Battery keeps dying [Archive] - Chevy TrailBlazer, TrailBlazer SS and GMC Envoy Forum

: Battery keeps dying

05-12-2010, 07:55 PM
Woke up and my battery was dead. Had it checked at autozone and they said it was good and recharged it. Put it back in my 2003 envoy st 6cyl 4wd and it started. Next day the battery is almost dead again and the truck barely started. the aternator seems fine as it is charging at 14 volts so I can't figure out what it is. Something must be drawing power from the battery but I can't figure out what it is. Any suggestions or help would be appreciated.

05-12-2010, 07:58 PM
I'm assuming that this is NOT the original factory battery, right? Longest you should go w/ a battery is 5 yrs....and that's even pushing it.

Have any add-on electrical devices that may be drawing power even when key is off? Remote starter? Amps? etc

05-12-2010, 08:19 PM
battery is four years old and it has a seven year warranty thats why i took it to autozone but they said it was good. I have no remote starter or amps, it is stock.

05-12-2010, 08:31 PM
Woke up and my battery was dead. Had it checked at autozone and they said it was good and recharged it. Put it back in my 2003 envoy st 6cyl 4wd and it started. Next day the battery is almost dead again and the truck barely started. the aternator seems fine as it is charging at 14 volts so I can't figure out what it is. Something must be drawing power from the battery but I can't figure out what it is. Any suggestions or help would be appreciated.

had this problem a few years ago with my 2003 trailblazer you need to get a drain test to see what is staying on when the key is off that soved my problem . but if you are on the original battery at 6 to 7 years old that would be the first thing i would change the battery first

05-12-2010, 08:34 PM
it could be onstar not going to sleep or any other system. if you added any hard wired electrons to your car try rewiring them

05-12-2010, 08:47 PM
Just a thought..

LGM.. Turn everything off and lock the vehicle via the keyfob. Go to the rear of the truck and put your ear near the license plate and just listen. The hatch will continually try to lock itself, even though it's locked already. I've had this problem for years, i just don't lock my TB anymore (when i drive it, which is rare)

Try not locking it overnight, or pulling the fuse under the rear seat and see if that helps. Problem with pulling the fuse is you'll lose your power seats, seat heaters (if equipped) and some other key items.

05-12-2010, 09:18 PM
thanks for all the help will try to figure it out. How do you a drain test?

Brian K
03-27-2011, 02:51 PM
I'm having the same problem - battery dies in a couple of days if not used. I have an 09 so I don't think a bad battery is the problem. One thing I've noticed though is that there are some devices that power off when the key is removed - like the GPS I have plugged into the power outlet in the center console. Lately the GPS doesn't say "power off in 10 minutes" when I take the key out so I suspect there is some module that should power off when the key is out and that is not happening. Anyone know where the module for the power outlet in the center console is?
Thanks for the help.

03-28-2011, 09:45 AM

Did you recently move the plug from one outlet to the other? I "think" one is constant power and one isn't. At least it seems that way on my truck.


Brian K
03-28-2011, 11:14 AM
I'm using the plug inside the center console - not the 2 outlets on the lower dash area. (I didn't realize these lower dash plugs were "1 power/1 no power" with the key off though - I'll check that too - maybe a common power off module)

the roadie
03-28-2011, 11:27 AM
I believe (from reading the shop manual schematics) that all accessory outlets are constantly on. If a unit like a GPS powers off automatically, I bet it's because it detects the drop in voltage from around 13.8 when the engine's running to the lower voltage around 12.6 when it's not. It could also be looking for engine-related ignition noise. And a really smart GPS could use that as a clue to go to a battery-saving sleep mode. My trailer brake controller (Prodigy) does that.

03-28-2011, 11:40 AM
My Garmin is a dumb one, cause it doesn't power down unless I remove the plug from the outlet.


PS: Brian, I have an 02, didn't even know the newer models had an outlet in the console.

