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Registered
1996 Deville
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89 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, i need some help.

1996 Deville with 176,XXX miles.

Well my car has sat for about three weeks due to a dead alternator. Before this alternator went the car would always start with low voltage. The battery has been dead a few times, more than 10 in its lifetime, and has sat a total of 8 months dead.

Anyways, i just replaced the alternator yesterday. After putting everything back together i thought i was finished. So i go to drive off a few hours later and the battery is dead agen. So i jump start the car and let it run, turned it off and started right back up. Anyways it dies after it not running for about 5 minutes. Not enough power to start back up.


Well i was thinking there must be a short in the system. So i took out all of the fuses then hooked the bat back up. Voltage was climbing very slowly at around 10.5 volts. I put them in one at a time and watched the voltage waiting for it to drop. When i got to the truck i found the COMFORT fuse was draining power. A little while after while reading my haynes book i realizes i could of hooked up the meter to the fuses themselves.


Anyways two questions: One should the COMFORT fuse have power going to it at all times? It runs { CD player, Remote function actuator (RFA), Controlled power relay, Air control module (ACM),(PZM).}

It would make sence to have power going to this to run the remote function actuator. But i do not know. My car is not happy without this fuse. Nothing electrical seams to work without it.

OR, is my battery just dead and can not hold a charge? I plan to go to sears in the morning but i need to know if this is a short in the system so i can buy a remote switch to bypass this problem.


One more thing, while testing the voltage using battery positive and body ground it ready 14V, but if i test it with the battery ground it reads 13ishV. As well my car is telling me i am running less power then my tester.



So can someone pleas tell me truthfully that my battery is trash and my system should be using power threw the COMFORT fuse. "dont tell me if this is not true, i just have hopes "


Thanks for all your input.

PS does anyone want to buy a 96 deville with torn front leather seats? :alchi:
 

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Registered
1996 Deville
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89 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Update:

A few hours later.

So i go out to my car to check for continuity between the two power terminals using an ohmmeter. No continuity, so it is working just fine. For shits and giggles i try to start my car and it starts right up, the power was low but it still kicked over. WTH? This afternoon i went for a ride, got out of my car for 5 min and it was dead. Now after sitting for 5 hours it starts right up.

Funny thing is i let it run for about 15 min just now, then turned it off. 30 seconds later i try to start it and not enough power to turn over. I really do not know what to do. I will try to take it to Advanced auto parts in the morning and have them do a load test, then take the battery to sears and see what they tell me.

Other than that, do you have any ideas?
 

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Super Moderator
White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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87,112 Posts
Put the volt meter on the battery posts. What is your voltage? Now have someone crank it and see what your voltage is. Finally check the voltage while idling.
 

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1992 Sedan Deville, 1984 Lincoln Town Car
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759 Posts
Sounds like you have some pretty iffy battery connections. also, did you have the car running when you read the 14 volts? A battery that's hot off the alternator running might read 14 but would drop rather rapidly down to the normal 12V. Even brand new batteries won't charge up to more than 12.7 volts.
 

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1996 Deville
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89 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Sounds like you have some pretty iffy battery connections. also, did you have the car running when you read the 14 volts? A battery that's hot off the alternator running might read 14 but would drop rather rapidly down to the normal 12V. Even brand new batteries won't charge up to more than 12.7 volts.
Well the connections are tights, and clean. Yes the car was running at 14 volts. It will only read 14 if i test it with battery positive and engine ground. Not battery positive and battery ground.

When testing battery positive and battery ground it reads 13.5 to 13.7 volts with car on.

With the car off it reads 12.5 volts.

With the battery out of the car, after a failed start attempt it has read lets say 9 volts. Every 25 seconds or so the voltage jumps up 1/10th of a volt. Should it do that? It will do that up to about 12.5 max. It may take a few hours. "This is while not connected to the car."



It just throws me off a lot when i just started the car ran it for 15 min, good voltage all around. Then i turned it off, let it sit for 30 seconds, then it would not restart. Battery was dead.
 

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2005 DeVille
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64 Posts
Terminals may look clean, but cut the insulation back under the battery side post connections.....bet is is all corrided. Acid runs down the cables and plays heck with the copper. Check the negative cable first.
 

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1992 Sedan Deville, 1984 Lincoln Town Car
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759 Posts
Big time :yeah:. On my SD, this happened to me. when I cut back the "protective" (RED) housing on the Pos cable end, I experienced "shock and awe" at how bad it was all throughout. Solution: SNIP-SNIP, put new cable ends and it's a miracle. the car started right up. No problems like that since. I could explain it to you electronically why this would drain your battery too, but it's boring.

