Battery Keeps getting Drained

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  #1  
Old 09-19-04, 08:27 PM
thekeymaker
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Battery Keeps getting Drained

the patient here is a 1995 chevy astro van. with a 4.3 vortec engine saturday i tryed starting it iot would not start. tryed jumping it and it still would not start. a Mechanic sprayed some starting fluid into the air intake and it started. drove it home shut it off. tryed starting it later it would not start. went out bought a Brand new battery took out the old one and installed the new one. went to go try it the truck started up shut it off tryed restarting it no go still wouldnt start. any idea on what is or might be draining this Battery so darn Quick. Don,
 
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Old 09-20-04, 05:24 AM
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Let's back up a second for some clarification:


When you say "won't start" do you mean cranks but won't fire or won't crank?

How exactly are you determining that the battery(s) in question are/were actually dead/bad? If you are not using some form of test equipment, STOP and get some. Simply turning the key and getting a no-crank does not mean the battery is necessarily "dead". Other possiblities include bad starter, bad solenoid, bad battery terminal connectors, bad ignition switch, bad transmission safety switch.

When the "mechanic" sprayed starting starting fluid into it and it started, was the engine at that time cranking but not firing or not cranking? If it was not cranking, the starting fluid "fix" was a coincidence.

Very unlikely that a brand new would go dead inside a few minutes as you described. Much more likely you have a wiring and/or conncetion problem somewhere in the starter circuit. If the engine is cranking properly but not firing, it won't be a battery problem.
 
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Old 09-20-04, 07:18 AM
thekeymaker
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it won't turn over or start like it should. i had one mechanic say it sounded like the starter. how can i test the other things just to be sure. right now we are guessing it is the starter. as when you do a break down check battery starter alternator etc.
 
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Old 09-20-04, 12:00 PM
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Next time it won't crank, give the body of the starter a couple of good whacks with a hammer (being careful not to hit any terminals or other breakables). If it then cranks okay - bad starter.
 
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Old 09-20-04, 01:36 PM
thekeymaker
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i was thinking of doing that trick. but how can i when i'm the only one working on it. Don,
 
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Old 09-21-04, 05:40 AM
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Climb under, whack it a couple of times, get in and try cranking it. May have to do it several times. Sometimes better to try cranking while whacking it, but you can often get the same results by doing the operations separately. The starter in my wrecker (350 Chevy motor) has gone south a couple of times out of the blue and I've had to do it solo.

Before you get too wound up on the starter double check ALL connections including where the negative cable bolts to the frame. We often go out to jump start calls and discover the customer has a fully charged battery but a bad battery cable connection. Bolt-on replacement terminal ends have a high rate of corroding and causing bad connections, but that's normally on older vehicles where a terminal needed to be replaced at some time previously.
 
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Old 09-21-04, 06:21 AM
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a word of caution...

...you can easily crack the field coils when you "whack" the starter with a hammer...be cautious. most reputable electrical repair specialist shops can test batteries, starters, generators and alternators. if that engine uses a gear reduction starter, and i think it does, they can be very pricey to replace. it may be cheaper to have it rebuilt...
 
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Old 09-21-04, 07:57 AM
thekeymaker
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how can i tell if it does have a gear reduction thing. i'm thinking of just replacing the starter and seeing if thats it.
 
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Old 09-21-04, 09:02 AM
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the replacement starter will be...

...alot more expensive than conventional. i can't tell you what to do...but if you are just going to install parts to determine the cause of your problem...you probably don't need us
 
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Old 09-21-04, 12:11 PM
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I second what carguy says. If you're going to pull the starter with the intent to replace it, at least take it to a starter/alternator shop and have it checked before you actually plunk down the money for the replacement. Simply removing and reinstalling the new starter you could accidently fix the real problem, like a bad connection on the starter, and not know it (although as long as the problem was fixed, you probably wouldn't care).
 
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Old 09-21-04, 02:30 PM
thekeymaker
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i was thinking of testing it with a hammer before pulling it. and taking it up to autozone to get tested. the main thing is finding a AC/Delco Part
 
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Old 09-21-04, 03:09 PM
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If the engine does not crank over when the key is turned to start,make sure the battery is fully charged and the terminals are clean.Get an assistant and a testlight.Crawl under the vehicle(observing safety precautions of course)and ground the testlamp to the starter bolt and the other end to the large nut on the starter where the positive cable attaches.It should be bright if the cables are good.Next touch the testlight to the terminal the purple small wire goes to and have the assistant attempt to start the vehicle if it lights bright and it does not crank the starter is bad.Do this simple test then respond with the results.Do not shortcut any steps or the results will be wrong.
 
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Old 09-21-04, 05:45 PM
thekeymaker
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Davo thanks for the tip but the test light you are talking about. is there a certain brand etc. to get and is the purple wire on the light tester or the vehicle. Don,
 
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Old 09-24-04, 02:41 PM
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Sorry any test light 12 volt will do.The purple wire(comes from the ignition switch) goes to the starter small terminal.
 
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Old 09-25-04, 03:41 PM
thekeymaker
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Thanks Davo and Don't be sorry. turns out the Starter and Alternator are both good. the problem seems to be the terminals at the Battery now evreything is Clean on them. no Acid etc. looks like the bolts need to be tightened or with just a little bit longer bolt. Don,
 
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Old 11-28-06, 11:56 PM
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Battery Keeps getting Drained

It sounds as if you have a grounding short somewhere in the wiring. Usually this happens along the battery cables, alternator, or the starter. One way to see if this is the case is to see if the frame or the engine block near the battery, alternator, or starter is carrying a slight charge.
 
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Old 11-29-06, 04:11 AM
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Welcome to the forums TechPuppet but this thread is over 2 years old .I hope by now they have gotten it fixed.
 
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