2003 1500 silverado batteries dead

Discussion in 'Chevy Truck Forum' started by BorisMD, Feb 7, 2011.

  1. BorisMD

    BorisMD Member

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    Hi all,

    I just replaced the alternator and both batteries in this truck. Now, the batteries are not holding a charge. There's no idiot light on in the dash.

    Any thoughts on if I have a voltage leak somewhere, or is there some relay or fuse that would prevent the batteries from taking a charge? I can jump start it no problem, and it runs fine.

    Thanks,

    Boris
     
  2. USMCjustice45

    USMCjustice45 New Member

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    Not sure if this will help but....

    I have a 95 k1500 and i just had the same electrical problem. My truck was broke for like 2 months I replaced everything, but like you said battery still kept dying. Come to find out my ground was bad. Its been replaced and now my truck runs just fine. May be worth checking that out.
     
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  3. leolkfrm

    leolkfrm Full Member

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    both batteries? is it a camper special? or just a duel setup? put a volt meter on the batteries and see what it reads...as mentioned make sure all cables are clen and sound, don't forget the chassis ground off the battery
     
  4. BorisMD

    BorisMD Member

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    Ok, thanks for the replies.

    Here's more info:

    Today I tried to jump it, and it was a no go.

    I called AAA and they came out and tested the battery and it had 875 CCA -- plenty of juice. They hooked up the starter pack to the side terms and we tried to start, we got lights, door chime and one click from the starter, then everything went dead.

    So, the battery is good, I believe the alternator is good (just replaced a few months ago).

    I believe the dual battery setup is due to a previous owner having a plow on it.

    What's weird is that the first two times this past weekend, when I jumped it, it worked. It even restarted after sitting for about an hour. Now, nothing.

    So, I'm thinking there must be some type of short or non-functioning relay or loose connection that starts to send current when given extra current, but then quickly drops the connection (gets hot?).

    I'll probably have to have it towed tomorrow -- it's parked street side and it's going to be way below zero tonight.

    Regards,

    Boris
     
  5. 88fivespd

    88fivespd Full Member

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  6. az10sbum

    az10sbum Full Member

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    Here how to troubleshoot this kind of problem. Remember, you must put the meter probes on the correct point in this sequence, and you must read the voltage while the motor is cranking. It makes no difference if the lights, ignition, etc come on normally. You are looking for a bad connection that could have a resistance of less than 0.1 ohm. For anything except cranking, 0.1 ohms is fine. Cranking takes several hundred amps, so 0.1 ohms is a no-go. This is what we are looking for. The only way to find it is to measure the voltage while the engine is cranking.

    1. Put the meter leads directly on the battery terminals, not the battery cables. Directly on the battery. Negative lead to negative, positive to positive. Crank the engine. If the voltage stays up at about 12V, the battery is good. If it drops, the battery is bad. No need to continue.

    2. Leave the negative meter lead on the negative battery terminal. Move the positive lead to the battery cable where it attaches to the battery. Crank the engine. If the voltage drops, the battery cable connection to the battery at the plus terminal is bad. If bad, you must fix it. If good continue.

    3. Leave the positive meter lead on the positive battery cable. Move the negative meter lead to the negative battery cable. Crank the engine. If the voltage drops, the battery cable connection to the battery at the negative terminal is bad. If bad, you must fix it. If good continue.

    4. Leave the positive meter lead on the positive battery cable. Move the negative meter lead to the engine block. Crank the engine. If the voltage drops, negative cable or the connection to the block is bad. Fix it. If good continue.

    5. Measure from the starter motor where the large terminal attaches to the starter motor for the positive meter lead. Leave the negative meter lead on the engine block. Crank the engine. If the voltage drops, the positive battery cable or the connection to the starter motor is bad. Fix it. If the voltage is good, run the test again with the negative meter lead right on the starter motor housing. If the voltage is good, you have proven that the battery and battery cables are good.

    6. Measure from the starter motor where the small terminal attaches to the starter motor for the positive meter lead. Place the negative meter lead right on the starter housing. Crank the engine. If the voltage is good (about 12 volts), then you have a bad starter. If it is bad, you have a bad starter relay or ignition switch.

    Remember, never wear rings, watches, etc when doing these tests. A short to the battery will instantly turn these items red hot, and that just sucks!

    Hope that helps.
     
  7. BorisMD

    BorisMD Member

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    Wow, thanks for that instruction -- as clear as I could ask for. What do I owe you?

    Now I just have to get the truck to my garage -- it's minus 10 F this AM, and working outside just doesn't have the appeal it used to.

    Regards,

    Boris
     
  8. az10sbum

    az10sbum Full Member

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    Just let us know what you find -- that's all you owe!

    Like i said, the tricky part is just that starting requires such high currents that things like normal ohm readings can't find the problem. For example, ohm meter leads themselves have a higher resistance than the problem you are looking for. A laboratory "4 wire ohms" meter could find the problem, but the easy way is to have someone try to crank the engine while measuring volts.

    Good luck.
     
  9. BorisMD

    BorisMD Member

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    I will certainly report back.

    One additional question... do you know if I can jump start using the red jump terminal and putting black on something like the braided ground on the firewall? That would be a huge help. The truck is currently on the side of the road, and here's what was outside my bedroom window:

    [​IMG]

    Regards,

    Boris
     
  10. az10sbum

    az10sbum Full Member

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    I believe you should have a large (thick) negative cable going from the battery to the engine around the manifold. The starter motor will get its negative from being bolted to the engine, and its positive from the thick positive cable running to the battery. If it is a problem with the negative battery cable then connecting the jumper battery to the block instead of the negative terminal of the battery would help. Maybe try to connect the jumper cable to the same point as the negative battery cable because that will be suitable for sure. You need a good connection that can handle a lot of current.

    I would not connect the jumper cable negative to the chassis because then huge current must flow through the chassis through the chassis to block wire and then to the starter motor. If your negative cable is really bad, you would be putting all that current through a small wire.
     

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