2003 escalade random drain.

littleblazer

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Jul 6, 2014
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This... This has been driving me crazy for the last couple years now... Basically let me outline this. The escalade has a random drain. Can't even call it parasitic... here is the most recent time it happened to me:

November, I was using the truck while mine was getting the body work done. I worked 06:00-18:00. I leave at 5:15 to head in, leave the compound at 18:50. I drive to work then leave to go to the boat for a bit. Leave the boat around 22:00 get home 22:40 and park the truck. Go to warm the truck up at 4:50 and it's so dead not a single light comes on, battery registers 5 volts.... Things that occurred prior: lift gate wouldn't open, radio locked up. (factory bose premium, non nav)

I probed every fuse in that truck for a month straight. Didn't die once, idle draw about 35 mA. Dad went to the boat, came home went to leave a couple hours later and it barely cranked... Still nothing, clamp meter on ground showing about half an amp draw... being it was just running that was modules still going to sleep. Later on 50 mA... I am at my whits end and am really thinking it is a BCM issue because I get a random loss of coms code which for whatever reason refers to the TAC module... which the truck tends to go into limp mode when being jumped when the battery is weak... I just really don't know what else to do other than keep it on a battery tender all the time but sometimes it still goes dead even on that... so whatever the draw is when it does happen is pretty large.

Just looking for input is all or a way to datalog current draw where I can catch it in the act without disconnecting crap...

Thanks,

-
-Paul
 

TollKeeper

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Dec 3, 2011
6,711
Brighton, CO
The most common issue on the GMT800 series for battery drain is the door latch(s). Inside the latch is the electronic switch for the interior lights, that also run to the BCM for wakeup commands, and retained power.

9 times out of 10, its the drivers door latch that has gone faulty. But if its not the drivers door, its one of the 2 trunk latchs. But can still be one of the other doors.

Sometimes the switch will work like its supposed to, and other times it wont, but it will eventually fail entirely.
 
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TollKeeper

Platinum Donor
Dec 3, 2011
6,711
Brighton, CO
To further the explanation of this, my neighbor had a 2004 Suburban LTZ (might have been a Yukon XL). She was having this problem constantly. In her case it was easy to diagnose. I had her park her truck in my driveway, turn off the truck. So when she pulled the key out of the ignition, the interior lights turned on. But when she opened her door, all the interior RAP were still on (Radio, fans, AMP, etc), which should turn off with the door opening. We then opened the drivers back door, and everything in the RAP turned off.

She was getting rid of the truck in 3 weeks when her company car was going to be delivered, so she just remembered to open and close the back door after getting out, and didnt have any further problems.

(she ended up not getting that job, and her house got repossessed 3 months later)
 
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Mooseman

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Dec 4, 2011
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littleblazer

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Jul 6, 2014
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To further the explanation of this, my neighbor had a 2004 Suburban LTZ (might have been a Yukon XL). She was having this problem constantly. In her case it was easy to diagnose. I had her park her truck in my driveway, turn off the truck. So when she pulled the key out of the ignition, the interior lights turned on. But when she opened her door, all the interior RAP were still on, which should turn off with the door opening. We then opened the drivers back door, and everything in the RAP turned off.

She was getting rid of the truck in 3 weeks when her company car was going to be delivered, so she just remembered to open and close the back door after getting out, and didnt have any further problems.
It did have a door latch issue with the lights staying on but... that was fixed by fixing the hinge pins and letting it latch properly. oddly enough that has been cut out of the 07 for months and that always starts but.... its only option is a radio. manual everything else. I will look into it but RAP seems to function as it did when new. But worth a shot.
Another way you could track it down without being in the truck 24/7 is a wireless battery monitor like this one.


Maybe use an old phone or tablet dedicated to it as it is annoying on your primary phone.
Yeah I literally ordered that. It's perfect. I have an old android tablet that should work. It wont tell me what's going on but I'll be able to jump in when I see voltage drop. Thank you!
 
