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 Parasitic Drain Issue. Any Advice?

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Eldo
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PostSubject: Re: Parasitic Drain Issue. Any Advice?   Wed Dec 09, 2009 11:34 pm

I still have to get the convertible out of the garage so I can put the Rivi in the middle and do the trim measurements and play with the Level Ride (I sure miss having the compressor under the hood...) I wasn't gonna' do it today, it was 28* this morning in sunny California.

Just to play devil's advocate to myself, it occurred to me today that I don't have to take anything out of the trunk, just hauling my 1/8 of a ton out of the driver's seat might do it. On the other hand, I also remembered the many times that I just reached into the Eldorado to twist the key, without getting in and loading it, and the compressor still kicked on to re-fill the shocks that it had exhausted after the last shutdown...
dunno

Albert: The '98 electronic FSM...

Rick: Right, the ELC sensor module (where all the brains are, like timers) and the compressor/valve unit have power at all times. The compressor relay only has IGN power from the dash fuse. (Sometimes I wonder if the guys who write the manuals have ever seen the cars... The book calls it Automatic Level Control, when it's been Electronic Level Control ever since they switched over from the mechanical/vacuum system.)

And thanks for the spring part number!
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PostSubject: Re: Parasitic Drain Issue. Any Advice?   Thu Dec 10, 2009 12:11 pm

All this argument would be solved if only Buick put in a green little light on the dash that read "leveling" when the rear air was activated. lol I loved that little light in the old 1988 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham my grandfather had.
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PostSubject: Re: Parasitic Drain Issue. Any Advice?   Thu Dec 10, 2009 12:12 pm

albertj wrote:
Thank you *very* much for posting the followup.

If you want a power antenna PM me and we'll work a deal, I have a spare one - an aftermarket Metra that has a factory style connector I attached to it (so you do not need to splice it into the harness and you do not need to guess which wire goes where). I used it for a while and lucked up on a factory antenna from a parkavenue - happened by the pick-n-pull - so I put the factory whip back in and removed/stored the aftermarket. Why? The aftermarket Metra ferrule sits a little out of the fender, by design. I always liked the OE design that has the ferrule that sits in the fender instead of on it. Some people like the Metra design better (it never gets plugged with ice and really does not admit water like the OE antenna) maybe you will too.

Albertj

I'm honestly not going to worry about it. I only got a replacement because the last one I had wouldn't go down all the way. This one is in the down position and is staying there. I have Slacker radio on my Blackberry and XM Radio. I can't remember the last time I listened to AM or FM radio. I actually rather have the antenna stuck in the down position. Thanks anyway though. smile
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PostSubject: Re: Parasitic Drain Issue. Any Advice?   Thu Dec 10, 2009 8:05 pm

GMFreak8 wrote:
All this argument would be solved if only Buick put in a green little light on the dash that read "leveling" when the rear air was activated. lol I loved that little light in the old 1988 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham my grandfather had.

No kidding, that's another one of my pet peeves!!

My Eldorado had a Level Ride light on the dash and a trunk ajar light, but no door ajar light... The Riviera has a door ajar light, but no trunk ajar or ELC light - and there's room for both!

Not only does the trunk already use a lever-switch on the latch for the light, which could've been split off to the dashboard, but if you use a flashlight, you can see that the same cluster as the door ajar light has an unused "Low Washer Fluid" light, because they also put the "Washer Fluid Low" light in another cluster (or vice versa) - JEEZ how dumb!

There's also another cluster with a blank spot that could've been wired to the ELC pump... And as far as that goes, why do we need to use up a light in that far right cluster to blink with the emergency flashers, when both of the turn signal indicators are already flashing?!?

If only I was king... joker
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PostSubject: Re: Parasitic Drain Issue. Any Advice?   Thu Dec 10, 2009 10:29 pm

Mark: I don't have the electrnic FSM and so can't answer your question.

