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  #1  
Old 10-07-2010, 02:18 AM
rampage rampage is offline
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2005 Chevy TrailBlazer LS EXT
Summit White 4.2L I6 2WD
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: 29 Palms CA
Posts: 15
2005 battery drain.

Good evening everyone. This is my first post here and I hate for my first post to be a question.

I've got a 2005 Trailblazer EXT LS, and it's got in the neighborhood of 87kXXX miles on it. I've had a few issues with it since it was purchased new in 2005, but this one may be the most series. Especially now that warranty's up.

My brother was driving the truck home from the next town over when he said all the lights on the dash (CEL, Brake, ABS, airbags, battery, etc..ALL of them) lit up, started flashing and the it started dinging. So he pulled over, turned off the ignition and attempted to turn it over again, but found the battery to be dead.

The truck was towed home and I jumped it (A CRX jumping a Trailblazer is a comical sight), and the truck started again, but the ABS and Brake lights, as well as the Battery indicator were still lit. I let the truck idle for about a half hour, and also found that the windows were rolling up and down very, very slowly. Turn signals/emergency flashers would cause the dash lights and headlights to dim, even with the truck running. And while rolling the driver's side window up, all the lights on the dash came on again, flashing, and the bell started dinging again.

So I turned the ignition off, after letting it run for about another 20 minutes, and nothing. Wouldn't turn over. "Tickticktick", indicating a dead battery.

Battery is about 3 months old and is the 3rd battery I've had in the truck.

I intend to take it to Autozone to hook it up to an OBD monitor tomorrow, but I'd like to know what's happening. I'm thinking the battery is faulty (Which doesn't explain the power loss when the truck is running) or the alternator going bad.

Anyone else have any ideas? I'll sleep better with some piece of mind tonight.

Thanks ahead of time.
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  #2  
Old 10-07-2010, 03:10 AM
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Chickenhawk Chickenhawk is offline
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2004 Chevy TrailBlazer LT
Medium Red Metallic 4.2L I6 4X4
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Make sure they load-test the battery.

There is a high initial failure rate on batteries, especially cheaper brands, because the thinner plates can break during shipping and it causes all kinds of weird symptoms.

During the load-test, watch them do it and get them to show you the actual reading. It will indicate the number of CCA (cold-cranking amps) the battery is capable of when under load. (Hence, the term "load-test.") A good battery should read 700 or more. A bad or failing battery may be under 500.

If the battery is okay, I would look at replacing the ignition switch.

Personally, I think it sounds like an ignition switch to me but it is always best to start with the easiest and cheapest diagnostic test. Bad ignition switches can't really be diagnosed, but they are only $40 or so and are easily replaced in your driveway if you follow the instructions on this site.

Good luck and let us know what happens.
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  #3  
Old 10-07-2010, 09:56 PM
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gmcman gmcman is offline
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2002 GMC Envoy SLT
Onyx Black 4.2L I6 4X4
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Definately load-test the battery first, if it checks out...it may be the alternator. An alternator can be bad and not trip the charging light as long as it's putting out at least 11 volts or whatever these need to keep the light off...just won't work under load.

Check the cables, make sure they are tight and clean...no corrosion.

After all is working again make sure there are no aftermarket goodies pulling the battery down...but the alternator should be able to keep the vehicle running when in good working order...after all, the alternator is the main supply of power.
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  #4  
Old 10-11-2010, 08:12 PM
rampage rampage is offline
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2005 Chevy TrailBlazer LS EXT
Summit White 4.2L I6 2WD
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Location: 29 Palms CA
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I took the truck into a trusted local place today (Our local dealership closed a couple years ago) and was told that the "Electronic portion of the ignition switch" was bad and wasn't sending enough power to the starter motor.

They want $300 to replace it.

I looked up the ignition switch on Autozone and it's a $30.00 part..and the instructions on the site make it look like it's plug-and-play simple..

If I replace the ignition switch, will it also replace the "Electronic portion" of teh switch as well? Or is there another component I need to look out for?
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  #5  
Old 11-18-2010, 03:08 AM
rampage rampage is offline
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2005 Chevy TrailBlazer LS EXT
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Okay, it's been a bit over a month. The vehicles owner, not being one to trust "handyman work" took the truck to a dealer and paid nearly $400 to have the ignition switch replaced.

