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 Many Large Drains

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CoffeeCommando
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PostSubject: Many Large Drains   Many Large Drains EmptyTue Apr 23, 2019 7:46 am

I have had the battery drain on two different occasions since February (the car was off for a couple of weeks both times). I'm only just now checking for drains, and I've found all the lights, IP 1 & 2, Trunk Relay, and the ELC all have over 2 amp drains on them. The Power Door Lock fuses has a 650 mA drain. The ELC fuse was actually blown the first time back in February when I first decided to look at the fuses (didn't check for drains then).

It looks like all of these wires run from that fuse box to under the carpet.  A guy I know that does auto-work said he's repaired a few Rivieras with electrical shorts under the driver's side rocker panel (that plastic panel under where the door closes).

I bought my Riviera from an old guy, and after further looking at it I am thinking there may have been some collision damage.  The trunk has a separate key from the doors/ignition, and the paint on it and the rear panels is clearly non-faded while the doors are faded (both sides).  

He told me he has repaired a short for the seat heater, I'm not sure where that is.

Any guidance on where to look?  Oddly the fuse for the driver's fuse panel had no drain (from the fuse box) had no drain.  The electric antenna doesn't work and when you shut the car off for about 5 seconds it sounds like it's trying to do something, and there is bubbling around mount for it as well (I am thinking water might be able to get in there now that I think about it).
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Abaddon
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Many Large Drains Empty
PostSubject: Re: Many Large Drains   Many Large Drains EmptyTue Apr 23, 2019 8:40 am

The battery dying within a couple of weeks is pretty normal, man. Most car batteries will die in a couple weeks without a battery tender on it.

That being said.....
Do you know how to check for parasitic drain? If you actually have a 2A draw in 2 spots, paired with a 650mA draw, that battery wouldn't make it through the night let alone a couple weeks.
The car needs to be completely powered down in order to check for parasitic draw. If you as much as open the door, hit the key fob, ANYTHING, it will wake up modules and cause a "draw".
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albertj
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Many Large Drains Empty
PostSubject: Re: Many Large Drains   Many Large Drains EmptyTue Apr 23, 2019 9:09 am

You could simply disconnect the power feed to the antenna whil you are troubleshooting this.

Trunk and door key should match.  Ignition key is different from door/trunk key.

The rocker cavity is easy to inspect.  The long thin rectangle with RIVIERA script on it pries up then you unscrew the screws you can see and it lifts off.  Don't horse it, you'll be fine.

It sounds like you may have an issue with the MALL (one  of the Riv's five computer modules, Multifunction Alarm Lock Lighting).  They are available used.  My MALL is out of a 2001 Bonneville, was installed by the GM dealer when the original went flaky.  I do not know if you need a Tech II to initialize the MALL. When they connect my car to a Tech II it displays the right VIN but says it is a 2001 Bonnie.

If your battery drained too far you may need to replace it. In my experience Rivs just don't run right with batteries putting out less than +/- 450 CCA and less than 12.4v no-load.
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CoffeeCommando
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Many Large Drains Empty
PostSubject: Re: Many Large Drains   Many Large Drains EmptyTue Apr 23, 2019 9:21 am

Thanks guys. I got the Riviera trim removed, and upon looking under the seat I saw a black box and the wiring looks like it's been tinkered with down there. I'm going to remove the seat and find out who's been doing what down there.

Any idea what that black box is?

I'm no stranger to drains and electrical problems and have a long history of working on my own cars. I didn't understand why such a large drain didn't drop the battery to under 9V. It was 11.6V, and I got it charged up to 12.8 yesterday, but oddly when I charged it a second time the charger started clicking off and on and I checked the voltage and it was actuall 11.1V and fluctuating small amounts. I put it on a trickle charger and jumbled it around a little to break up any internal deposits that may have formed.

I noticed when I took it out yesterday even though it hadn't been used for anything except 3 attempts at cranking it was warm on the top in the center. I'm going to finagle it with my set of chargers and try to get it to stick at 12.7V like I did last time.

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albertj
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Many Large Drains Empty
PostSubject: Re: Many Large Drains   Many Large Drains EmptyTue Apr 23, 2019 10:33 am

CoffeeCommando wrote:
Thanks guys.  I got the Riviera trim removed, and upon looking under the seat I saw a black box and the wiring looks like it's been tinkered with down there.  I'm going to remove the seat and find out who's been doing what down there.  

Any idea what that black box is?

I'm no stranger to drains and electrical problems and have a long history of working on my own cars.  I didn't understand why such a large drain didn't drop the battery to under 9V.  It was 11.6V, and I got it charged up to 12.8 yesterday, but oddly when I charged it a second time the charger started clicking off and on and I checked the voltage and it was actuall 11.1V and fluctuating small amounts.  I put it on a trickle charger and jumbled it around a little to break up any internal deposits that may have formed.

I noticed when I took it out yesterday even though it hadn't been used for anything except 3 attempts at cranking it was warm on the top in the center.  I'm going to finagle it with my set of chargers and try to get it to stick at 12.7V like I did last time.


Black box under the drivers seat is the lighting/lock control box.  You might want an owners manual set, they are usually pretty reasonable (under $50/set, 3 volumes) on eBay for some reason.

I think you will end up replacing that battery.  Lead-calcium batteries have high capacity and real good CCAs but hate being drained too far, as you know they then form internal deposits that (can) bridge between the plates.  By the way, in a Riv with unaltered stock alternator etc. the alternator boosts charge voltage when the battery is drained, tracking with a thermistor to avoid damage.  

