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2004 Gs 430 Dead Battery


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We just inherited a very nice 2004 GS 430. It is an excellant car; except, if it sits without being driven for just three days the battery goes dead. I used an amp meter between the car frame and the negative battery post and with all assesories off it was still drawing 4.8 amps. No wonder the battery is dead! 3 days is 72 hr x 4.8 amps is 345 amp-hrs. What is drawing all these amps? Anyone having a clue I would sure appreciate a reply.

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Yes, pulling fuses one at a time is a MOST excellent idea, I would like to add:

4.8 Amps IS quite a bit. More than brake lights or anything like that. I know I am late in replying, so here goes. When you insert the key and the steering wheel extends, turn off the switch that overides the automatic feature and re-check your draw. I suspect a seat motor or your steering column motor is not shutting off when it retracts like it should, it just stops but the motor keeps trying to pull it in.

Let us know what you do find, Please.

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Yes, pulling fuses one at a time is a MOST excellent idea, I would like to add:

4.8 Amps IS quite a bit. More than brake lights or anything like that. I know I am late in replying, so here goes. When you insert the key and the steering wheel extends, turn off the switch that overides the automatic feature and re-check your draw. I suspect a seat motor or your steering column motor is not shutting off when it retracts like it should, it just stops but the motor keeps trying to pull it in.

Let us know what you do find, Please.

Welcome to the LOC! :cheers: Good tip. Any auto features would be the first to check.

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auto features SHOULDN'T be the problem as they are made from the dealer to be on all the time...so they shouldnt all of a sudden take on more of a amp draw than they normally do. best bet....? get a ohm meter and start testing fuses :unsure: till u find the one u need....does it have the oem radio? amp? nething aftermarket in it?

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auto features SHOULDN'T be the problem as they are made from the dealer to be on all the time...so they shouldnt all of a sudden take on more of a amp draw than they normally do. best bet....? get a ohm meter and start testing fuses :unsure: till u find the one u need....does it have the oem radio? amp? nething aftermarket in it?

Huh? Why would you start checking for blown fuses when it is a power draw and not a power loss? I was not referring to the factory installed accessories being a problem. I was referring to something like the steering column motor malfunctioning by not turing off when it retracts all the way. By turning the switch off in the extended position, you will eliminate that the motor is staying turned on when the steering retracts. Just because it stops moving does not mean the sensor has turned the relay off that supplies power saying "This is steering wheel to power relay, I have fully retracted, please shut down the power to my motor."

As we all know on our models with a power steering column, there are sensors that provide input to the module saying something like "I am extended toward the driver 127 steps and angled downward at 75 steps" this way the steering wheel goes back to the position you last had it in when you insert the key again.

If the sensor that indicates the steering column is at the fully retracted position (away from the driver) is not sending a shut off signal, it will continue to get power not knowing that it is time to shut down. It will not make grinding sounds or keep running like the antenna motor which you can hear. It will just stay on but not move.

About the seat motor, have you ever had something fall to the side of the seat and accidentally activate the adjuster? As you know, when the seat is, for example, all the way back it does not keep making noise if you hold the switch on does it? Of course not, so there is a possibility (especially if you are not the original owner) that a seat adjusment switch is stuck.

Just follow the previous instructions from eatingupblacktop and myself, place your ammeter in series with the battery and start pulling fuses until the draw is less than .250ma (or 1/4 of an amp) which is the industry standard of "Acceptable Maximum" for module keep alive memory and radio memory, etc.

Incidentally;

I am factory trained and certified by: Cadillac, Olds, Chev, Honda, Toyota, Hyndai, and Mazda with a total combination of 12 years of on hands experience specializing in BCM's, ECM's, SSS (Speed sensitive suspensions), ABS and SRS. Yes, if have the time and are extremely bored, you can verify this.

Not trying to blow my own horn (HONK HONK!!) and I prefer to not open myself to a barrage of posts, I will assist where I can as I am sure I will learn a thing or two here from all of you.

Keep me posted on your progress and I will do my best to assist as I may need advice sometime regarding my recently aquired GS 300.

One more thing to note and I am not sure if your model has the same config, there are two fuses under the kick panel just to the left of the steering column that supply main power to the seats and steering column (on mine). there is also one for rear defogger next to it. Just an FYI, Dude.

