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Topic: Battery Keeps Going Dead

Posted By: carlstone05 on 12/30/08 08:11pm

Well I have a 2005 Suburban I bought new and at about 2 years old my battery died. I charged it and all was good for a week or so...then I had to do it again, and again, then nothing. The final time was on a Saturday afternoon and I was heading out of town. I called the dealer, since it was still under warranty, and they couldn't get me in for a few days and were closing for the day. So I had no choice but to run to Wal-Mart...they tested the battery and said it wouldn't hold a charge. I bought a new battery and all was good, until last summer. I went through the same thing again. The dealer wouldn't look at the battery or warranty the battery since it wasn't replaced by a "certified" Chevy tech. I took the battery back to Wal-Mart and they said it was dead and replaced. So now to current day, it has happened again. I thought maybe it died because it was sooo cold (although it is garaged). So after a few weeks of charging if not driven for 4-5 days, the battery wouldn't charge again. I again went back to Wal-Mart and got a replacement...no problems for now.

I know there has to be a something drawing power and causing a slow leak and the re-charging once it gets really low might be causing it to not hold a charge. Has anyone else had a similar problem? I am going to take it in this week and have it looked at, but if anyone has had a similar problem I'd like to hear what it was and how it was fixed. The Burb hasn't had any other issues...your assistance is appreciated!

Happy Holiday's and Camping
Carlstone


2005 Suburban 1500 2WD, 5.3L, 4.10
Prodigy Brake Control
Equal-i-zer Sway/Weight Distribution
2008 Cherokee Grey Wolf 26BH, Patriot Edition II



Posted By: Perrysburg Dodgeboy on 12/30/08 08:29pm

Well I agree with the dealer as to not covering the battery, it's not theirs. However they should find out what is causing it to go dead. That is on them to figure out were the draw is. Just a couple of quick questions, have you added anything to the truck, new radio, lights, or something like that? If yes you might want to remove it/them and see if your problem goes away.

I changed out a radio in an Aerostar van we had and the dash light fuse started blowing out shortly after. The dealer traced it back to the radio and I got a bill for over $300.00 for the time to diagnose the short. Then the stereo shop would not reimburse me and nether did Pioneer. So make sure it is not something you have done as they will not cover aftermarket parts not installed by them.

Don


Currently truck less and trailer less. Sold the 2500 Ram and ordered a 2015 Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab SWB 4X4 Eco-diesel. Or as I have been told on here, the slowest & weakest truck on the market


Posted By: 82corvette on 12/30/08 08:49pm

I had the same deal on our 05 GMC. I had the Walmart battery replaced twice before buying an Interstate mtp78. I let the truck set for 3 weeks in 0 temps & it started great. The computer & radio do draw all the time but the interstate cranked great.


Posted By: John3872 on 12/30/08 08:50pm

Not sure why the original battery did not hold up. However, I'm not surprised by the junk wal-mart batteries. I've bought enough of those junk batteries to learn my lesson.


2003 Chevy 2500HD Duramax Crew Cab
2009 Palomino Sabre 30RLDS
Reese 16K Fifth Wheel Slider
Yamaha ef2400is



Posted By: chadsalt on 12/30/08 08:59pm

AC Delco batteries are junk, dead after 2-3 years is commonplace. Someone will be along to tell you they have 10 years on an Ac Delco.......my dad is one of them......but thats not the norm. We have alot of mechs in the family, theyll all tell you the same. AC Delcos in my own GM vehicles have failed me so often I dont even wait for them to die......2 years and they are replaced.

Wal Mart batteries are garbage from the start. Go buy a quality battery, then see if you still have a problem.






Posted By: Chuck&Gail on 12/30/08 09:22pm

How long does it sit unused before battery goes dead? There are constant small current draws on "modern" cars.

If all else fails, try measuring actual current drawn from battery when engine off.

Last idea, once shuting off engine, look to see if ANY lites are on. And LISTEN to hear a fan or pump running. For example if it has an electric fan, and the relay sticks so it stays on, it will kill battery. Look and listen each time you turn off car, as it could be intermittent.


