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Battery drain 2002 Cavalier

11-04-2012, 09:32 PM
My son has a 2002 Cavalier that is giving us fits. A couple of months ago he had a couple of episodes where the battery discharged to 9 volts. Alternator putting out 13.6 volts, so that seemed fine. I replaced the battery as it was 5 years old and did not seem to hold a charge well. Thought that solved the problem. Nope....He called me yesterday and when I went there it was down to 6.5 volts.....I brought the battery home, charged it on 2 amps for several hours and then 6 amp hours for 2 hours more. Took volt meter and set for amps and tested for draw on negative cable.....Got a reading of 1.01 amps. I have seen people say that .6 t0 1.2 is normal and others say baloney.......25 to .50 is max.....I don't have a manual for this car so I don't know but sounds high to me. I was not able to check all the fuses yet, but when we removed BATT2 fuse under the hood the voltage dropped to almost zero. What does BATT2 supply power to and what is normal draw on these things when key is off????

11-05-2012, 11:08 AM
Normal draw should be around 28 milli-amps or less (.028 amps)
The batt2 fuse power the rear defog, power acc, apo and stop/hazard fuses. Depending on the options you have (UN2 or L61) it will also power the crank relay. Reinstall the batt2 fuse and pull the others one at a time and see when the draw goes away.

Post back the results

11-05-2012, 04:04 PM
Thanks! That helps a bunch!

11-12-2012, 10:05 AM
Well here is what we found....After removing a good number of fuses the culprit was the radio fuse. Also apparently controls the dome light as well. I used a much better meter and removing the fuse took us from .98 amps to .17 amps. I removed the dome light bulb prior to this test as I did not want that to interfere with the test. As it turns out, several months ago they had a large water spill in the car while hauling a dog somewhere and one of the girls spilled a bowl of water(!) onto the dash and their radio stopped working. They dried out the car and did not try using the radio for some time and when they did it worked fine so they thought all was well...guess not. Not sure what would have shorted out to keep power on as there should not be any power there with the key off but something is wrong so we have left the fuse out for now....

Tech II
11-12-2012, 04:33 PM
0.17 amps is still too high

0.17 amps is equal to 170 milli amps....should not be higher than 20-30 milli amps.....

11-12-2012, 04:54 PM
Hmmm. Thanks for that information..I will d/c and try again if need be. I was going by my son's readings as he was outside with the meter while I pulled fuses. Will check again and get back to you.

11-15-2012, 08:58 AM
I had to drop over there yesterday late to deal with another issue they had with their other car and while I was there I re-checked the drain with two meters, both set on 10 amp scale. Is was indeed .17. I wanted to be sure that perhaps it was not a mis-read the last time I was there. Got darl on us and I was still dealing with the other car so will get back to this one this weekend I guess. At least so far the battery is still holding up OK..

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