92 Bonneville SE Electrical, Round 2


Old 07-15-02, 05:56 AM
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92 Bonneville SE Electrical, Round 2

I have a 92 Bonneville SE w/a rebuilt 3.8 V6 that has developed a slow battery drain...my original post was "92 Bonneville SE...poss electrical issue". I have since done what the person who replied to me suggested, which was to purchase a probe light and check all the fuses to see where the faulty circuit might be. The light itself is a simple item with an alligator clip on one end and a metal probe tip on the other. My problem is that the light never dimmed as the reply I received said it should...not even after I pulled every breaker and fuse from the car. Did I miss something? I removed the negative battery terminal....hooked the clip to the positive terminal then proceeded to check fuses by holding the probe end on the negative terminal. The light never dimmed once .
Also load-tested the battery...was fine. The person at Autozone suggested a faulty "voltage regulator"...if this part went bad would it cause a slow drain? And would there be warning signs at all? This problem just popped up one day w/no warning is why I ask. If it could be the "voltage regulator" might anyone know where that is found on a 3.8 V6 Bonneville? Any help is greatly appreciated, thank you.
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Old 07-15-02, 09:51 AM
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 1,531
The correct way on modern computerized systems is to use an amp meter. Used in series the way you hooked up the test light.

Some where around 50 mil amps or less is ok. Whats your draw?

Common things, trunk lite, vanity mirror lites, alarms, bad amps

Need to know what acc you have, ie alarm, amps etc

Old 07-15-02, 09:59 AM
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No special options...power mirrors, windows, driver-side seat. No alarms or special stereo equipment. Will try to purchase an amp-meter and test as I did before, thank you for the advice.
Old 07-15-02, 06:23 PM
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,538
sounds like you didnt hook the light up correctly you disconnect the negative cable and hook the test light clip to the cable you just removed and the probe to the negative terminal on the battery. an amp meter is more accurate as it will tell you how much draw you have, but keep in mind that if you have a hood light then you will need to disconnect it and if you have a door open you will have to hold in on the door switch so the draw from the dome and courtesy lamps will not show up when removing the fuses you can usually find the draw with a test light.
Old 07-15-02, 07:36 PM
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What you will find is the problem CIRCUIT. After that, you'll have to delve into it and see what's causing the drain in that circuit that you've isolated.
Old 07-15-02, 07:51 PM
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if it is in the voltage regulator then pulling fuzes wont help you locate it. if you dont get the draw down to 50 milliamps by pulling fuzes, pull the wires off the alternator. your voltage regulator is intergrated with the alternator. If that gets her down to the 50 milliamps then you found your problem
Old 07-15-02, 10:35 PM
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 438
Go read the old posting.
After disconnecting the negative battery cable, you should connect the clip end of the test light to the negative cable and the point end to the negative battery terminal. Then look for the light level as I previously described.

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