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Blckshdw

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Nov 20, 2011
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Tampa Bay Area, FL
Yeah I literally ordered that. It's perfect. I have an old android tablet that should work. It wont tell me what's going on but I'll be able to jump in when I see voltage drop. Thank you!

That's the same one I have, only catch is, you have to be close enough for bluetooth to connect to it. In my case, I always have to walk to the kitchen. Living room and bedroom are too far away, so can't be alerted when I'm just sitting around watching TV or something. When you do get in range, then it will sync and show you the history, as long as the battery didn't get too low, or disconnect completely (ie. loose battery bolt) then it will clear itself.
 

littleblazer

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Jul 6, 2014
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That's the same one I have, only catch is, you have to be close enough for bluetooth to connect to it. In my case, I always have to walk to the kitchen. Living room and bedroom are too far away, so can't be alerted when I'm just sitting around watching TV or something. When you do get in range, then it will sync and show you the history, as long as the battery didn't get too low, or disconnect completely (ie. loose battery bolt) then it will clear itself.
It's in the driveway... so at most I'd be 40 feet away. :tongue:

I'll leave it on the shelf in my room. My old elm327 would reach my room from the street. So this is perfect.
 

littleblazer

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Jul 6, 2014
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As an aside, and the reason I am posting this... I still think it is a BCM issue... seat heaters have a mind of their own wen the truck is running... you try to run both and one shuts the other off... alternatively it could be an alternator issue but every load test I've done indicates it charges fine with everything on.... But this will help on that diagnosis.
 
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littleblazer

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This was after I hooked it up, the dip is just opening the door then closing it... car has been sitting 12 hours since last driven. Will monitor.
Screenshot_20220425-090610_Battery Monitor.jpg
 

Blckshdw

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Nov 20, 2011
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I know my battery reads about 12.4-12.6 when I shut it off, and then will have a steady decline, but it takes a few days to get down to the level you're seeing. I'd be curious to see what the graph looks like at shutdown and the few hours following it. :yes:
 

Roudter

Newbie
Apr 5, 2021
2
NJ
This... This has been driving me crazy for the last couple years now... Basically let me outline this. The escalade has a random drain. Can't even call it parasitic... here is the most recent time it happened to me:

November, I was using the truck while mine was getting the body work done. I worked 06:00-18:00. I leave at 5:15 to head in, leave the compound at 18:50. I drive to work then leave to go to the boat for a bit. Leave the boat around 22:00 get home 22:40 and park the truck. Go to warm the truck up at 4:50 and it's so dead not a single light comes on, battery registers 5 volts.... Things that occurred prior: lift gate wouldn't open, radio locked up. (factory bose premium, non nav)

I probed every fuse in that truck for a month straight. Didn't die once, idle draw about 35 mA. Dad went to the boat, came home went to leave a couple hours later and it barely cranked... Still nothing, clamp meter on ground showing about half an amp draw... being it was just running that was modules still going to sleep. Later on 50 mA... I am at my whits end and am really thinking it is a BCM issue because I get a random loss of coms code which for whatever reason refers to the TAC module... which the truck tends to go into limp mode when being jumped when the battery is weak... I just really don't know what else to do other than keep it on a battery tender all the time but sometimes it still goes dead even on that... so whatever the draw is when it does happen is pretty large.

Just looking for input is all or a way to datalog current draw where I can catch it in the act without disconnecting crap...

Thanks,

-
-Paul
I had exactly the same problem on a 2006 Impala - for years. Perfectly fine, but occasionally the battery would be dead. Months, weeks apart. Then somehow I noticed it happened after moving things around in my trunk....(cut to the chase) so, it was a wire that was cut clean and tucked away behind the matting - no tape or shrink wrap. But, not exposed either. Was not stripped, just a clean cut. I put shrink wrap overhanging the end as a guess and it never happened again. I guess it was occasionally touching the frame or something. Could even happen on a hard turn. Any non-stock electrical installation is a good place to start. No (non-ground) wire should ever be exposed. Good luck.
 