03-28-2011, 12:30 PM
If you have a digital voltmeter(even a 2.99 unit from harbour freight) you can find what circuit is at fault by placing the meter "inline" with the positive batt terminal and cable and set meter on amps. Now you will alway have a little draw due to bcm,ecu and such but you are looking for a large draw that will drain batt overnight. If you have a large draw, you can eliminate one circuit at a time by removing its fuse-when the amps drop significantly, you found the circuit that is drawing power. I believe you can also do this with a test light, but its not my bag.

04-01-2011, 03:55 PM
Hi my 2003 LT's batter would drain for no reason too. I believe GM had a bad batch of ignition switches.
Try the following:
Remove key, try to turn ignition switch (without key inserted). If any of the dash lights come on replace the ignition switch.
This solved my problem. . . Good luck!

04-03-2011, 08:40 PM
I am in the same boat here. I bought my TB used from a chevy dealer here locally. They had just put a brand new GM battery on it before I purchased. It started this about 2 months after I got it. I went back and they said the battery was good no issues. The truck charges fine.

Now I have a battery keeper mounted permenantly on the truck because it will go dead overnight. It's been to cold to mess with it, and this was the best solution for the time.

Now it's getting worse, it used to go all day, not it won't. Can local shops do the battery drain test, or is this something that GM can do? The dealers just say "xxx per hour" and that could get high.

Just trying to figure out the best bet. It's my busy season and I don't have tons of time to fight this thing. It's my wife's vehicle and I don't want her stranded.

I have not heard the lock thing, but I do have aftermarket (dealer installed ) dvd player and 2 screens in the headrest. They stay on all the time along with a fm modulator in the center console. And Onstar constantly says (service onstar)

I figure by now the battery is toast due to the constant charging to keep it running.

Any other neat tricks to check out before I have to go spend tons of money on this thing.

Brian K
04-03-2011, 09:26 PM
My battery lasts longer than a day thankfully. Mine drained in a week when it was -30C this winter. Voltage was down to about 5 volts. I reconditioned the battery (with one of those new electronic battery charges) and then charged it up. It hasn't let me down since but it doesn't crank too fast if I leave it for 3-4 days without running it.
I was a bit incorrect in where I said I got the power for the GPS a few posts back - the power comes from the power outlet on the back of the center console - (there isn't one inside the console). I wired a second power outlet in parallel with this and I ran it inside the dash so I could run the GPS power cord down the front pillar then into the dash where it plugs into my power outlet.

I have a Scan Gauge and monitor my voltage (and not rely on the dash gauge). When the engine is running - volts are bout 14.9 - 15.1 which is a bit high I think. When I shut the engine off, the volts drop to about 12.3 fairly quickly and the GPS doesn't shut itself down even if left overnight - but it used to shut itself down when the engine was stopped. Pulling the power to the GPS causes it to shut itself down.
So one day I"ll connect a ammeter, see what the draw is and pull fuses until I can tell which is causing the draw.
Mine is stil under warranty so I hope to find the problem before it costs me big $$.

Jay Light
04-03-2011, 11:24 PM
My 2006 does it too. This being my second TB with electrical problems I say there a pos vehicle and theres a reason they stopped making them. Just my:m2:

04-09-2011, 06:30 PM
If you are experiencing discharging battery problems you must eliminate the obvious first. I would not let anything stay on all the time unless it came that way from the factory. In other words. GPS, video players, laptops etc should be unplugged to avoid battery drain regardless if you are experiencing a problem or not. These items should be on only as long as the time delay allows with a stopped engine. I am not saying this is the problem but lets cut the pie and start from there. Now if you know you have a problem with onstar you need to have it fixed or pull the fuse on it. Any competent shop or friend with some electronics knowledge should be able to determine how much current is being supplied by the battery with the ignition switched off. make sure your map lights are off and don't forget about those vanity lights on your visor. They can drain a battery too and since they are usually closed and tucked up out of the way they are sometimes forgotten about. Some vehicles have lights under the hood too. (don't forget them.) And as I stated earlier, turn off the vehicle and remove the key. now jiggle the ignition switch back and forth and watch for dash lights to come on. If anything lights up have the switch replaced. My 03 dogged me for weeks until I found that one. I used my jumper cables more in those 3 weeks than anytime before or since. I am not saying the switch is the problem but knowing your DVD player stays on all the time is not helping things. So start at the begining and Good luck!:m2:

