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Old 01-28-2013, 07:09:28 AM   #1
z06vette
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Battery bad from harness?? (HELP)

My 73 camaro had a new battery in sept. The car has not been driven much at all. I charge the battery about once a week to keep it charged. IT seems to be discharging after a week or so. Yesterday I was charging the battery and noticed the tape wraped cluster of wires near the wiper motor were warm to the touch.These are the wires that go inside the firewall to the fuse box I think. Also the battery would not charge past 60% or start the car. Is this a bad battery or is there some sort of short in the harness that killed the battery? The wires were not hot only warm but I dont think they should even be warm. Any way to check the wireing?? Everything seems to work ok lights blinkers etc. Anyone have any input?
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:45:00 AM   #2
Gary S
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Disconnect the positive battery cable. Put an meter on the amps setting between the disconnected battery cable and the battery. If power is being drained, you will measure it with the meter. You could also use a test light instead of the meter, but it won't tell you as much.
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:46:32 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by z06vette
My 73 Camaro had a new battery in Sept. The car has not been driven much at all. I charge the battery about once a week to keep it charged. IT seems to be discharging after a week or so. Yesterday I was charging the battery and noticed the tape wrapped cluster of wires near the wiper motor were warm to the touch.These are the wires that go inside the firewall to the fuse box I think. Also the battery would not charge past 60% or start the car. Is this a bad battery or is there some sort of short in the harness that killed the battery? The wires were not hot only warm but I don't think they should even be warm. Any way to check the wiring?? Everything seems to work ok lights blinkers etc. Anyone have any input?
Disconnect the battery positive, put an ammeter between it and the battery. Check for current drain. Make sure the door is closed, key out, etc. See what happens.

Charge the battery for a day and take it to a shop to stress test it.

Of course, if the car is driveable, you can take it and have the battery checked. You may get different results.
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:51:15 AM   #4
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Some stereos pull power all the time. Pull the fuse on it for a more accurate check on battery drain.
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:52:36 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Z28zz383
Some stereos pull power all the time. Pull the fuse on it for a more accurate check on battery drain.
Clock may draw power, but his problem would be too much drain...or a bad battery.
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:54:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by z06vette
...wires near the wiper motor were warm to the touch...
that is bad. I'd start there. are those OE wires or something some one added? if oe what are ones are they?
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:39:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BonzoHansen
that is bad. I'd start there. are those OE wires or something some one added? if oe what are ones are they?

They are oem taped.Im not sure which ones were getting warm but it seems they all go to fuse box. Will have to check to be sure. Im still wondering what killed the battery after a few months.could some sort of short in wireing cause the battery to die? Im not sure if the charger being hooked up had anything to do with the wires getting warm. The battery won't charge past 60% nor will it crank the car at 60% charge. Don't want to spend money on new harness but if it comes to that is it difficult to change?? One other thing. I did install an aftermarket cd usb stereo in the car couple months back. Will try to check if it uses power when off.
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:51:06 PM   #8
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A short in the wiring would most likely burn up the wires or blow a fuse of fusable link. If the wires are getting warm, something is drawing current within the ratings of the wires. You need to do the testing stated above to find what is drawing power.
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Old 01-30-2013, 11:59:56 PM   #9
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sounds like u have weak cells have bat charged and load tested the heat in the wires is from resistance check for bad connection wires joined half ass by taping and twisted together possible fire hazard
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Old 10-04-2013, 10:26:30 PM   #10
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Im still having same problem with my 71. No hot wires but battery goes dead every 2-3 days. Brand new battery, alternator, starter, distributor. and it is still draining. Hooked test light in between battery and cable light comes on. I started pulling fuses 1 at a time to narrow down which circuit has a short. pulled all fuses and test light still stays on. I'm stuck!!!!
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Old 10-04-2013, 11:24:34 PM   #11
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Even if your batt is fully disconnected in your car our on a bench it WILL discharge. I just replaced one that was less than a year old. Would only hold 69 percent but showed 12.24 volts. I now have a batt tender. We shall see how it works. All my older friends use them for there bikes with no issues. Our diesel mech. said he forgot his for 3 months plugged in and has had no issue. Good luck
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Old 10-04-2013, 11:27:35 PM   #12
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Oh and batts that are in use do discharge naturally. Some at different rates depending on temp and humidity. Think of boats especially your run of the mill 14 ft fishing boat. Even on the go when you fish that batt is discharging.
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Old 10-05-2013, 10:52:20 AM   #13
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This is now a serious issue (at least to me it would be!) Use an ammeter and do the fuse pulling again.

Pull every fuse out and see if the current drop is gone. You should read zero.

If you read anything, start isolating the positive feeds in the car.

Are there any positive lines off the pos term of the battery cable? Trace them.

The pos term goes to the starter solenoid. You could have a short across the solenoid. Remove the positive batt cable from the solenoid and bypass it into the car feed.

Keep looking for current draw. Be careful to remove the pos bat term when removing any positive lead in the car.

You can find this; you just have to spend the time to logically follow the current flow. Good luck!
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Old 10-05-2013, 03:16:54 PM   #14
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If you pull all of the fuses and still have a draw on the battery, disconnect the wire to the output post of the alternator. Then test for battery draw again. I have seen the diodes go bad in an alternator and drain the battery in one day.
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Old 10-05-2013, 11:39:07 PM   #15
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Did all that. I even unplugged the instrument cluster, light switch, w/w motor, cig lighter,starter, alternator, distributor, rear light harness. I'm about to rip out all wires and start from scratch.

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