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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello! I've been dealing with a no crank and a power draw on a 2002 Grand Prix 3800 v3 and I've run out of ideas. I'm thinking I have a short somewhere, but I haven't been able to track it down. I hear a click that sounds like it comes from the fuse box, but nothing from the starter.

It initially started with the engine having a random delay in trying to start. Sometimes it would fire right away, other times it would be a 2-3 count before anything would happen. That 2-3 count turned in to a 10-15 count which then progressed to no crank at all. As far as the power draw, I've put a new battery in the car and it was dead in about 6 hours. I'm assuming the issues are related, but I have no proof of that.

Things I've done so far:

  • Tested the battery - Advanced auto was getting inconsistent readings. The first time, their tester read over 1400 CCA, the second time was a more normal 740. Their tester also kept having trouble maintaining a connection with the positive. They thought maybe the battery had a bad cell. The battery was still under warranty so Costco swapped it out, didn't make a difference.
  • Replaced battery cables (the old positive was mangled)
  • Alternator - all good
  • Fuses - pulled and inspected plus checked with a multimeter
  • Starter - tested good
So that leaves me to believe I have a short somewhere. Unfortunately electronics aren't something I've dealt with much so I'm at a bit of a loss. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
 

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Hello! I've been dealing with a no spin and a parasitic power draw on a 2002 Grand Prix 3800 v3 and I've run out of ideas. I'm thinking I have a short somewhere, but I haven't been able to track it down. I hear a click that sounds like it comes from the fuse box, but nothing from the starter.

It initially started with the engine having a random delay in trying to start. Sometimes it would fire right away, other times it would be a 2-3 count before anything would happen. That 2-3 count turned in to a 10-15 count which then progressed to no spin at all. As far as the parasitic draw, I've put a new battery in the car and it was dead in about 6 hours. I'm assuming the issues are related, but I have no proof of that.

Things I've done so far:

  • Tested the battery - Advanced auto was getting inconsistent readings. The first time, their tester read over 1400 CCA, the second time was a more normal 740. Their tester also kept having trouble maintaining a connection with the positive. They thought maybe the battery had a bad cell. The battery was still under warranty so Costco swapped it out, didn't make a difference.
  • Replaced battery cables (the old positive was mangled)
  • Alternator - all good
  • Fuses - pulled and inspected plus checked with a multimeter
  • Starter - tested good
So that leaves me to believe I have a short somewhere. Unfortunately electronics aren't something I've dealt with much so I'm at a bit of a loss. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
I hate those types of electrical issues. My first thoughts are, try pulling fuses one at a time to see which circuit is causing that draw. Once you find the fuse circuit that's drawing current, you should be able to isolate the culprit circuit that's doing the drawing. Hope some of this helps.... Mr Goodwrench
 

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1400+CCA is definitely not coming out of a Costco battery so beware of that tester, even the 700cca is likely not correct. A true load tester would start smoking at 700cca if done properly for a real load test.
If there is a draw I suggest getting a test light and disconnecting the positive battery lead and placing the test light between the lead and battery. If there is current draw the light will be on. Pull the fuses one by one and replace until the light goes off. Start with the lower amperage fuses first is always my technique. If I were to guess I’d say something in the wiring from chassis to door, where it’s bending all the time.

If its no draw your relays will be labeled and simply swap like relays for like relays and try again. Example the fuel pump relay should be the same as the horn or ac relay. Ignition relay probably has a few that are the same as well.
 

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Also I’ve never heard anyone call it a “no spin” before. Normal terminology would a no crank for this situation. And if the starter was running and engine doesn’t start that’s simply a no start.
At first I thought the post was about trying the spin the tires until I actually opened it and read.
 

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Hello! I've been dealing with a no spin and a parasitic power draw on a 2002 Grand Prix 3800 v3 and I've run out of ideas. I'm thinking I have a short somewhere, but I haven't been able to track it down.
This video might help in checking for draw. I've never had a chance to try it but remembered this video.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for all the suggestions as well as the note on terminology. I'll update the thread accordingly.

