normal parasitic draw for a 1996 buick park Avenue

Earl283

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New to the forum process so i hope this is the right way to ask questions. what is considered a normal range for parasitic drain in the 1996 buick park avenue and how long dose it take for any active systems to sleep after hooking up amp meter in series between negative battery post and negative cable?
 

HotZ28

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Welcome to the forums! My fully loaded '96 PAU pulls about 30mA which I think is normal. Click Here for some testing tips & procedure.
 

Earl283

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thanks for the reply. my initial reading is 67mA then after approx. 10 seconds it jumps to 381mA with no obvious lights or sounds, So i guess its time for the systematic fuse pulling to begin. thanks again HotZ28
 

bigblockelectra

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Don't forget to test the alternator as well. I've had phantom loss on two vehicles, and that was causing it both times.
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HotZ28

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thanks for the reply. my initial reading is 67mA then after approx. 10 seconds it jumps to 381mA with no obvious lights or sounds, So i guess its time for the systematic fuse pulling to begin. thanks again HotZ28
Do you have an aftermarket alarm system, or remote start? The fact that the mA increases after 10-sec. seems to point to something that has a time delay in the circuit. If you had a bad diode in the alternator, that drain to ground should be immediately apparent.
 

Earl283

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I wondered about the diodes but i disconnected alternator/starter wire from battery still showed parasitic drain. pulling underhood maxifuse cover and found 2 fuse boxes, found one responsible for 0.390 Amp (all but 0.067 Amp) parasitic draw. its in the drivers side box 6th fuse from the drivers side labeled ELEC\misc 60A dose anyone know where i can find an online wiring diagram for 1996 Buick Park Ave. to chase down the components supplied by this fuse ? p.s. factory alarm system no remote start.
 
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HotZ28

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I have a '96 PA FSM, but finding that particular wiring diagram and scanning it to download here will take some time, which I do not have a lot of! It sounds like you have a drain on that circuit, most likely in the ground supply under the carpet or somewhere else. Have you got any moisture issues in the carpets, front, back or trunk?
 
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Earl283

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Thank you Sighman for your help putting valid names to the under hood electrical components. AND thank you HotZ28 i believe you have given me the clue i needed. I noticed a small leak in the trunk area and the trunk mat is wet. I plan on pulling the previously mentioned fuse seeing which systems in or around the trunk are effected and concentrating my efforts there. Thanks again everyone.
 

Earl283

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Unfortunately this repair has snowballed as so many do. To update still have the parasitic draw, But also a battery with what appears to have an intermittent internal short (i know... rare and weird). I have had a couple fail recently and it seems Dyhards are no longer what they used to be nor is $ears (vulture capitalism at work there). They tested it and it showed a good battery which is why i assumed that the battery was good from the start. Overall voltage shows 12+v after charge and battery will start car as long as it dose not sit for long without running. After a couple recharges to allow my testing of the system for shorts, I had a Local auto parts store test the charging system, it indicated good charging system (alternator diodes ok) but bad battery. Now with conflicting tests and Not willing to let it go I did my own old school tests it showed a short between cells 2 and 3 i.e. reading between each cell gave 2.1V except 2 and 3 which showed 0.213V, also hydrometer reading for these 2 cells was abnormally low even though i could see cells freely gassing while charging. After isolating battery from system and checking case for external shorting (I have seen dirt and acid form a conducting bridge between posts/cells) it still shows 12.37volts which seems to indicate battery is ok but perhaps to weak to support even a small "normal" draw. Also on previous post I indicated the fuse pulling the majority of the parasitic draw was labeled ELEC\misc 60A I misread this, its actually ELC\misc i.e. electric ride leveling i suspect malfunction there because the rear end seems higher than normal, however i dont hear ELC compressor running, if it has failed wouldn't it pull more than 0.410mA if it were switching on ? perhaps that will be a dead end and one of the other switch/timer controlled component on this circuit will be to blame(time will tell). I observed after driving the car then immediately pulling neg terminal and testing for above mentioned amp spike after 10 seconds, none occurred even after 30 seconds+,but reappeared after sitting for several minutes with the battery disconnected. perhaps this draw will "go to sleep" once i have figured out how to keep the unit powered up and be able to test for parasitic draw over time. Which leads me to this question how long dose it take for the systems to go to sleep after the car is turned off/ battery reconnected to power ? Also the tip from HotZ28 paid off. I found a leak around the drivers side tail light and believe resealing and cleaning will eliminate a small amount of the parasitic draw.
 