Within a week, the "slow start", as it was diagnosed, was back. Starting the truck, the turn-over was very slow, and sometimes you will only get the "tickticktick" sound of a dead battery. But voltage seems fine..Windows roll up and down, headlights are bright. When you do turn the truck over, voltage dips so low that the clock resets to 12:00 and the radio loses presets...

So now I know it wasn't the ignition switch causing the issue, and if it was, we were given a faulty unit.

However, something recent has drawn me to ask another question.

Within the last day, behind the rear passenger-side interior quarter panel, about 2 feet forward of the tail light assembly, a loud "knock" is coming from a "box" under the interior panel. It sounds like something arcing. I don't know what that box belongs to--climate control, maybe? But I'm wondering if something in that box is shorting, could that be the cause of the low-voltage at start-up?

AutoZone tested the battery again and told me it's fine. I may take it back a third time and just demand a new battery since it is under a lifetime warranty..It really does seem as if the battery isn't providing enough CCA. But that "knock" has me wondering if it's something in the climate control system, or what?

Thanks in advance, and thanks for putting up with my speculation.
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  #6  
Old 11-18-2010, 05:08 AM
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Bill W Bill W is offline
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2002 GMC Envoy SLT XUV
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Your symptoms remind me of a similar problem I had with a previous vehicle. After several trips back to the dealer who couldn't get it to duplicate they kept it one more time and traced it back to the neg cable not being grounded securely. The play allowed it to start sometimes when the connection was good and the next time I'd get the tick-tick-tick.
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  #7  
Old 11-18-2010, 11:15 AM
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the roadie the roadie is offline
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2004 GMC Envoy SLT "Roadiemobile"
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rampage View Post
Okay, it's been a bit over a month. The vehicles owner, not being one to trust "handyman work" ...
He's been drinking that dealer-provided kool-aid again, eh? Or he's been burned by "handymen" and never heard of competent independent mechanics?
Quote:
...took the truck to a dealer and paid nearly $400 to have the ignition switch replaced.
Seriously, even at full GM list price, that's only a $35 item. Did they get him for 3 hours labor at $120 an hour? Wish the GM rep who monitors this site could look up book rate labor charges for procedures like this, but then we really don't know if any other procedures were done while they had their mitts on the vehicle.
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  #8  
Old 12-30-2010, 10:19 AM
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54inches 54inches is offline
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2007 Chevy TrailBlazer LS
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Any solution, I am having the same problem, but it always starts, just slow and everything works.

Going to have the battery tested today. Cables feel great.
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  #9  
Old 01-06-2011, 06:12 AM
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Sand Wagon Sand Wagon is offline
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2002 GMC Envoy SLE
Pewter Metallic 4.2L I6 4X4
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Found my battery drain cause

I had an ongoing battery drain with my 02 Envoy. I read all the threads I could about the issue, but none were very definitive about what the final solution was. I had my battery load tested at Advance Auto, and it was bad, so I got a new one free. The next day, it was dead. Probably the repeated draining killed it. I started troubleshooting using tips from posts, mostly provided by Roadie. I was careful to connect a current meter without interrupting the circuit, and spent some time pulling fuses and watching the meters (I had one to the underhood fuse block and another to the interior fuse block). Several fuse pulls reduced the drain, but didn't eliminate it, untill I pulled the fuse to the drivers door module. The current went down immediately, then went to near zero in seconds. Several days without the DDM, and everything worked fine. Bought a new used DDM from a local salvage operation for $60 and all is well. Sounds quick, but it took lots of time to find this. Tried removing the OnStar module, replaced the ignition switch, remover the radio fuse, still drained the battery overnight. Thought I'd share this find, since I would have liked to find it sooner.....
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  #10  
Old 01-06-2011, 10:40 AM
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Topher Topher is offline
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2002 GMC Envoy SLT
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The 3rd battery tells me this isn't a battery issue. Based on what happened in the original post, this sounds like an alternator issue.
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