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Help! No power, third new Red Top Optima this year

Melificent

Active Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2018
Messages
25
Location
Virginia
My XLR/V(s)
2004 Crimson Pearl Red XLR
I still haven't figured out what in the $%^^$ is going on with mine!!:mad: I have tried at least 10 different suggestions from this forum, nothing is working. I'm currently on the THIRD NEW Red top Optima battery since this FEBRUARY!!! What sucks is that when I had this problem last time, I eventually had it towed to the dealership, where they told me it was my starter. I don't get how a bad starter would cause my car to lose all power, but I'm a nurse, not a mechanic. So $1K later, it drives great- for 3 months. Now, I'm having the EXACT same problem I had earlier this year. EXACTLY the same. So, I'm super skeptical that the problem was just a bad starter. Something is draining my battery I guess-

Before I have it towed again,
:(, can anyone tell me why a new battery on a float charger loses charge almost immediately after I open the door? No power at all, have to go through trunk and manually open door to get in and out. The battery is connected, the battery tender is hooked up, and it goes from green to yellow every night, without anything starting up. The only thing that has powered up are the brake lights flashing, which I was told was the theft deterrent system.

Any ideas or suggestions, as always, are appreciated! I have literally tried every suggestion on this forum so far, so I really am trying. I'm an Neuro nurse who is working many long shifts, and unfortunately my car may sit for a few days if we are at capacity.
 

pure zen

Seasoned Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2014
Messages
789
Location
AZ
My XLR/V(s)
2005 Crimson Pearl XLR
" The battery is connected, the battery tender is hooked up, and it goes from green to yellow every night, without anything starting up."

What brand of battery tender are you using? Should be going to solid green, to show its charged. Maybe one of the good tech members
will check-in to advise you,,,,but defiantly sounds like a 'electrical drain' issue. If there is a hi-quality, electrical automotive diagnosis shop in your area,
that may end up where you need to go.
 

Gord

Seasoned Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2019
Messages
189
Location
Montreal, Canada
My XLR/V(s)
2004 #67
Morning,
Did you get warranty on the batteries btw? I sure hope you didn't have to keep buying and buying!

There's so, so much that could be drawing the battery down it's really hard to pinpoint outright. There will always be some current draw because of all the systems running and being kept 'hot' even when the car is off, but that sure shouldn't kill a new battery overnight.

I might start by looking for the obvious: once again, dirty or bad connections. You have a direct positive line running from the battery to the starter and I suppose if you wanted to eliminate the starter from the list, disconnect that line at the starter and isolate it for a night. And if it was all dirty, make sure it's super clean before putting it back.

Ditto to the alternator. I forget which model of car it was but I did have one that would bleed current backwards from the battery through to the alternator / regulator somehow (maybe a diode issue), and while it never flattened the battery that quick, the current running rampant through the alternator made a mess of the armature in quite short time. A much simpler car, I got in the habit of just disconnecting the positive terminal when I knew it wasn't going to be used for any length of time.

Those should be the 'big draw' items. I would think anything else normally wouldn't empty the battery overnight unless something just isn't turning off, but for a battery of that apparent quality and amperage, well, it would have to be something quite significant I would believe.

If I'm not mistaken, the previous owner of my car, after a significant battery issue, had determined some glitch with the inside mirror not doing what it was supposed to. He told me 'recall to push this button when you're done' - darned if I can recall what button it was...maybe the auto-dimming or whatever else you might find up there. He did say it fixed the problem, however his problem didn't occur at the rate yours does, which is why one would think to look at the big potential draws first.

When the battery is all charged up on a good day, does the starter spin the engine over properly? And does the dash voltmeter show a running charge of say, 14 volts?

I actually have the same battery you do in my car and it's on a trickle charger most of the time and isolated (both leads to the car are off). If I take it off the charger for a day and hook the charger back up again, it will ask for more!?! That really shouldn't be...it makes me begin to question the quality of said brand of battery unfortunately. In another car I own, it has a gel-cell battery and that thing is a decade old and doesn't lose boo even over months. Still cranks with plenty of poop too so just saying...

When your car didn't start, how did you get it going again? If it was jumped, ditto to above - did the starter spin the engine over properly?