Chuck
Wonderful Wife
Australian Shepherd
2010 Ford Expedition TV
2010 Outback 230RS Toybox, 5390# UVW, 6800# Loaded
Not yet camped in Hawaii, 2 Canada Provinces, & 2 Territories
I can't be lost because I don't care where this lovely road is going


Posted By: whiteeye42 on 12/30/08 10:29pm

i have a new 2008 dodge dually and the truck only had 800 miles on it when we went camping this summer after camping for 10 days i tried to start the truck to get it ready to leave dead batteries i carry a charger with me so i started the gen and charged them got everything home took truck to dealer they found that one battery was shorted inside which drained the other one they replace batteries.So it is not just ac delco that has bad batteries


Me,Wife two boys and three dogs
2008 Dodge Ram Quad Cab 4x4 DRW 6.7 cummins
2008 Jayco Eagle 341 RLQS 37' with B&W turnover ball & companion hitch
using rotochoks
add state map



Posted By: ktosv on 12/31/08 07:46am

Our Suburban was built in late 04. This summer we started having issues with our battery holding a charge. The first time or two it baffled me, but then I started to see a pattern to it.

Our issue was the delayed off of the dome lights. What happened in our case was you would open one door of the truck to load it, say the rear liftgate. If you left it open, after 5 minutes or so the dome lights would turn off. If you then open on of the other doors it turns the lights back on and if you shut that door, they stay on because the liftgate was still open. With a weak battery, you only had to do this about three cycles and the battery would drain enough you would still have lights and what not in the vehicle, but it wouldn't crank the vehicle.

In late October I put an Optima in and haven't had any issues with this since. I am not sure if you could have a similar issue as my battery would have been about four years old when it started acting up.


Kevin and my...
Wife and five kids
and two dogs(brittany and english setter)
2011 Express 3500 (6.0L/6A/3.42)
2010 Passport Ultra Lite 2910


Posted By: Mmaxed on 12/31/08 08:33am

Sounds like my wives '03 when it was new, but it also had weird electrical/computer things going on. Ate batterys and they would often go dead with just a few days of sitting. Dealer checked and tested multiple times but found nothing. Finally one of the techs noticed that one of the bolts was too long and was bottoming in the hole in the battery post. Put in a shorter bolt and all has been well for years.

Just a few weeks later I was visiting with a customer who was having the same issues. He called back to confirm that it too was a bolt being too long. They would both seem to tighten up, but if you tried to rotate the cable it was evident it wasn't locked on to the post as tight as needed.

Makes me sick to think that we almost dumped a low mile rig because of a $.50 part.


Posted By: camping man on 12/31/08 08:51am

I use Walmart Batts. in my boat, and I need a replacement every year, sometimes before the year is over. I just keep my receipt, and keep bringing them back.


05 Dodge CTD NV5600 6speed (100K Mile Club) / 97 Sprinter 5er



Posted By: YC 1 on 12/31/08 09:56am

In reality one does not "buy" a battery, one only rents them. Factory batteries are cheap and many after market batteries are not much better. Buying expensive 72 month batteries only seems to have me digging for receipts and paying what I would have paid for a normal 36 to 48 month battery. I purchased AGM batteries for my boat and had no better luck. As one poster mentioned, at two years I am watching them like a hawk and just change them out in my boat because the trolling motor is murder on them. Not to mention the horrendous pounding they get from rough water rides. When folks come into my shop with battery issues I measure the current draw, then if possible the specific gravity of the battery and do a load test on them. Over the years I can't count how many new batteries I have found bad. Two Expeditions for the local fire department were 2 months old and having battery problems. They took it to their dealer and sent away with no trouble found. Back to me of course. I emptied the battery tray, re-filled it with a new battery, and sent them on their way. No more finger pointing. I have often told a customer to "replace the battery and if that does not cure the problem, bring me the bill". I have not had to buy a battery yet. That of course after I check the current draw, alternator output, battery condition, and especially the drivers habits.

Lets talk about habits. If you drive it ten miles a week then you will have a dead battery. Short trips to the store won't let the battery recover from the huge amount of current it takes to start the vehicle. Customers with two way radios forget to turn their radios off and in two days have issues. We often install timers to resolve those issues. If you are letting the vehicle sit for many days then you might need a cutoff switch or a tiny charger or even a small solar panel to keep up with the onboard computers.


