2004 Buick Century, Battery Goes Dead

This 2004 Buick Century came in with the complaint that the battery would go dead overnight. I disconnected the battery negative cable and connected my trusty Fluke multimeter in series between the negative battery post and a good chassis ground. I had already set the meter up to read DC amps. One lead was in the common port and the other in the 10 amp port. Initially there was a nominal 2.5 amp drain on the system.

That quickly faded away as the interior lights turned off and the computers went to sleep. On some vehicles this can take a full hour. After more than an hour I was left with about a .4 amp drain.

The customer had mentioned that the power seat also had a problem with not working all of the time. I wanted to check the circuit breaker to see if there was a common issue there. The circuit breaker is located in the interior fuse box on the passenger side of the dash.

The power seat circuit breaker is the one on the top of the fuse box. A quick  touch and I found that the circuit breaker was warm. I used a pair of pliers to pull it out of the fuse box because sometimes they are much hotter than they initially appear to be.

Looks like the circuit breaker has been an issue for a while. I was kind of surprised the vehicle had not caught on fire.

I located the shorted harness under the rear of the driver’s seat. The customer did not want to fix the short at this time so I was only able to get a picture by using a mirror. The end of one of the seat springs had punctured the harness and would short out with changes in pressure and temperature.

I left the circuit breaker out so the car would not catch on fire or have a dead battery.

I could hear things moving around inside the circuit breaker so I decided to take it apart and see what it looked like. A bunch of burnt up stuff.

Until the customer decides to bring this one back for repairs, this one is fixed as good as it can be.

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