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1990 Battery drain

69MyWay

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 3, 2001
Messages
4,364
Location
Auburndale, Florida
Corvette
1969 Killer Shark
This is strange.

The 90 Vette has been sitting now for some time, less an Autox adventure last month (we took first place!)

When I went to fire it up last month the battery was dead. I have a free 3 year replacment, so I had Nikki pick another one up. It worked great.

I am feeling the itch to drive it to work right now, and went out last night to listen to the flowmasters, and it was dead. I mean DEAD. No lights, no click, nothing.

So, I have the battery on charge and will drive it today.

I am virtually positive nothing is "staying" on.

I know the CCM draws power all the time as well as the clock and memory in the stereo. The headlight motors are not running on, and the interior lights appear to be off.

Other than the alternater, any other ideas on where my drain is coming from?
 

malc350

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 6, 2002
Messages
337
Location
Essex, UK
Corvette
1996 LT-4 Z51 CE
Check the starter!

I had a similar problem on my 90 and I searched for all kinds of bad/loose connections, bought a new battery & alternator etc and it turned out to be the starter which I had rebuilt and the problem is solved!!!

I can't beleive I overlooked the most obvious thing!

Good luck.
 
L

luckyj

Guest
I had a 1990 for 8 years. I sold it in 1998. I was told by an engineer at the Corvette plant that the 1990 was notorious for what he called a parasitic battery drain. He said that letting the car sit for 30 days would pretty well drain the battery. Also make sure your underhood lights do not come on by themselves. The 1990 had defective mercury switches that would activate themselves. If not noticed, you have a dead battery. By the way, my first Vette was a 1969. I have a 2003 C5 on order, but God only knows when I will get it. It is loaded, magnetic selective ride, etc. I think the G92 perf. axle is on contraint at the plant and may be holding up my order being picked. Good luck.

Jim
 

69MyWay

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 3, 2001
Messages
4,364
Location
Auburndale, Florida
Corvette
1969 Killer Shark
Thanks guys!

Jim, that is going to be one sweet ride, and brand spanking new at that!

The car has sat nearly 30 days, so it may be on the "normal" scale of things. The starter is original as far as I can tell.

Other than pulling an amp draw from the battery post across, what test would be most appropriate for the starter to see if it is draining.

Thanks to Louie Law, I now have a full set of manuals including th electrical manual for the 90. I guess I will have to setttle in for some bed time reading if nothing else pops up.
 

rdgfx3

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 25, 2001
Messages
202
Location
Rowlett,TX.
Corvette
2008 Silver Coupe
Same drain here.

I do know that if the key is left in the ignition that will drain it.

If I don't drive mine at least once every three days my battery will need a jump.
 
T

timscronin

Guest
Best solution

Have same problem with my 1991. Bought the battery terminal saver switch from Mid-america and problem is gone
 
B

Bama-ZR1

Guest
My '90 ZR1 battery has gone low several times; causing me to believe at various times that I had the notorious *no-start* condition, bad alternator, bad battery, etc... I even bought a new starter but never installed it since a new battery solved that particular problem..

Recently when it happened, I charged the battery, then found that one of the visor vanity mirror lights was left on; the switch is sorta sloppy, and the lamp isn't bright enough to be noticed during daytime hours (esp when the cover is closed). I am beginning to suspect that my visor vanity lights have caused all my problems in this area. I made sure both switches were OFF, and since then the car has had a full charge everytime I've used it.. (a few weeks in between is usual for my using it)..

Long winded way to say: Check your Visor Vanity Lights.. make sure they're OFF (tape the switches in the OFF position if they're as sloppy as mine..

Gary
 

Jersey-vinny

Active member
Joined
Mar 3, 2002
Messages
43
Location
Berkeley Heights, NJ
Corvette
1988 blue Coupe, 1999 red coupe
I have a battery drain problem in my '88 involving a wire which goes into the dash. Haven't found the cause yet. A battery disconnect switch added to the battery allows me to live with it.
 

rdgfx3

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 25, 2001
Messages
202
Location
Rowlett,TX.
Corvette
2008 Silver Coupe
Are the memory of the radio and computer saved if you use the battery disconnect switch?
How?
 

vigman

Motor head!!!!
Joined
Feb 13, 2001
Messages
3,471
Location
Valencia, CA,USA
Corvette
88 Convert ( SOLD ) /1973 coupe 4 speed/1964 Vert!
5-6 day discharge

Really isn't that much current needed over time to poop out a battery.

You need to do the test light ( or amp meter ) in series with the cars power system.. a test light works... but it just gives you ... dim & dimmer.. a GOOD ampmeter will get ya down to ECM memory current drain.. AND be able to see it!

So here are the culprits..

C-4

Under hood lights & Vanity mirrors.

Improperly wired ( or blown ) aftermarket car stereo power amps. The deal is here that sometimes the SWITCH transistor blows shut leaving the switching supply ON ( Big drain )

Hung Relays... leaving things engaged.

Blown power antennas... the motor wants to run but is stuck.. the current just stays and generates heat.

Alarms... with LOTS of sensors.. they draw an amazing amount of current ( 250-500ma)
Or alarms with lots of blinking lights to warn off burgulars.


