Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Charging System/Battery Draining

  1. #1
    New Guy APedue's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Location
    Laguna Beach, CA
    Posts
    13
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Charging System/Battery Draining

    Having an issue with car battery draining. Something is staying on while the van is off and trying to figure out what it is.
    In the past three months;
    -new starter
    -new alternator/generator
    -new voltage regulator
    -new battery

    When the van sits for a few days, the battery is dead and has to be jumped. Some people have suggested I may have an issue with the ignition, that the key may be stuck in Accessories, even it the key is turned to the Off position. How common is this? and any other suggestions/advice is welcome!

    Thanks!!!!!

  2. #2
    VCVC Charter Member Vanner68's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Kimball MI USA
    Posts
    13,482
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Get a multimeter with a 10 amp scale (like this https://www.homedepot.com/p/Commerci...301S/305089516 )

    Disconnect the positive cable from the battery and connect the meter between the cable and the battery.

    See if there is a current draw reading on the meter.

    If there is, pull fuses out of the fuse panel one at a time and check the meter.

    When the reading drops to zero, that is the circuit that is causing the draw.
    Gregg Groff


    There's no place like 127.0.0.1

    1968 Chevy G20 108 panel Now with 454 power!

    1965 Chevy G10 panel- OHC Pontiac inline 6

  3. #3
    Certifiable Vanatic
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Amboy, WA USA
    Posts
    503
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Vanner68 View Post
    Get a multimeter with a 10 amp scale (like this https://www.homedepot.com/p/Commerci...301S/305089516 )Disconnect the positive cable from the battery and connect the meter between the cable and the battery.
    I suggest disconnecting the negative cable instead. Same troubleshooting procedure and results, but less chance of accidentally creating a nasty short if your wrench touches ground. In fact it's standard battery protocol: always disconnect the negative cable first, reconnect it last.

  4. #4
    VCVC Charter Member Vanner68's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Kimball MI USA
    Posts
    13,482
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by tinlizard View Post
    I suggest disconnecting the negative cable instead. Same troubleshooting procedure and results, but less chance of accidentally creating a nasty short if your wrench touches ground. In fact it's standard battery protocol: always disconnect the negative cable first, reconnect it last.
    That's a good habit to have, but in this case we're just pulling fuses. There is still a complete circuit even with the meter on the negative cable. In either case, shorting anything out is going to pop the meter. So, keep the wrenches in the toolbox when diagnosing electrical draw.
    Gregg Groff


    There's no place like 127.0.0.1

    1968 Chevy G20 108 panel Now with 454 power!

    1965 Chevy G10 panel- OHC Pontiac inline 6

  5. #5
    VCVC Member van-itti's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Placentia, CA
    Posts
    1,420
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Is it possible the battery is just old and wont hold a charge?
    Mike

  6. #6
    Certifiable Vanatic
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Amboy, WA USA
    Posts
    503
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Vanner68 View Post
    That's a good habit to have, but in this case we're just pulling fuses. There is still a complete circuit even with the meter on the negative cable. In either case, shorting anything out is going to pop the meter. So, keep the wrenches in the toolbox when diagnosing electrical draw.
    Correct. But the hazard lies in the initial wrenching on the battery posts. Especially dangerous on the 108" vans with the battery down in that hole surrounded by all that steel. Crossing a wrench between the B+ cable and the body work is an experience you won't soon forget. My advice remains: disconnect the negative cable, not the positive cable; insert the meter between the negative cable and the negative post; proceed with the diagnosis.

  7. #7
    VCVC Member summerluvvan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Columbia, SC
    Posts
    1,048
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by APedue View Post
    Having an issue with car battery draining. Something is staying on while the van is off and trying to figure out what it is.
    In the past three months;
    -new starter
    -new alternator/generator
    -new voltage regulator
    -new battery

    When the van sits for a few days, the battery is dead and has to be jumped. Some people have suggested I may have an issue with the ignition, that the key may be stuck in Accessories, even it the key is turned to the Off position. How common is this? and any other suggestions/advice is welcome!

    Thanks!!!!!
    I had a problem with a newly installed, rebuilt alternator where the three rectifier diodes were all good but the backflow diode was shorted, so the battery discharged through the alternator when the car was off. The telltale symptom was that the charging light stayed on very dimly when the key was out, and I found the problem by tracing through the circuit diagram. This wasn't on a Chevy Van, and I can't find my Chilton manual now to check for you if it's the same kind of circuit on the vans.

    I took the alternator back to the parts shop, where of course it "tested" fine, but they only test the rectifier diodes. It took some convincing and showing them the circuit diagram before they took that one back and gave me another one. The second one worked fine, of course.

    Pulling fuses wouldn't have helped in this case, as the alternator is unfused, except maybe for the fusible link.

    Summerluvvan
    "Bertha": 1968 Chevy Van 108, 250L6, 3-speed, Jump Seat, Full Window Option, 3.36 Rear End

User Tag List

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •