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Dave Nova
Dave Nova, Buick Technician
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93 Buick Lesabre: that loses its battery charge..curcuit is drawing

Customer Question

I have a 93 Buick Lesabre that loses its battery charge within a few days. It seems to
be a curcuit is drawing down the charge. It will not hold a charge. It has a new battery.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Buick
Expert:  Dave Nova replied 4 years ago.

Hello and welcome to justanswer.

 

The proper way to check for parasitic draw on the battery is with an ammeter. Follow the procedure below to narrow down which circuits/components are causing the draw.

 

  1. Remove the negative side battery cable from the negative battery terminal.
  2. Connect the black wire to the com input on the multimeter and the red wire to the 10A or 20A input on the multimeter. the meter needs to be able to read at least a 2 or 3 amps for this test to work. so connecting the red wire to the mA input on the multimeter wont work.
  3. Attach an multimeter(set the dial on the multimeter to measure Amps as per multimeters instructions) between the negative cable and the negative battery post. Wait a few seconds to several minutes for the car to go into sleep mode - i.e. when you make the contact with the ammeter, the cars computer systems "wake up". After a bit of time they will go back to "sleep".
  4. If the ammeter is reading over 25-50 milliamps, something is using too much battery power.
  5. Go to the fuse panel(s) and remove fuses, one at a time. Pull the main fuses (higher amp ratings)last. Be sure to observe the ammeter after pulling each fuse.
  6. Watch for the ammeter to drop to acceptable drain. The fuse that reduces the drain is the draw. Consult the owners' manual or service manual to find what circuits are on that fuse.
  7. Check each device (circuit) on that fuse. Stop each lamp, heater, etc. to find the drain.
  8. Repeat steps 1&2 to test your repair. The ammeter will tell you exact numbers.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I did a amp draw and found 2 curcuits drawing 220 mA. Both fuses under the hood 40A fuse labeled Int Lmp/horn (interior lamps) and the other ELC. The Int Lmp curcut is affected by the Left Front Door. It is draw sometimes when door is closed and always when door is open, and somtimes only 7 mA when door is closed. Intermitant problem. Where is the Door Switch on the LeSabre. It isn't in the door jamb. The 2 curcuits don't seem to add up. The sum of the separate draws is greater than the draw of both.
Expert:  Dave Nova replied 4 years ago.

Is it fuse #3 in the panel below?

 

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And fuse #7 in the panel below?

 

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These fuses both supply current to the lighting circuits and the sum of the amperage draw may not be equal to the sum of both circuits because they may feed some of the same components.

 

The door switches are built into the door latch on this vehicle.

 

 

If you can verify that these are the two fuses you are indicating then I can give you some other fuses to pull to help narrow down the problem.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Fuses 3 & 7 are correct. I didnt mention before that I pulled and tested all the interior fuses on the driver's side fuse box prior to testing the under the hood fuses.
Expert:  Dave Nova replied 4 years ago.

Fuse 7 feeds two other fuses in the relay center. The relay center is under the dash on the passenger side. See diagrams and pictures below.

 

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Dave, I have identified the circuit as fuse 3 of the relay center (passenger side) fuse box which is marked Door Locks. I then disconnected all of the door locks and the door open switches in the door panels. This did not eliminate the current draw Is there other components in this curcuit to check or is the problem could a short in the wiring
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I have located a component that is creating the draw. A Relay in the relay box was activating when fuse was inserted. Relay was pulled and draw decreased from 170 mA to 25 mA. I replaced relay with ajacent relay and still have current draw. The relay is labeled courtesy lights.
Expert:  Dave Nova replied 4 years ago.

Try disconnecting the remote door lock module (RAC module in picture below) to see if the power draw goes away. This module may be turning on the courtesy light relay.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Dave, I tried pulling the Remote door opener RAC connector and the door lock relay connector no difference. I would like a diagram of the courtesy circuit and location of all the courtesy lights. It is in this circuit. Thanks Sherril.
Expert:  Dave Nova replied 4 years ago.

Here are four diagrams showing all of the courtesy lamp circuits. Note that there are some differences depending on whether your Lesabre is a Limited or Custom series.

 

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Dave Nova, Buick Technician
Category: Buick
Satisfied Customers: 18959
Experience: ASE Master Certification. GM World Class Certification
Dave Nova and 7 other Buick Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Dave, I found the problem. It was the interior lamp dimmer. When the dimmer is all the way bright (MAX). the draw was 170 mA. When the dimmer is off of max 1/4" from max the draw is 12 mA. Instead of tearing into the dash and fixing the controller. I decided to stop it from hitting max by using match stick as a stop. Hard to find. Simple fix. I noticed that one of the diagrams indicated the dimmer. Thanks for your help. This vehicle has been sitting for over 6 months because of this.

Sherril.

 

Expert:  Dave Nova replied 4 years ago.
You are welcome. Problems like this can be a real bear to track down. Glad I was able to help. Thanks for using Justanswer. Feel free to ask for me by name if you need help again.

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