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HotZ28

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Have you replace the battery? 12.37v is not normal and as other test seems to indicate, you have a battery problem!
Which leads me to this question how long dose it take for the systems to go to sleep after the car is turned off/ battery reconnected to power ?
Once you supply power through the meter, or elsewhere, the system will "wake up" and the modules & PCM will come alive and cause normal parasitic drain of 30-50mA. From what you have described, you have a battery problem! Batteries are most all the same quality & built in Mexico now, and shipped up here on pallets (all the with the same lack of quality) with different labels/brands applied on the same line at the domestic labeling location. None of them (regardless of brand) seem to last more than 3-4 yrs. In my opinion, there is no such thing as a superior battery now days!
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tb.dxb

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Resurrection :p

I battled high current draw and dead battery over the last couple of months. Here my findings for anybody who is interested.

Yay, the stupid ACDelco battery was dead, after just 13 months. I finally replaced it with a top-mounted terminals Bosch battery. The battery cables checked out good, so we just cut them and crimped the new clamps.

But there was also a draw of approx. 100 mA in "sleeping" mode. Long story short, in my case it was the BCM. Working (somehow, anyway) but it draws >60 mA.

I pulled it, no serious side effects. (Well, theft deterrent system is disabled, and radio and interior lights shut off as soon as I kill the engine.) Maybe I will replace it.

Another 5 mA were constantly drawn by the rear window defroster, the relay I think. I just pulled the fuse as I don't really need it anyway. (Used it perhaps 2x in the last 5 years.)

So now the draw is a little under 40 mA, including a few mA for an after-market remote start system (Viper).
 

Jk73072

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Resurrection :p

I battled high current draw and dead battery over the last couple of months. Here my findings for anybody who is interested.

Yay, the stupid ACDelco battery was dead, after just 13 months. I finally replaced it with a top-mounted terminals Bosch battery. The battery cables checked out good, so we just cut them and crimped the new clamps.

But there was also a draw of approx. 100 mA in "sleeping" mode. Long story short, in my case it was the BCM. Working (somehow, anyway) but it draws >60 mA.

I pulled it, no serious side effects. (Well, theft deterrent system is disabled, and radio and interior lights shut off as soon as I kill the engine.) Maybe I will replace it.

Another 5 mA were constantly drawn by the rear window defroster, the relay I think. I just pulled the fuse as I don't really need it anyway. (Used it perhaps 2x in the last 5 years.)

So now the draw is a little under 40 mA, including a few mA for an after-market remote start system (Viper).
I have the same issue but mine is intermittent. I’ve replaced the battery 1x already and I have resorted to putting it on a trickle charge at night. My security light is on all the time. The car starts and remains running. I also have an issue with the rear defroster not working but, the side mirror defrosters work and they are on the same circuit. Also? The same time the security light started staying on the ABS and Trac Control light also started staying on. I reminder reading someplace this all might be related to the BCM but can’t find it anywhere on line. Out of curiosity, were your ABS and Trac Ckntrol lights on? Did only your rear defroster not work?
 

tb.dxb

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Sorry for late response, very busy these days.
AFAIK BCM and ABS have nothing to do with each other. Most common cause for ABS/TRAC seems to be a damaged ABS sensor cable or sensor, often on front wheel.
In my case, rear defroster was working but pretty much unused since I am living in a hot climate. Everything off the BCM was working, just it pulled too high current, that's why eventually I replaced it with.a 10$ pulled part.
And wrt Security light, my car is equipped with an aftermarket remote start, which requires a bypass. This in turn causes the Security light to be always on. My solution: I removed the bulb from the dash light, no negative side effects. Don't need the theft deterrent anyway, where I am living I could leave the car unlocked forever and nobody would touch it. But the theft deterrent system is nonetheless fully functional.
Hope this helps.
 
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