first time my Eldo has let me down
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Cadillac Seville / Cadillac Eldorado Forum Discussion, first time my Eldo has let me down in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; Went out this morning on my way to work, unlock the door with the RKE, turn the key, engines weakly ...
  1. #1
    mhamilton is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Unhappy first time my Eldo has let me down

    Went out this morning on my way to work, unlock the door with the RKE, turn the key, engines weakly turns halfway over, and then nothing. No lights, no chime, nothing.

    Get a neighbor to try and jump start, he brings over his Honda, I was able to get "click click click click." After 4 more times trying to get a better connection with the jumpers, I give up on that. Don't think his little battery had the capacity to turn over my engine (even with the car running).

    Call work to say I'll be late, one of my coworkers drives up with his Silverado. Figure this will surely be able to get my car going. We get the cables connected, I still have no lights or anything. Go to check the connections, the jumper cable wire breaks off from one of the clamps. Oh and it gets better, as I get into his car to get a ride to work, I realize I have just locked my keys in my car . Is my calendar wrong and maybe it's actually Friday the 13th?

    I knew this was going to happen. Delco battery is 6 years old (out of a 7yr warranty) and was run flat 2 weeks ago during an alignment. Was fine for the past 2 weeks, and I figured a 300 mile highway trip would recharge it plenty. But I think it finally just gave up the ghost. Getting a new Delco battery from the GM dealer at lunch. I hope it was simply the old battery's time to go, but knowing my luck some module somewhere is causing a parasitic drain on it and I'll find another dead battery on Monday morning...

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  3. #2
    MoistCabbage's Avatar
    MoistCabbage is offline Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
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    Re: first time my Eldo has let me down

    Sounds like just the battery, 6 years is a good lifespan. For future reference, ANY car will be able to jumpstart you, as long as your battery isn't toast. I've jump started trucks with an 87 Chevette.

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    Rodya234's Avatar
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    Re: first time my Eldo has let me down

    Yeah, if your battery is flat-dead than its likely that nothing would bring it back.

    And hey, it always could be worse, I locked the keys in the car in front of my date's house on prom night

    Luckily my dad brought me the extra set
    ben.gators and ben.gators like this.

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    mhamilton is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: first time my Eldo has let me down

    Well got a ride to the dealer for a new battery, got tools, got it installed, and the car fired right up. About 250 codes and every "Service ___ Soon" message on the dash. Nearly had a stroke, but those went away when I cleared all the codes.

    Got back to work about 1:00, parked it. Didn't check the voltage at that time. GOt out at 5pm, voltage before cranking was 12.4 That is not good. I know I'm going to end up chasing some gremlin parasitic draw, something I have no time to do, especially when this is my only car at the moment! I was really hoping it was just that old battery, but I've never seen one fail overnight and land at 7v (not impossible, but that's a complete discharge)

    After driving home I shut down, and turned the key on, 13.3 volts. I'll go out in an hour and check again, and then later on. If it keeps falling I'll disconnect the battery for the night. Nothing is running, RAP shuts off the radio as soon as I open the door, I haven't had any odd electrical problems lately either. Probably going to end up being a bad altnerator or something equally horrible....

  6. #5
    RippyPartsDept's Avatar
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    Re: first time my Eldo has let me down

    there's still a draw for about ten minutes while other modules shut down ... best is to check before you start up in the morning... also watch it dip as the car starts and see how low it got during the crank
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    12.4 volts is fine before cranking...there is draw on the battery when it's connected. It should read 12.6 volts disconnected, with a voltmeter (ZERO draw).

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    mhamilton is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: first time my Eldo has let me down

    Okay, thanks. I'll keep an eye on it. I had a 20 minute drive home, after sitting for 15 minutes it was at 12.7v at the IPC.

    Also, I looked at that "battery charge %" chart again, 12.4 is still 75%, I thought it was lower. 75% seems about right for a battery if it's been sitting on a shelf for who knows how long. Going to hook up my voltmeter to the battery directly to watch it, can't open the doors without waking up the BCM. Would like to watch the current draw after the modules go to sleep, but I don't have any of that equipment here to check that.

    This is going to drive me nuts until I'm convinced my battery isn't going to die overnight again! I need to get my other car back so I have some kind of backup.

  9. #8
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    Re: first time my Eldo has let me down

    Sure hope is not a dying alternator.
    When you test the voltage before crank (with the IPC) you have a ~2.5A draw on the battery (various modules) so don't trust that value. In order to accurately know the voltage use a voltmeter (battery disconnected). One of the base statements in quantum physics is you can never accurately measure a system (phenomena) because the action of measuring disturbs the measured system.
    To test for parasitic loads just use an ampmeter. With the car just turned off (all modules still awake) you have ~2A draw; 10 minutes later should drop to below 40mA.