My answer was a little verbose b/c not everyone has quite your experience - people use google and other means to search the site for info - and until they get that experience it might not occur to them how to match the coils, but using the search tool they'd come across the post.  I figure I might as well tell them.
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CoffeeCommando
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Many Large Drains Empty
PostSubject: Re: Many Large Drains   Many Large Drains EmptyTue Apr 23, 2019 12:47 pm

I ordered the FSM on Ebay when I woke up. It was available on CD and I love me a search function so I got it. It won't be here until this weekend though, not in time to save me from doing what I do best with plastic... break it.

Time to get back in the garage and do some damage.
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albertj
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Many Large Drains Empty
PostSubject: Re: Many Large Drains   Many Large Drains EmptyTue Apr 23, 2019 2:42 pm

CoffeeCommando wrote:
I ordered the FSM on Ebay when I woke up.  It was available on CD and I love me a search function so I got it.  It won't be here until this weekend though, not in time to save me from doing what I do best with plastic... break it.  

Time to get back in the garage and do some damage.

Good! The FSM will help, there are model year and options differences that become important when troubleshooting.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/1996-Oldsmobile-Aurora-Buick-Riviera-OEM-Service-Shop-Manual-2-Volume-Set/392173831832

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CoffeeCommando
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Many Large Drains Empty
PostSubject: Re: Many Large Drains   Many Large Drains EmptyTue Apr 23, 2019 5:46 pm

Well, after looking at the wires where I could without pulling out the carpet (it feels very well secured, too much for me to want to pry it out and potentially damage somethings) the wires all look factory pristine in the hard to reach/see spots so I didn't bother going any further. I figured it was probably okay, and all looked nice and dry. But, I did find that the fuses in the driver's fuse panel were ALL corroded. The dash was taken apart previously by someone who didn't know what they were doing and broke it in several places so it's held up with zip ties internally, and I didn't have the heart to want to undo all that, so I hit it with some QD Electrical Cleaner and scrubbed the fuses all nice and shiny. Maybe now the CD player will work appropriately. It works sometimes and other times it
doesn't.

And now.... the fuse panel. Very hard to see the corrosion with the flash, but it's there in force.

Many Large Drains 1996_b10


At the antenna I found it was very poorly connected and the Made in China relay was toast. Even though it looked like there was white corrosion around the outside of the antenna base the inside looked clean like water wasn't getting in oddly enough. I didn't want any power going to it with the condition it was in so I snipped the wires and covered the ends with vacuum caps. Any ideas on what I should do to fix the connector and what relay to use to replace this one?

Many Large Drains 1996_b11


I removed all that sticky-tacky-poorly-wrapped electrical tape that was put all over the wiring harness that went to the seat and put on some fresh wire loom. There was no corrosions to be found there either. Also vacuumed up the mess as well.

Many Large Drains 1996_b12








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CoffeeCommando
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Many Large Drains Empty
PostSubject: Re: Many Large Drains   Many Large Drains EmptyTue Apr 23, 2019 5:53 pm

Here's the antenna connector. I couldn't upload more than a few pictures. What's a good way to fix it?

Many Large Drains 1996_b13


Some more ghetto stuff. I think this guy did all of his own stuff and did a bang up job on it, or hired some other cheap shade tree mechanic that's only in it for side money.

Many Large Drains 1996_b14

These door panel trims are also secured with dry wall screws. I didn't see it for some reason when I went to pick it up, but it was also twilight out.

Many Large Drains 1996_b15



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CoffeeCommando
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Many Large Drains Empty
PostSubject: Re: Many Large Drains   Many Large Drains EmptyTue Apr 23, 2019 5:54 pm


And here's the under side of the seat. I'm going to finish untangling these wires and probably will end up looming them as well. I'm going to leave the seat heater unplugged because I have no use for that and don't want something I don't need to be a potential drain in the future. I saw the fuses but... I'd rather error on the side of battery-safety.

Many Large Drains 1996_b16


I'm in fixing mode. What else might I want to investigate while I'm at it?
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albertj
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Many Large Drains Empty
PostSubject: Re: Many Large Drains   Many Large Drains EmptyWed Apr 24, 2019 10:05 am

For that antenna wire, you could cut off the bad section, reterminate it, then get or make up a short extension.

https://www.amazon.com/RadioShack-Solderless-Motorola-Type-Plug/dp/B007Z7LXW0/

There are similar solderless sockets available.

Wire up or buy a 1-foot-or-so extension to make up length of that antenna cable. I would probably wire the extension using crimp-on cable TV type connectors because I have a crimper that will work. If there is enough slack, though, don't bother. If you did it my way the extension cable would look like this: https://www.amazon.com/CBK-Supply-64-3017-F-female-Motorola/dp/B0756LMJQB/

For the relay, https://www.amazon.com/Wells-20016-Power-Antenna-Relay/dp/B000EQNWIM if it matches your relay's switching arrangement.

For that power seat switch panel, you can epoxy an aluminum or stiff thin plastic plate (think ABS) on the back to make up the missing tabs then screw the whole switch panel properly back onto the seat. That panel snaps into a socket of sorts but won't stay in unless secured by those screws or some such. You may find the plastic bits that broke on the floor somewheres - you can epoxy those back into place over the aluminum repair splint.

I see in general your problem. With all those repairs there were bound to be issues. You'l find and fix them all eventually.
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