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Discussion Starter #1
What’s up guys. I’m stumped need some advise.
My battery keeps going dead! My car is a one owner that had have been garage kept for too long so when I got it every single thing on the car had to be changed. From the fuel pump to the OPTi spark I mean I changed everything!

I put a new battery and alternator in the car because when I got it the battery was always going dead. After I put in the new battery and alternator on the car after a little time it started going dead again
. I had the battery and alternator tested and they come back to tell me that they thought the alternator was bad and being under warranty I changed it.
It started going dead again and the new battery tested bad under warranty so I changed it.
Not long after it started the same thing again.

At this point if I remember correctly I have changed the alternator twice and the battery twice within a matter of months. It just randomly goes dead to you can never predict it.

Each time the ignition and lights was off. For a while I thought there was a pattern of it doing it with the ignition off but the keys sticking in it but it did it this morning with the keys out.

Each time it does this it’s very easy to jump!
i mean I don’t even have to start the other vehicle all I have to do is connect jumper cables to another battery in it fires right up. The door chimes come on, the dash lights up, The radio comes on everything seems normal like you have a charged battery until you hit the key and nothing happens!
There has been times where the car was completely dead but for the majority of the time it’s just like I describe it.

I used an ohmmeter to check the resistor in the keys and they are good and if there not I’m getting the exact same resistance reading from both keys.
I bought an ignition starter switch because the guy at the auto parts store thinks that’s what’s draining my battery but I’ve never installed one so I haven’t done it yet. do you guys have any suggestions
 

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you can use a amp probe on each fuse one at a time to see if there is a draw on that particular circuit with engine off.

have you confirmed your hood or trunk light actually turn off when you close hood or trunk?

sounds like there is a ghost drain going on
 

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Battery drain

I had a similar issue that ended up being the door chime/interior light module. Something internal to it was using juice all the time.
Swapped it and no more issues.
It's an easy check though. Just pull it out for awhile.
Down by your left foot if seated in drivers seat.
Later,
 

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You need to properly troubleshoot the electrical system, and stop guessing. Throwing parts at it is expensive. If you can not do it, have a qualified shop troubleshoot it. It could be something as simple as a switch not closing.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
How would a shop do it? Would it be like the other guy said? By checking the fuses with a amp gauge
 

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How would a shop do it? Would it be like the other guy said? By checking the fuses with a amp gauge
using a amp probe clamp meter is how to find the problem ..

in nov 1995 when I purchased my 96 Impala I removed the hood and trunk lamps . this is a common problem battery drain .. lamps never put back in.

alternator new if you purchased a re manufactured alternator that is IMO a bad purchase..

find the drain of the battery is time consuming but not hard.

on the key error.. what are the resistances you have 2 keys ?

I have used electronic /maf cleaner to clean up the key hole .. use straw blow in a small amount.. DO NOT USE ANY ACETONE / BRAKE CLEAN ....

only maf/electronic cleaner that is safe for rubber/paint / plastics/wiring etc.. read label carefully..

your throwing parts at an old vehicle is not how to properly fix stuff..
there are professionals that do this so you pay for their guesses..

if you do not have the ability to do this troubleshooting best buy a new vehicle every 4 years ... LOL..
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I checked both keys with a multimeter they both read the same resistance. So if the resistor in the Key Is good I’m not shore why I would get that light. Maybe the contacts are dirty.
As far as knowing how to trouble shoot things or working on my car vs throwing on parts. I replaced every thing because I could afford it and it was for peace of mind and when I do have an issue on this particular car I do like to ask advise on here from a idk stand point to gather lots of ideas and suggestion befor I start.
Sometimes I’ll ask the question even when I already know just to see what others idea is because I can’t stand a know it all that can’t be told any thing so they learn by trial by fire.
But any time I end up having to repair something on this car and it’s something I haven’t did yet I like to replace every thing new.
 

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Nothing wrong with asking questions. That's how you learn.
If folks (FK) would just be supportive instead of adding criticism it would help also....
Keep at it.
 

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What’s up guys. I’m stumped need some advise.
My battery keeps going dead! My car is a one owner that had have been garage kept for too long so when I got it every single thing on the car had to be changed. From the fuel pump to the OPTi spark I mean I changed everything!

I put a new battery and alternator in the car because when I got it the battery was always going dead. After I put in the new battery and alternator on the car after a little time it started going dead again
. I had the battery and alternator tested and they come back to tell me that they thought the alternator was bad and being under warranty I changed it.
It started going dead again and the new battery tested bad under warranty so I changed it.
Not long after it started the same thing again.

At this point if I remember correctly I have changed the alternator twice and the battery twice within a matter of months. It just randomly goes dead to you can never predict it.

