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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First time poster here. I hope I posted to the correct forum and apologies for the long post since I tried to include as much information as possible.

I purchased a 2004 GMC Sierra 1500 Extended Cab 5.3L V8 4x4 Z71 with a little over 120K miles about six months ago and don't have much history on the vehicle. I've been working on this truck as time allowed and used this website as one of my resources to fixing issues with my truck. I've discovered an electrical issue with my truck and have been trying to figure out what's going on and have gotten to a point where I'd like to ask this forum for advice.

The issue first started when I didn't drive my truck for about a week. The battery was dead and I could not start my truck. I took the battery out, recharged it overnight, and reinstalled it hoping it wasn't a battery issue. After another week or so, I didn't drive my truck and tried to start it. The battery was dead again. Since I didn't know the history behind the battery, I decided to play it safe and replaced the lead acid battery with a new AGM battery. All was good for a while until I didn't drive the truck again for about a week. The battery was dead again. I took the battery out and recharged it overnight. At this point, I'm thinking it's not the battery, but something else.

In case the alternator wasn't properly charging the battery, I checked that next. I started up the truck and attached my DVM to the battery and it was reading around 14.2 volts, so the alternator appeared to be working properly.

I was aware of the parasitic draw exhibited by the Instrument Panel Cluster in this family of trucks, so I had that professionally rebuilt in the first month I had the truck.

With the engine turned off, I waited about an hour to allow the various components to go to sleep. I brought out my Clamp Multimeter, placed the clamp around the negative battery cable, and detected a 100mA parasitic draw. I began pulling fuses in the engine compartment drivers side fuse box one at a time. When I pulled out the HVAC/ECAS fuse, the parasitic draw dropped to 0. (My clamp meter is only sensitive down to 10 mA). When I put the HVAC/ECAS fuse back in, the parasitic draw spiked and eventually settled at 100mA. I looked online to see what was on that circuit and learned that the Climate Control Module was there. I removed the face trim, removed the Climate Control Module and disconnected the two connectors in the rear. I took another look at my clamp meter and the parasitic draw dropped to 0. At this point, I'm thinking... I just need to replace the Climate Control Module... didn't mind too much since the print on the buttons had almost completely faded away. I took a look at the rear of the old Climate Control Module, found the part number (599-211XD) and placed an order for a unit made by Dorman. The new unit recently arrived, I plugged it in, and I saw the 100mA parasitic draw again. I called the customer support line, described the issue, and they told me to exchange the unit. I've requested an exchange and am waiting for the new unit to arrive. A bit strange that both old and new units caused a 100mA parasitic draw.

Some product reviews have noted that their new Dorman Climate Control Modules have caused parasitic draws, but no solutions besides replacing the unit. Is there another manufacturer besides Dorman I can consider? I wasn't able to find another one.

I also wanted to ask if there could be a different issue here besides the Climate Control Module. Is there a wiring diagram or schematic available that might show what else is on that circuit?
 

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I see that you have a clamp amp meter and know how to use it.
Now, when you pull the CCU, leave the connectors plugged in.
See if you can separate the wires in the harness so you can insert the clamp on each wire.
Start with the power and ground wires and observe the readings.
Then try the other wires and see if you can find the 100ma draw.
You will still need a wiring schematics to id the component current draw.

100ma is not a huge draw. My 2001 has a 80ma draw and I can let it sit for a week and it still starts.
Or you can put a battery maintainer but don't drive off like my wife did and dragged the charger nowhere to be found.
Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I see that you have a clamp amp meter and know how to use it.
Now, when you pull the CCU, leave the connectors plugged in.
See if you can separate the wires in the harness so you can insert the clamp on each wire.
Start with the power and ground wires and observe the readings.
Then try the other wires and see if you can find the 100ma draw.
You will still need a wiring schematics to id the component current draw.

100ma is not a huge draw. My 2001 has a 80ma draw and I can let it sit for a week and it still starts.
Or you can put a battery maintainer but don't drive off like my wife did and dragged the charger nowhere to be found.
Good luck.
Thank you for that suggestion. I will give that a try later tonight or this weekend. If I remember correctly, the wires were bundled together, but I believe I should be able to find some space to squeeze in my clamp. I know the parasitic draw happened when I hooked up the larger connector, so that at least reduces the number of wires to check.

I did consider using a battery maintainer, but since I don't park this in the garage or driveway, I'd have to use an extension cord, which wouldn't be ideal. I also considered a battery side post quick disconnect... but I have a feeling I'll forget to disconnect the battery when I'm done using it and end up with a dead battery again. This would be my last resort if all else fails.