This is a solvable issue - it's just going to take a bit of time and patience. As always, 9 out of 10 electrical problems are a bad connection so keep that in mind as you (or your mechanic) poke around. Connections must be clean and tight everywhere.

HTH!

Gord :thumbsup
 

Hudson River Steve

Active Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2015
Messages
29
Location
New York
My XLR/V(s)
2005 XLR
I know it is frustrating but there is a logical explanation. It won't be able to be solved on this forum. It will take someone who has a good understanding of the cars electrical system. They will need to isolate the current draw to properly diagnose the problem.
Find someone in your area that is an auto electrical expert that is willing to work to find your issue.

Sent from my SM-N975U using Tapatalk
 

Melificent

Active Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2018
Messages
25
Location
Virginia
My XLR/V(s)
2004 Crimson Pearl Red XLR
" The battery is connected, the battery tender is hooked up, and it goes from green to yellow every night, without anything starting up."

What brand of battery tender are you using? Should be going to solid green, to show its charged. Maybe one of the good tech members
will check-in to advise you,,,,but defiantly sounds like a 'electrical drain' issue. If there is a hi-quality, electrical automotive diagnosis shop in your area,
that may end up where you need to go.

I have a Schumaher [FONT=&quot] 6V/12V Fully Automatic Battery Maintainer on it now -
[/FONT]
ordered this after researching on the forum and this was suggested by several members. One of the posts suggests that I may need to try multiple times with the key fob in glove compartment to " reset" or recognize after a new battery. I agree, there is totally something draining the battery somewhere, my trunk and top were not working due to the water issue, one post suggested these components could be causing a drain. Will try that now on my day off--fingers crossed!!
Thanks !


[h=1]
[/h][h=1][/h]
 

IAN

Seasoned Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2015
Messages
496
Location
Province of Québec
My XLR/V(s)
2004 silver XLR
Starter problem

Melificient.

Most of the time the battery is the problem, because not using too many time the car and with no tender connected to the battery to keep it full charge.

If your dealer say it was the starter after he scanned your XLR he was meaning perhaps that the solenoids switch has fails, that item is part of the starter.
The solenoid interior element could be defective and it could stop the battery current to go at the starter when you press on the starter button.
Electrical problems on a old sofisticat system such as an XLR, could be of many components of the car.

Enclosed are some images that explains how usely the system is working and a XLR starter with its solenoid switch.

Your car needs to be scanned by knowledgeable mechanics it is obvious, they are the experts and i beleive that your dealer as great chance to be one of them, call the service manager and explain him your concern and asking what he was meaning when he said the starter is the problem.

Good Luck

IAN :wave:

starting_system[1].gifA1        Centre Électric 0302186Y02-006[1] (3).jpg
 

xlrlist01

Seasoned Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2013
Messages
252
Location
HSV
I have a Schumaher 6V/12V Fully Automatic Battery Maintainer on it now -
ordered this after researching on the forum and this was suggested by several members. One of the posts suggests that I may need to try multiple times with the key fob in glove compartment to " reset" or recognize after a new battery. I agree, there is totally something draining the battery somewhere, my trunk and top were not working due to the water issue, one post suggested these components could be causing a drain. Will try that now on my day off--fingers crossed!!
Thanks !




If you have a fully working battery tender connected and it is showing fully charged, with no problems, then the parasitic draw on the battery doesn't matter, the tender will be providing enough to cover that. The tender I use goes through a series of different charging profiles until it is happy the battery is fully charged and then it goes into a sustain mode. In the sustain mode, it charges (or maintains charge) for 30 mins and then shuts down for 30 mins. It monitors the load on the battery and if it detects a parasitic draw it considers too high, it sets a warning lamp. Does your tender do something similar? Mine isn't made any more, but the latest types should be even more sophisticated. If the battery tender is not showing a fault, I would suggest looking to see if the alternator/charge system on your X is faulty.

BTW, I have never had to use the key fob in the glove compartment to get things working again after disconnecting the battery. All I have to do is re-index the windows. Sometimes the door mirrors move to a new position and I adjust them back again, resetting their memory position.
 