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auto features SHOULDN'T be the problem as they are made from the dealer to be on all the time...so they shouldnt all of a sudden take on more of a amp draw than they normally do. best bet....? get a ohm meter and start testing fuses :unsure: till u find the one u need....does it have the oem radio? amp? nething aftermarket in it?

Huh? Why would you start checking for blown fuses when it is a power draw and not a power loss? I was not referring to the factory installed accessories being a problem. I was referring to something like the steering column motor malfunctioning by not turing off when it retracts all the way. By turning the switch off in the extended position, you will eliminate that the motor is staying turned on when the steering retracts. Just because it stops moving does not mean the sensor has turned the relay off that supplies power saying "This is steering wheel to power relay, I have fully retracted, please shut down the power to my motor."

As we all know on our models with a power steering column, there are sensors that provide input to the module saying something like "I am extended toward the driver 127 steps and angled downward at 75 steps" this way the steering wheel goes back to the position you last had it in when you insert the key again.

If the sensor that indicates the steering column is at the fully retracted position (away from the driver) is not sending a shut off signal, it will continue to get power not knowing that it is time to shut down. It will not make grinding sounds or keep running like the antenna motor which you can hear. It will just stay on but not move.

About the seat motor, have you ever had something fall to the side of the seat and accidentally activate the adjuster? As you know, when the seat is, for example, all the way back it does not keep making noise if you hold the switch on does it? Of course not, so there is a possibility (especially if you are not the original owner) that a seat adjusment switch is stuck.

Just follow the previous instructions from eatingupblacktop and myself, place your ammeter in series with the battery and start pulling fuses until the draw is less than .250ma (or 1/4 of an amp) which is the industry standard of "Acceptable Maximum" for module keep alive memory and radio memory, etc.

Incidentally;

I am factory trained and certified by: Cadillac, Olds, Chev, Honda, Toyota, Hyndai, and Mazda with a total combination of 12 years of on hands experience specializing in BCM's, ECM's, SSS (Speed sensitive suspensions), ABS and SRS. Yes, if have the time and are extremely bored, you can verify this.

Not trying to blow my own horn (HONK HONK!!) and I prefer to not open myself to a barrage of posts, I will assist where I can as I am sure I will learn a thing or two here from all of you.

Keep me posted on your progress and I will do my best to assist as I may need advice sometime regarding my recently aquired GS 300.

One more thing to note and I am not sure if your model has the same config, there are two fuses under the kick panel just to the left of the steering column that supply main power to the seats and steering column (on mine). there is also one for rear defogger next to it. Just an FYI, Dude.

Hey Jack, nice to have you aboard. :cheers: Now that you've revealed your secret identity, :ph34r: get ready for the onslaught of pm's you'll be getting.

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auto features SHOULDN'T be the problem as they are made from the dealer to be on all the time...so they shouldnt all of a sudden take on more of a amp draw than they normally do. best bet....? get a ohm meter and start testing fuses :unsure: till u find the one u need....does it have the oem radio? amp? nething aftermarket in it?

Huh? Why would you start checking for blown fuses when it is a power draw and not a power loss? I was not referring to the factory installed accessories being a problem. I was referring to something like the steering column motor malfunctioning by not turing off when it retracts all the way. By turning the switch off in the extended position, you will eliminate that the motor is staying turned on when the steering retracts. Just because it stops moving does not mean the sensor has turned the relay off that supplies power saying "This is steering wheel to power relay, I have fully retracted, please shut down the power to my motor."

As we all know on our models with a power steering column, there are sensors that provide input to the module saying something like "I am extended toward the driver 127 steps and angled downward at 75 steps" this way the steering wheel goes back to the position you last had it in when you insert the key again.

If the sensor that indicates the steering column is at the fully retracted position (away from the driver) is not sending a shut off signal, it will continue to get power not knowing that it is time to shut down. It will not make grinding sounds or keep running like the antenna motor which you can hear. It will just stay on but not move.

About the seat motor, have you ever had something fall to the side of the seat and accidentally activate the adjuster? As you know, when the seat is, for example, all the way back it does not keep making noise if you hold the switch on does it? Of course not, so there is a possibility (especially if you are not the original owner) that a seat adjusment switch is stuck.

