Default Re: Dead Car...battery? 08 Vue

Are you speaking to me? Don't make assumptions.

Yes, I'm aware of that (now). Some vehicles are not. My old Isuzu truck has a switched 12V cigarette lighter. Key off, 12V off. I'm 55 (a former smoker) and have owned many cars since 1973, to include several 1st generation Camaros, several Ford Galaxie 500's, Dodge, pickup trucks, etc etc. We currently own a 2004 GMC Envoy XUV, a 2012 Genesis V6, and my 1990 Isuzu (SpaceCab LS 4x4 2.6L). My mom (age 83) drives the '08 Saturn. And had the GPS and 3 outlet adapter (with it's RED LED) not been covered up with a microfiber towel (as they were down in the cup holder "well") when she parked it 4 days ago, the outlet would have been vacated and the car battery would not have dripped to 10v...

As for it being the same 12V outlet as a cigarette lighter, no it is not. I've run into this discussion on other forums.

We tend to treat our older vehicles cigarette "lighter socket" as the same kind of 12V power adapter found in today's vehicle. It is not. The older fixture or receptacle itself is of a design that provides relatively low current and POOR contact stability. So while appearing the 'same', it is not the same 12V DC power socket of today. Usually, only one 12 V receptacle near the driver will accommodate an actual cigarette lighter, with other receptacles designated as "12 V auxiliary power outlets" which are not physically able to power a car lighter.

Automobiles and SUVs may provide several 12 V receptacles that are intended only to operate accessories and that are not to be used with a cigarette lighter....and a car manufacturer may make a cigarette lighter an optional extra-cost accessory.

I even have a 12V power adapter on my 2006 Suzuki motorcycle, not a cigarette lighter, in the front 'trunk' area. Since my Isuzu is my daily driver here, and I've owned it since it had 15 miles on it (it has 201,000 now) when I bought it in October 1989, forgive me if I sometimes forget that GM vehicles have an always-hot 12V receptacle. In any case, the cigarette lighter outlet in my Isuzu is fused 15 amp only, and I continually have to ensure the 12V plug of whatever device I use stays connected in the socket as they tend to work themselves loose often. It's just how the socket is made. It's not a 12V adapter socket.



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Are you aware that the power outlets were always HOT? If you grew up with smokers and cigarette lighters in older cars you'd understand - anyone smoking always had the electric cigarette lighter available for use without the ignition switch turned on. Its was a feature when smoking was big and made people 'mature'....................

The electrical heating element/cigarette lighter is left out since a more educated public now sees smoking as a health hazard. The term 'power outlet' replaces 'cigarette lighter outlet'. Same 12v outlet, always HOT.

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Old 02-27-2013, 09:09 PM   #17
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Default Re: Dead Car...battery? 08 Vue

I made no assumptions as I asked if you are aware of these power outlets as cigarette lighter outlets. Please don't get your dander up. Its not worth arguing. If you know about what was always a cigarette lighter outlet that was adapted for many other uses then you should also know that lighters draw current. Look again at the fuse for this outlet. It hasn't changed. Most lighter outlets are fused for at least 10-15 amps. Please tell this isn't a large amount; if current can't power up a heating element that draws 10 amps then what current does it take to power a heating element? Less?

When cigarette lighters were made they usually worked to pop out on their own after heating up, making them almost fool proof. Unfortunately, you are not alone in leaving adapters plugged in and assumed outlets power off when turning off the ignition switch. I grew up with smokers and always knew these outlets were HOT and never assumed the opposite - it works out better this way in my opinion as anything I plugged in was usually disconnected, assuming power is still there. Disconnecting any outlet on any vehicle ensures a battery won't drain and a wiser method, agree? There are many that do exactly as you do and find out the same way about killing a battery from leaving things plugged in...................

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Old 02-27-2013, 09:47 PM   #18
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Default Re: Dead Car...battery? 08 Vue

OK, let me be as specific as possible:

My 83-yr old mom drives the 08 Vue. We got the vehicle the end of January to replace her '04 Saturn which had been totaled in an accident the first week of January.

Sometime prior to her parking the car a few days ago, my mom and my 87-yr old dad drove it into town (about 12 miles to Lancaster OH). They had the GPS hooked up. It was plugged into a 3 outlet adapter that itself was sitting down in the cup holder well. The plug for that snaked around and was plugged into the 12V adapter on the REAR of the console, in the back seat floor area.

Now, when they parked the car when they got to wherever it was they were going, my Dad, takes the Garmin off the dash and sets it down in the cup holder well, so it's not visible to potential thieves. It was face down. They (he or she, I don't know who) then covered THAT up with a dark blue microfiber towel. The got back into the vehicle. They did NOT put the GPS back on the dash but got to talking, as 80-somethings do, and drove home. They parked the Vue, got out, forgot to unplug it (as it was covered up) locked it and that was that...until yesterday morning when it would not start.

So, I get in to move it, it won't start. Lights OK, unlocks OK, battery 10.something volts. Won't kick starter. Charged battery, took it to dealer to have it checked since we'd had it less than a month and it has a Motor Trend Warranty. They said it was fine, charged battery. When we got in to leave, I looked down and asked Dad where the GPS was, he said, "Oh right here and pulled the towel off the Garmin and sat it up on the dash, and it was already on. I looked at and smiled and said, guess what drained the battery?" He laughed and said, "Well I reckon it would". SO I said he MIGHT want to make sure that all the stuff was unplugged as it's a non-switch outlet, unlike my switched-outlet Isuzu (import) which I've driven for almost 24 years.

As an addendum, we have an 04 Envoy; Couple of years ago, one time, my wife left the radar detector plugged in an on for a few days and it too drained the battery in it. So no big deal. I

As far as the Vue goes, I did not catch it at home (just did not SEE it), neither did the dealer catch it. So no worse for wear, we did get a free car wash out of the deal and my dad and I got to spend a couple of quality hours together.

So that's what happened.

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Old 03-01-2013, 09:52 AM   #19
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Default Re: Dead Car...battery? 08 Vue

...and I have checked "glove box light" just in case.... thx!

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Old 03-01-2013, 04:36 PM   #20
fdryer
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: NYC
Posts: 30,058
 

2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: Dead Car...battery? 08 Vue

Have a hidden trunk light? Oh snap, you don't.

Some S-series members killed their batteries with an errant trunk light staying on ..................

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