I think there is a constant drain on my battery.


Old 01-15-03, 06:28 AM
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Question I think there is a constant drain on my battery.


Lately my van has had problems starting after a few quick trips. It always starts on the first try of the day. But gets worst as the day goes on. When it doesn't start I hear clicking. I guessing the solinoid switch?
Last month my alt & battery had to be replaced. (I noticed that the warning battery light came on just after I had pulled my hazzard switch.)
Had the new battery & alt recently checked. The battery was low. Had it charged. Checked connections. All were fine. Started great the first day but now it's giving me problems again. Here's my question:

Could a seat belt alarm that comes on & off when the engine is off be enough to drain the battery?

Or how about a radio/cassette player that was conected so that it bypasses the igintion? (I make sure that the radio is off when the engine is off.)

I didn't hook up the radio so I don't know much about the conection.

But here's what I do know:

87 Astro Van
automatic trans

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Old 01-15-03, 09:41 AM
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Make sure the radio is hooked up the ignition circuit so it goes on and off (Power wise) with the key being on or off. That's the first step.

Pull out the belt buzzer and see if that solves your problem. If so, bad buzzer.

Barring that, do an alternator output check as noted in my "The Basics" post below.
Old 01-15-03, 09:44 AM
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I see you bought a "new" alternator. Is it a new or rebuilt? There are a lot of rebuilt alternators sold which do not work properly. I would check this first. The GM alternators can put out the proper voltage but with very low amps, this will cause the battery to slowly loose it's charge.
When you're sure the alternator is not the problem...

Get a 12 volt test light. Disconnect the battery at the negative post, and connect the test light between the battery post and the negative lead. You should see a dim light when this is connected. The dim light occurs because a small amount of current is being drawn by clock, radio memory, etc. If you have a bright light, something is pulling a fair amount of power. To find out what componet is using the juice, pull your fuses one at a time and check the light between each. When your light dims, you have located the circuit that's drawing the power. You then can check each item on that circuit.
Good luck and let us know what you find,
Old 01-15-03, 09:52 AM
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Thumbs up

I agree with Dan too.
Old 01-16-03, 10:48 AM
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Smile It's the starter.

Hello guys,

Thanks for the advice, but since I'm no expert, I decided to take it to a ACDelco auto repair/parts shop today. I've read many times on this form that ACDelco is the way to go! They checked it out & found that the starter motor is bad. The're putting on a aftermarket one.

Here's to a quick start on a cold morning.


P.S. Here's a dumb question. Does aftermarket mean barley used?
Or just not from the dealer.

Last edited by Ceaser; 01-16-03 at 11:07 AM.
Old 01-16-03, 04:43 PM
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Aftermarket means a company other than the carmaker or its authorized dealers/parts distributors.

AC Delco is a GM trademark and means that the parts made for that brand meet GM specifications and are authorized to be used at GM dealers. That's the short answer.

Aftermarket parts can be just as good---just aren't endorsed by the OEM companies.
Old 01-17-03, 09:01 AM
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I know this may be an invalid, or rediculous point, however. I noticed he mentioned that his van starts up no problem the first time, and it is after some quick trips that the engine is hard to start.

I recently read, I believe on this forum, that many short trips with the fan on full blast and the radio going, etc, that the alternator doesn't have time to fully recharge the battery, thus after several short trips draining the battery too much to turn over the engine. Just for my own info, is this correct?
Old 01-17-03, 09:03 AM
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Shouldn't really matter much.
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