Just follow the previous instructions from eatingupblacktop and myself, place your ammeter in series with the battery and start pulling fuses until the draw is less than .250ma (or 1/4 of an amp) which is the industry standard of "Acceptable Maximum" for module keep alive memory and radio memory, etc.

Incidentally;

I am factory trained and certified by: Cadillac, Olds, Chev, Honda, Toyota, Hyndai, and Mazda with a total combination of 12 years of on hands experience specializing in BCM's, ECM's, SSS (Speed sensitive suspensions), ABS and SRS. Yes, if have the time and are extremely bored, you can verify this.

Not trying to blow my own horn (HONK HONK!!) and I prefer to not open myself to a barrage of posts, I will assist where I can as I am sure I will learn a thing or two here from all of you.

Keep me posted on your progress and I will do my best to assist as I may need advice sometime regarding my recently aquired GS 300.

One more thing to note and I am not sure if your model has the same config, there are two fuses under the kick panel just to the left of the steering column that supply main power to the seats and steering column (on mine). there is also one for rear defogger next to it. Just an FYI, Dude.

Hey Jack, nice to have you aboard.:cheers: Now that you've revealed your secret identity, :ph34r: get ready for the onslaught of pm's you'll be getting.

I know, :D it's okay as I am really into these things and enjoy sharing my knowledge. Thanks again for the welcome! :D

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"Just follow the previous instructions from eatingupblacktop and myself, place your ammeter in series with the battery and start pulling fuses until the draw is less than .250ma (or 1/4 of an amp) which is the industry standard of "Acceptable Maximum" for module keep alive memory and radio memory, etc."

If you're into the fuse box pulling fuses, you could just use your voltmeter in Amp mode and put the leads in series between each fuse terminal. That might be quicker to isolate which circuit is at fault. It would take some small probes but to make this easier, you could take a blown fuse and connect your leads to each half of the blown fuse (solder or alligator clip) so all you need to do is plug the fuse into each circuit. Not sure which method would really be easier since I haven't done this but another idea.

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"Just follow the previous instructions from eatingupblacktop and myself, place your ammeter in series with the battery and start pulling fuses until the draw is less than .250ma (or 1/4 of an amp) which is the industry standard of "Acceptable Maximum" for module keep alive memory and radio memory, etc."

If you're into the fuse box pulling fuses, you could just use your voltmeter in Amp mode and put the leads in series between each fuse terminal. That might be quicker to isolate which circuit is at fault. It would take some small probes but to make this easier, you could take a blown fuse and connect your leads to each half of the blown fuse (solder or alligator clip) so all you need to do is plug the fuse into each circuit. Not sure which method would really be easier since I haven't done this but another idea.

Love it when ideas come from outside the box. I used to work as an electronics tech and invented a couple of devices for the company I worked for. One was for easliy matching transistors then grouping them in pairs according to the tolerance parameters the manufacturer specified. The service dept was alway getting the units back for a second repair. We found the transisitors the techs were installing didn't matchup ideally and were failing because load was unbalanced. This little device I devised hooked up to a scope and allowed the tech to just plug in any set of transisitors and immediately mark their specs and sort them into correspondung groups. Saved the company a ton of money in servicing repeat warranty repairs. I like your idea for the simplicity. Could work providing you don't have sausages for fingers. :lol: Those fuses don't come out that easily so your device would have to be sturdy enough for repeated pulls. Props for being creative! :cheers:

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  • 5 weeks later...

I started this link so here's what I found out. I went to a mechanic that worked on my old Mercedes and he used a clamp on amp meter (around the battery ground cable) and saw a low amp drain. I then bought my own clamp on and now measure 225 Ma, not 4+amps. It seems with the high tech cars you can not make the off power drain measurement with a disconnected battery ground with inline ammeter as I have done for years on all my low tech cars. Has to do with all the computers trying to reboot (or something). Anyway, I'll see how long it holds charge now, Lexus replaced the battery on warranty. They also repaired the steering column extending system and had a tough time. They somehow lost the programing and took several days to get it back. The LS430 is NOT your fathers car.

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  • 3 weeks later...

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