Mooseman

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Dec 4, 2011
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Ottawa, ON
That is a low charge. Unless it's been sitting a long time, I'd suspect a bad battery or charging system. Maybe hook up a charger to get it back up and see if it holds or have it tested.
 

littleblazer

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Original poster
Jul 6, 2014
9,209
That is a low charge. Unless it's been sitting a long time, I'd suspect a bad battery or charging system. Maybe hook up a charger to get it back up and see if it holds or have it tested.
Both advance, my carbon pile tester, and smart tester all indicated it was fine... at least last month. The battery is 6 months old. :blinkhuh: I am going to confirm the meter with a meter lol.

I know my battery reads about 12.4-12.6 when I shut it off, and then will have a steady decline, but it takes a few days to get down to the level you're seeing. I'd be curious to see what the graph looks like at shutdown and the few hours following it. :yes:
I will probably trickle it back up and check again.
I had exactly the same problem on a 2006 Impala - for years. Perfectly fine, but occasionally the battery would be dead. Months, weeks apart. Then somehow I noticed it happened after moving things around in my trunk....(cut to the chase) so, it was a wire that was cut clean and tucked away behind the matting - no tape or shrink wrap. But, not exposed either. Was not stripped, just a clean cut. I put shrink wrap overhanging the end as a guess and it never happened again. I guess it was occasionally touching the frame or something. Could even happen on a hard turn. Any non-stock electrical installation is a good place to start. No (non-ground) wire should ever be exposed. Good luck.
I removed the only non stock amplifier with no luck. There were a couple broken wires I found in the lift gate harness last year I had hoped were doing exactly what you describe...
 

littleblazer

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Jul 6, 2014
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Ran it for a bit, cranking was 10v on the nose with those levels... low but not horrible. Idle voltage 14.6 and slowly came down to 14.4. Key off 13 volts came down to 12.6. Left it an hour and it's currently 12.28v... will report back in another hour.
 
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littleblazer

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12.17 now. Interesting
 

Blckshdw

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Nov 20, 2011
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Yeah man, that's falling pretty fast :worried: Maybe after charging it, disconnect one of the truck's cables, and see if the battery is discharging that quickly on its own, vs the truck draining it?
 

littleblazer

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Jul 6, 2014
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I was thinking I'd try my clamp meter to see what is up... or just leave it until the morning. If it doesn't budge much from where it is now I'd be more inclined to say it lost it's surface charge vs an actual drain. I have a known good battery I can install in it's place or like you said, run it then disconnect it overnight to see what happens...
 

Mooseman

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Dec 4, 2011
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If after disconnecting the battery and it holds its charge, I'd use the meter to measure the actual drain. After everything goes to sleep, check the amps. If it's high, start pulling fuses to try and isolate the high draw circuit.
 
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littleblazer

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It's been 2 hours since I last checked and it's floating at 12.18... so hasn't budged. I'm thinking it's safe to say that's about where it wants to rest for now?
 

Mooseman

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Dec 4, 2011
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Ottawa, ON
Hmmm. Still a bit low-ish IMHO. Should be 12.3-12.4V. If it's still under warranty, I'd get it tested where you bought it.
 
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littleblazer

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Hmmm. Still a bit low-ish IMHO. Should be 12.3-12.4V. If it's still under warranty, I'd get it tested where you bought it.
It's on the list. for now I at least have a steady baseline to go from.
 

Reprise

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And then there were three... (I have one of these, too)
Like 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers', @Blckshdw and I will ensure *every* GMTN member has one of these before long... and take over the world! Bwaahahaha! :Zzzz: 🪴🌱

Don't forget that these read a bit pessimistic. When I've put a meter on my battery and compared it, I think there's always been about 0.20v more charge in it than the device indicated.