H/R Endeavor 2008
2013 Ford Edge toad
Full Timers



Posted By: the_vfox on 12/31/08 04:59pm

I still have the original batteries in my D/A and they still crank like new. There has to be another reason the system is draining your battery. Being an ex mechanic, I know that hunt can be long and painful.

Just don't blame the battery.


Fox and Angel, fuzz ball cat and crazy Yorkie
Don't call me on the weekend, Im out camping.
2004 Chevy Silverado LS 2500HD 4x4 DA 4dr
2003 Jayco Eagle 263 29'Super Slide
1993 Kountry Star 34' MH 454Banks SS.
Go Blue, US Air Force(retired)25 years




Posted By: BenK on 12/31/08 05:42pm

Ah, most likely the POS side post issue on the positive terminal.

Especially if that connection has been loosened and reconnected WITHOUT
a new lead washer between the two cable lugs. Many don't believe this,
but check and you'll find that stupid lead washer. It is a one time
usage thing and must be replaced every time that connection is loosened.

The fix is to toss that lead washer and follow the instructions from
this hot link http://aplsweb.com/Topics/Topics.htm and then
go to the section on batteries or charging systems, or some such (it's
been a while since I've gone over there). It is a buddies site that
is based on the Suburban/SUV/Automotive forum at www.oursuv.com

Basicly, that washer crushes and the next time, won't provide enough
resistance to the connection. So the mechanic tightens that positive
bolt even more. then it will poke into the battery case to crack it.

This will have intermittent connection, which will have spikes, which
will load dump the whole electrical system. Ruination for the alternator,
battery, battery cable and even the starter if left long enough.

The cracked case will allow battery acid to leak out in both vapor and
liquid form.

Rots out the cable end, the cable itself and wicks down to the starter
to ruin it.

The load dumping will ruin the alternator (diodes) and other electrical
components sensitive to voltage spikes.

Oh heck with it, just went over there and here is the direct link
to the 'batteries & charging system' section http://aplsweb.com/Topics/Batteries-Charging.htm

This is the fix on my Suburban's OEM battery, which has now been
changed to an Optima RedTop:


The OEM cable lugs have had their plastic surround removed and are on
the left. Then 3 soldered cables are to the fuses for my home made
direct headlamp harness. The yellow lead is to the alarm fuse.

PS....several have reported over at the Suburban forum that thier sun
visor mirrow/lamps some times don't turn off when the flap is closed.
El Cheapo switch doesn't break the connection some times and will
drain the battery down. OBTW, once a lead acid battery or for that
matter, any battery drained down below some percentage (usually 50%),
it will NEVER hold a charge nor have as much power as before. It's
life span is also shortened significantly.


-Ben Picture of my rig
1996 GMC SLT Suburban 3/4 ton K3500/7.4L/4:1/+150Kmiles orig owner...
1980 Chevy Silverado C10/long bed/"BUILT" 5.7L/3:73/1 ton helper springs/+329Kmiles, bought it from dad...
1998 Mazda B2500 (1/2 ton) pickup, 2nd owner...
Praise Dyno Brake equiped and all have "nose bleed" braking!
Previous trucks/offroaders: 40's Jeep restored in mid 60's / 69 DuneBuggy (approx +1K lb: VW pan/200hpCorvair: eng, cam, dual carb'w velocity stacks'n 18" runners, 4spd transaxle) made myself from ground up / 1970 Toyota FJ40 / 1973 K5 Blazer (2dr Tahoe, 1 ton axles front/rear, +255K miles when sold it)...
Sold the boat (looking for another): Trophy with twin 150's...
51 cylinders in household, what's yours?...


Posted By: Perrysburg Dodgeboy on 12/31/08 06:43pm

Sounds like you GM guys need to look at a Dodge next time. My truck is an 04 still has the original factory batteries, and came stock with "battery tender" that will cut the power off if you leave your lights on, my CB radio, cell phone plugged in, or anything else drawing currant.

As far as short trips not charging your batteries, if your battery is not bad it only takes 2 minutes of driving to recharge your battery after you start your vehicle.

