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Old 04-21-2012, 12:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Electrical Issues

A bunch of electrical issues have started to appear on my 2003 Z. The car has 45K on it and is garaged. I live in Las Vegas with nice weather. Anyway these are some of the issues in order. I suspect bad grounds. First when locking the car with the key fob the horn sounded weak or somtimes would not sound at all. Thought maybe the battery was going dead. Wrong. Battery is fine. Next, the turn signal indicators would stay light on dashboard. Then headlights would not open or retract. Had to play around with control stalk and things started to work only to reappear. Most serious the car started to overheat because the electric fans did not come on. Then the A/C started to act up. It did not want to come on, etc. These are the latest codes B0441 and P1539. I'm well aware of the codes meaning. I'm paronoid about the coolant temps and watch it for problems checking to make sure the fans are on. It seems to being working for now. FYI
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Old 04-21-2012, 04:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Electrical Issues

How old is the battery? These cars act real dumb with a weak or old battery.
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Old 04-22-2012, 12:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Electrical Issues

The battery is about 4 years old. It's a red top optima. I forgot to mention that I also had problems with the left headlight motor running while the car was shut off. This caused the battery to run down and the car would not start because of the low battery. This has happened several times. So I had to recharge the battery. When I bought the car about 4 years ago it did not have the stock battery. It was a interstate battery. I replaced it with the Optima battery because it is a sealed battery vs a vented battery. You may be correct. I still have the interstate battery. I'll clean the grounds and swap batterys. See what happens. Las Vegas hot weather is known for killing batterys in a short period of time.

Thanks for the insight.

PS: I was thinking to replace the battery with a yellow top or maybe a stronger lightweight sealed battery.
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Old 04-22-2012, 04:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Electrical Issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by BLKWIDOW View Post
The battery is about 4 years old. It's a red top optima. I forgot to mention that I also had problems with the left headlight motor running while the car was shut off. This caused the battery to run down and the car would not start because of the low battery. This has happened several times. So I had to recharge the battery. When I bought the car about 4 years ago it did not have the stock battery. It was a interstate battery. I replaced it with the Optima battery because it is a sealed battery vs a vented battery. You may be correct. I still have the interstate battery. I'll clean the grounds and swap batterys. See what happens. Las Vegas hot weather is known for killing batterys in a short period of time.

Thanks for the insight.

PS: I was thinking to replace the battery with a yellow top or maybe a stronger lightweight sealed battery.


If you are going to buy a new battery, get the right one from GM, a Delco Professional Battery with the proper CCA and RC. Optimas are junk!
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Old 04-22-2012, 06:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Electrical Issues

Fix the headlight. The cheap plastic gears are probably ground down. Get the bronze gears. That will eliminate that issue...plus its a nasty sound when that thing grinds and grinds after the headlamp is closed.
If thats causing a drain on the battery and thus weakening it to the point where a bunch of gremlins are showing up, maybe that will fix it.

As far as the RedTop, I got one in my Z, and it has been working great since 2003, or maybe it was 2005, one of those two years, had to get a new battery because the POS GM put in there stock crapped out with no wanring and convieniently I had a trunk load of groceries.....go figure
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Old 04-23-2012, 06:56 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Electrical Issues

I also have a '03 which I purchased new. Except for the headlight problem, I have had most of what you describe. A weak battery was the cause. As mentioned above our cars go haywire with a weak battery---that might still test OK. I stick with the AC Delco Pro six year battery and here in hot South Florida I get about 3-4 years out of it. Hope this helps.:doh:
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Old 04-23-2012, 08:55 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Electrical Issues

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Originally Posted by Melsy View Post
I stick with the AC Delco Pro six year battery and here in hot South Florida I get about 3-4 years out of it. Hope this helps.:doh:
I replaced my original AC Delco at 4 years, (it was still good) just for the piece of mind, with another AC Delco. About 4 years in this desert heat.

Yes, these cars will act stupid when the battery is weak or has bad cells.
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Old 04-23-2012, 09:32 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Electrical Issues

The C5 has 23 relays ( more for C6) !

People think because a battery shows 12 volts that all is well when really on a cold start you have to consider just as much what the current load is with cranking load plus relay coil current loads.

Functions like column lock ETBCM, HVAC can require a high current load onto battery and charge system

The controllers themselves on startup are a huge current drain and they must have the correct voltage to them or they will not work correctly and even the PCM commands the engine differently when voltage levels change.

Battery load testers are cheap, like $50, people should own one and test their car battery every few months to assure the battery cells are not degraded and cannot handle high current loads and MUST use a battery tender

This problem cannot be solved until car makers are forced to go to 36 or 48 volt systems as more and more controllers are being added and small gauge wire is used to reduce car weights but reduces the current load the wire can support

As car gets older, weak/dirty grounds (including inside the ground spice packs) relays get weak but also because they are so small that bumps in the road can force a relay to get stuck into a ON state

Good every few months to force relays to change state like changing seat, steering wheel, rearview mirrors, positions to force relays to change state.

Look at both fuse panels, the label inside cover tells you what each relay handles and you knowing what should be used to cause relay change of state.
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Old 04-23-2012, 10:43 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Electrical Issues

A 4 year old battery is asking for trouble on these cars. I wouldn't waste any time troubleshooting until the battery was replaced. (regardless of whether or not it tests ok) Given enough time, I believe you could get every electrical code possible.
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Old 04-23-2012, 01:17 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Electrical Issues

I cleaned the grounds. No issues with them. The battery is putting out 12.16 volt on a load test. Charging the interstate battery to swap for some tests. I believe you guys are correct, the battery is shot. I just thought it odd as I had a red top optima in my 66 Chevy truck for over 7 years. The truck would sit for 3 or 4 months. It would always start. Then, again it has no computer or battery draw. There is no question I'll be using a sealed valve regulated AGM battery. This is to prevent acid and fumes from eating up the wiring, etc. Anyway, thats the type battery which came stock with the car. They are not the best battery. The best batterys are the flooded type, but you have to deal with the battery acid and fumes. Thanks for all your insight and suggestions. I'll let you know what happens.
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Old 05-02-2012, 05:37 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Electrical Issues

I replaced the battery and the car runs great. No issues any more with electrical problems. Thanks for you insight and help.:gjob:
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Old 05-06-2012, 09:44 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Electrical Issues

great thread...I've been thinking about replacing my original 8 yr old battery for peace of mind. Still fires right up and has never been on a charger --- I guess I got a freak battery.
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:37 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Electrical Issues

My first lasted six years, the second one crapped out on me today. That will give me something to do this afternoon.
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Old 12-21-2013, 09:34 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Electrical Issues

Sometimes my turn signals won't work, or they will work for about 4 or 5 clicks then stop! Also my passenger-side window won't go down anymore, but I think that's just a motor problem. And, half of the time, when I use my wipers, they won't go all the way down on the resting downstroke or when I turn them off. Any suggestions?
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