Albertj
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PostSubject: Re: Parasitic Drain Issue. Any Advice?   Thu Dec 10, 2009 10:37 pm

albertj wrote:
Mark: I don't have the electrnic FSM and so can't answer your question.
Albertj

I was actually answering your question about which manual I was looking at... I had asked if you found the bleed-down-when-parked spelled out in any manual.
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PostSubject: Re: Parasitic Drain Issue. Any Advice?   Thu Dec 10, 2009 11:27 pm

I'm not the only one getting old and confused, I guess.
No disrespect intended.
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PostSubject: Re: Parasitic Drain Issue. Any Advice?   Thu Dec 10, 2009 11:53 pm

The 79-85 Rivieras actually had the "leveling" light at the instrument cluster. Why Buick discontinued with it is a real disadvantage. But, for that era Riv the self leveling compressor was hot wired at all times. So, if the rear shocks had a leak it would cycle at any time and could cause battery drain (happened on my once-owned 85 Riv). For 86 and after, the compressor is only hot at the "key-on" position.
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PostSubject: Re: Parasitic Drain Issue. Any Advice?   Thu Dec 10, 2009 11:55 pm

Well that makes sense as to why they eliminated the indicator.
My previous Cadillac's all had the indicator and they were HOT at all times.
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PostSubject: Re: Parasitic Drain Issue. Any Advice?   Fri Dec 11, 2009 12:24 am

It just keeps getting curiouser and curiouser... My E-Body was definitely not hot all the time (except to the exhaust solenoid.) If I parked it with the boat on the hitch, it would squat until I turned the key on again. And yes, I too had the green on black Level Ride light in the portside "Information Center".

I would doubt too many systems got rewired by amateur mechanics, but perhaps the brains in the switch-module were made by the same folks who made the radio and climate control displays... wink
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PostSubject: Re: Parasitic Drain Issue. Any Advice?   Fri Dec 11, 2009 12:28 am

When I said my previous Cadillac's I meant pre- 1985.
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PostSubject: Re: Parasitic Drain Issue. Any Advice?   Fri Dec 11, 2009 12:31 am

That's what I meant, 79-85 E-body. I had a V8-6-4 that actually worked till the engine died from an oiling problem, and got 22 on the highway.
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PostSubject: Re: Parasitic Drain Issue. Any Advice?   Fri Dec 11, 2009 12:51 am

You had the ONLY one that worked.!!!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Parasitic Drain Issue. Any Advice?   Fri Dec 11, 2009 12:58 am

Rickw wrote:
You had the ONLY one that worked.!!!!!
rotf

On the other hand , I am getting old and confused...
Actually, the valve mechanisms were just fine (in fact I think they were built by Eaton,) it was the early ECM's and a lack of "proper prior PROMing" that caused all the problems. I bought it in '93, transferred my 13th Revision PROM into a rebuilt $110 ECM, and it ran fine until 2005 when I bought the Rivi.
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PostSubject: Re: Parasitic Drain Issue. Any Advice?   Fri Dec 11, 2009 1:08 am

I never had a 8-6-4 engine, mainly because of all the bad things i heard about them.
But the 4100 that was in the Eldorado and others, I think, was a dog---- No power what's so ever but lasted me a long time and towed a double axle enclosed trailer half way around the world before the torque converter had a catastrophic failure.
And even then, I had the trans rebuilt like a dummy because i was so attached to that car, I loved it.
I don't get attached to cars like that anymore, if it has served it's useful life it's gone.
What i do like is this 3800 powerplant. Extremely durable except for the Trans....again.
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PostSubject: Re: Parasitic Drain Issue. Any Advice?   Fri Dec 11, 2009 8:36 am

Eldo wrote:
albertj wrote:
Mark: I don't have the electrnic FSM and so can't answer your question.
Albertj

I was actually answering your question about which manual I was looking at... I had asked if you found the bleed-down-when-parked spelled out in any manual.

p. 3-104 of the 1998 Aurora and Riviera Service Manual, volume 2, pub. by General Motors NAO, Warren MI. (c) 1997 GMC. Info cutoff date 5/1/97. 5th paragraph, 2nd bullet. FYI the ALC system operation is described under header of the same name beginning p. 3-105.