Each time the ignition and lights was off. For a while I thought there was a pattern of it doing it with the ignition off but the keys sticking in it but it did it this morning with the keys out.

Each time it does this it’s very easy to jump!
i mean I don’t even have to start the other vehicle all I have to do is connect jumper cables to another battery in it fires right up. The door chimes come on, the dash lights up, The radio comes on everything seems normal like you have a charged battery until you hit the key and nothing happens!
There has been times where the car was completely dead but for the majority of the time it’s just like I describe it.

I used an ohmmeter to check the resistor in the keys and they are good and if there not I’m getting the exact same resistance reading from both keys.
I bought an ignition starter switch because the guy at the auto parts store thinks that’s what’s draining my battery but I’ve never installed one so I haven’t done it yet. do you guys have any suggestions
Battery vs Alternator and their purpose. the battery is a static Load and usually around 12V and will supply Power (volts) and Current (amps) for a limited amount of time. Once it drains, it needs to be recharged or kept at a level to prevent discahrge while suppling volts/current. The alternators job is to help keep the battery charged while it is in use and supplying volts/amps to devices. Usually a quick check of the alternator is simply using a DVM (Digital Volt Meter) to see what battery voltage is with the engine running. Usually, a working alty will keep battery voltage around 14.2 Volts. If you see that while running and then back to around 12V with engine off then the alty is most likely ok.

Lets assume the issue with battery drain is some circuit is active and draining your battery. How best to find this? For me, I would first see what current draw the battery has while the car is just sitting. There should be a small of current (milliamps) for things like radio/clock/alarm LED, etc. But if you are seeing larger amps being pulled from the battery you have a Circuit issue somewhere. the best way to find which circuit? Pull all the fuses and check the battery drain again. Most likely it is normal. Now replace each fuse one at a time and check for current draw after each fuse is installed. Once you get the high current draw again, you have at least narrowed down the circuit causing the problem.

That is half the battle. Now that you know which circuit, it could just be a simple matter of a bad device/bulb/etc in there causing the issue. It could be more involved and be a wire that is shorted to ground or metal somewhere or something like that. There are Circuit schematics available that will help you trace out wires and parts pretty easily. But to me the key is narrowing down the culprit so you can then fix it. GL as electrical issues can sometimes be a PITA but can also be something silly like a shorted wire/bulb on/ etc.
 

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on the key good both have same resistance .. check that the tits on the key are not worn too much as if the key was on a ring with other keys the pellet will be worn down and not making good contact.. yes I have had to spray the proper solvent in the key hole a few times over 22yrs.. did it last year..


replacing parts on these can create more problems .. reason is some are china crap..



parts I had to replace 4 water pumps .. this last pump I installed is working perfect no weep at the weep hole but back in 1996 it did weep....GM said its normal...


I am on the 3 rd EGR valve reason is these fail at 10yrs age kills them. I did replace the opti because when I did the 3rd water pump and checked it the rotor had a slight wobble .. well 3yrs later the aftermarket opti crapped out tried getting a new one that would work well that was a PITA.. had to install the original one .. works great but it does have a slight rotor wobble..


the other parts are the coil and ICM... coil would cause miss fires on damp days .. I could see the arcing in the dark...
replaced the rear rotors rust on them .. and a set of brake pads front rear.


this spring radiator had a crack on the driver side plastic tank so I replaced that ..idler arm was replaced in 1997 with the HD one no sloppy steering..
blower resistor replaced lost one speed ,,has about it 82K miles ..


cheap repairs when you do the troubleshooting and find good parts..
 

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Huf...short of you going over to OP's house and doing it for him, the video makes it "crystal clear" on how to find a parasitic draw
:surprise: Did not watch all of it. Is it that bad? Sorry. Sure, one should also know how to use a multimeter, at least.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
No not yet but I’m really thanking it was the key. It happened again so instead of jumping the car like always I just pulled the fues to the pcm, reinstalled it and it started right up.
I’m a union pipefitter, I got a last minute call to go to husky Refinery right after I started that post so I haven’t got to do anything
 

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No not yet but I’m really thanking it was the key. It happened again so instead of jumping the car like always I just pulled the fuses to the pcm, reinstalled it and it started right up.
I’m a union pipefitter, I got a last minute call to go to husky Refinery right after I started that post so I haven’t got to do anything

to know if it is the battery when it fails when you crank it,, you turn headlights on and open the drivers door.. Then look at the interior Dome lamp .. lamp on looks normal then as you turn key look at the dome lamp.. if the lamp does stay on then it sure can be the key issue which is common as they get old...
IMO I do not replace parts on a guess ..more parts changing causes more problems esp. if you have some wrench spinner work on the electrical s..


did you use electrical contact cleaner in the key hole ?
 
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