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Old 12-01-2022, 01:16 AM   #20
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Vellyn is on a distinguished road
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1997 SW2
Default Re: 1997 Saturn SW2 (HELP)

Originally Posted by billr View Post
OK, you say the battery drains "quick", but what does that mean? If fully charged (12.6V or more), does the battery drop to 11.9V in ten minutes? eight hours? What? A good battery, in a good SW2, will hold 12V or better for several weeks. If the battery is going down to 11.9 V just sitting overnight, then disconnect one battery cable and try again, see if the battery itself is bad and self-draining.

Since you say it is the 4th battery, I expect it is OK (unless it has been left discharge) for hours at a time). So, I am focused on parasitic current draw, but we need to have confidence the battery is OK. I suggest you take it to a FLAPS for load test, too.

Whatever further testing you do, be sure to always start the drive/test with the battery fully charged! Not only will this keep the battery healthy, but it gives us somewhat of a stable base-line while evaluating the symptoms you then report.

Did you try disconnecting the 10-wire cable on top of the trans and taking it for a ride? With that cable off, all electrical influence on the trans is removed and the engine should not rev freely without the car trying to move. The engine will rev up to about 2500 rpm if you give it full throttle; that is the stall speed of the trans torque converter. And, the car will not accelerate fast, even at full throttle, with that cable off. But the car should certainly not feel like it is going "backwards". If the engine rpm goes much past 2500 rpm, then there is probably a problem inside the trans. Tell us what you get.

The battery is draining within half an hour to an hour from 12.5v to between 11.9 and 11v. The battery when disconnected stays at around 12v.

We don't have a FLAPS but we have an Autozone. We had the alternator tested but haven't done a load test.

We have not tried the trans cable. (we should note, sometimes when shifting (typically into reverse) the car shifts hard and makes an audible thud)
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