For the rest of you reading this: Here is a tip - if your air ride compressor runs more than 4 minutes at a time, you most likely have a air hose leak, an air shock leak, or an exhaust valve with solenoid in the 'stuck open' position; or a bad sensor or bent/broken sensor arm and you should check. The compressor circuit turns the pump off after 4.5 to 4.7 minutes automatically whether the sensor reads OK or not. However, in my experience even when my Riv's trunk is full of luggage and passenger compartment full of prople (strapping teenagers, lately) the compressor never runs more than a minute or so. The other thing to watch/listen for is if the air ride compressor runs fairly often *without* changing the load. That may mean you may have a slow leak somewhere, maybe just a loose connector which is easy to check for - just look at the shock behind the rear wheel and consider disconnecting the hose and checking for/cleaning off any dirt or gravel. Be sure to reconnect the hose and make sure the spring clip engages properly.

Albertj
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PostSubject: Re: Parasitic Drain Issue. Any Advice?   Fri Dec 11, 2009 5:17 pm

Rickw wrote:
I never had a 8-6-4 engine, mainly because of all the bad things i heard about them.
But the 4100 that was in the Eldorado and others, I think, was a dog---- No power what's so ever but lasted me a long time and towed a double axle enclosed trailer half way around the world before the torque converter had a catastrophic failure.
And even then, I had the trans rebuilt like a dummy because i was so attached to that car, I loved it.
I don't get attached to cars like that anymore, if it has served it's useful life it's gone.
What i do like is this 3800 powerplant. Extremely durable except for the Trans....again.

The 4100 is the engine in my 84 Coupe Deville. That thing really is a dog, but it's a dream to drive. I'm just waiting for something to go wrong with the engine though. I've heard way too many horror stories.
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PostSubject: Re: Parasitic Drain Issue. Any Advice?   Fri Dec 11, 2009 5:19 pm

Eldo wrote:
GMFreak8 wrote:
All this argument would be solved if only Buick put in a green little light on the dash that read "leveling" when the rear air was activated. lol I loved that little light in the old 1988 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham my grandfather had.

No kidding, that's another one of my pet peeves!!

but if you use a flashlight, you can see that the same cluster as the door ajar light has an unused "Low Washer Fluid" light, because they also put the "Washer Fluid Low" light in another cluster (or vice versa) - JEEZ how dumb!

And as far as that goes, why do we need to use up a light in that far right cluster to blink with the emergency flashers, when both of the turn signal indicators are already flashing?!?

If only I was king... joker

Haha, I thought I was seeing things when I first saw the Low washer light when the sun shined on the dash just right. Some of the design elements of this car are brilliant and then others leave you scratching your head wondering what in the hell were they thinking...
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PostSubject: Re: Parasitic Drain Issue. Any Advice?   Mon Apr 26, 2010 4:14 pm

So I was cleaning the car the other day and I had the radio on for a bit, then turned off the radio and left the keys in the ON position, bonk I know I know, I got distracted and I forgot I had them on there. Anyway, the battery died. So I hooked up a charger to it overnight and the charger went down to 6 amps from 8 the night before. The car started, drove it to work and then that night I hooked up the charger to it again and the next day the charger indicated darn near 0 amps and the light was bright green. So I though I was good. I drove the car for about a week and each time it started perfect. Then on Saturday night, I went to turn the starter over and nothing! I boosted the car and went where I needed to go (with cables in tow). The car started going back home and today the car started with difficulty. So my dad and I tested it with a multi-meter...

With the car off, the reading I got was 12.8
With the car running, I got an average reading of 14.7

This would indicate that the battery and charging system are O.K. correct?

Here are some stats off the battery label:

Catalog # 681
CCA 970
Replacement Model 76 -6yr

Mind you this is the original battery in the car, not bad for 14 years clap , so I assume that the battery is no longer able to hold a charge and must need to be replaced?


