Battery issue / Battery light flashing


gordon_gjs
10-26-2009, 03:10 PM
I have been having what seems to be an electrical problem on my 2003 Impala 3.8L v6. I replaced the battery back in July. Since I had replaced the battery I noticed that a battery light flashes once every 60 sec or so when the car is off.
Now about once every week for the last 3 or 4 weeks the battery has been drained when I went out to the car to start. I will jump start it and everything will be fine for about another week. There are no after market devices installed. Everything is stock and the cig lighter fuse has been pulled out. I taken the car down to autozone last week and they tested the battery and altenator (both tested good). They then tested it to see how many amps it pulls when the car was off and it tested ok.

Long story short, does anybody know what I can test for or maybe something is not shutting off when the car turns off?

gordon_gjs
12-02-2009, 04:55 PM
Nobody has a battery issue? Basically the car will have a dead battery if I let it sit more then a day. Now the pass few days when I went out to get something out of the trunk and car and come back to the car a few hours later the battery will be drained. Any input on testing it? How many amps should the car be pulling if it is off?

J-Ri
12-02-2009, 10:05 PM
The flashing battery light is interesting. I have noticed what appears to be an inductive ammeter on many battery cables in GM vehicles of approximately this age. It's possible that it's a warning that the draw is excessive. :dunno: I'm not sure on that, but I'm going to look into it tomorrow at work if I have time. The maximum is .05A for most cars, some cars that are overloaded with modules (Cadillacs, for example) will allow more and give a significant time period (30 min or more) for all the modules to finish shutting down. Your car should probably be down to .05A within 15 minutes of removing the key. If the key-in switch is closed, some vehicles don't shut everything off. Can't remember about yours. Obviously a good battery will handle more than that for longer than the time we're talking about here. With today's computer controlled vehicles, modules can turn on loads hours after the car is shut off and the parasitic draw has fallen to where it should be. To find where the draw is, pull one fuse at a time until it drops.

Since opening the trunk seems to kill the battery, there may be a problem with the light switch. Most use a mercury-switch - a capsule with an electrode in each side and partially filled with mercury. Depending on the angle, the mercury makes and breaks contact to turn on the light. They're usually located on on of the hinge arms, and most are just clipped on. Take a look at the switch, it may have been broken and is hanging there or got turned so that it makes contact if the car's sitting at a slight angle.

Is the battery completely dead (eg. no dome light) or just so low it won't crank at all? Modules usually shut off while there is around 6v remaining, a light will drain it completely.

gordon_gjs
12-03-2009, 09:09 AM
The battery is completely dead most of the time, no lights, radio and the relays making clicking noise. The remote entry will not even unlock the doors. I do not have the tool to test the draw on the battery but I did take it to autozone and they tested the draw with the car off and all lights off and I believe it was at 1.75A. Which he said was fine, but I believe you are right and it should be around .05A. I have a pretty good fluke multimeter but dont you need a AC/DC current clamp to test for the draw on the battery? Which I dont have. :frown: Can it be tested using just a multimeter? If I remember right this probelm started around july when my old battery died and I replaced it with a new one. Everything is stock, no after market radio or lights. But my next step is to pull the fuses 1 by 1 like you said. But I need to go purchase a current clamp before this.

This car has 1 problem after another. I can probaly list about 10 things wrong with the car right now from the transmission to the radiator. :frown::frown::frown:

gordon_gjs
12-03-2009, 02:41 PM
I just got 2 current clamps :biggrin:, so I will be testing the amp draw on the battery tonight when I get off work. Hope I find out what is wrong with this car!!! Its driving me crazy and broke!! :banghead::banghead::banghead:

Iflylow
12-04-2009, 10:30 PM
You can test the draw with just a multimeter, you do not need the current clamps. 1.75A is way too high.
I would start by pulling the trunk light fuse.

gordon_gjs
01-07-2010, 11:26 AM
*UPDATE*

I believe I finally found out why the battery light is flashing and what keeps on draining my battery. Last night I made it home from autozone (had to replace the car battery) and when I parked I noticed the battery light flashing. I had thought I fixed this last week by pulling out and testing all relays and fuses. So I did not want to wake up to a dead battery, so I open the passenger side door and I was going to pull the relays for the battery and lights (thought it would fix it). As I go to sit down (everything is off, battery light flashing) I hear the speakers lightly hissing. This is the same noise I hear when ever I turn the car off or hit the lock/unlock button. The noise usally only last around 5-10 seconds and then you hear it turn off. But this time the noise wouldnt turn off. I put the key in the ignition turned it on and turned it off pulled the key out and locked the doors. The speaker noise turned off in about 5-10sec like it suppose to and there was no more battery flashing light all night long. So my next step is to replace the ignition switch and key cylinder. The key cylinder is going bad as I have to wiggle the key to get it to turn.

