: Ideas about what is causing battery drain?



mel-
08-09-13, 06:55 PM
Background:

lightning struck a tree about 15 feet from where my 2003 escalade ext was parked. had to have two controllers replaced (would have to look at bill to see what all but one controlled stability).

well, something was also causing the battery to go flat after sitting a few days without driving and they decided it had also got the battery so replaced that.

well, that wasn't it.

I only drive this once a week usually and after sitting about 3 days it will be completely flat. in experimenting, if I drive it into town every day (about 8 miles round trip) then it doesn't go flat.

I am taking it to the local chevy dealer because cadillac is about 12 miles away and also they have been the one dealing with this problem so far.

they called and said they can't trace what is causing it and running out of ideas. I just bought this in the spring or late winter and for 2-3 months before lightning struck I had absolutely no trouble with it whatsoever no matter how long it sat (sometimes over 2 weeks).

my father was a mechanic but retired before computers came in. he said when he first connected the battery charger to it to charge it something was making the dials pulse just for the first minute or so. to test it, he disconnected the battery cable and then charged it and it didn't do that. but even connected it will only do it for the first few minutes.

he also says he hears a little bit of a repeated thunk when it is charging at first and just feels like it may be a relay switch (or a computer that controls a relay switch).

does a cadillac dealer have diagnostic equipment a chevy dealer doesn't have? should I give up and take it to cadillac and try to explain to them what has been done so far?

really pissed off about this. no visible damage to my truck but it burned a huge scar down the tree until it hit a piece of metal leaning against the tree then jumped to the ground and blew a hole in the ground and then somehow bounced over to an adjacent tree and put a big burn on it too. 3 other cars sitting in same area with no damage but none of them have any of these electronic controllers in them :( I'm already pushing almost $1800 spent on this problem and my insurance is wanting to deny it as nothing but coincidence

thanks for your thoughts,

Melinda

the cadillac man
08-09-13, 07:25 PM
Background:

lightning struck a tree about 15 feet from where my 2003 escalade ext was parked. had to have two controllers replaced (would have to look at bill to see what all but one controlled stability).

well, something was also causing the battery to go flat after sitting a few days without driving and they decided it had also got the battery so replaced that.

well, that wasn't it.

I only drive this once a week usually and after sitting about 3 days it will be completely flat. in experimenting, if I drive it into town every day (about 8 miles round trip) then it doesn't go flat.

I am taking it to the local chevy dealer because cadillac is about 12 miles away and also they have been the one dealing with this problem so far.

they called and said they can't trace what is causing it and running out of ideas. I just bought this in the spring or late winter and for 2-3 months before lightning struck I had absolutely no trouble with it whatsoever no matter how long it sat (sometimes over 2 weeks).

my father was a mechanic but retired before computers came in. he said when he first connected the battery charger to it to charge it something was making the dials pulse just for the first minute or so. to test it, he disconnected the battery cable and then charged it and it didn't do that. but even connected it will only do it for the first few minutes.

he also says he hears a little bit of a repeated thunk when it is charging at first and just feels like it may be a relay switch (or a computer that controls a relay switch).

does a cadillac dealer have diagnostic equipment a chevy dealer doesn't have? should I give up and take it to cadillac and try to explain to them what has been done so far?

really pissed off about this. no visible damage to my truck but it burned a huge scar down the tree until it hit a piece of metal leaning against the tree then jumped to the ground and blew a hole in the ground and then somehow bounced over to an adjacent tree and put a big burn on it too. 3 other cars sitting in same area with no damage but none of them have any of these electronic controllers in them :( I'm already pushing almost $1800 spent on this problem and my insurance is wanting to deny it as nothing but coincidence

thanks for your thoughts,

Melinda

I would start pulling fuses and see if the charger dail pluses again as another module in the truck could have got damaged
I had the rear seat DVD player get fried when a guy at auto zone replaced my battery because he touched the cable then removed before putting it back on

Before replacing anything else I would be pulling fuses for anything that you don't need(ac, radio, factory amp) and see if the drain goes away

Is there anything else in the truck not working right?
Check everything out and make sure it works

mel-
08-09-13, 10:24 PM
thanks for the response. they are going to keep it until Monday just because they apparently don't believe me that something is even draining it and that the new battery they sold me didn't fix it (my dad took it in for me and at 80 years old retired garage owner he let them have it so don't think they would lie to him).

I did find posts on here about the priority start battery tender so do have that on the way. if they can't find anything by monday will get it back and start doing what you say to see what else doesn't work. when I took it in the first time lots of stuff like stability, drivers side lock a/c (fan worked but not cooling). don't remember what all else but other than the battery drain I didn't find anything not working but then I don't use the radio, onstar etc.

thanks again. will post back with news monday

the cadillac man
08-10-13, 02:52 AM
thanks for the response. they are going to keep it until Monday just because they apparently don't believe me that something is even draining it and that the new battery they sold me didn't fix it (my dad took it in for me and at 80 years old retired garage owner he let them have it so don't think they would lie to him).

