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I have a Chevy Tahoe 2004 experiencing battery drain.

Customer Question
I have a Chevy Tahoe 2004 experiencing battery drain.
Submitted: 2 years ago.Category: Chevy
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Answered in 40 minutes by:
9/20/2015
Chevy Mechanic: Mike S., Chevy Mechanic replied 2 years ago
Mike S.
Mike S., Chevy Mechanic
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 7,645
Experience: ASE Certified Master Technician
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Unhook the alternator and see if the light goes out.

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
Okay give me a few mins. Thanks
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
nope stays on, disconnected the big wire and the plug in set.
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
a couple days before this happened, I noticed when I would lock or unlock the doors that both front parking lights came on for a period of time. Prior to that they didn't do that.
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
I have checked every light with the doors locked nothing I can see is on. There is no glove compartment light.
Chevy Mechanic: Mike S., Chevy Mechanic replied 2 years ago

Are you sure this engine isn't a 5.3l? Anyhow, the owners manual says there are 3 fuse boxes, 2 of them inside, perhaps you just missed one or never knew it was there.

There is the Instrument Panel Fuse Block, on the driver’s side edge of the instrument panel and there is the center instrument panel utility block is located underneath the instrument panel, to the left of the steering column.

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
I will go look under the steering Colum. BRB
Chevy Mechanic: Mike S., Chevy Mechanic replied 2 years ago

I read that. So, at this moment you have every fuse, relay and circuit breaker pulled, the alternator disconnected, the doors shut, hood closed, key out and there is still a drain?

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Chevy Mechanic: Mike S., Chevy Mechanic replied 2 years ago

You know you should really be using an ammeter, because the test light doesn't give you an accurate reading although it can be used if you don't have an ammeter, it's just that you don't know how bad the drain is.

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
I pulled and replaced each fuse and relay one at a time watching the light, it didn't even dim. I can not locate another fuse panel under the steering Colum only thing there are a couple modules. It's a pretty bad drain because when I hook the positive terminal up I get sparks.
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
I just noticed my driver side heated seat indicators were flashing and flickering when I just stated the vehicle to be sure it was still charging. about 14vdc.
Chevy Mechanic: Mike S., Chevy Mechanic replied 2 years ago

No, you can't do it that way. What if there are 2 drains? Plus, the computer and anything with memory will always show a drain, although it should be small and that is exactly why an ammeter should be used, cause the drain might be 12 volts but it might only be .001 amps, which is ok.

You have to pull every fuse, circuit breaker and relay and leave them out and look at the meter after pulling each one, plus make sure the door are closed or push in on the door jamb switch nd also allow 30 minutes for all the modules to go to sleep once you hook up the test light or ammeter.

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
Okay, let me search I have a nice craftsman meter around here somewhere.. Give me a little bit..
Chevy Mechanic: Mike S., Chevy Mechanic replied 2 years ago

Yes, that box by the steering column houses the circuit breakers and relays, but they still need to be pulled when testing for a drain.

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Chevy Mechanic: Mike S., Chevy Mechanic replied 2 years ago

The maximum drain should be no more than 50 mA, that's 0.050 amps.

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
Do you possibly have a picture of it?
Chevy Mechanic: Mike S., Chevy Mechanic replied 2 years ago
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Chevy Mechanic: Mike S., Chevy Mechanic replied 2 years ago

If the link don't work and they ask you to signin or signup, I here is the manual, it's compressed though, so you need winzip or WinRAR to unzip it.

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
I have been all over that manual. No help.
Chevy Mechanic: Mike S., Chevy Mechanic replied 2 years ago

I do see the seat circuit breaker in that box.

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Chevy Mechanic: Mike S., Chevy Mechanic replied 2 years ago

What do you mean no help? Did you look at page 5-114 and see that fuse/relay box?

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Chevy Mechanic: Mike S., Chevy Mechanic replied 2 years ago

An owners manual is just that for the owners. It shows limited info but it had what you asked for and what I was looking for, them fuse boxes. It don't have wiring diagram, which I can get but first I need to know what fuse, circuit breaker, or relay is experiencing the drain.