Because of that, I treat the thing as more 'relative' than 'specific'. And now that I have a disconnect device on the truck (doesn't get driven much), self-discharge is negligible (not counting what little drain the device itself accounts for). As Blckshdw says... better to read 'pessimistic' than the other way around.

I've measured mine from float, disconnected, and it takes about 2 months for my battery to self-discharge to the point where I need to charge it again.

As long as the thing is => 11.9x on the device, I don't have to charge it for continued storage. Or, put another way... that's when I break out the charger and either bring it up to float (if sitting), or for 30min to an hour if I'm going to start / drive it.

I don't mind keeping my RV batteries on continuous float in the garage, but I refuse to do that for the truck (I'm not swapping the battery in / out, and I'm not going to have an extension cord hanging out of it when it's sitting outside). So that's why I put a disconnect on the truck battery.
 

littleblazer

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Jul 6, 2014
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And then there were three... (I have one of these, too)
Like 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers', @Blckshdw and I will ensure *every* GMTN member has one of these before long... and take over the world! Bwaahahaha! :Zzzz: 🪴🌱

Don't forget that these read a bit pessimistic. When I've put a meter on my battery and compared it, I think there's always been about 0.20v more charge in it than the device indicated.

Because of that, I treat the thing as more 'relative' than 'specific'. And now that I have a disconnect device on the truck (doesn't get driven much), self-discharge is negligible (not counting what little drain the device itself accounts for). As Blckshdw says... better to read 'pessimistic' than the other way around.

I've measured mine from float, disconnected, and it takes about 2 months for my battery to self-discharge to the point where I need to charge it again.

As long as the thing is => 11.9x on the device, I don't have to charge it for continued storage. Or, put another way... that's when I break out the charger and either bring it up to float (if sitting), or for 30min to an hour if I'm going to start / drive it.

I don't mind keeping my RV batteries on continuous float in the garage, but I refuse to do that for the truck (I'm not swapping the battery in / out, and I'm not going to have an extension cord hanging out of it when it's sitting outside). So that's why I put a disconnect on the truck battery.
My fluke says it reads spot on. :frown:

Current reading 12.12. temp dropped about 15 degrees too... I'd say right now there is no drain. At least not a significant one.
 
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littleblazer

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12.05 this morning, about 25 degrees cooler than yesterday. Will check again when I get home.
 
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littleblazer

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The best part, someone unplugged the tablet. I check this morning, 10.65v. OFC
 

littleblazer

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it's had a 1 amp battery tender on it since 12, shows full now??? As much as I'd like to say that indicates a crap battery, its had 1 a year for the last 4 years.... All with the same symptoms. Plot thickens.
 

Reprise

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The best part, someone unplugged the tablet. I check this morning, 10.65v. OFC

it's had a 1 amp battery tender on it since 12, shows full now??? As much as I'd like to say that indicates a crap battery, its had 1 a year for the last 4 years.... All with the same symptoms. Plot thickens.
Hmm. At 1A, I think it would take more than 8hrs to get from 10.6v to 13.2-13.6 -?

I have a couple of different chargers I use regularly.

My 3-4 amp charger (HF special) will get to float voltage roughly overnight. But because it stopped maintaining float, I got a better charger (or, a charger with a better reputation). One of those NOCO 'Genius' jobs -- and it's a 1A charger. BTW... I don't mind that it's a 1A charger, because slower charging is generally better for your battery, long-term.

The 1A charger takes a couple of days to get to float, as evidenced by the BM app. I guess that would make sense... Roughly < 50% of voltage applied, takes (roughly) 100% longer.

If you're interpreting 'full' as float... you'll probably see a point where the voltage drops down (like it fell off a cliff), and then climb up over several hours (you may see little 'mini-cliffs' over this period), climbing as high as 14.xx , before it settles down into float. I don't have pics of this from my BM app, or I'd post them. Here's a pic I found online that kind of shows what I'm talking about

(note: IGNORE the x/y axis, figures and formulas, etc. -- the graph line *alone* is why I'm posting this)

1651282511765.png

Finally, I carry this on my phone, so I have it with me.
1651282964673.jpeg
We've posted similar over the years. But, here, you can see that at 10.65v ... and how fast it fell, by your description... I think your battery might not be in the best of health (keeping in mind that you're now on battery #4, and they don't seem to last more than a year). IOW... it should not fall from 12.x down to 10.6v 'overnite'.

