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Dave Nova
Dave Nova, Buick Technician
Category: Buick
Satisfied Customers: 18829
Experience:  ASE Master Certification. GM World Class Certification
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Buick Park Avenue Ultra: I have having a problem with battery

Resolved Question:

I have having a problem with battery drain on my 1997 Buick Park Avenue. I have had the battery and alternator checked and they both are good. If the car sits for a couple of days it won't start and the battery has to be recharged. No lights or accessories are on. Any ideals?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Buick
Expert:  Dave Nova replied 2 years ago.
Hello and thank you for using JustAnswer. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will do my best to help you with your Buick problem.

There are several electronic modules in the car, if one of these modules fails to shut down then the result will be a drain on the battery. Following the method below will help you to narrow down which circuit has the draw on it.

  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. Connecting the red wire to the mA input on the multimeter won't work and could damage the meter.
  3. Attach a 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. Perform the same steps for relays found in the fuse panel. Sometimes relay contacts can fail to release causing a drain. Be sure to observe the ammeter after pulling each fuse or relay.
  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.
  9. You can also try unhooking the big wire from your alternator. The alternator can sometimes have a shorted diode that can cause amps to flow through the alternator's power cable and through the shorted diode and into the case and through the bolts and back to the negative battery terminal. This will drain a battery in a hurry.Make sure to read the ammeter before and after unplugging your Alternator.
Dave Nova, Buick Technician
Category: Buick
Satisfied Customers: 18829
Experience: ASE Master Certification. GM World Class Certification
Dave Nova and 2 other Buick Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I finished this procedure and everything appears to be ok. Amp meter dropped to 2 milliamps after about 2 mins. I did notice one other thing, if I turn the ignition switch to accessories and then off the radio keeps working. Normally if I open the driver side door the radio cuts off. This time it doesn't and the car will not start. Any suggestions?
Expert:  Dave Nova replied 2 years ago.
Try opening the passenger front door and see if the radio shuts off. Let me know what you find.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Same results, the radio stays on. If I try to start the car and then turn the switch to off the radio goes off.
Expert:  Dave Nova replied 2 years ago.
The Body control module controls power to the radio and should shut the power down when either door is opened. The problem looks to be in the body control module

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