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
Ugh, so I need to pull the instrument cluster out to get there? Can't see it from underneath.
Chevy Mechanic: Mike S., Chevy Mechanic replied 2 years ago

Let me see if there are instructions on accessing that fuse box. Hold on.

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Chevy Mechanic: Mike S., Chevy Mechanic replied 2 years ago

You see now the repair manual is saying there is a fuse box on the right side of the instrument panel and here is that section,

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Chevy Mechanic: Mike S., Chevy Mechanic replied 2 years ago

It appears that is in addition to the others.

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Chevy Mechanic: Mike S., Chevy Mechanic replied 2 years ago

Here are the Electrical Center Identification Views

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Chevy Mechanic: Mike S., Chevy Mechanic replied 2 years ago

Make sure the MBEC 1 fuse (50a) in the underhood fuse box is pulled. It feeds that relay box and the right door and seat circuit breakers.

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Chevy Mechanic: Mike S., Chevy Mechanic replied 2 years ago

Also, pull the SIR fuse, it feeds that relay block too and the inside rearview mirror and air bag modules.

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Chevy Mechanic: Mike S., Chevy Mechanic replied 2 years ago

Sorry, a couple were skipped.

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
I found a cheap amp meter I had but the battery died, it was showing 3.97amps
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
Ha, found another cheap meter.. When the fuse marked 4WS (15amp) is removed with the amp meter in line at 3.92 amps. It drops to 1.76amps and then to 0.01 amps.. What is that 4WS fuse for?
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
In the fuse box in the engine compartment .
Chevy Mechanic: Mike S., Chevy Mechanic replied 2 years ago

no wonder it was throwing sparks.

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Chevy Mechanic: Mike S., Chevy Mechanic replied 2 years ago

I'll look it up, in the meantime what did you mean by " It drops to 1.76amps and then to 0.01 amps"? What made it drop both times?

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
Seems like it was discharging or something. It's listed as: Rear Wheel Steering Control Module, Evaporative Emission (EVAP) Canister Vent Solenoid
Chevy Mechanic: Mike S., Chevy Mechanic replied 2 years ago

that 4ws feeds the rear wheel steering control module and the evap solenoid. It's on this page

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Chevy Mechanic: Mike S., Chevy Mechanic replied 2 years ago

Put that fuse back in, get a reading then unhook each of those 2 items and check the meter after unhooking each one.

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
What 2 items do I unhook? don't understand.
Chevy Mechanic: Mike S., Chevy Mechanic replied 2 years ago

The Rear Wheel Steering Control Module and the Evaporative Emission (EVAP) Canister Vent Solenoid.

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Chevy Mechanic: Mike S., Chevy Mechanic replied 2 years ago

The orange wires.

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Chevy Mechanic: Mike S., Chevy Mechanic replied 2 years ago

So am I to understand this has rear wheel steering?

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
No it is an SUV front wheel steering :( Chevy Tahoe
Chevy Mechanic: Mike S., Chevy Mechanic replied 2 years ago

Then I suppose you won't be able to find a Rear Wheel Steering Control Module.

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
Ha your guess is as good as mine.. So what if I leave the 15amp fuse out?
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
According to Autozone The Evaporative Emission (EVAP) Canister Purge Solenoid Valve is located in the EVAP canister, above the rear of the muffler.
Chevy Mechanic: Mike S., Chevy Mechanic replied 2 years ago

So no QUADRASTEER. Leave the fuse out and see if the check engine light comes on. If so or you experience any engine performance problems, then you better gain access to that orange wire and unhook it. It's possible the solenoid is bad anyhow.

By the way, is or was the check engine light remaining on past bulb check?

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
I had a check engine but that was relative to tighten fuel cap issue which doesn't bother me. Where is that orange wire located>?
Chevy Mechanic: Mike S., Chevy Mechanic replied 2 years ago

Autozone must have given you the wrong info. The vent solenoid is back there but the purge solenoid isn't. It's on the engine. Wo, wait a minute. We weren't suppose to be looking for the purge solenoid, but the vent solenoid and yes it is back there.