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richardyoo

Seasoned Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2009
Messages
312
Location
Houston, TX
My XLR/V(s)
2006 Silver XLR-V
I have a Schumaher 6V/12V Fully Automatic Battery Maintainer on it now -
ordered this after researching on the forum and this was suggested by several members.

I don't have any experience with that particular battery maintainer... but I have about 6 CTEK units for various cars and they have never killed a single one of my batteries, and have brought many of them back to life...

CTEK is the OE manufacturer for all the car brands... in fact they make the charger for the Corvette as well...

If you suspect there's a problem with your battery maintainer, I'd highly recommend getting a CTEK

Also - since you've gone through so many batteries so quickly, it unlikely the battery... but I gave up on Optima a few years ago and switched to Odyssey... over time I' have switched all my vehicles to Odyssey and I have been much happier. Optimia used to be my go-to battery brand, but after they were sold their quality was never been the same... I had to send batteries in for warranty frequently... since i've switched to Odyssey I have not sent a single unit in for replacement - they appear to take a little abuse better. Just food for thought
 
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Z1.

Seasoned Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2013
Messages
155
Location
Fallbrook
My XLR/V(s)
2006 Raven Black XLR
Do a logic test with a tech2 or MDI of you BCM; it sends the power down message to all J1850 modules. It also controls the load and shed of the electrical system with the alternator. A XLR with a healthy electrical system has no need for a battery tender if it's driven once a week. Just one more thing to cause a fire in the garage.
 

IAN

Seasoned Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2015
Messages
496
Location
Province of Québec
My XLR/V(s)
2004 silver XLR
Theck2

Z1

It sound great, however most of the memders do not owne a THECK2, or are not confortable how to use it, or do not even know what is that tool.

It is correct that the XLR with a fine power supply system, will keep you away with the none starting of your XLR…. it needs however at least a half of an hour to recharge fully with a ounce a week drive.

A tender that has created a home fire, I have never heard of a such defect on the site.

Thanks for your opinion.

IAN:thumbsup
 

Z1.

Seasoned Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2013
Messages
155
Location
Fallbrook
My XLR/V(s)
2006 Raven Black XLR
Battery tenders are fine and I know of no tenders causing fires either. I don't mean to condemn them; it's just one more device to take care of in the garage.
 

richardyoo

Seasoned Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2009
Messages
312
Location
Houston, TX
My XLR/V(s)
2006 Silver XLR-V
Battery tenders are fine and I know of no tenders causing fires either. I don't mean to condemn them; it's just one more device to take care of in the garage.

My XLR-V is the only car I own that needs a battery tender if sitting more than a couple of weeks... at first I thought something was wrong, but this seems to a common thing among all XLR owners... I'm the first an only owner of my car, so I'm pretty sure there's nothing wrong with it... it just has a higher parasitic draw than most cars. (sadly)

Although - I have not done a test to see how long the car can sit with the Odyssey battery - so maybe its worth the test to see. maybe this winter.
 
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Melificent

Active Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2018
Messages
25
Location
Virginia
My XLR/V(s)
2004 Crimson Pearl Red XLR
Thanks, Woody!! I am going to try this idea with the fuses switch out, then it's time to bite the bullet AGAIN, and have it towed back to the dealership. Frustrating that the exact same symptoms are occurring after the starter replacement, and even worse it takes the service department 2 weeks and multiple calls to get an appointment. Will let you know if this works!
 

josua

Seasoned Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2016
Messages
90
Location
Gibsonia, Pa
My XLR/V(s)
2004 Raven Black xlr 2009 sts4
FWIW, if you take ONE of the battery cables off and put an amp meter between the battery post and the cable, you should get very minimal current draw. DON'T start the car with this hook up. Also, take off the charger before. Don't know what the reading should be but if it's a couple of amps or more, now you have the process of elimination.
 

Melificent

Active Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2018
Messages
25
Location
Virginia
My XLR/V(s)
2004 Crimson Pearl Red XLR
FWIW, if you take ONE of the battery cables off and put an amp meter between the battery post and the cable, you should get very minimal current draw. DON'T start the car with this hook up. Also, take off the charger before. Don't know what the reading should be but if it's a couple of amps or more, now you have the process of elimination.