Thank you for your help and I will post my findings..
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for that suggestion. I will give that a try later tonight or this weekend. If I remember correctly, the wires were bundled together, but I believe I should be able to find some space to squeeze in my clamp. I know the parasitic draw happened when I hooked up the larger connector, so that at least reduces the number of wires to check.

I did consider using a battery maintainer, but since I don't park this in the garage or driveway, I'd have to use an extension cord, which wouldn't be ideal. I also considered a battery side post quick disconnect... but I have a feeling I'll forget to disconnect the battery when I'm done using it and end up with a dead battery again. This would be my last resort if all else fails.

Thank you for your help and I will post my findings..
I was able to find the pinouts for the wire harness this weekend and examined each wire. I was able to confirm that the CCM is drawing 100mA on wire B7 (OG) Battery Positive Voltage. On the wire A8 (BK/WH) Ground, it was showing zero amps. I did detect current draw from four other wires:

A1 (D-GN) Recirculation Door Control,
A2 (D-BU) Right Air Temperature Door Positive Signal,
A3 (L-BU) Left Air Temperature Door Positive Signal
A5 (L-GN) Mode Door Positive Signal.

The current draw on those wires appeared to fluctuate, meaning a wire would draw 30mA on minute and 0mA the next minute. A few moments later, the wire would draw 30mA again and repeat. I notice this behavior on these four wires. I would unclamp the meter to make sure the current drops down to 0mA to verify the change wasn't due to some sort of drift and I would have to zero the meter. Does anyone know if this is "normal" behavior or could this be a clue to a different failing component?

Just in case it's of any help, I've already changed the recirculation actuator and blend door actuator previously as those weren't working properly. The other two actuators appear to be working fine. The only issue that I'm aware of with the HVAC is that the cold air isn't very cold, which I believe will just require a coolant recharge.

The replacement unit arrived and I checked the draw... 100mA. I also double checked the Dorman web site and the 599-211XD is supported on my truck, but so is the 599-211. I wonder if the 599-211 behaves differently and not have a parasitic draw. Does anyone know if the 599-211XD is original to the 2004 GMC Sierra? I wonder if the previous owner could have changed it. Should I replace it with the 211-599 or will it not make a difference?
 

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I just checked my 2001 current draw at the negative cable and it showed 120ma. I can park it for a week and it starts every time. Longest I parked it was 2 weeks and still starts.
I don't think 100ma is a lot of draw to drain the battery in a week.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I just checked my 2001 current draw at the negative cable and it showed 120ma. I can park it for a week and it starts every time. Longest I parked it was 2 weeks and still starts.
I don't think 100ma is a lot of draw to drain the battery in a week.
Thank you for taking the time to check the current draw on your vehicle and sharing that information. I am certainly not going to dispute that you can park for 2 weeks. My personal expectation is that my truck should also be able to be parked for at least two weeks without having any problems starting. My other two cars can easily be parked for more than 2 weeks and not have any problems starting. As a result, when my truck was not able to start after being parked for a week, on a few occasions, I believed that there was an issue, which started this entire chain of events.

I did some calculations and based on some "estimated" numbers (Battery reserve capacity of 120 minutes on 25A draw and 50% min capacity required to start), my truck should be able to be parked for about 10 days with a parasitic draw of 100mA. Of course, there are other factors to consider so actual parked time spans of 7 days or 14 days does not sound too unreasonable to me.

What does sound unreasonable to me is that the Climate Control Module is drawing 100mA when the truck is parked and turned off. When I spoke with Dorman support, the person I spoke with agreed that 100mA was too high for this unit, hence my persistence in trying to resolve this.

I certainly appreciate the time you've taken out of your schedule to help and I did learn from our discussion, so I would welcome any other suggestions or recommendations you might have.

In the meantime, I will try a few other ideas and update this thread accordingly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thought I'd provide an update in case there were other readers who are a similar boat as me. First, let me start off by answering a few questions I had posted earlier in this thread.

For those who didn't know, Dorman products are not OE, so a Dorman Climate Control Module did not come original with this truck. Apparently, the previous owner must have changed the module sometime in the past to the Dorman 599-211XD. There is a Dorman model 599-211 and the difference is that this one needs to be configured to the model of the truck while the "XD" version automatically configures it.

Having spoken with the Dorman Tech Support on several occasions, I learned a bit more about the product each time I spoke with a different representative. I was informed that the parasitic draw is known to be in the 70-80mA range due to the custom software within the Dorman Climate Control Module, so the draw on both the 599-211 and the 599-211XD should be the same. I do not know why the draw in my truck with the Dorman modules is at 100mA... but I am wondering if it's due to an "update" in the Dorman software. I was also told that the original GM version also has a parasitic draw, but should be in the 30-40mA range. These modules are loaded with OE GM software, which is different than the software loaded on the Dorman modules.

