87 Buick Lesabre battery draining

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  #1  
Old 02-20-06, 11:55 AM
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87 Buick Lesabre battery draining

Son-in-law has this car and the local mechanics told him all it needed was a new battery. He previously replaced the battery from Wal-Mart several times but it still kept going dead after a day or two. He replaced the alternator also. The local mechanics told hm the Wal-Mart batteries were crap and a new Interstate would solve all his problems. They said everything else checked out fine.
He put new plugs and wires on it also. However, after a couple of days the battery was dead again.
Any ideas?
Bob
 
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  #2  
Old 02-20-06, 12:08 PM
LouBazooka's Avatar
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Originally Posted by cleverdoc
Son-in-law has this car and the local mechanics told him all it needed was a new battery. He previously replaced the battery from Wal-Mart several times but it still kept going dead after a day or two. He replaced the alternator also. The local mechanics told hm the Wal-Mart batteries were crap and a new Interstate would solve all his problems. They said everything else checked out fine.
He put new plugs and wires on it also. However, after a couple of days the battery was dead again.
Any ideas?
Bob

Disconnect Pos + terminal while engine running , if engine dies it means a bad alternator/voltage regulator , in older cars these are separated in newer cars is all in the alt, it sounds like either something draining juice from the battery while not running or a bad alternator/alternator connection. Careful when working with battery, use safety glasses and gloves.
Batteries from walmart are ok , they go for about a year or more depending on car, Interstate batteries are supposedly the best in the market now, although in this case I dont think it matters what kind you're using if they're both new and fit the application.
 
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Old 02-20-06, 01:00 PM
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cleverdoc you don't indicate if you have simply been recharging the battery or replacing it each time?
 
  #4  
Old 02-20-06, 02:26 PM
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re:battery drain

The battery has been replaced several times, now he is charging it in order to get back and forth to work. It appears to be draining while it is parked, if that is possible. I told him next time to yank a cable after he gets to work then see if it starts after he puts it on when his shift is over. Even if that eliminates the obvious, (alternator, voltage regulator), I would be totally stumped what to do next. It's not a pretty car but it runs great when it starts. Just hate giving up on it.
Thanks
Bob
 
  #5  
Old 02-20-06, 04:40 PM
ASEPartsman
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Originally Posted by LouBazooka
Disconnect Pos + terminal while engine running , if engine dies it means a bad alternator/voltage regulator , in older cars these are separated in newer cars is all in the alt, it sounds like either something draining juice from the battery while not running or a bad alternator/alternator connection. Careful when working with battery, use safety glasses and gloves.
Batteries from walmart are ok , they go for about a year or more depending on car, Interstate batteries are supposedly the best in the market now, although in this case I dont think it matters what kind you're using if they're both new and fit the application.
This is a GM CS style alternator that needs reference voltage to charge. If you disconnect the battery while the engine is running it WILL die no matter if the alternator or voltage regulator (inside the alternator) are good or not. Also this is dangerous as it can send voltage spikes through your system and damage sensitive electrical components such as your ECM.
 
  #6  
Old 02-21-06, 04:00 AM
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Originally Posted by cleverdoc
The battery has been replaced several times, now he is charging it in order to get back and forth to work. It appears to be draining while it is parked, if that is possible. I told him next time to yank a cable after he gets to work then see if it starts after he puts it on when his shift is over. Even if that eliminates the obvious, (alternator, voltage regulator), I would be totally stumped what to do next. It's not a pretty car but it runs great when it starts. Just hate giving up on it.
Thanks
Bob
I had a 1974 Triumph TR6 which had the same problem. You could hear a "click" when you attached the battery cable. We didn't drive the car much and I didn't want to spend the time tracing the problem so I just installed one of those battery cut off switches. Presto, no more dead batteries.
 
  #7  
Old 03-04-06, 09:06 PM
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Could be a bad alternator or regulator. you can have them checked. If it's not that then you have a circuit that is staying on when the switch is turned off, draining the battery because the car isn't running. It's not a short circuit, it's just a circuit that isn't shutting off when it's supposed to, like when the key is off. Could be anything from a very simple fix to near impossible to find. . I had a similar problem with an old truck. The lens cover for the interior light was so discolored, I couldn't tell it was in the on position, and it would run down my battery when parked. Check first for interior lights that stay on when key is off.
The easiest way to check for battery drain is to disconnect the positive cable(either one will work, just don't cross positive to negative) when you have a good charge on the battery. Take the key out of ignition. Touch positive cable terminal to positive battery terminal, and look for spark. Might do this several times. If you see a spark, you definitely have a circuit staying on(it may be possible for you to have a problem circuit and not see a spark if the drain is very slow). If you see a spark, you can troubleshoot the problem by disconnecting a fuse one at a time until the wire doesn't spark any more(you could use a test light instead of the "spark" method, but you'd have to know what to hook up). This will narrow the problem to a particular circuit such as "radio", etc, but then you'll have to figure it out from there. If you can't figure out where the drain is coming from, you can always disconnect the problem fuse when you park.
Or you can just forget the troubleshooting and disconnect the battery each time you park.
 
  #8  
Old 03-05-06, 11:39 PM
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Check under dash for wires that mite be bare or lose.Such as radio and chack dome light allso auto head light switch as thay some times come on them selfs like my 97 ford.Check in trunk as well as make sure brake lights go out after parking. good luck.
 
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