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Category: Chevy
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Experience:  ASE certified tech ADVANCED LEVEL SPECIALIST. Wisconsin certified emissions state inspector
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my 2001 chevy impala wont stay charged, ive had it to garages

Resolved Question:

my 2001 chevy impala won't stay charged, i've had it to garages they have changed battery twice and can't find problem. can you help?
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Chevy
Expert:  AMEDEE replied 9 years ago.
Sure! Does the battery loose charge when driving or overnight?
Customer: replied 9 years ago.

Sometimes it takes two nites or so,

also the turn signals quit working at times and the bong chime will come on.

Expert:  AMEDEE replied 9 years ago.
DOes this bong chime stay on overnight?
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
No' it will only happen every once in a while same with the turn signals.
Expert:  AMEDEE replied 9 years ago.
You are going to have to pinpoint what is drawing the battery down. Disconnect the negative battery terminal. Put a test light between the negative cable and the negative battery terminal. With the key out of the ignition switch and the vehicle just sitting there (make sure the doors are closed) the test light should not light up bright. If it does, there is a draw! Disconnect one fuse at a time until the test light goes out. When it does, u have found the circuit that the draw is on! Here is a hint, a lot of times it is either the dome light, trunk light or the glove compartment light that stays on. If you do not want to go through the hassle of the test, pull the bulbs out and see if that helps. Good luck!
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
The garage has alredy done this
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
I have spent over300 dollars and three trips and two batteries and over a month trying to resolve this
Expert:  AMEDEE replied 9 years ago.
Well, something is drawing the battery down. We just need to find out what circuit it is. You say the garage has done this? What circuit is it?
Customer: replied 9 years ago.

They thought it was the Onstar so they disconnected it.

I'm going to take it to another garage (Chevy this time) it is to difficult to work via email, thanks for your time and I'm sorry to bother you,

I thought they might be a service bulletion or something like that you would have access too.. This implala is equipt with Battery run down protection circiut and relay.

This has had me puzzled for over a month now.

Expert:  AMEDEE replied 9 years ago.

I hope this helps. You can always accept my answer now, and repost back again later on if you have any more questions. If you want to discuss it some more just hit "reply", it's free to do so otherwise don't forget to hit "accept" and leave positive feedback if you found my answer helpful.





AMEDEE and other Chevy Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  AMEDEE replied 9 years ago.

Here are actually two tsb's for this problem.


File In Section: OB - Body and Accessories

Bulletin No.: 00-08-42-011

Date: December, 2000


Intermittent Dead Battery
(Install Diode/Connector)


2000-2001 Chevrolet Impala Police Vehicles
Equipped with Emergency Rear Compartment Lid Lamp Package (RPO T53)


Some police agencies may comment about an intermittent dead battery.


Police vehicles (commonly used in undercover work) equipped with option T53 (emergency rear compartment lid lamp package), may experience a ground feedback which results in the warning lamps being on when they should be off.


Using the J 42000 Battery Tester, test the state of charge of the vehicle's battery. Install a battery charger, if required.

Install a diode (connector) in CKT 149, dark blue/white striped wire leading to the warning lamps that are mounted to the inside of the rear compartment lid using the following procedure.

1. Open the rear compartment lid.

2. Locate the wiring harness and the dark blue/white striped wire.

3. Cut the dark blue/white striped wire in the vicinity of the retainer which holds the wiring harness to the rear compartment lid.

4. Install the diode (connector) to the dark blue/white striped wire. Install one end of the cut wire into each end of the connector with the white/silver band toward the vehicle's wiring harness.

5. When the wires and connector have been properly positioned on the wire, snap the connector closed.

6. Test the normal operation of the lamps.

7. If the lamps operate properly, close the rear compartment lid.

If the lamps do not operate properly, it's possible the diode is installed backwards. Correct out of line condition.

Parts Information

Part Number Description Qty

12110147 Connector 1

Parts are currently available from GMSPO.

Warranty Information

For vehicles repaired under warranty, use:

Operation Description Labor Time

N6612 Install Diode (Connector) 0.2 hr





Bulletin No.: 02-06-03-010A

Date: July 02, 2004


Battery Parasitic Drain

2005 and Prior Passenger Cars and Trucks
2003-2005 Isuzu Light Duty Trucks


This bulletin is being revised to add the 2004 and 2005 model years. Please discard Corporate Bulletin Number 02-06-03-010 (Section 06 - Engine).

In automotive terms, a parasitic drain is an electrical load that draws current from the battery when the ignition is turned off. Some devices, such as the PCM and the radio memory are intended to draw a very small amount continuously. These draws are measured in milliamps (mA).

In normal use, parasitic drains aren't usually cause for concern, because the battery is replenished each time the vehicle is driven. But, in long-term parking situations, parasitic drains may discharge the battery enough to cause a no-start condition. New vehicles in dealer stock and airport long-term parking are two such situations.