The next time you need a battery look at Crown Battery they are not the cheapest but IMOP they are the best. Picked up two for my Dad one for the pontoon boat and one for the trolling motor in his john boat. They are three years old now and have not let him down yet.

Still think the OP has a short somewhere and should take the truck to a good automotive electrical shop and have it looked at.

Don


Posted By: rvparttimer on 12/31/08 07:21pm

Some GM trucks have a reserve feature that prevents the battery from draining too low for a start, could yours not be working? When the battery is drawn down too low too often, it may not hold a charge. My 2002 TV isn't driven regularly, and the battery would discharge due to computer, clock, etc. electronics, so (after replacing the battery) added a cutoff switch and supplement that with a trickle charger when needed. Apparently your alternator has been checked for output at the battery? I once had a loose alternator wire that caused problems similar to what you describe.

Last I checked, WalMart and Optima batteries were made by Johnson Controls, with Optima (have one in the TV that has served well) sold as a premium battery. I have a COSTCO Kirkland battery, also made by Johnson Control, in my car, with better cranking, warranty, etc. than Diehard, for about half the price. The Sears Diehards I would have used were also made by Johnson Control when I checked. Johnson Control batteries seems to have a good reputation. I believe Sears went away from them with its Diehards, had problems, and returned after a few years.

My experience only.


Posted By: chadsalt on 12/31/08 07:28pm

rvparttimer wrote:



Last I checked, WalMart and Optima batteries were made by Johnson Controls, with Optima (have one in the TV that has served well) sold as a premium battery. I have a COSTCO Kirkland battery, also made by Johnson Control, in my car, with better cranking, warranty, etc. than Diehard, for about half the price. The Sears Diehards I would have used were also made by Johnson Control when I checked. Johnson Control batteries seems to have a good reputation. I believe Sears went away from them with its Diehards, had problems, and returned after a few years.

My experience only.


Made by Johnson Controls does not mean made to the same quality standards by Johnson Controls.


Posted By: Geezer Apprentice on 01/03/09 06:30pm

BenK wrote:

Ah, most likely the POS side post issue on the positive terminal.

Especially if that connection has been loosened and reconnected WITHOUT
a new lead washer between the two cable lugs. Many don't believe this,
but check and you'll find that stupid lead washer. It is a one time
usage thing and must be replaced every time that connection is loosened.

The fix is to toss that lead washer and follow the instructions from
this hot link http://aplsweb.com/Topics/Topics.htm and then
go to the section on batteries or charging systems, or some such (it's
been a while since I've gone over there). It is a buddies site that
is based on the Suburban/SUV/Automotive forum at www.oursuv.com

Basicly, that washer crushes and the next time, won't provide enough
resistance to the connection. So the mechanic tightens that positive
bolt even more. then it will poke into the battery case to crack it.

This will have intermittent connection, which will have spikes, which
will load dump the whole electrical system. Ruination for the alternator,
battery, battery cable and even the starter if left long enough.

The cracked case will allow battery acid to leak out in both vapor and
liquid form.

Rots out the cable end, the cable itself and wicks down to the starter
to ruin it.

The load dumping will ruin the alternator (diodes) and other electrical
components sensitive to voltage spikes.

Oh heck with it, just went over there and here is the direct link
to the 'batteries & charging system' section http://aplsweb.com/Topics/Batteries-Charging.htm

This is the fix on my Suburban's OEM battery, which has now been
changed to an Optima RedTop:


The OEM cable lugs have had their plastic surround removed and are on
the left. Then 3 soldered cables are to the fuses for my home made
direct headlamp harness. The yellow lead is to the alarm fuse.

PS....several have reported over at the Suburban forum that thier sun
visor mirrow/lamps some times don't turn off when the flap is closed.
El Cheapo switch doesn't break the connection some times and will
drain the battery down. OBTW, once a lead acid battery or for that
matter, any battery drained down below some percentage (usually 50%),
it will NEVER hold a charge nor have as much power as before. It's
life span is also shortened significantly.


Great post Ben and very helpful to a friend of mine having this very problem. Thank you.


Geezer 2005 Dodge 5.9 CTD


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