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Chevy Mechanic: Mike S., Chevy Mechanic replied 2 years ago

here are the instructions for replacing it which includes disconnecting the wiring,

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Chevy Mechanic: Mike S., Chevy Mechanic replied 2 years ago

That orange is shown in them instructions as #1.

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
Removing the fuse should do the same thing right?
Chevy Mechanic: Mike S., Chevy Mechanic replied 2 years ago

That was for the 2500 series, this is for the 1500 series.

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Chevy Mechanic: Mike S., Chevy Mechanic replied 2 years ago

I thought you were trying to find and repair the drain?

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Chevy Mechanic: Mike S., Chevy Mechanic replied 2 years ago

No, removing the fuse will not do the same thing. what if the short is in the orange wire in between the fuse and that solenoid?

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Chevy Mechanic: Mike S., Chevy Mechanic replied 2 years ago

I see autozone sells that vent solenoid for $25.

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Chevy Mechanic: Mike S., Chevy Mechanic replied 2 years ago

Well, I am done here. I think we have narrowed it down to that vent solenoid circuit. It all depends now on whether or not you just want to remove the fuse or find and repair that circuit or replace the solenoid. I am going out to work on my car now. I'll check in on you later to see if you might have any more problems but I believe you have it narrowed down now. Don't frget to rate me well and good luck.

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
Ok will reply back when I replace that thing probably today or in the morning. Hopefully this is the problem. Thanks
Chevy Mechanic: Mike S., Chevy Mechanic replied 2 years ago

you are welcome. You should test it first though by disconnecting that wiring connector, that most likely includes that orange wire. If the ammeter drops below 50mA when you do that, than yes replace that solenoid. If not, then the problem is with that orange wire.

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
Ugh, Okay left to go to autozone. by the time I was at the end of my drive way the AC was pumping 120 air.
Put the fuse back in, disconnected the battery for a few mins and it started to work but in 5 mins it was back to blowing hot air..
Now what?
Chevy Mechanic: Mike S., Chevy Mechanic replied 2 years ago

Do you have all of the fuses, relays and circuit breakers all back in now?

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
as they were before.
I even switched the AC relay with the headlight one (same part number). no go
Chevy Mechanic: Mike S., Chevy Mechanic replied 2 years ago

Is the ac compressor engaging?

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Chevy Mechanic: Mike S., Chevy Mechanic replied 2 years ago

You never did confirm what engine was in this.

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
Initially but then it stops in about 2 mins.
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
5.3 v8 flex
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
AC was working fine prior to our troubleshooting :(
Chevy Mechanic: Mike S., Chevy Mechanic replied 2 years ago

Ok, here is the wiring diagram for the compressor, Check those 2 fuses with the test light.

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Chevy Mechanic: Mike S., Chevy Mechanic replied 2 years ago

Is the ac compressor engaging?

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Chevy Mechanic: Mike S., Chevy Mechanic replied 2 years ago

If the fuses are ok, try grounding that relay wire going to the pcm and see if now the compressor kicks on. the dark green/white wire at pin 43/connector 2 of the pcm.

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
Went ahead and checked all 10 amp fuses, all good.
Chevy Mechanic: Mike S., Chevy Mechanic replied 2 years ago

You are not answering my questions.

Is the ac compressor engaging?

Plus, you cannot just look at a fuse, you have to test for voltage. Especially since that IGN E fuse isn't hot until the key is on run.

Now, if the fuses check out, try grounding that relay wire going to the pcm and see if now the compressor kicks on

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Chevy Mechanic: Mike S., Chevy Mechanic replied 2 years ago

Ok, I see you did anwser it

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Chevy Mechanic: Mike S., Chevy Mechanic replied 2 years ago

I am not an ac man myself. I suspect the next step would be to check the ac pressure.

Anyhow, back to the battery drain, what's up with that?

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
Told you twice, when I first start it does for about 60 seconds.
Chevy Mechanic: Mike S., Chevy Mechanic replied 2 years ago

Yeah, I got that.