I hooked up the multimeter and did a draw test but found NO draw. I performed the test by checking amps with one lead attached to the negative terminal of the battery and the other to the negative battery cable. It read 0.00. I went and picked up a test light and did as you suggested, putting it between the positive terminal and leads, and got no light. I then gave the relay swap a try as three of them are the same but that didn't make a difference either.
 

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...as well as the note on terminology.
Thx. It does make reading simpler.(y)


...that didn't make a difference either.
I hate to just throw out ideas, but I know my (2005 GP) "Start" is a cranking trigger function rather than the operator actually doing the starter engaging and disengaging.

The ignition switch occasionally comes up as a problem with these symptoms.

The starter solenoid sounds suspicious (even though I saw the starter tested "OK" - gunked up?)

You might want to visit Grand Prix Forums (grandprixforums.com) too. I have got some good advice there.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thx. It does make reading simpler.(y)




I hate to just throw out ideas, but I know my (2005 GP) "Start" is a cranking trigger function rather than the operator actually doing the starter engaging and disengaging.

The ignition switch occasionally comes up as a problem with these symptoms.

The starter solenoid sounds suspicious (even though I saw the starter tested "OK" - gunked up?)

You might want to visit Grand Prix Forums (grandprixforums.com) too. I have got some good advice there.
I'll start digging around about the ignition switch and check out the GP forums for sure.

When I pulled the starter and had it tested, I thoroughly cleaned it (the outside at least) so I don't think that's an issue. The guy at Advance said to try bridging the positive lead on the starter with the solenoid, which DOES cause it to engage but also sparks like crazy so I stopped after a second or two.
 

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Respectfully, you couldn't have done your current measurement correct because it can't be 0.00. There needs to be current at the very least for the computer & theres various bias resistors as well, so you should see at least 20-30 ma. I cant remember the exact draw as I did an electrical problem once but its what I said or more, I have a 2003 Impala 3800. Any multi-meter requires you to put the Red probe in a different post than that for making voltage measurements, additionally you may have one for mill amps and one for greater than 5 or 10 amps, look at your meter and make sure the probe is pushed all the way in to the meter. Just opening your car door will wake up the computer, putting the key in the ignotion without turning will wake up the computer, Ky In and in Asscy,On, Start all activate different relays or the computer engages different electronics and each position will have a different current reading. Plus the current will jump all over, up and down in any of the other conditions. I hooked my meter up and just opened the car door and could see the current going up and down, same with turning key to asscy or on and after pulling the key or shutting the door, I could see the current changing for about the next 4 mins, until the computer went to mostly sleep mode, but you should see something in the 10's of milliamps.

Dont pull every fuse one by one as that video is showing. Under the hood there are 2 fuse boxes on the passenger side, open the covers, you will see 4 60 amp fuses in the top bog and 4 in the lower one. Pull each of those one by one. Everything goes thru those except the starter, crank relay, generator and ECBM module, unless you have a Police car the battery will also got to 2 SEO circuit breakers. But those 4 loads do have :fusible links", which you can look at as a fuse in the cable leading to them and they are not something easily poped in and out. Otherwise the battery feeds those 8 60 amp fuses and all other fuses and relays are thru those 8 60 amp fuses. The only way you read 0,00 amps is if you popped one of those fuses.

So I assume when you have this power draw its when its sitting overnight no key in?
When you said "It initially started with the engine having a random delay in trying to start. Sometimes it would fire right away, other times it would be a 2-3 count before anything would happen. That 2-3 count turned in to a 10-15 count which then progressed to no crank at all", you mean the crank was actually turning as normal, normal sound normal strength but no engine start.
What did you mean by "delay". You turn the key and there is no crank turning, not crank sound, nothing at all, then all of a sudden the crank turns?
When you talk about the time progressing, is that all the same time you are trying to start the car at that time or did you mean one day is was 2-3, the next day it was longer, the day after even longer, next day nothing.?