An abnormal parasitic drain could be a glovebox or luggage compartment light that remains on but undetected. Or an electronic component may malfunction and cause a parasitic drain that is larger than normal specification.

Parasitic Drains and On-the-Lot Battery Discharge

Important: In most cases of discharged batteries in low-age, low-mileage vehicles, proper charging procedures with approved charging equipment is the only repair necessary.

Here are some rules of thumb that might help relate parasitic drains to how long a battery would last on a parked vehicle. The Reserve Capacity (RC) rating multiplied by 0.6 gives the approximate available ampere-hours (AH) from full charge to complete rundown. Somewhere between full charge and complete rundown, the battery will reach a point at which it can no longer start the engine, although it may still operate some of the electrical accessories.

Using up about 40% of the total available AH will usually take a fully-charged battery to a no-start condition at moderate temperatures of 25°C (77°F). Put another way, for a typical battery in a storage situation, depleting the available AH by 20 to 30 AH will result in a no-start condition.

Important: If the battery begins storage at 90% of full charge, reduce the available AH accordingly.

The recommendation for maximum parasitic drain is around 30 mA (0.030 amp). A typical drain today actually falls into the 7-12 mA range, even though some vehicles do approach the maximum. Multiply the drain (in amps) by the time (in hours) the battery sits without being recharged. The result is the amount of AH consumed by the parasitic drain. The actual drain may be small, but over time the battery grows steadily weaker.

Here's an example: a vehicle with a 30 mA drain and a fully-charged 70 RC battery will last 23 days. But if that battery is at only 65% of full charge (green dot barely visible), it is going to last only 15 days before causing a no-start.

Effects of Temperature on a Standing Battery

The parasitic drain will be fairly constant over a range of temperatures. The important temperature is that of the vehicle at the time a start is attempted. Colder temperature raises the threshold of a no-start by increasing the residual power needed. When the temperature falls to 0°C (32°F), the battery will be able to put out only about 85% of its normally available starting power, and the engine may need as much as 165% of the usual power to start.

The combined effect of these two factors is to reduce the number of days the battery can stand with a parasitic drain. At 0°C (32°F), the battery can stand only half as long as it could at 25°C (77°F). And at -19°C (0°F), the standing days are reduced to one-fourth.

Temperatures above the moderate climate of 25°C (77°F) increase the battery's internal self discharge. If the battery is in a locale where the temperature is averaging 32°C (90°F), an additional 5% to 10% of the available ampere-hours will be lost in a month due to self-discharge within the battery. At temperatures below the moderate range, self-discharge will be low enough to be negligible compared to the parasitic loss.

What the Policies and Procedures Manual Says About Parasitic Drains

Because determining how long a battery may last in a storage situation is not precise, the P & P manual provides a clear-cut policy, excerpted here.

"Discharged batteries can freeze at temperatures as high as 0°C (32°F), causing permanent damage. Other permanent damage may result from allowing batteries to stand discharged for extended periods."

"To alleviate this condition, the negative battery cable should be disconnected on vehicles which are not going to be in service within a 20 day period, beginning from the time the vehicle is shipped. If this is not possible, batteries should be recharged periodically, every 20-45 days, until the green eye is visible."

"Disconnected batteries will slowly discharge, especially with higher temperatures; therefore, even disconnected batteries should be checked every four months and recharged if necessary."

"Vehicles on display are subject to battery discharge due to drains from courtesy lights and other accessories. Provision to maintain battery state of charge for these vehicles will be necessary."

Consult your P & P manual for full details.

Tracking Down the Source of a Parasitic Load

If the battery in a vehicle becomes discharged in a shorter time than described earlier, the vehicle may have an out-of-specification parasitic load. Refer to Service Information (SI) for procedures for locating parasitic drains. Follow these steps:

1. Build the vehicle.

2. Select the Engine section.

3. Select the Engine Electrical sub-section.

4. Select Diagnostic Information and Procedures.

5. Select Battery Electrical Drain/Parasitic Load Test.

You will need the J 38758 Parasitic Draw Test Switch and a digital multimeter set to the 10A scale.

Important: Read the procedure and follow the steps exactly as described in SI. The following is a summary, not the complete procedure.

The test switch permits you to place an ammeter in series with the battery negative cable. Before performing the test, the engine must be run and all accessories must be operated as instructed. After shutting the ignition off, turn the test switch off. Now, all the current being used by the vehicle is shunted through the ammeter where it is measured. If the reading is out of specification, the procedure explains how to pinpoint the cause.

A Final Word About Battery Testing

Your dealership has an essential tool, the Midtronics Micro 410 Battery Tester, J 42000. Use it to quickly identify batteries that are serviceable and can be charged. Refer to Corporate Bulletin Number 02-06-03-006A for more information about this tool.