Need help, GA draining power [Archive] - Forum


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01-02-2014, 05:34 AM
Hello everyone, Im a longtime GA fan and recently bought a 99 SE. Great car, 150,000 kms on it and Im having issues losing power. First my alternator failed so I replaced it with a used one from a friend then my battery was shot, I bought a new battery and it lasted about 2 weeks. My signal lights always blink fast with all brand new bulbs in it. The ABS light will come on usually followed by the parking brake light, and all my lights go dim especially when I touch the brakes Then usually the battey dies shortly after so I turn off all my accessories until i get it home and charge it again. When i charge my battery, signals work good with no trouble lights. I travel about 90-100 kms a day with this car and I need it to be reliable. I dont trust the mechanics around here because they will rape me on labour searching down a short or try to replace every sensor in the car. Ive searched alot of posts on here and you guys know alot more than the Joe Schmo at the local service station. Could it be the used alternator? I cant find out if its good cuz they only test the alt when it is out of the car and I live out of town. Any help will be appreciated

01-02-2014, 05:56 AM
It sounds like the alternator. The ABS light in my experience has usually been the wheel hub sensor, does it happen everytime or does restarting the car usually shut the light off? Also, do you have the 3.4 or the 2.2.?

Real talk I probably shouldn't be throwing my suggestions around as my toolbox is my wallet when it comes to car repairs, but someone else may be able to give some better advice later in the morning if we have more info.

2000 GT Coupe
01-02-2014, 10:50 AM
If the abs light only comes on when the battery gets low I would not worry about wheel sensors, It does sound like something is shorting, unfortunately I do not know of any quick fixes for that. You can check/triple check all the ground points, I did have a bad ground to transmission that was causing the dash lights to come on. But it was not draining my battery.

01-02-2014, 10:53 AM
Battery cable ends must be clean and tight and shiny bright. Even the best new alternator and the best new battery can't provide adequate power (volts and amps) if the connections are so dirty/loose/corroded that power doesn't flow through them. Bad connections will also kill both the alternator and the battery very quickly.

So, inspect/clean/repair/replace/tighten both ends of both cables to provide maximum flow of electrical power. Disconnect cables: NEG (Black) first, then POS (Red). Cut the molded rubber boots from the battery connections, since water seeps thru them and corrodes the copper wire into useless powder (This step is VERY important. You can't just look at the outside and think, "They look alright".)

Dissolve corrosion with a paste solution of baking soda and water, applied with an old toothbrush. Scrape/sand/wire-brush all the metal (cable ends and batt terminals) to shiny metal.

Pay attention to the Body Ground: This is a smaller Black (Neg) wire that comes from the battery terminal and attaches directly to the bodywork, somewhere near the left (Driver) side hood edge. This is a source of rust, and must be kept clean and shiny.

Reconnect cables: POS (Red) first, then NEG (Black); this is OPPOSITE of the way you disconnected them. Replace the cut-off boots with new aftermarket slip-on rubber boots to protect against short-circuiting while allowing for future inspection and service.

Weird things happen to GA's when the cables aren't in pristine shape. It's necessary and cheap (or even free!), so there's no downside to servicing them immediately.

Also inspect the power connection to the under hood fuse box.

01-02-2014, 05:13 PM
Thank u guys for the quick replies. I will try anything right now. Im in a snowstorm here, car just died again, still able to drive it home though. Signals flashing fast, ABS came on then shortly after the parking brake light and when the battery is completely drained, the air bag light flickers dim so I got it home and parked it in my garage and tried to start it and nothing. If I charge my battery, it will be ok for about a week or so. This all started a couple weeks ago, lots of snow lately, could something be getting wet and causing this?

01-02-2014, 07:12 PM
Verify a failure to charge condition first: take an actual measurement at the battery posts with the engine running and determine if you are showing charge voltage.

If voltage is at or below battery, check all your major connections (especially the ones at the battery and the alternator since they've been recently messed with) before swapping out parts or worrying about some elusive short. The EBCM *will* set a voltage trouble code (and hence trip an ABS lamp) when enough electrical loads are pulling on the battery in the absence of charge voltage.

This problem could be as simple as boogered up pins in the alternator connector (or you forgot to plug in the alternator connector -- I did that once when doing an intake).

If you find no faults, then get the alt bench tested or start performing circuit tests on the related wiring.