Yes, it is normal for a DC car battery that has had a momentary current drain (giant load) on it to drop the volts down to 9V, once the load is removed it will recover in 100th volt increments rather rapidly over a few minute period. This is what happens when your headlights are on without running the car alternator.
 

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Super Moderator
White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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87,112 Posts
Easiest test I can think of is get a known good battery from a wife's, friends or neighbors car and see if the problem goes away. If so, replace the battery.
 

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1996 Deville
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89 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Well sounds like that's my best bet. A buddy of mine is into car audio and has some Zero gauge so i will talk with him about a few feet of it to replace the wires. As well i will try a different battery and see whats up.

Although i do not understand how a corroded battery cable could cause this, i am sure you guys must know more about it than i do.

Thanks for your help.

If anyone else has any theories i am open to them all.

Sadly it is time to sell this car before anything else goes wrong and i am out of a car for another long period of time.
 

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1992 Sedan Deville, 1984 Lincoln Town Car
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759 Posts
Does your battery have side mount and top mount terminals? I know my Caddy did and the replacement battery was the same style, so IDK if other Cads have the same.
Anyways if you have the top mount terminal, one way to check for a cable problem is to bypass the side mount Neg (BLACK) cable by using a jumper cable from the top mount (NEG) terminal directly to your ENGINE Ground, any Solid metal point on the ENGINE. See if the car will start like that.

Another Battery story was on my 85 Astro VAn
same problem no start. Upon close examination of the battery, guess what? The whole side mount terminal was cracked therefore disconnecting it from the internal Battery cells. I was told at the time that this is very common for side-mount batteries and I've always wondered why the Cadillacs use them.
 

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Registered
1996 Deville
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89 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Does your battery have side mount and top mount terminals? I know my Caddy did and the replacement battery was the same style, so IDK if other Cads have the same.
Anyways if you have the top mount terminal, one way to check for a cable problem is to bypass the side mount Neg (BLACK) cable by using a jumper cable from the top mount (NEG) terminal directly to your ENGINE Ground, any Solid metal point on the ENGINE. See if the car will start like that.

Another Battery story was on my 85 Astro VAn
same problem no start. Upon close examination of the battery, guess what? The whole side mount terminal was cracked therefore disconnecting it from the internal Battery cells. I was told at the time that this is very common for side-mount batteries and I've always wondered why the Cadillacs use them.
Yes i have side mounted terminals. When i jump the car i put cable to positive battery terminal, then on the other car hook up positive cable to battery, then negative to negative terminal "other car" then i ground the negative cable to the engine mount. In that order. Works just fine.


I was thinking that when i test the voltage using engine mount ground and positive terminal i always get 14 volts. At the same time if i test it with the battery negative it is less, by .5 to 1.3 volts. As well my car says 13V to as low as 12.7 volts. which could be from the cables being corroded.

Well that is an idea, although i have side mounted cables. IE: Bypass the cable with the jumper cables. I will do that after i check the cables.
 

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1992 Sedan Deville, 1984 Lincoln Town Car
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759 Posts
If that's the case it would be more difficult to bypass the cable. I mean you could try it but it's a little hard to latch on the side mount with the drive belt so close and all. it would be a lot easier with the top mount bat terminals.
 

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1996 Deville
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89 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Ok so this morning i go out there, test the battery and it reads 12.5V. Starts right up.

I cut open the ground and it looks great. I cut open the positive wire, looks great.

So i let the car run for a few min, now the battery reads 13.7 to 14.1V.

While starting it goes down to 9 volts.

I am really lost on this. Today it work, nothing has been changed. So i do not know whats going on.
 

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1996 Deville
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89 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Once more, i go out to the car and it starts. I let it run for about 3 minutes. Turn it off then try to turn it back on. It wont start. The starter goes as if there is a dead battery. So i try it about three times and on the third time it starts right up.

All of my cables are tight, clean and non corroded.

My car never says there is low voltage.

I do not know whats going on.
 

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Registered
1992 Sedan Deville, 1984 Lincoln Town Car
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759 Posts
How many miles and years on your starter motor? Maybe that is what's loading down your battery when you start. It normally takes quite a chunk of juice to crank it but not that much to drag the battery down to 9 volts. Starter may be on it's last legs.
 

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1992 Sedan Deville, 1984 Lincoln Town Car
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759 Posts
Ok then, how many miles and years are on your battery? I know the Sears Diehard Gold South is a pretty good battery, tho.
 
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