Last edited by BMD on Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:10 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Parasitic Drain Issue. Any Advice?   Mon Apr 26, 2010 4:53 pm

a battery can show 12+v when the car is off but not hold the charge for very long if the cells are dying. sounds like you need a new battery. 14yrs is the longest i've heard of a stock one lasting. mine died at like 8 or 9 yrs IIRC. then again a few years ago b/c the dealer battery was defective due to sitting in storage for like 5yrs.

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PostSubject: Re: Parasitic Drain Issue. Any Advice?   Mon Apr 26, 2010 4:56 pm

BMD wrote:
So I was cleaning the car the other day and I had the radio on for a bit, then turned off the radio and left the keys in the ON position, bonk I know I know, I got distracted and I forgot I had them on there. Anyway, the battery died. So I hooked up a charger to it overnight and the charger went down to 6 amps from 8 the night before. The car started, drove it to work and then that night I hooked up the charger to it again and the next day the charger indicated darn near 0 amps and the light was bright green. So I though I was good. I drove the car for about a week and each time it started perfect. Then on Saturday night, I went to turn the starter over and nothing! I boosted the car and went where I needed to go (with cables in tow). The car started going back home and today the car started with difficulty. So my dad and I tested it with a multi-meter...

With the car off, the reading I got was 12.8
With the car running, I got an average reading of 14.7

This would indicate that the battery and charging system are O.K. correct?

Here are some stats off the battery label:

Catalog # 681
CCA 970
Replacement Model 76-84

Mind you this is the original battery in the car, not bad for 14 years clap , so I assume that the battery is no longer able to hold a charge and must need to be replaced?

Sounds like your battery is holding a charge but has inadequate capacity to run the car. Riv has high parasitic drain (lots of things are running when the car is "off."). You don't have a bad cell per se (each bad cell cuts a volt or more off the voltmeter reading when the car is just sitting off) but you probably have inadequate capacity due to mineral buildup as the battery aged.

What you *might* want to do is take the car to a WalMart or Sears or an AutoZone or other auto parts store, or a GM dealer. Let 'em test the battery - you'll likely find that the battery has inadequate 'cold cranking' and/or inadequate 'cranking' capacity. This is determined by putting a heavy load on the battery for a short time and seeing how long the battery will run that load. If so just get a battery with adequate CCAs that fits the vent assembly you already have (this is why you took the seat out, natch-u-ruh-lee, to make it easy to deal with).

Reason I say *might* is that odds are the battery is just plain worn out.

I'm surprised you have not had other problems like 'phantom' chimes or other electrical gremlins.

Albertj
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PostSubject: Re: Parasitic Drain Issue. Any Advice?   Mon Apr 26, 2010 8:25 pm

You might have a bad ground or other loose cable too. Check ALL major cable connections.

And you should have your battery load tested.
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PostSubject: Re: Parasitic Drain Issue. Any Advice?   Mon Apr 26, 2010 10:10 pm

man that sucks,hopefuly a battery change will do but usually third party add-ons drain the battery dead.You must know where to connect it to have it hooked right.I know all these third party stereo amps/auto DVDs etc... are hooked right onto the ignition harness,so when you turn the engine off the circuit is cut off for sure.


P.S-But where exactly on that goddamn harness i myself don`t know.


Last edited by stan on Tue Apr 27, 2010 12:54 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Parasitic Drain Issue. Any Advice?   Mon Apr 26, 2010 10:32 pm

All major cables seem intact and I have never installed anything aftermarket on the car, or spliced into the wiring.

How much does a battery load test cost?, because I called around and the prices I'm getting for a battery are $278 from GM, $ 240 from a nation wide chain up here and $168 from an authorized AC Delco dealer. So obviously I am gonna get it from the AC Delco guys, so I would rather put the money for the load test, into the cost of the battery. Although the replacement battery that is recommended for my car is only rated at 880 CCA , much lower than the 970 CCA on the original.

P.S. How do you know when a battery was manufactued, is there a date on it somewhere?


Last edited by BMD on Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:17 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Parasitic Drain Issue. Any Advice?   Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:15 pm

I don't know of anyone (of the folks I listed) who charges for a battery load test.

Albertj
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