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Pete
Pete, Auto Mechanic
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 15755
Experience:  14 years GM dealer Technician.
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2004 chevy: battery drain..it sits for a day the battery is dead

Customer Question

I have a battery drain in a 2004 chevy silverado.I put a new battery in,and a new alternator.But after it sits for a day the battery is dead.There is a battery drain coming from somewhere.I've never used a multimeter before to check things,if that is the case then I don't know what to set it on or that much how to go about doing it.Im trying not to take it to a garage cause right now I just dont have the money to do it.So I am trying to locate it myself.So if you could give me ideas or detailed information on how to locate the draw I would appreciate it.Thank You!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Chevy
Expert:  Pete replied 2 years ago.
Hello,I will be glad to try and assist you with this,Welcome to Just Answer.

Hi.

First do you have a multi meter that reads milliamp or amperage?

Is anything noticed acting up electronically in the vehicle at any time or stuck powered up in the vehicle?

Let me know so we can continue,Thanks Pete!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes I have a multimeter.The service airbag light came on and I had it serviced.I had it off and they serviced it and turned it on AUTO.But I noticed on the rear view mirrior it says off.But I don't think thats where the draw is coming from.Besides that everything that I know of was working ok.
Expert:  Pete replied 2 years ago.
O.k.

Heres your first step to checking the battery drain,we will continue from here on this.

Close the vehicles doors with them unlocked and nothing plugged into any outlet on the vehicle.

Then disconnect the negative cable on the battery,set your multi meter to amps/dc amps.Then take one lead of the meter and connect it to the ground cable that was connected to the battery,take the other cable from the meter and connect it to the negative post of the battery.This way the current flows through the meter.

You should then see a display of the amperage draw on the vehicle.Leave it like this for about 10 minutes and then read what the meter says and write this down then let me know what your reading is and we can continue.

Make sure your keys are not in the vehicle when you shut the doors above.

Let me know when you are ready.

Thanks Pete!
Pete, Auto Mechanic
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 15755
Experience: 14 years GM dealer Technician.
Pete and 9 other Chevy Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Pete replied 2 years ago.
O.k.

This looks to be over 12 amps which is a huge draw on the battery which isn't normal.You should sit under 50 milliamp to be normal.

The next step is the long step to this procedure.What needs done is to remove one fuse at a time from the under hood fuse box,in between each fuse pulled read the meter to see if the draw has dropped into normal like .035,etc.If you pull one fuse and it doesn't drop then reinstall that fuse and move to the next only pulling one at a time.

Once it drops let me know what fuse you pulled,if it doesn't drop let me know and we can continue.

Thanks Pete!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I pulled fuses inside and out,and there was no dropping in the meter
Expert:  Pete replied 2 years ago.
When you say inside and out are you saying from inside fuse box as well and if so did you give it time to power down each time you pulled a fuse?

Is there any after market accessories wired into the vehicle at all?

Let me know,Thanks Pete!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes I gave it time and I don't have any after market accessories.
Expert:  Pete replied 2 years ago.
O.k.

If you have gone through all of the fuses inside and outside of the vehicle the next step is to disconnect the large battery cable connection at the alternator and see if the draw goes away then,careful not to short this cable to the engine or body so you may want to put some tape on it.

Let me know,Thanks Pete!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok I took it off and there was no drop,still the same
Expert:  Pete replied 2 years ago.
This is odd.

Do you have the leads in the multi meter correctly as some meters have a spot for the amperage lead and then the ground lead goes to the ground/common plug in?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have the black in the com and the red in the Volts,mA,OHMS,BAT,DIODE and CONTINUITY Input jack. The other plug in,it's DC10A Input jack.And I have the knob set to DCV Funtion.I have 1 meter end to neg cable and the other meter end to the neg battery post
Expert:  Pete replied 2 years ago.
O.k.

You want the red in the DC 10 amp input jack then if you have a dial on the meter make sure it is turned to the DC amperage scale this way you are testing on the DC amperage scale.Let me know what you come up with here for a draw as we may have to repat the process here.

Thanks Pete!

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok I switched it over to the DC 10 amp input and it started at 74.5 but after a few minutes it went down to 70.1 and dropping slow.
Expert:  Pete replied 2 years ago.
This is still really high,even with a large draw this is way to high.See what it drops down to after 10 minutes,if it is still fairly high then the fuses inside the meter may have blown or the meter isn't operating properly to test this properly.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
It went down to 56.5.I don't know what. I had another suggestion from someone about the starter and the solenoid might be sticking when truck is off.I didn't think this could be the problem.Should I've pulled fuses on the DC 10 amp input.
Expert:  Pete replied 2 years ago.
The fuses should be inside the multi meter as most are.The meter usually has to be taken apart to replace these fuses.

O.k. with it at 56.5 amps can you repeat the fuse pulling again one fuse at a time to see if it drops a large amount when one fuse is removed and then let me know.

It could be the starter as well,to check this you would have to remove the large battery cable from it and recheck the meter reading.Be careful with this cable as well as you dont want it shorting against anything metal.

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