I did find posts on here about the priority start battery tender so do have that on the way. if they can't find anything by monday will get it back and start doing what you say to see what else doesn't work. when I took it in the first time lots of stuff like stability, drivers side lock a/c (fan worked but not cooling). don't remember what all else but other than the battery drain I didn't find anything not working but then I don't use the radio, onstar etc.

thanks again. will post back with news monday

Ok but once you get it back try everything and see if it works and let me know

mel-
08-10-13, 04:02 PM
will do ! the biggest problem is I only had this truck 2 months or so before the lightning struck and I really did never get a chance to play around with it to see what all gadgets it had or even the outside running lights what should be on and there. did buy a manual from canada so will definitely sit down with it and try everything. ha, looking through craigslist and autotrader to remind myself that even though I've spent almost 5k on this truck since buying it in the spring it STILL is a good buy. ha. love the truck tho. and I chose to have some of that stuff done (took it to cadillac to look it over right after buying and for instance paid them $250 to replace a fog light bulb, lol). dad feels I've been ripped off but labor price and parts price are SIGNIFICANTLY higher than when he owned his place.

the cadillac man
08-10-13, 04:15 PM
will do ! the biggest problem is I only had this truck 2 months or so before the lightning struck and I really did never get a chance to play around with it to see what all gadgets it had or even the outside running lights what should be on and there. did buy a manual from canada so will definitely sit down with it and try everything. ha, looking through craigslist and autotrader to remind myself that even though I've spent almost 5k on this truck since buying it in the spring it STILL is a good buy. ha. love the truck tho. and I chose to have some of that stuff done (took it to cadillac to look it over right after buying and for instance paid them $250 to replace a fog light bulb, lol). dad feels I've been ripped off but labor price and parts price are SIGNIFICANTLY higher than when he owned his place.

250 for one bulb is a ripoff
Heck I can get a hid kit for both fog lights cheaper(and they are brighter to boot)

You got your truck for a steal

mel-
08-13-13, 07:42 PM
5k isn't what I PAID for it, it is what I have put into it since buying it this spring. I know, I paid way too much but when I firrst bought it the deal was I could take it to cadillac and have them look it over and if they found anything I didn't like I'd bring it back (had already returned one to another dealer that had engine and transmission noise).

they only found minor things (like the fog bulb out) so I decided to just have them fix all the niggly things and be done with it.

chevy wanted to keep it a few more days until the battery goes flat supposedly to try to figure it out. not sure I want to see the bill from them for this even though so far theyve done nothing but try to find it.

danged lightning. I do still get a stability warning even after they replaced the module that controls that and they said something in the steering column needs to be replaced too. I need everything fixed just so I can try to get reimbursed from my insurance. can't until I get everything fixed !

the cadillac man
08-13-13, 09:32 PM
5k isn't what I PAID for it, it is what I have put into it since buying it this spring. I know, I paid way too much but when I firrst bought it the deal was I could take it to cadillac and have them look it over and if they found anything I didn't like I'd bring it back (had already returned one to another dealer that had engine and transmission noise).

they only found minor things (like the fog bulb out) so I decided to just have them fix all the niggly things and be done with it.

chevy wanted to keep it a few more days until the battery goes flat supposedly to try to figure it out. not sure I want to see the bill from them for this even though so far theyve done nothing but try to find it.

danged lightning. I do still get a stability warning even after they replaced the module that controls that and they said something in the steering column needs to be replaced too. I need everything fixed just so I can try to get reimbursed from my insurance. can't until I get everything fixed !

The sensor in the steering column is the position sensor and is tied into the stability and suspension systems and is most likely the cause of the message not the module

I know how you feel on the bill I had my truck in a body shop once and I still think they ripped me a new one as they didn't have to do much(replace my rear bumper and supports plus small body work with paint) and two back up sensors and the cost was over 3grand

Have them run the codes and prove said sensor or module needs replaced(without codes its just their word agesent yours) I wouldn't just take they're word for it trust me I know from experience and a lot of dealers love to rip off us younger owners as they think we don't know much

5grand is a steep repair bill

mel-
08-15-13, 10:50 PM
yes it is :( I am still hopeful my auto insurance will cover it under *acts of god* since it was all caused by that lightning strike but until they fix everything can't settle it.

finally heard back today. it took that long for it to lower the battery enough for them to detect and trace. they said it was being caused by a module under teh driver seat which is apparently staying on all the time when it shouldn't. they said the part alone is over $1000 and will be $1500 with labor to replace that plus the module in the steering column. my nephew is a mechanic and I will have him test the codes before having them work on it. he's down in his back after back surgery or I would have him do the work.

that was about a $2500 lightning strike so hoping insurance will cover it. thanks again for your help. I am still going to put that battery tender on it just in case they still don't have everything traced that was pulling the battery. tired of walking out to a dead battery ! they've had it for two weeks now and will be next week before I get my truck back :( will be glad when this is over. no one been able to tell me a way to prevent this kind of damage from a lightning strike again so guess just have to be hopeful.

the cadillac man
08-16-13, 01:22 AM
yes it is :( I am still hopeful my auto insurance will cover it under *acts of god* since it was all caused by that lightning strike but until they fix everything can't settle it.

finally heard back today. it took that long for it to lower the battery enough for them to detect and trace. they said it was being caused by a module under teh driver seat which is apparently staying on all the time when it shouldn't. they said the part alone is over $1000 and will be $1500 with labor to replace that plus the module in the steering column. my nephew is a mechanic and I will have him test the codes before having them work on it. he's down in his back after back surgery or I would have him do the work.

that was about a $2500 lightning strike so hoping insurance will cover it. thanks again for your help. I am still going to put that battery tender on it just in case they still don't have everything traced that was pulling the battery. tired of walking out to a dead battery ! they've had it for two weeks now and will be next week before I get my truck back :( will be glad when this is over. no one been able to tell me a way to prevent this kind of damage from a lightning strike again so guess just have to be hopeful.

The module under the seat is called the seat control module and yes the truck will run without it so till you get the replacement part you can disconnect it no harm so you shouldn't need the tender unless you want to

But the cause of it staying on is because its messed up
I know how you feel I had the rear air control module go nuts due to a over travel code
Locked the truck on a Sunday night and
Monday morning the battery was dead

I had to replace the module a actuator and the battery(500 bucks in parts) I saved myself the labor costs by doing the work myself

One way of possibly preventing this from happening again is not park near trees as they are lightening rods by nature(I live in the country so I know from experience)

I know its hard but you will enjoy your truck once its fixed