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  • Battery drains 1999 GMC Jimmy

    Its been bitter cold in Chicago, below zero at night, barely over zero during the day, the GMC has had trouble starting. First Fiasco was Christmas day, just came in to plow the lot and it would not start. Not plow with this, I have a CJ for that. Anyway, it just drains for some reason. All dome lights are off, heater off, radio off, still drains. Replaced the starter thinking that the draw from the old one was just taking voltage away from the fuel system, but still had the trouble. Changed batteries, just cant find this. Battery shows 14.5 volts when its running, turn it off, it goes to 12.75, within an hour, inside, it dropped to 12.25, so overnight I am sure it dropped to 11 something.

    Anyway, just pulling the fuse for the truck body module??? and it seems like the draw stops and was wondering if anyone else had a situation like this so I don't start from scratch. Like I said, its going to be below zero for a while at night and not too keen on pulling the fuse at night and replacing in the morning if someone had this issue and found a cause.

    The odd thing this truck does is the turn signal flasher sounds like its on most of the time I am driving, but it may be the 4wd module clicking as well, but that should be off with ignition right?

  • #2
    I had a multi function switch melt the 4way flashers on an 01 Blazer once. All kinds of things started acting up blinkers tail lights brake lights. I hear it is common on s10's
    I am sure this in not what you wanted to hear. You can try to activate the 4 ways and see if it works mine was all melted on the bottom of the red button.

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    • #3
      I'm suffering this as well with the vette right now . Mine tended to be fine if I started it every 10 hours but If I missed a day it would be dead . Then Christmas came and its been so cold here and I got sick and I'm on vacation and holidays till after new years day so I haven't fooled with it till yesterday. My plan of attack was yesterday I took the battery full out and charged it . Today I'll take the battery to AUTOZONE TO HAVE IT TESTED. AFTER THAT I'LL cut the rubber away from the side post terminals. Clean the metal up on them on both sides with a wire wheel in the drill . If that doesn't fix it then I'm thinking its my engines computer since this kind of started when it didn't turn on the fuel pump a few times . There's a long story there that I don't have time for . So if this doesnt work I'm just going to put a cut of switch on the battery since I would rather finsh my engine swap on the truck and drive it thru the winter .
      Last edited by Dan Barlow; December 30, 2017, 07:17 AM. Reason: ADDED THE WORDS THAT ARE ALL IN CAPS
      Previously HoosierL98GTA

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Dan Barlow View Post
        I'm suffering this as well with the vette right now . Mine tended to be fine if I started it every 10 hours but If I missed a day it would be dead . Then Christmas came and its been so cold here and I got sick and I'm on vacation and holidays till after new years day so I haven't fooled with it till yesterday. My plan of attack was yesterday I took the battery full out and charged it . Today I'll take the battery to AUTOZONE TO HAVE IT TESTED. AFTER THAT I'LL cut the rubber away from the side post terminals. Clean the metal up on them on both sides with a wire wheel in the drill . If that doesn't fix it then I'm thinking its my engines computer since this kind of started when it didn't turn on the fuel pump a few times . There's a long story there that I don't have time for . So if this doesnt work I'm just going to put a cut of switch on the battery since I would rather finsh my engine swap on the truck and drive it thru the winter .
        my last and only error was fuel pump relay..battery never dies on the 96 gmc.
        I stay new as -24F this morning is in my plans before I get to it.
        swapped relays before I left.

        a sneaky sucker is any switches that work without a key. For the truck is is almost always lights.

        LED swap is a huge improvement.

        I am going home to more than 48 hours below zero (the high was -2.4F yesterday)

        those readings are from the little towns web cam streaming on the net.
        I am sure to find -26 or even worse on my own thermometer...about a .25 mile from the store.

        the gm stuff is a favorite. problems are always trivial.
        another thing to check and feed is the spaces in the underhood fuse box. I heated up liquid electrical tape from a spray can and let it have it. the hairy frost expands in frigid..just needed a whiff of moisture before shutdown. The chemistry out there now finishes it up nicely.
        Last edited by Barry Donovan; December 30, 2017, 08:12 AM.
        Previously boxer3main
        the death rate and fairy tales cannot kill the nature left behind.

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        • #5
          Barry thanks for the tip on the fuel pump relay . That was one of the first things I replaced then found out my ECM wasn't turning it on sometimes . But if my above steps don't fix it I will double check it . Even a new one can be bad in this day and age of quality control .
          Previously HoosierL98GTA

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          • #6
            I thought some letters were jammed in the vanity mirror leaving the lights on it. put a meter on, it stopped dropping, opened the mirror for the lights to go on, it dropped at the steady rate that drained the battery. So I took it home, parked it for 14 hours and no go again. tried the battery box, nothing, tried to jump with daughters car, nothing, went out to get a new battery, started on the third try. Something is still off. Guess I am pulling the TBM fuse at night now until I get a real answer.