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
I was on my way to autozone to get the part (that fuse out) I ain't driving 40miles with the heat blowing :(
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
This all appears to be electrical issues. I'll go try and locate that wire and ground it.
Chevy Mechanic: Mike S., Chevy Mechanic replied 2 years ago

40 miles? Order it online.

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Chevy Mechanic: Mike S., Chevy Mechanic replied 2 years ago

Ok, I am going out now. I'll check back in from time to time.

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
It sounds like the blend door is closing then I get the hot air. Shut the engine off restart and have cold air for about 30 seconds then heart the little thud under the passenger side lower dash. Restart same thing. Blows cold every restart for about 30 seconds till I hear the little thud.
Chevy Mechanic: Mike S., Chevy Mechanic replied 2 years ago

It's going to remain warm if the compressor doesn't stay engaged anyhow. Did you look around for a solenoid closer or are you going to at least test that solenoid. Like I asid, I am not an ac man, so that I don't know much about.

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Chevy Mechanic: Mike S., Chevy Mechanic replied 2 years ago

Just checking in. Are you sure that compressor isn't just cycling off and on?

Have you disconnected the orange wire from that solenoid yet?

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
I told you all of that earlier. I really don't think your Expertise is quite up to parr!! Here is my resolution to the AC problem and it's working fine. (as a GM man you should have known this!):
I used the reset procedure that I got from the GM dealer. (pull fuse, reinstall fuse, turn key so system has power and wait for a minute or so for calibration) I pulled the HVAC 10 amp fuse in the fuse panel under the hood. Re-installed the fuse, and the stuck my head under the dash to watch the actuator while I turned the key on (1 click short of engaging the starter to get power to the climate control board and fans). I was able to see the actuator move all the way to 1 side, pause, then move all the way to the other side, pause, and then end up somewhere in the middle. Before I cleaned the actuator, I also tried this procedure, but the actuator would only go to one side, and stay there. I'm guessing there wasn't enough connection to give the climate control board any feedback on what position it was in. I waited another minute or so to ensure the sensing of the actuators was complete, and then started to play with the different fan settings and vent positions. Everything was then working as it should!!!!
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
I'm guessing that most people who indicate they have climate control issues after a battery going dead, or battery replacement as I did along with disconnecting the battery for periods of time (while testing drain problems).
Chevy Mechanic: Mike S., Chevy Mechanic replied 2 years ago

What do you mean my expertise isn't up to par? I told you I wasn't an ac man and I did locate the problem with the battery drain and I am not even there.

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
Went to autozone and got the part for the initial problem of Battery drain : Since is raining here I plan on installing it tomorrow. (that fuse is removed to prevent battery drain overnight).
Chevy Mechanic: Mike S., Chevy Mechanic replied 2 years ago

Ok then, that is what I was originally working on. I am not an ac man.

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
You should have known battery disconnections would cause a reset needed for the AC. UGh
Chevy Mechanic: Mike S., Chevy Mechanic replied 2 years ago

No I shouldn't. That is ac.

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Chevy Mechanic: Mike S., Chevy Mechanic replied 2 years ago

Have you disconnected the orange wire from that solenoid yet?

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Chevy Mechanic: Mike S., Chevy Mechanic replied 2 years ago

I'm going back outside before it starts to rain here.

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Chevy Mechanic: Mike S., Chevy Mechanic replied 2 years ago

Well? I still don't have an answer to that and you just said and I quote "I told you all of that earlier.", then you insulted me.

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Chevy Mechanic: Mike S., Chevy Mechanic replied 2 years ago

So that's it? I spend all day with you and I told you I am wanting to work outside here and am here on the pc for a little while and you ignore me?

I am trying to get this battery drain problem fixed or at least know what has to be done but you quit right at the most important spot.

I cannot answer any ac problems, I just don't know enough about it.

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Chevy Mechanic: Mike S., Chevy Mechanic replied 2 years ago

Ok, I am going back outside now.

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Chevy Mechanic: Mike S., Chevy Mechanic replied 2 years ago

I'm back in now.

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Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

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