04-10-2011, 11:25 PM
Well, it seems to be the Body Control Module won't power off, and the ignition switch. That is the first diagnosis. It goes again to another shop this week, as the other shop couldn't get the BCM so there was no charge.

If it does take both, which this "previous" chevy dealer is saying that it may just only be the ignition switch causing the BCM not to power off, the it would be $500 or less for everything.

Does that seem about right, or a little high. One chevy dealer quoted me $1000+ for the same work.

It seems the BCM and all of this has also taken out the air regulator under the dash.. Yeah, something else to spend money on.

04-12-2011, 02:12 PM
$500 to replace an ignition switch seems very high. Although it's been about 5 years since I had that work done, I would get a few estimates. It should only take about an hour or so replace the switch. You may want to look the part up on line and get some idea of the cost of a new switch. (Make sure it's an OEM part.) I would start with the just the switch and go from there. That is the most logical step. Many times garages are too quick to shotgun everything to solve problems. Although this usually fixes the problem it is not good troubleshooting and leaves the customer paying for needless parts.
Good luck! I hope this matter gets resolved quickly and inexpensively!

04-12-2011, 10:30 PM
That price is for ignition switch, and Body Control Mod. It was worst case scenario from the shop if they had to replace all. They are going to test to see if it's just one or the other. The switch cost $60 and then I would say 1 hr labor, prob $75 or less for that.

That's just my guess. I can't get a free moment to get it in until Friday so I am hoping they can come up with something then.

04-12-2011, 11:50 PM
I thought I read a post on here about someones radio draining their battery overnight. I can't find the thread though. Had a problem with the power delay shut off like when you open your door the radio turns off. I wish I had more info on this but beyond that I have nothing else useful to add, sorry.

Brian K
04-26-2011, 10:51 AM
I'm having another wierd problem that I assume is due to low battery voltage - maybe. When I try to lock the doors with the remote, I have it programmed so the that I get horn feedback. Lately I was noticing that the horn wasn't working when I locked it and thought I might have changed the program. Then I noticed that there was a bit of a clunking noise at the horn so it was getting power - just not enough to make a loud noise - just like when the battery is low. Also - sometimes the horn doesn't work when I'm driving but sometimes it does. This is strange. The dash voltmeter (and scan gauge) show about 14.9 volts so that shouldn't be a problem when driving. Perhaps there is a bad ground somewhere. If it keeps up I'll take it to the dealer. The problem is that it is intermittent so I know if I take it in it will work OK and I'll be out the diagnostic charge only to hear that nothing is wrong. Good old GM quality at work here.

Brian K
06-23-2011, 01:55 PM
Took it into the dealer today after too long without a horn (finger still working well though!) They found a bad "Low Note" horn and a defective ground wire 6" inches from the termination point on the frame. They found the bad ground when they noticed the lights dimming when the horn was activated. It took a good tech to find this as bad grounds are difficult at the best of times to troublehsoot and actually find so I'm happy I took it in to them rather than trying to do this myself. This might explain other funny electrical problems I've noticed like the right turn signal fast flashing occasionally (usually means a burnt out bulb), funny operation of a power outlet - GPS plugged into it used to detect power off and shut itself down but lately it hasn't done this.
All this coincides with a battery run down problem I had in the winter when the battery ran down completely and it took high amps on the charger to get it charged up again.
All under warranty too!!!