Now remember we have an ECM hanging on the batt all the time and VATS and the factory security system.. And etiher STOCK or Aftermarket radio and ALL of it together represents a large load..... about 2 weeks sitting and you will get a SLOW crank.

Now add any extra stuff.. your askin for it!

Vig!
 

Jersey-vinny

Active member
Joined
Mar 3, 2002
Messages
43
Location
Berkeley Heights, NJ
Corvette
1988 blue Coupe, 1999 red coupe
Don't know if the battery disconnect switch affects the radio; I haven't had chance to use it lately. The computer seems to work fine. The only strange thing is when I switch on the power the blower for the cooling system goes on and I need to hit the 'OFF' button. Otherwise, the car seems normal.
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2002
Messages
2,509
Location
Tallahassee, FL
Corvette
none right now :(
the vanity mirror lights should not work at all when the car is off, there should be no need to tape them off...

I used had that battery cut off, got mine from ecklers... It worked fine, but I got tired of re-setting my radio stations... if you can put up with that, then it is the way to go.
 

69MyWay

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 3, 2001
Messages
4,364
Location
Auburndale, Florida
Corvette
1969 Killer Shark
You guys got me thinking so.........

I ran outside (it is hot down here today!) and checked:

1. Sun visor mirrors
2. MTX Thunder amp in rear cubby
3. Power ant.
4. Under hood lights (already unplugged)
5. interior lights/headlight override

All is negative for a failure.

The visors are off, and will only glow when I turn them on and turn on the key. The amp power up light fades out when you turn the radio off, or key off. No worries on the antenna. The underhood lights are unplugged to avoid battery drain as I usually leave the hood up on the car. Interior lights seem to work right, and are not staying on.

I don't leave the key in the ignition when I park the car.


So, hmmmmmm, I am still searching.

I really don't think in 2-3 weeks the battery should be stone dead.
 
R

Rich80

Guest
Buy a cheap ampmeter and hook it in series starting in the fusebox.This may get you close to the drain. Good Luck!!
 
M

Markuk

Guest
If you use a battery dis switch is your ECU reset every time you use the car so the ECU will never learn?
 
B

br96vette

Guest
BATTERY DRAIN

I LIVE IN A SHORT CORVETTE DRIVING COUNTRY SO EARLY IN MY CORVETTING DAYS I PURCHASED A BATTERY BUDDY FOR MY CARS. I HAVE BEEN USING THIS FOR THE LAST FIFTEEN YEARS, IF I DONT DRIVE IN A FEW WEEKS I HOOK THE POWER TO IT . NO MORE LOW BATTERY PROBLEMS AND LESS WEAR AND TEAR ON ALTERNATOR
 
D

dinosaurdoctor

Guest
BATTERY GOING DEAD

GUYS,GUYS,GUYS, YOU'RE MISSING THE POINT AND SOLUTION.IT SAYS HERE IN THE BOOK THAT IF YOU DRIVE THE CAR THE ALTERNATOR TURNS AND MAKES THE LITTLE ELECTRONS FLOW,WHICH CHARGES THE BATTERY.MY 90 DAILY DRIVER NEVER HAS THAT PROBLEM AND MY RIDE TO WORK IS A LOT MORE FUN! ALL THE CAR IS TRYING TO SAY IS LETS GO SOME WHERE...SO LETS GET OUR NOSES OUT OF THE BOOKS AND OFF THE AMP DRAW GUAGE AND DRIVE SOMEWHERE.AS BARNEY FIFE USED TO SAY..." ITS THERAPEDIC"
 

spyysee

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 15, 2002
Messages
124
Location
NY LI Metro
Corvette
1987 black beauty, all ez mods, owned '62,'78
battery drain..the best fix

A very common problem easily solved.
First. Not withstanding the obvious, like
lights left on, bad starters etc, the battery will drain in as little as one week

The dis-connect switch is a bad idea.
Buy a low amp triclkle charger(1 amp)
and plug that bad boy in when your car is idle for a few days.

The're slim enough to mount on the battery with velcro tape.
The charger will come on when the bat drops approx one volt.
Also, If the bat is discharged to "dead"
often , it's garbage...replace it.

Took me three bats in as many years to wise up!!!!
Bought the charger at sears 30-40 bux.
 

WhalePirot

Well-known member
Joined
May 9, 2002
Messages
2,942
Location
SoCA
Corvette
1984 White Z-51/ZF6-40/Shinoda body
Batt disc kills all

The radio memory and ECM memory should erase w/o power. The ECM will forget but relearn with each 'new' drive.

You might check the supplemental restraint system warnings in any manuals for warnings, too.

I like the battery maintenance, low power trickle charge idea.
 
S

Shadowing1985v

Guest
wow i am in luck and maybe i can help!!

i currently have this problem right now as we speak this is my story, i'll keep it short.

had low voltage showing 11 volts, for about a year
then my alt blew, i replaced it charged up my batery,,
still 11.5 volts
then I replaced the battery

still 11.5 volts,
next day, my bat is dead, so i charge it up
next then i fix the fuse link that was completely burnt by the starter

now im at 13.5 volts

next day
fliped the key over to check my head lites,, all worked
then 30 mintues later i went to start my car and my starter is makina ticking noise,, Is my starter bad? cause my bat is dead again, as well, ive never had my started make this noise in the past, cause even when my bat is disscounected my starter has never clicked like that,, anyone know?
 

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