  10. #9
    mhamilton is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: first time my Eldo has let me down

    Right, I realize that turning the key on wakes up everything and puts a load on the battery. I'll start checking at the battery and leave the car alone. It just has me paranoid, because I've never seen a battery die so suddenly like that. I came home yesterday and there was no indication anything was wrong.... this morning, dead as a doorknob. I think the battery said 7 volts? Couldn't even get the security light to blink. I know the old battery was very old and recently run flat, but hadn't acted strange at all in 2 weeks.

    Charging voltage is great, over 14.4v at startup, then tapers down to 13.5. No charging system faults indicated.

    Thanks for those specs. I will check the current if I can get a bolt to thread into the battery post, and a large enough alligator clip. I hate living in an apartment, no tools and no garage to work on these things!

    If I disconnect the battery, then reconnect it, will all the modules wake up again for 10 minutes?

    Just checked again (2 hours after shutting off), didn't open any doors, measured at the battery with a dmm, 12.78v. Think it's okay, I hope it's still good tomorrow morning!

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    Re: first time my Eldo has let me down

    Todays cars and batteries are not what they used to be. When my battery gave out a couple of years ago there was no warning at all. Fine today, dead as a door nail the next morning (snowmobiling in northern Wisconsin ). Started my daughters last summer to pull it in the garage to do some minor work on it. That was the last start she had in her. A new battery and she's been fine ever since. I think you'll be just fine from here on out.

  12. #11
    ben.gators is online now Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: first time my Eldo has let me down

    Well, the good news in the middle of this mess is I realized you have got a new job... nice!

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    Re: first time my Eldo has let me down

    Quote Originally Posted by mhamilton View Post
    Right, I realize that turning the key on wakes up everything and puts a load on the battery. I'll start checking at the battery and leave the car alone. It just has me paranoid, because I've never seen a battery die so suddenly like that. I came home yesterday and there was no indication anything was wrong.... this morning, dead as a doorknob. I think the battery said 7 volts? Couldn't even get the security light to blink. I know the old battery was very old and recently run flat, but hadn't acted strange at all in 2 weeks.

    Charging voltage is great, over 14.4v at startup, then tapers down to 13.5. No charging system faults indicated.

    Thanks for those specs. I will check the current if I can get a bolt to thread into the battery post, and a large enough alligator clip. I hate living in an apartment, no tools and no garage to work on these things!

    If I disconnect the battery, then reconnect it, will all the modules wake up again for 10 minutes?

    Just checked again (2 hours after shutting off), didn't open any doors, measured at the battery with a dmm, 12.78v. Think it's okay, I hope it's still good tomorrow morning!
    Don't let it bother you! My previous battery worked perfect until the morning it was dead.

  14. #13
    mhamilton is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: first time my Eldo has let me down

    Thanks Ranger and Skiller, I think you're both right. I went out this morning 8:30 am and measured 12.67 volts at the battery. All looks good! Though I may not be trusting enough to leave Twilight Sentinel to its own devices for a few weeks lol

    And when I have time next, I'll get my ammeter and check sleep mode current draw just to be sure. But I'm guessing it's fine.

    Thanks Ben yeah, the end of March I moved from Raleigh to Charlotte for a new job. Nice to be busy with work, but certainly cut back time with the car projects! Actually, though, my co-engineer is a gear head, so occasionally on weekends we'll work on stuff. We did my front struts a few weeks ago, and then did his Volvo struts lol

  15. #14
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    Howudoinralph is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: first time my Eldo has let me down

    Ranger, thanks so much as I am trying to find my own parasitic draw on my 2000 Eldorado ESC 47,950mi
    I dont really have the schooling hours, but you and your friends here are A++++ And you might have quite possibly prevented Suicide
    Im going out tomorrow to try my weak skills......I park her, leave her for 2 days and dead as a door knob

  16. #15
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    Re: first time my Eldo has let me down

    Quote Originally Posted by mhamilton View Post
    Charging voltage is great, over 14.4v at startup, then tapers down to 13.5. No charging system faults indicated.
    Exactly the same as mine. I agree that all should be ok now for you. As an aside, I've had two Sears "DieHard" batteries literally do exactly that (Die Hard) with no warning whatsoever. My late wife stopped at a service station for gas in her Sedan Deville and went inside to pay. Came back out the battery barely turned the interior lights on. The car had to be pushed out of the way until I brought a new battery to her and installed it there in the parking lot. No alternator or other electrical issues at all, Just the battery. The other battery that failed for me was in my 96 Impala SS. It died with two bad cells a week after the warranty expired. Gotta love it...

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