Sporadic Battery Drain / Dead Battery

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I've posted this on the Acadia Forum and there is quite a thread over there about the dead batteries and battery drain problems, but since I actually have a Saturn Outlook and not an Acadia, I thought I would post this here and see if anyone else is having the problem, or the answer.

I thought it was time to post another update, since I am still having the problem.  I have noticed that my alternator recharges sporadically, sometimes only 12V and all the way to 14.9V (digital meter on the Pioneer Z2).  I wouldn't think that the voltage regulator would ever let the voltage get that high.  And sometimes it charges at that rate for only a few seconds and sometimes for half an hour.   ???

Anyway, after my last trip to the dealer and their apparent lack of skill and experience in this area, it became painfully obvious that as long as I had the after market navigation system, even though it is connected to the factory power connections, they were going to blame that for the drain.  So now, I have pulled the navigation system out, along with the rear seat DVD player.  :angryfire:  Now the dealer has no excuse, except for their own inadequacies.   

As someone else mentioned, the real pain here is the inconsistency.  Sometimes, only 1 day and boom, no start......and sometimes it can sit for 3 or 4 days and no problem.  :confused: 

Another issue that I saw someone else mention.....the Battery Saver circuit.  If that option works as it's supposed to, you should never have a battery that won't start the car.  But that also seems inconsistent.  Sometimes, I will get in the car and when it starts, the Battery Saver message is active and the A/C system is shut down.  And sometimes, the battery is just too dead to start the car.  Why didn't the Battery Saver "save" it?   :banghead:

One last little note.  Someone else asked about using a voltmeter to monitor the drain.  You would actually need an ammeter to monitor the current drain, but it's almost impossible for a "do it yourselfer" with all of the electronic circuits and computer modules on these vehicles.  They do constantly draw some power and if a module "wakes up" then it can draw quite a bit, and if it keeps waking up and wakes up other modules in the process, you can actually have a substantial draw that would drain any battery....."IF" there weren't a Battery Saver circuit.  (hence the reason they went to the extra expense to put that circuit in the first place).  So this isn't like a car from the 60's when you could easily monitor a current draw at the battery terminal.  You really have to depend on the dealer and their computer equipment.  Just too bad that so many of them don't really know how to use the equipment that GM provides.    :ohno: :help: :beer:

Hi from Québec,

I have a Outlook XR and have a bizarre problem with the battery system.  In July I whas tooing the car behind our motor home.  After 2 hours I got out to start the car (put back fuses ING and BATT1 like in the manual), but it didn't start.  Try to get a boust from a towing but got no result.  I get home (1 our drive) and left the car hook up.  in the morning I put back the fuses (ING and BATT1) in place and the car started. 

Now today when for a ride 20 minutes, put back the car in the garage.  After 2 hours the car didn't start.  Try to charge the battery, but it is full.  I think that the Battery Saver system has a problem.  Is their a way to reset It?


According to the manual it's normal for the voltage to fluctuate.

The electrical issue may be due to a pinched wire or a loose one thereby causing the inconsistency. Finding the problem is going to be time consuming.
Good luck.

A little late but may help others experiencing the same problem....I think I read somewhere on the Acadia forum that a battery drain was being caused by the windshield washer fluid heater.  Might want to check this out if you have that option(included w/ Convenience package).

I recently had my 2007 Outlook XR in for the "Battery Saver Active" message.
This message would initiate and then go off after about five minutes on the road only to return the next morning. I was frustrated. I took it in on a Thursday evening and my dealership was unable to find any battery draingage issue. Two days later, my vehicle would not start and I needed a jump. I immediately drove it to the dealership. The following Monday, I was told the problem was solved.... 'I had a bad battery and the problem was resolved...' A few days later, the message returned. In addition, another message popped up "Service Tire Monitoring System". I drove to the dealership and they determined I needed to replace a module before they could address the power loss problem.

After replacing this tire monitoring module, they went on to the problem of the battery. They asked me if my key fob was working... I hadn't really noticed. In addition, when you lock the door from the inside, there wasn't the 'ding-ding' sound anymore. This led them to pursue a problem with the door.
Upon investigation, they found the left door latch was incorrectly sending a signal stating door open, when in fact, it was closed. Apparently, the dealership was already aware of a TSB on the latch assembly and they had it replaced.


I finally picked up my vehicle after it being overnight tested and checked for almost two weeks.

In recall, I remembered a strange thing happening while driving down the highway. My locks unopened by themselves. Being tired, I assumed I just knocked the button by mistake. A few days later, the service notice for the battery started. I commented about this to my service person, and he said 'that was likely when the latch assembly failed'.

It feels great to be back in my vehicle. My confidence has been restored in my Saturn. I must give a great deal of praise to Saturn's Service Department. They were persistant in trying to solve my problem.

Hopefully, this helps someone else looking for a solution.

Update: almost two months later and this problem has not resurfaced...


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