And if it really was down to 10.65... it has to 'recondition' a bit before it will start accepting charge. I've been able to get a battery that was really low (like 11.0v or maybe a tiny bit lower) to recharge -- but without one of those really advanced chargers, it's a sloooow process (depending on the charger's logic, it will 'fail' the battery a few times over 30min intervals before the battery will finally start 'bulk' charging.)

PITA, but a decent charger can eventually recover a really low battery. How much 'life', long-term, has been taken out of the battery as a result, is an entirely different question, of course.

What brand(s) are you buying? (and I promise not to be judgmental about it, because the one in my Sierra that I always harped about is a WalMart 'EverStart Maxx' (made by Johnson)). $89.99, about 3yrs ago. IOW... nothing spectacular... group 78 with about 800 CCA.

I used to think that it was just a sh!t battery... but I finally figured out that the truck was draining it too quickly (kinda where you're at now). Because if I let it drain with nothing connected (except the BT monitor device), it lasts months (instead of roughly 10 days) before having to be recharged.
 
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littleblazer

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Jul 6, 2014
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That's a frustrating rabbit hole to have to climb down
You're telling me. :crackup:
Hmm. At 1A, I think it would take more than 8hrs to get from 10.6v to 13.2-13.6 -?

I have a couple of different chargers I use regularly.

My 3-4 amp charger (HF special) will get to float voltage roughly overnight. But because it stopped maintaining float, I got a better charger (or, a charger with a better reputation). One of those NOCO 'Genius' jobs -- and it's a 1A charger. BTW... I don't mind that it's a 1A charger, because slower charging is generally better for your battery, long-term.

The 1A charger takes a couple of days to get to float, as evidenced by the BM app. I guess that would make sense... Roughly < 50% of voltage applied, takes (roughly) 100% longer.

If you're interpreting 'full' as float... you'll probably see a point where the voltage drops down (like it fell off a cliff), and then climb up over several hours (you may see little 'mini-cliffs' over this period), climbing as high as 14.xx , before it settles down into float. I don't have pics of this from my BM app, or I'd post them. Here's a pic I found online that kind of shows what I'm talking about

(note: IGNORE the x/y axis, figures and formulas, etc. -- the graph line *alone* is why I'm posting this)

View attachment 103691

Finally, I carry this on my phone, so I have it with me.
View attachment 103692
We've posted similar over the years. But, here, you can see that at 10.36v ... and how fast it fell, by your description... I think your battery might not be in the best of health (keeping in mind that you're now on battery #4, and they don't seem to last more than a year). IOW... it should not fall from 12.x down to 10.6v 'overnite'.

And if it really was down to 10.36... it has to 'recondition' a bit before it will start accepting charge. I've been able to get a battery that was really low (like 11.2v or something) to recharge -- but without one of those really advanced chargers, it's a sloooow process (depending on the charger's logic, it will 'fail' the battery a few times over 30min intervals before the battery will finally start 'bulk' charging.)

PITA, but a decent charger can eventually recover a really low battery. How much 'life', long-term, has been taken out of the battery as a result, is an entirely different question, of course.

What brand(s) are you buying? (and I promise not to be judgmental about it, because the one in my Sierra that I always harped about is a WalMart 'EverStart Maxx' (made by Johnson)). $89.99, about 3yrs ago. IOW... nothing spectacular... group 78 with about 800 CCA.