So try pulling all the 60 amp fuses and see if battery dies over night, if so, you know it thru one of those, you can then check with a current reading by pulling each, but like I said, you have to wait for 4-5 minutes for your computer to go back to sleep and then see if there is excessive current flow. If you pull them all and your battery still dies, try isolation the generator, its easy to disconnect the main power cable to it and pull the control cable, even though thats off the fuses, something could still be wrong there. There are regulating diodes in the generator that is usually the failure method of the generators, so try that. You can pull the crank relay, perhaps its stuck or has a path to ground or a problem with the signal the computer drives to enable it. The starter is a bit more trouble, you can disconnect its power feed as I recall on my 2003, either the generator or the ECBM module's cable is wired to the same post on the starter, so by removing the battery to starter cable on the starter post you also remove batter power from the gen or ECBM, its just a convenient place tp route the cable from, nothing more. You'll need to remove your bottom plastic cover under the front bumper to get at the starter, its possible its bleeding current somehow. The ECBM is somewhat a pain to isolate, I remember doing this. I dont fully recall, but its a real pain getting the power cable off of it, either due to access or the mechanism itself is not obvious., but it is not very at all likely thats the problems. Try the 8 60 amp fuses firts, then if still failing try isolation each of the other hardwired loads like I said.

The other thing you can do is visual observation. Look at all the cables in the engine bay on its top, bottom and side. You are looking to see if a cable is rubbing on or pressed against something. This is how cable shorts occur over 50-1-- miles, just gentle rubbing, all that adds up.

You did get a new battery, correct? Hope this helps, if you can verify the power issue as a power draw I can help.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
@ColdWarVet607 Thanks for all the info! You've given me a lot to check. You would be correct on the measurement; I was looking at amps not milliamps, so I'm sure there's some current. I'll re-test and see what it says and report back. Thanks for the heads up on the fusible links as well. I was unaware of those.

As far as symptoms, yes I would turn the key and the dash would light up but there would be no crank for 2-3 seconds. It would happen every now and then and became more frequent, but would still occasionally crank normally. As it became more frequent, the time between turning the key and it cranking became longer and longer until it would no longer crank at all.

Correct, I replaced the battery.
 

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@ColdWarVet607 Thanks for all the info! You've given me a lot to check. You would be correct on the measurement; I was looking at amps not milliamps, so I'm sure there's some current. I'll re-test and see what it says and report back. Thanks for the heads up on the fusible links as well. I was unaware of those.

As far as symptoms, yes I would turn the key and the dash would light up but there would be no crank for 2-3 seconds. It would happen every now and then and became more frequent, but would still occasionally crank normally. As it became more frequent, the time between turning the key and it cranking became longer and longer until it would no longer crank at all.

Correct, I replaced the battery.
That NO CRANK you mentioned sure sounds like a weak battery or something is drawing the battery voltage down. Maybe next time you are working on it, test the actual battery voltage with volt meter. It should be over 12.5 volts.... One last thing that I'm wondering about is.......you may have a bad/defective starter. As mentioned earlier, go back over the POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE battery connections to be sure they are tight and CLEAN. ONE LAST THING......GM has had issues with BAD IGNITION SWITCHES!! You could carefully try jumping the positive cable to the starter solenoid START connection. If it works with that, you may well have a bad starter solenoid. On occasions I run into this issue and found on some that a little tapping on the starter made them crank normally. Inside the solenoid there's a brass washer that closes the starter circuit and allows it to crank. Over time these brass washers do get pitted and this will cause poor voltage for the starter solenoid or none at all. Next time you try starting try tapping on the solenoid and starter a little and see what happens. Best of luck Jake(mr goodwrench)..... Get back to us on the forum for your findings.
 
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