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Old 12-06-2018, 05:37 PM   #1
ratwhisperer
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1997 SL1
Default Parasitic Drain - electrical system

My 1997 SL1 with almost 285,000 miles on it is having an electrical problem If I leave it sitting overnight the battery is dead in the morning and I have to jump it. It drives fine once jumped, no issues.

This just started a week ago. Battery, alternator and starter test fine. No SES light. Battery is less than a year old and so is the alternator.

Cables are fine.

So my suspicion is a parasitic draw of some sort. What are the most common points of parasitic draw that these cars get? I've never had to deal with this before. Or are there any common places? If not, that's how it goes... prepared to test all the things.

Sigh. I hate electrical stuff. Any tips and tricks?

Thanks in advance as always.

...
Past:
1995 SW2 - Cynthia
2000 SW2 - Ruby
2004 Vue - Jade
1996 SL2 - Ursula
1994 SL2 - Nelly Belle

Current:
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1996 SL2 - Blanca - 36K

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Old 12-06-2018, 05:53 PM   #2
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Default Re: Parasitic Drain - electrical system

The trunk light staying on used to be an issue that would pop up once in awhile, fold the rear seat back down and take a peek.

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Old 12-06-2018, 08:37 PM   #3
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1999 SL2
2001 SL1
Default Re: Parasitic Drain - electrical system

The infamous chattering door locks will do it too. I remember on my 93 SW2 I'd lock the doors and walk away only to return latter to chattering door locks. Check your door switch.

...
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Old 12-07-2018, 12:55 AM   #4
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Default Re: Parasitic Drain - electrical system

It only takes a few minutes to figure it out. Put a meter in series between the (+) terminal on the battery and its cable and start pulling fuses 1 by 1 and look for the change on the meter.

...
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Old 12-07-2018, 02:49 PM   #5
ratwhisperer
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Default Re: Parasitic Drain - electrical system

Oh yeah I know how to diagnose it I just was wondering if there was any common hot spots I should check for. The trunk light could be the culprit. I will check that first. As for the chattering door locks. This car is the absolute base model, doesn't have power anything, doesn't even have power steering!

Thanks all for your responses!

...
Past:
1995 SW2 - Cynthia
2000 SW2 - Ruby
2004 Vue - Jade
1996 SL2 - Ursula
1994 SL2 - Nelly Belle

Current:
1997 SL1 - Cinnamon - 285K
1996 SL2 - Blanca - 36K

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Old 12-08-2018, 09:28 AM   #6
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1999 SL
Default Re: Parasitic Drain - electrical system

Just because the Battery is less then a Year Old, and Tests Fine, doesn't mean that it is Ok.

Honestly- if I was in your situation; I would take the battery back to where you bought it and swap it for a new one.

Stranger things have happened. I have had brand new batteries go bad- 6 months after I bought them, and then having to swap them out for new ones. It is very possible that your New Battery- while it may test good and be less than a year old- could very well have a bad cell in it- that right now; may not show signs of Testing bad, but is wreaking havoc on your electrical system as is shown with the Parasitic Drain. The weather is probably not helping the situation either, depending on where you may be located.

Cold Weather and a Bad Battery= Failing Battery in your car.

I would be willing to bet; that your Battery is the main culprit here.

...
Bryan

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Old 12-08-2018, 03:55 PM   #7
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1995 SL1
Default Re: Parasitic Drain - electrical system

Disconnect the battery and let it sit overnight then connect it and see if it will start.

Along with the other stuff, disconnect the alternator. They are famous for drains.

Highmile
'95 SL1 673k and counting

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Old 12-08-2018, 08:13 PM   #8
Bruce Rock
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Default Re: Parasitic Drain - electrical system

For newer vehicles, where current draw can be related to time after battery is connected, I like this method:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRcj1fQcWwU

Just remember, you may get a milli volt reading when your test leads are not connected. This doesn't your meter is faulty. It is due to them acting like an antenna, picking up electromagnetic waves (radio waves) and the multi-meter amplifying and displaying them.

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Old 12-10-2018, 02:04 PM   #9
ratwhisperer
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Default Re: Parasitic Drain - electrical system

Thank you so much for everyone's help! It turned out it was the trunk light after all (thank you for that suggestion!) I don't really even use the trunk light, so I just disconnected that, and we have had no issues since! Thank you all for your help!!! You are the best!

...
Past:
1995 SW2 - Cynthia
2000 SW2 - Ruby
2004 Vue - Jade
1996 SL2 - Ursula
1994 SL2 - Nelly Belle

Current:
1997 SL1 - Cinnamon - 285K
1996 SL2 - Blanca - 36K

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