I used to think that it was just a sh!t battery... but I finally figured out that the truck was draining it too quickly (kinda where you're at now). Because if I let it drain with nothing connected (except the BT monitor device), it lasts months (instead of roughly 10 days) before having to be recharged.
Well that's it... sometimes it is mere hours before its dead. First two batteries were diehard/advance. last two were delcos. the other 2 are all in operating vehicles and hold charges for moths and still fire right off after sitting. That more than anything is what pisses me off about it. The 99 is fine and so is the 98.... this isn't.

Honestly a battery disconnect may be my solution but it could also drop dead in the parking lot if I spend an afternoon on the boat... which is infuriating. I almost want to gut the remote start out of it before going ay further because it's the only real aftermarket thing I can think of on it and could be that intermittent too.

Also, if that makes no sense, I've been up for almost 40 hours and worked 24 hours straight. Thinking feels like popcorn.
 
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Reprise

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You're telling me. :crackup:

Well that's it... sometimes it is mere hours before its dead. First two batteries were diehard/advance. last two were delcos. the other 2 are all in operating vehicles and hold charges for moths and still fire right off after sitting. That more than anything is what pisses me off about it. The 99 is fine and so is the 98.... this isn't.

Honestly a battery disconnect may be my solution but it could also drop dead in the parking lot if I spend an afternoon on the boat... which is infuriating. I almost want to gut the remote start out of it before going ay further because it's the only real aftermarket thing I can think of on it and could be that intermittent too.

Also, if that makes no sense, I've been up for almost 40 hours and worked 24 hours straight. Thinking feels like popcorn.
No worries. Hope you get some rest. You should, before moving further on this.

If the battery dropped that fast... it's probably on the last legs. You just got the monitor... and I'll bet that you had this battery in that truck for several episodes of draining. It just got too far down a couple of times.

Take the cables off (or the battery out), and charge it to full (float), with the BT module attached, so you can see the progress. When in float, the battery will oscillate between 13.2 - 13.6, depending on your charger (I notice mine will kick 'on' at about 13.1 - 13.2, and kick 'off' at 13.5-13.6. And that varies... but that's the usual scenario.

After you take it off float... if it goes down to 10.xx in a day or two... replace the battery, because it's toast. With no load on it, it should take days to weeks to go from 12.xx down to 11.xx, much less 10.xx.

I'll stop here. But that's what I'd do. And if you have to get another battery... well, now you have some tools to keep an eye on it, and keep it from getting too low & damaging it. So that's a good thing.
 

littleblazer

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So here is a fun one. It was on the tender indicating a full charge. Dad drove it a bit, so it ran maybe a half hour and 6 miles... Comes back topped off on the tender for an hour or two. Unplugged. I get a text at work 10 hours later, stone dead, 5 volts on the meter at the battery. WTF. I did have it disconnected for a couple days and it sat right about 12.5, was 12.7 when I disconnected it so there doesn't appear to be an internal short. Now it's only going to start happening while I am at work of course... :blinkhuh:
 

Blckshdw

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Nov 20, 2011
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Tampa Bay Area, FL
That's a real stumper. Does the truck have 1 fuse block, or 2 like the 360's? I'm wondering if there's a way you could isolate a bunch of circuits at once, since whatever this is, is very inconsistent in showing itself.
 

TollKeeper

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Dec 3, 2011
6,711
Brighton, CO
Something in that BCM is not going to sleep. DDM, PDM, RAP, TGM, something..
 
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Mooseman

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Dec 4, 2011
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Ottawa, ON
You're gonna have to do a proper parasitic drain test using an ammeter. And probably all these discharges have damaged your battery.
 

littleblazer

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Jul 6, 2014
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Just an update. It's more than 1 amp because the battery tender couldn't keep up with the drain. I'm stealing a known good battery from another vehicle. Any decent ammeters that'll work for more than 10 amps?
 

Mooseman

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Dec 4, 2011
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Most DMMs should be able to do that.
 

littleblazer

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Jul 6, 2014
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I have a clamp. I just don't trust it's accuracy at lower current flows. And it's difficult since each terminal branches off 2 times at the battery...
 

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