Thanks, Josua- I'll try that as well tomorrow, and unfortunately, not only am I NOT starting the car, I have absolutely NO power at all to anything. I did go out one day after seeing the rear lights flashing and the drivers's side window indexed down a few inches, and the dash said low voltage. This is after I put the new battery in AND attached it to a tender. Unfortunately, that only happened once, and now I have a plastic bag over the window as we are getting rain this week.
Thanks again for the tips!!!
 

IAN

Seasoned Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2015
Messages
496
Location
Province of Québec
My XLR/V(s)
2004 silver XLR
Battery problem

Josua.

My opinion is if the average draw of a battery when the car is park, is ( I beleive) .50 AH (Amp hour) x by 24 hours or 12 amps a day.
For a battery of 150 amps it could takes 13 days to get dead, if you have some after market accessories installed it will even draw more amps.

If your alternator/generator do not deliver 150 amps as supposed it could even be worst.
If your starter solenoid contact element switch is corroded that also will contribute to get your battery again, dead.

The electrical power system itself, (modules) produce also some draws of the battery.
The battery positive and negative ( grounds ) cables are also a serious source of the battery draw.

A tender is a tool to maintain the battery charged only, it do not get your battery better with a long life time.

the XLR was an advanced car for its time, however with the time its great electrical system gets old and the above create many frustations.

Still an exiting car


IAN :wave:
 
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xlrlist01

Seasoned Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2013
Messages
252
Location
HSV
FWIW, if you take ONE of the battery cables off and put an amp meter between the battery post and the cable, you should get very minimal current draw. DON'T start the car with this hook up. Also, take off the charger before. Don't know what the reading should be but if it's a couple of amps or more, now you have the process of elimination.

Be very careful doing this as you can easily kill your meter. You need to put a heavy duty cable in parallel with the meter and leave it in place for some time after you reconnect the battery, I would suggest an hour. This makes sure everything has shutdown and is in sleep mode. Also, make sure the fob is well distanced! Then, disconnect the extra lead and you will be able to measure the parasitic draw. Put a 0.5A fuse in series with the meter too, just to make sure.

On the Optima, I have an idea the warranty expects a battery tender to be used on any vehicle that isn't driven regularly. I don't know if "regularly" is defined!
 
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Melificent

Active Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2018
Messages
25
Location
Virginia
My XLR/V(s)
2004 Crimson Pearl Red XLR
Well, I had my car towed yesterday to the dealership as many of you suggested...and just as I feared, before even looking at it, I was told to be "prepared" as these cars are money pits and if the trunk was wet, it could be upwards of $6500. So, I fully expected today's call of another "be prepared" when you talk to the technician who said over half of the modules were not communicating. I just find this extremely hard to believe that my car went from driving and starting fine (after starter replacement 4 months ago) to having numerous modules fail all at once. No lightning (I read the post about the $19,000 estimate with that issue) - I simply :rolleyes: worked a double shift of over 48 hours in the ER, unable to drive it while working, and came out to dead car.
My question to everyone who has contributed to assisting me is this- a few suggested changing the fuses under the hood block along with the BCM (?) fuse box. As I had to order additional 30 and 60 amp fuses, I neglected to replace the starter and battery fuses in the BCM fuse box. Would this cause an interruption in the circuit (similar to home fuses) and result in the "non-communication" module issue? I am really hoping this is the case.
Thanks again for everyone's help so far.
 

IAN

Seasoned Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2015
Messages
496
Location
Province of Québec
My XLR/V(s)
2004 silver XLR
Modules do not comunicate

Melificent.

That is bad new if the thecnictian says that half of the modules do not communicate.

Did your XLR was involved in a rain storm or driven in 18 ? inches of water and got deeply soak, we know that the modules dont like water as it gets the units deadly corroded.

The BCM '' body control module'' that means for all modules, for their specific voltage needs.

Was your dealer inform you of the defective modules in order to come up with a such estimation.

A low mileage XLR 2004 whorts $15/12,000 +/- and a hi mileage $ 8/10,000 +/-, does it worth to spend that much money for the repairs....it is a hard and sadly decision to take.
The headlamps and tail lights worths almost the value of your cars.

Hoping that we are wrong.... enclosed is a drawing showing were the modules are located.

IAN :(
@  modules emplacement - Copie (2).jpg
 
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