So... as it stands at the moment... I believe I have four options
1. Install a OE GM Climate Control Module. These do not appear to be available in "new" condition, but are available remanufactured. The only issue here is that there will still be a parasitic draw, but it does buy me more "parked" time.
2. Modify the wiring in the fuse box to supply power from the accessories line instead of directly from the battery. This should in theory eliminate the parasitic draw entirely and I should be able to park this truck for a duration significantly longer than one week.
3. Add a battery disconnect switch. Only downside is that I'd have to remember to disconnect this when I know I won't be driving this truck for a long period of time. Only thing is.. my memory isn't a good as it used to be.
4. Do nothing.

At the moment, I've just pulled the fuse and have not had any issues starting the truck. I reinstall the fuse as needed since I'm attempting to resolve a separate AC issue mentioned earlier in this thread.

I'm leaning toward modifying the fuse box, but I wanted to ask the members of this forum if they think this is a practical / possible solution. Am I opening up a can of worms if I go in this direction?
 

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You could add a toggle switch on the dash (you need to remember to flip the switch).

Or, add a relay, instead of the switch, that the key on would operate.

Both of these would be used to replace the fuse your removing; and of course, you would still need to fuse the circuit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You could add a toggle switch on the dash (you need to remember to flip the switch).

Or, add a relay, instead of the switch, that the key on would operate.

Both of these would be used to replace the fuse your removing; and of course, you would still need to fuse the circuit.
Thank you for those suggestions. Both are pretty interesting and both ideas appear to be straight forward. I believe I would just need to cut into the supply line to the CCM, possibly splice in some extra wire for routing to the switch/relay and back to the CCM. For the switch idea, trying to find a location to mount the switch might be a challenge for me. For the relay idea, in addition to cutting into the battery supply line I believe I would just need to find the accessories supply line (I believe it's should be available in the dash somewhere) and a common (Also in the dash somewhere), unless I can just tap into bare metal.

What I was thinking originally, and I don' t know if it's possible or not, was to swap the battery supply line with the accessories supply line on the connector to the fuse in the driver's side engine bay for the HVAC/ECAS fuse. I'm currently looking into the "how-to's" of this idea since it appears to be a single change in one spot, unless I'm over simplifying, but since I'm not familiar with the actual implementation, I'm very interested in considering any other suggestions in case this one is not feasible or practical.
 

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Well basically the relay would do that.

Connect the stand alone 12 volts relay so a fuses that is hot when key on operates it.
Remove the fuse that you have been removing
Wire the closed when operated contacts of the relay to the sockets the fuse was plugged into.
You need to also wire a fuse into this circuit.

Key off the relay releases and opens the circuit the the module.

Key on, the relay operates and closes a set of contacts, the contacts complete the circuit to power the module.

Sorry for the level of detail, I don't know your electrical abilities.

Give me a few hours and I'll find a little time to look up parts for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well basically the relay would do that.

Connect the stand alone 12 volts relay so a fuses that is hot when key on operates it.
Remove the fuse that you have been removing
Wire the closed when operated contacts of the relay to the sockets the fuse was plugged into.
You need to also wire a fuse into this circuit.

Key off the relay releases and opens the circuit the the module.

Key on, the relay operates and closes a set of contacts, the contacts complete the circuit to power the module.

Sorry for the level of detail, I don't know your electrical abilities.

Give me a few hours and I'll find a little time to look up parts for you.
Thank you. Feel free to include as much detail as you'd like. I'd like to say that I have an adequate electrical skillset and can appreciate the finer details so that I can better understand the task and how to execute.
 

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This is what I would suggest for a relay:

169287



Something like this for the fuse holder, you can reuse the 10 amp removed from the fuse panel.

169284




And, you can buy a connector like this {this is not the right one} to plug into the fuse panel slot where the fuse was removed, you will need 2, one for each side of the fuse.

169286





Wire the relay so that terminals 85 and 86 will operate the relay, ground 86 and connect 85 to a fused key on circuit in the fuse panel.

Pins 30 and 87 and the normally open, closed when operated contacts.
Wire one end of the inline fuse holder to 30.
at the other end of the inline fuse holder wire a blade connector
at the wire from pin 87 wire the other blade connector.
You need to remove the 10amp fuse from the fuse panel.
With a meter, see which of the 2 slots has the 12 volt power.
The end of the inline fuse holder with the blade connector goes into the slot with 12 volts
The other blade connector on the wire from relay pin 87 goes into the other fuse slot.

Now the fuse has been replaced with a fused contact that is open when the key has been removed.

