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battery drain but test shows no drain???

Discussion in 'GM Electrical Tech' started by rondo, Sep 7, 2010.

  1. rondo

    rondo New Member

    My 99 suburban was sitting for a few weeks and the battery was old. Been working fine then it woyld not start after sitting for 4 weeks. So bought a new battery. Drove it for 2 week and let it sit for 3 weeks. New battery dead, dead, dead. I charged the battery then took it back to Napa and the tested the battery said it was good. So I hooked up my multimeter and ran a draw test. My multimeter shows no draw as in 000. Now I know there should be about 300 milliamps of drain. But my meter shows no drain. How could this be and how should I proceed to find my drain? Hope someone has some thoughts.
  2. Big75

    Big75 Rockstar 4 Years 500 Posts

    How were you running your meter? disconnect the positive and run the meter in line? I know it sounds backwards, but go through each fuse, pulling it out and testing the terminals.

    that's my $0.02
  3. rondo

    rondo New Member

    Yeah thats what I did but my meter shows 0.00 amps. So no draw at all. I know there should be at least .25 or .30 amps. Can not figure out why my meter would show no draw??? Thanks for the thought.
  4. Crawdaddy

    Crawdaddy Thread Killer Extraordinaire Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    Perhaps you have the meter wired wrong at the meter? Ordinarily on a multi-meter there are 3 spots where you can plug a line in, the common, a spot you would use to measure VDC, VAC, ohms, and possibly some other things, and a 3rd terminal that you use to measure amps. To measure amps in-line with the load, you need to be plugged into the common and the amps terminal, commonly labeled as "10A" because it can flow 10 amps through it without being damaged. Oh, and make sure you have the meter set on DC amps with as low of a range as is available on your meter, unless it's in the milliamp range.

    I would agree with you that 0 amps sounds odd, because the computer always draws some power and things like dome lights should draw some too. Make sure you have your meter terminals wired up right and let us know.
  5. rondo

    rondo New Member

    Thanks crawdaddy for your thoughts. I did all that and still can not figure out why the meter would show no draw. I even tried another meter and cgot the same results. This really should be a simple test. Just can not figure out why I can not get a reading. Would a bad ground somewhere cause this problem?? Thanks guys for all your help and thoughts.
  6. murdog94

    murdog94 Epic Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts

    You may have a bad ground, i would clean the chassis grounds to be sure and also since they tend to corrode, and can cause problems..
  7. rondo

    rondo New Member

    I will crawl under that car tomorrow when I get home and check that out Mike. Thanks
  8. InkTheFLesh

    InkTheFLesh New Member

    You're leaving the meter hooked up as you remove the negative cable, right? You're not just disconnecting the battery and then hooking up the meter? Also, do you have the range set correctly on the meter?
  9. rondo

    rondo New Member

    Actually no. I unhooked the battery then put one lead on the terminal and one on the battery cable. I don't ever remember hooking the meter up first. Hey I am going out right now to try this. Thanks for the thought. Stay tuned for updates.
  10. countryboy73703

    countryboy73703 Rockstar

    well with all of the posts I"m sure you know now if you didn't already on how to test the current, so i won't say anything on that, however, since your don't seem to be getting a reading, try turning on your lights, or a dome light to see if you can pick up anything that way, and does it only die when you let it sit for 3 weeks plus? if thats the case, then it's obviously a slow leak, and something that you can do to test is pull your fews and hook up the mulitmeter and see where you have drawing current that should be... regardless if you can find it, and have to keep leaving for long periods of time then I would just say disconnect the battery when you leave it for awhile....

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