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            • #7
              I had my battery on the charger all night . Had a full charge .Let it sit over night inside the house . Took it the next day and had it tested they said it had an 80% charge and was good . Took it to another place and they said the same thing . Stuck it in the car and it started . Left it overnight went out and it failed to start 4 times finally it just barely started after clicking and and stopping . The climate control even lost it's memory but it did start . I bought a quick disconnect and will put it in tomorrow and see if that helps . If not I'm going to appeal for a replacement under warranty .
              Previously HoosierL98GTA

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Dan Barlow View Post
                I had my battery on the charger all night . Had a full charge .Let it sit over night inside the house . Took it the next day and had it tested they said it had an 80% charge and was good . Took it to another place and they said the same thing . Stuck it in the car and it started . Left it overnight went out and it failed to start 4 times finally it just barely started after clicking and and stopping . The climate control even lost it's memory but it did start . I bought a quick disconnect and will put it in tomorrow and see if that helps . If not I'm going to appeal for a replacement under warranty .
                I have about zero patience for a flake battery. I consider them rentals anwyay. Mine usually make it past the warranty period, but this is your time and effort going into dealing with a ratty battery, so I'll just post my recipe for wasting a battery... discovered by accident.

                Leave the lights on or put some drain on it that flattens completely and let it freeze. Walmart's computerized testers don't know what to do with a completely discharged battery. Neither does my "smart" charger. An old manual charger will bring it back sometimes, but freezing it discharged will usually waste a borderline recoverable battery anyway.

                many moons ago, dad's Taurus had a seat switch that would drain the battery if you didn't jiggle it after moving the seat. Ford was replacing starters under warranty - kept saying the battery was fine. He put two and two together on the seat getting moved when it was getting serviced.
                Last edited by Beagle; January 1, 2018, 07:49 AM.
                Flying south, with a flock of bird dogs.

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                • #9
                  New battery, new plugs, new wires, closed mirror, no more drain. Got home, still pulled the TBM fuse just in case. Got out this morning, dead again. Chose the route of a ford solenoid as the cheapest option at what was available this morning and will try that. This is just stupid.

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                  • #10
                    You can try pulling one battery cable and putting a test light between the cable and the battery. If the light lights with the doors closed and the hood light off there is a drain. Then pull the fuses one at a time until the light goes off. This will narrow it down to what circuit it is. Since I am in Chicago too today is not the best day to do it -6 degrees.

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                    • #11
                      well, I ran the ford solenoid, got wiring to a toggle switch inside, didn't work. Open the instructions (of course) it says do not use with an engine control computer since it had no diode control something or other and will destroy the computer. So I can disconnect the battery nightly and not destroy the computer or use a solenoid and destroy the computer or disconnecting any way is going to destroy the computer. I'll get a race car battery disconnect from amazon and make a bracket I guess. I know I keep taking that bolt out and that lead thread is going to strip.

                      Yeah, wrenchn, its cold and as soon as it feels like its going to break it gets colder. I have no idea how long this was happening or if just the below zero crap is just pointing out the problem that has been going for a while.

                      I seriously pulled that body module fuse and watched the volt meter stop dropping and held at 12.45 volts.

                      I will find my test light and try that. I spent two hours locating my big battery terminal crimpers and then another hour cleaning up before I found the little ones. I really think something is screwed with that 4wd module, maybe its staying on, maybe that flasher just starts clicking at night, damned gremlins.
                      Last edited by anotheridiot; January 1, 2018, 12:12 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Diode in the alternator will go bad ,burn up if you charge the battery up often with the alternator.
                        Causes of Failure

                        When there is a defective connection between the battery and the alternator, charging current will be forced to find an alternate route to flow out toward the battery. A defective connection may be caused by corrosion or an open circuit from a break in several battery cable stands. The alternate route the current finds usually leads to excessive current flow, causing the diodes to overheat and fail. Diode overheating also occurs when the alternator is used to bring an undercharged battery up to a fully charged condition. As the vehicle is driven to bring an undercharged battery up to the correct voltage, the excessive current flow can overheat the diodes, leading to failure.


                        https://itstillruns.com/can-alternat...y-7605315.html
                        Retirement is better than I thought!

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                        • #13
                          sadly that is where I am going next. Disconnected it and same crap this morning, but it was 10 below temp without the wind chill making it feel 40 below.

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                          • #14
                            threw the new alternator on, went to start it and it cranked for about 10 seconds before firing. That's never going to work in the morning. Pulled the relays for the DL something, think that's daylight driving lights, AC, fog lamps I don't have anyway. Going to try to cycle the key on and off a few times to make sure fuel is getting up there and try it again. Disconnect did not show up yet so if it does not work tomorrow morning I guess I am pulling the battery and trying to take it inside.

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                            • #15
                              when you pull the battery, pull the tray as well and check the ground on the radiator support panel under the tray, the voltage regulator on these vehicle is ground referenced and that is one of the problem spots on s-10s.... we have dealt with this a few times...cleaning the ground termination points often helps....
                              Patrick & Tammy
                              - Long Haulin' 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014...Addicting isn't it...??

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