EDIT: all joints should be soldered and properly insulated, heat shrink tube is the best bet, something like this:

169290
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
This is what I would suggest for a relay:

View attachment 169287


Something like this for the fuse holder, you can reuse the 10 amp removed from the fuse panel.

View attachment 169284



And, you can buy a connector like this {this is not the right one} to plug into the fuse panel slot where the fuse was removed, you will need 2, one for each side of the fuse.

View attachment 169286




Wire the relay so that terminals 85 and 86 will operate the relay, ground 86 and connect 85 to a fused key on circuit in the fuse panel.

Pins 30 and 87 and the normally open, closed when operated contacts.
Wire one end of the inline fuse holder to 30.
at the other end of the inline fuse holder wire a blade connector
at the wire from pin 87 wire the other blade connector.
You need to remove the 10amp fuse from the fuse panel.
With a meter, see which of the 2 slots has the 12 volt power.
The end of the inline fuse holder with the blade connector goes into the slot with 12 volts
The other blade connector on the wire from relay pin 87 goes into the other fuse slot.

Now the fuse has been replaced with a fused contact that is open when the key has been removed.

EDIT: all joints should be soldered and properly insulated, heat shrink tube is the best bet, something like this:

View attachment 169290
This is what I would suggest for a relay:

View attachment 169287


Something like this for the fuse holder, you can reuse the 10 amp removed from the fuse panel.

View attachment 169284



And, you can buy a connector like this {this is not the right one} to plug into the fuse panel slot where the fuse was removed, you will need 2, one for each side of the fuse.

View attachment 169286




Wire the relay so that terminals 85 and 86 will operate the relay, ground 86 and connect 85 to a fused key on circuit in the fuse panel.

Pins 30 and 87 and the normally open, closed when operated contacts.
Wire one end of the inline fuse holder to 30.
at the other end of the inline fuse holder wire a blade connector
at the wire from pin 87 wire the other blade connector.
You need to remove the 10amp fuse from the fuse panel.
With a meter, see which of the 2 slots has the 12 volt power.
The end of the inline fuse holder with the blade connector goes into the slot with 12 volts
The other blade connector on the wire from relay pin 87 goes into the other fuse slot.

Now the fuse has been replaced with a fused contact that is open when the key has been removed.

EDIT: all joints should be soldered and properly insulated, heat shrink tube is the best bet, something like this:

View attachment 169290
Thank you. I will look into this. By chance do you know if there is an existing "key on circuit" fuse in the engine compartment fuse panel? I found one in the cab when I added my dash cam, but haven't looked in the engine bay fuse box yet. If not, I'll use my DVM to see if there is one that is currently fused or look up what the color code is for the "key on" wire.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
After a bit research, I've figured out the benefits of using a relay vs using a fuse tap vs modifying the fuse box. Using a relay setup does appear to be the better choice.

As I was looking at the components, I noticed that a 5-pin relay was shown but your description appeared to be related to a 4-pin relay (no mention of pin 87A). Would a 4-pin relay be the correct component?

I also believe I may have found a "key on" fuse in the engine fuse box. What do you think about using a fuse tap here to connect the "key on" circuit to the relay? I'm going to look at other relays, but the one I'm currently looking at requires 100mA @ 12V to operate and I don't think that would be enough to cause an overload situation.
 

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If you look closely at the picture of the relay I suggested you buy you will see it has pin 87A, you do not need pin 87A. Just cut off the bare copper and tape it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
If you look closely at the picture of the relay I suggested you buy you will see it has pin 87A, you do not need pin 87A. Just cut off the bare copper and tape it.
Thank you for the clarification. This question could be due to my inexperience with automotive electronics, but if pin 87a on a 5-pin relay is not used, why not use a 4-pin relay instead? My understanding is that a 5-pin relay is like a SPDT switch. If pin 87a is removed/unused, then it is similar to a SPST switch. Why not start with a 4-pin relay instead, which is similar to a SPST switch, because it doesn't have a pin 87a? Is there something about a modified 5-pin relay that is better than a 4-pin relay?
 

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There is nothing wrong with using a SPST relay. The one I picked is my choice and very available. The one your suggesting is not as available.
Either one will work; but if you pick the relay with pin/wire 87A it will work fine, you just need to ensure the unused wire is protected against hitting ground.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
There is nothing wrong with using a SPST relay. The one I picked is my choice and very available. The one your suggesting is not as available.
Either one will work; but if you pick the relay with pin/wire 87A it will work fine, you just need to ensure the unused wire is protected against hitting ground.
Thank you for that explanation. The 5-pin and 4-pin relays appear to be readily available at my local auto parts stores, so I should be able to purchase either one. I will see if I can get better pricing online along with the other components.
 

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