Does this make since to anybody? Is maybe something getting stuck on in the ignition switch??

Thanks!!

Iflylow
01-07-2010, 09:12 PM
Replace the parts you mentioned, that sounds like the problem to me. Mine also hisses, but only for about 15 seconds. The ignition switches are a weak point in these cars, and cause all sorts of hard to diagnose problems when they go bad.

gordon_gjs
01-14-2010, 08:57 AM
I just got a used ignition switch and key cylinder in the mail that I ordered off ebay. Before I replace this I was wondering if there is a special way this needs to be installed? I read up a few places and I believe they said the ignition needs to be relearned by the car? I also read about the anti theft system locking up because of tampering with the ignition switch. Is there anything I should worry about?
Thanks

j cAT
01-15-2010, 07:18 PM
I just got a used ignition switch and key cylinder in the mail that I ordered off ebay. Before I replace this I was wondering if there is a special way this needs to be installed? I read up a few places and I believe they said the ignition needs to be relearned by the car? I also read about the anti theft system locking up because of tampering with the ignition switch. Is there anything I should worry about?
Thanks


before replacing parts find the problem ...using the ammeter to see the battery drain pull fuses to find the drain..if the drain is 1.75 amp that could be a lamp ckt...

normal drain is in milli- amps....100-250MA...

replacing parts can get you into more trouble..especially used stuff..

gordon_gjs
01-15-2010, 11:37 PM
before replacing parts find the problem ...using the ammeter to see the battery drain pull fuses to find the drain..if the drain is 1.75 amp that could be a lamp ckt...

normal drain is in milli- amps....100-250MA...

replacing parts can get you into more trouble..especially used stuff..


I did pull fuses and relays one by one with a amp clamp attached to the battery. It wasnt until the other day that I relized what could be causing the battery light to flash on the dash. When ever you hit unlock or lock on the remote or get ready to start the car a hissing noise comes from the speakers for about 15seconds. Well when i got into the car and saw the battery light flashing I could hear the hissing noise and it was not turning off and I waited a few minutes. Long story short I put the key in the ignition, turned it on and off and the battery light stopped flashing and no more hissing. I have been doing this now everytime I see the light flashing. My ignition is already bad, I have to jiggle the key and I can even pull it out when the car is on. So it does need to be replaced anyways.
j cAT, do you know if there needs to be any programming of the new key switch or speacial way of removing it?
I thought I read that you need to take everything apart and take the key cylinder off the switch before disconnecting the wires going into the key cylinder?

j cAT
01-16-2010, 10:46 AM
I did pull fuses and relays one by one with a amp clamp attached to the battery. It wasnt until the other day that I relized what could be causing the battery light to flash on the dash. When ever you hit unlock or lock on the remote or get ready to start the car a hissing noise comes from the speakers for about 15seconds. Well when i got into the car and saw the battery light flashing I could hear the hissing noise and it was not turning off and I waited a few minutes. Long story short I put the key in the ignition, turned it on and off and the battery light stopped flashing and no more hissing. I have been doing this now everytime I see the light flashing. My ignition is already bad, I have to jiggle the key and I can even pull it out when the car is on. So it does need to be replaced anyways.
j cAT, do you know if there needs to be any programming of the new key switch or speacial way of removing it?
I thought I read that you need to take everything apart and take the key cylinder off the switch before disconnecting the wires going into the key cylinder?

sounds like the lock cylinder has a lot of wear ..that can cause the problem of not moving the ignition switch to the off position...using the ammeter work the lock cylinder while observing the current flow..

I believe you may have a security issue with the replacement of the lock cylinder ..

at the top of this impala forum instructions and other helpful info is wriiten.. review this first ..

gordon_gjs
02-02-2010, 03:32 PM
j cAT, you are right about the security issue. I have to take it by a chevy dealer when I get some extra cash. The techs over there quoted me around $90 - $160 for programming the passlock on the lock cylinder.

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