Car locking itself... repeatedly... killing battery
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Cadillac STS Forum - 2005 through 2012 Discussion, Car locking itself... repeatedly... killing battery in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; Hi guys! I'm having all sorts of dumb issues lately. About a week ago, i went remote started my car, ...
  1. #1
    CadiTamer is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Car locking itself... repeatedly... killing battery

    Hi guys!

    I'm having all sorts of dumb issues lately.

    About a week ago, i went remote started my car, and it failed to start due to a low battery. Jumped it off, drove for about an hour, all was well. Car had been sitting for about 30 hours at that point.

    A few days later, after the car had sat for a while again, the battery was dead again. Completely dead this time, though. Went ahead and jumped it off, drove, and all has been well since, though my friend has noticed something strange.

    The car seems to be repeatedly locking itself. I have the auto lock feature turned on, so it should lock when i walk away from it, but it seems to be constantly locking itself throughout the day/night. I'm thinking this is an issue with the RCDLR, though i could be wrong. Does anyone know what could be causing this?

    I've also noticed that on days that are more humid, the trunk likes to open itself randomly. Sometimes it'll do it once or twice a day while the car is running, and other times it might do it 20 or 30 times in an hour while the car is off. So far my solution to this has been to flip the valet switch, but it seems that it still happens every now and then...

    Thanks!

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  3. #2
    curtc's Avatar
    curtc is offline OCD - Obsessive Cadillac Disorder
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    I'd start by replacing what appears to be a weak battery. These things can do some weird things with low voltage present.

    And if you take this route get a group 78 battery vs. the recommended group 101...You'll get more CCA's, it fits just fine, and it's MUCH cheaper.
    dkozloski and Neutrocuted like this.
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    dkozloski's Avatar
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    Re: Car locking itself... repeatedly... killing battery

    I would think that with all the posts about battery trouble on this forum that the first thing that an owner would buy is a battery load tester. I got mine at NAPA. They are way cheaper than any tow or battery call out service you will find anywhere and along with a jump box will make you self-sufficient. I suppose nowdays the average bear would rather sit and squall and wait for somebody to rescue them.
    Don't mess with Binky Bear!


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    CadiTamer is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Car locking itself... repeatedly... killing battery

    The battery in it was purchased when i bought the car in December, though i will admit that it looks to be the wrong size. (It's pretty small compared to what it looks like can fit)

    Would a weak battery cause the car to remain active when it's off? I've read that low voltage can cause the issues with the trunk, though i'm pretty sure the little button on the driver's door is the issue. (It doesn't work, is basically my guessing there.)

    I did have the battery tested at AutoZone, and they said it was fine, though i don't know how much faith I have in their tool.

    I do have a jump box in the trunk, as i knew i'd likely need it one day
    dkozloski likes this.

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    Re: Car locking itself... repeatedly... killing battery

    IMHO, a free test is worth what it cost. $0. If the battery has been drained twice to the point where it needed a jump and once 'completely' it's likely been damaged anyway. Auto batteries are not designed to ever be discharged that far.

    Koz has once again scored a direct hit. Even now that I know I have a good battery and no trouble, I still carry a jump-pack and charge it regularly. I'm occasionally asked to provide a jump and I like to help my friends. But I don't want to risk my car's electronics. Besides, you just never know, I might need a boost myself.
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    CadiTamer is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Car locking itself... repeatedly... killing battery

    I know one day my friend moved the car and didn't get it all the way in park. Apparently that causes the car to stay in accessory mode, and he didn't notice. (How he missed the stereo being on is beyond me...)
    When I got to the car later that day, the battery was showing five volts. While that was a while ago (2 or 3 months) I remember wondering if the battery was a goner back then. Charged it overnight on a charger, and it seemed happy. Maybe that's finally catching up to me.

    I'll go ahead and drop a new battery (of the proper size) in this week. Hopefully that'll solve the issues.


    Thanks guys!

  8. #7
    EChas3's Avatar
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    Re: Car locking itself... repeatedly... killing battery

    It's your car; do as you like. I just don't think it makes good sense to pay a premium price for a Type 101 battery which the Battery Council International rates at 540 CCA when a Type 78 with 800 CCA will fit and costs less. These cars place heavy demands on a battery and greater reserves serve to stabilize the electrical system.

    GM upgraded the STS to a Type 48 battery in 2008, which was rated at 730 CCA for its first two years and then the BCI downgraded the Delco 48 to the 660 CCA rating it maintains today in the XTS.

    BCI Battery Replacement Data Book

    ----------

    PS: My wife & I have been using Optima RedTop 8078-109 for a few years with zero difficulty. AFAIK, both had been original prior to 2011.

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    CadiTamer is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Car locking itself... repeatedly... killing battery

    I meant I'll get one that's a type 78, vs the whatever is in it right now... no labeling on the battery, so I know nothing about other than it doesn't work right

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    Re: Car locking itself... repeatedly... killing battery

    My '06 came with a 101 battery that was dead on the showroom floor for who knows how long. I bought the car as new in '07 so it must have been months. The battery never gave me a moments trouble but when it got to be six years old I replaced it with another 101 because I didn't want to go into the winter with something questionable. I still have the original battery and it still holds a charge. My car has never failed to start and has never stranded me even in -50F weather. My experience tells me that the OEM battery is completely adequate as supplied.
    Don't mess with Binky Bear!


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    Re: Car locking itself... repeatedly... killing battery

    I'm sure the 101 is perfectly adequate but I'm not one to pay more for less...The price of the 101 is outrageous compared to the 78 and the 78 gives you more CCA's, that was a no brainer to me.
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    Re: Car locking itself... repeatedly... killing battery

    I'am with Curt on this one. $$$ talks

  13. #12
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    Re: Car locking itself... repeatedly... killing battery

    Quote Originally Posted by dkozloski View Post
    My '06 came with a 101 battery that was dead on the showroom floor for who knows how long. I bought the car as new in '07 so it must have been months. The battery never gave me a moments trouble but when it got to be six years old I replaced it with another 101 because I didn't want to go into the winter with something questionable. I still have the original battery and it still holds a charge. My car has never failed to start and has never stranded me even in -50F weather. My experience tells me that the OEM battery is completely adequate as supplied.
    Was your original an AC Delco???

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    CadiTamer is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Car locking itself... repeatedly... killing battery

    I would trust an AC Delco to work properly even after a complete discharge... I'm pretty convinced the battery in this car is the cheapest that could be bought (judging by the lack of labeling, and the typical appearance of things on the car, as well as things i've found since i've owned it), so i'm sure a few good discharges to 5 volts would probably ruin it. It also drops from the normal 13 volts to below 12 within a few hours of shutdown, and i'm not seeing anything pulling power from the battery, so i'm betting a dead cell at this point, and the car is just overcharging the remaining cells, not knowing what's wrong.

    I've had cars with dead cells before that weren't so intelligent, and they would just charge it to 12 volts, and it'd be dead the next morning... With the STS having the IPM controlling and monitoring the charging of the battery, it wouldn't surprise me at all if it's charging it until it hits the correct voltage, or if it's continually charging it while the car is running due to the increased current draw of the dead cell in the battery.

    Anywho, as soon as i'm not completely broke (between jobs currently; new one starts Monday) a new battery will be showing up in my STS

  15. #14
    AllWheelEric is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Car locking itself... repeatedly... killing battery

    CadiTamer, did you spill a soda on your key fob? Or crush it? Sounds to me like it's sending commands to the car at random times.

  16. #15
    dkozloski's Avatar
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    Re: Car locking itself... repeatedly... killing battery

    Quote Originally Posted by Neutrocuted View Post
    Was your original an AC Delco???
    Yes.

    ----------

    Completely discharging a lead acid battery does only minimal harm, material sloughs off the plates and falls to the bottom. Eventually enough falls off that it shorts the plates and the battery is done but it takes a lot of cycles. So-called deep-cycle batteries have deeper sumps so more material can slough off the plates without doing damage. What does kill a battery is letting it sit discharged or partially discharged. Sitting in the car playing the radio or watching videos with the engine off or playing the radio while washing or rubbing on the car are bad news. When allowed to sit discharged or partially discharged the plates become sufphated and this damage is not reversible. A car is transportation and not a lounge.
    Don't mess with Binky Bear!


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