View Full Version : Can dome light killl the battery?


Biff
10-12-2008, 04:47 AM
Hi,
last night when the wife and I tried to leave a friends house, the two week old SS would not start. Had all the classic signs of a dead battery - just clicking from under the hood.

Luckily we had jumper cables and the car was parked where it could be jumped easily via the under hood terminals.

Drove it home w/out incident - after parking it - and shutting if off at home - it started back up fine.

This morning - it is dead again.

The only thing I did out of the ordinary last night was show a friend the movable storage shelf in the back - how it could be raised above the spare tire storage.

I left it in the raised position all evening last night.

This morning, after my failed attempt to crank it, I noticed when I got out, the dome lights did not seem to be turning off.

I verified the dome light switch was in the correct position, and opened up the hatch and replaced the shelf in the lower position.

This time, after closing the hatch, the dome light faded out after about 30 seconds.

Questions:

#1 - where heck is the dome light switch on for the rear hatch, I could not find one with my pencil flashlight in the dark this morning - I looked all around the edges.

#2 - if I somehow blocked the rear hatch dome light switch from shutting the dome light off - would it stay on long enough to kill the battery?
I thought the car was smarter than that.

I am *hoping* that the dome light can kill the battery, thus there is nothing else serious wrong with it.

Thanks,

Jim

08BlkSS
10-12-2008, 05:27 AM
I bet your dome lights did shut off after the 15 minutes or whatever the timer is......when you got in to try to start it, once you opened your door it just made the light turn back on, or did you notice that the dome light was on before you opened the door? If the light did stay on all night then that would definately drain your battery, especially if it has already died once. If your dome light did shut off once it timed out I would just say you have a bad battery, which happens every once in a while. Just go get it tested and if its bad take it in and get it warrantied out......

Chevy SS
10-12-2008, 06:06 AM
I read these things have a battery run down protection. What does this include?

Jeff®
10-12-2008, 10:45 AM
The exact problem: That wheel dimmer thingy in the center console is clicked over to the far right. It forces dome and map lights on all the time. move it to the left and never go fully right again. Problem solved. (Not political, but maybe...)

Biff
10-12-2008, 10:56 AM
The exact problem: That wheel dimmer thingy in the center console is clicked over to the far right. It forces dome and map lights on all the time. move it to the left and never go fully right again. Problem solved. (Not political, but maybe...)


Hmmm.

I do not think it is the dash light dimmer wheel.

I had to put it on a battery charger this morning and after leaving it on for a couple of hours, it started right up.

After running it for a bit - I exited it, and watched the dome light / map light.

Again, they seemed to be staying on longer than they should, so I opened all of the doors and closed them again.
(I had made sure they went out when I had it on the charger earlier)

Lights were still on inside, so I opened the hatch, and closed it slightly harder than I normally do.

This time the lights went out.

I am going to check it again (try to start) in about 5 hours to see if that was the problem or not.

I'd still like to know where the dome light switch is in the hatch - is it a mercury type switch?

Jim

Biff
10-12-2008, 12:21 PM
I couldn't wait for 5 hours, so after an hour of it sitting - I went out to try it - nothing. Dead.

I've had batteries last for years, and really can't believe one could suddenly die on my like this.

Remembering something about loose fuses that I have read here - I popped open the box under the hood and pressed them all in - some were slightly loose, but nothing serious.

Now I'm going to leave it on the charger till tomorrow morning - go to work, and see if it starts at lunchtime after sitting 6 hours. If not - I'll get a jump and off to the dealer I will go. Wonderful.

Jim

Big Kahuna
10-12-2008, 07:49 PM
Sorry to hear about the dead battery, Biff...

Hope you can get it started in the morning...

FYI - we had the hatch of our HHR open for around 9 - 10 hours during the HHRitage Nationals show which left the done lights on the entire time (poor design by GM)... but we had no hesitation on starting up immediately at the end of the show.

ChevyMgr
10-13-2008, 09:01 AM
Liftgate jamb switch is part of the liftgate latch.

Run down battery protection shuts the lights off after about 10 minutes.

You may need a latch and a new battery due to the degradation of the battery from the latch allowing the lights to stay on.

jx3
10-13-2008, 09:13 AM
I had a similar problem w/ the battery. The HHR had been sitting for 2 weeks and the battery went completely dead, not even enough juice to pop the locks.

After jump starting the HHR by direct battery hook up, yes, climbed in the back to access the "emergency release" to open the hatch, the battery did not want to recharge. Jumped started it numerous times within 3 day period before taking it to dealer to get a new battery.

To my surprise, it was actually covered under warranty!!

Big Kahuna
10-13-2008, 09:20 AM
Liftgate jamb switch is part of the liftgate latch.

Run down battery protection shuts the lights off after about 10 minutes.

You may need a latch and a new battery due to the degradation of the battery from the latch allowing the lights to stay on.

So, is it normal that when you leave the tailgate open for an extended period of time (tailgating or at a car show), that your interior lights stay on until you close the hatch.

:confused:

tcstoy
10-13-2008, 09:57 AM
After 15 minutes of my rear hatch being open, my interior light goes out.

ChevyMgr
10-13-2008, 09:59 AM
So, is it normal that when you leave the tailgate open for an extended period of time (tailgating or at a car show), that your interior lights stay on until you close the hatch.

:confused:

Yes until the 10 minute timer has elapsed. And what I am saying is that over a period of time, if the dome lights have been staying on the extra 10 minutes after turning the ignition switch off, may be the cause of the premature battery failure.

08blackHHRSS
10-14-2008, 11:14 AM
Ya, i'm thinking anything powered up after you leave the car (with ign off) should turn off after 10 minute like Mgr states .
With the SS and the Silverado prior to it, if i left the dome lights on, i could start either no problem and find the dome lites were on, telling me i had a brain cramp the nite b4. I prob would had a few times needing a jump/charge if GM did not have this built into their vehicles.

Just like the auto lights, i got used to them. If i jump into a vehicle w/out auto lights, i look like a idjit w/ people in the car waiting for me to turn on the lights LOL

Big Kahuna
10-14-2008, 11:23 AM
Interesting... I'll have to check that timer on the interior lights tonight in garage... I could swear that the dome light stayed on longer than 10 minutes.

We were recently at a car cruise and we sat outside with the hatch open and all the doors closed and I do not remember ever seeing the interior lights go out.

ChevyMgr
10-14-2008, 11:54 AM
I did the unthinkable, I checked my owners manual and it states the battery run down protection will occur after 20 minutes. I don't think that number is exact.

an08HHR
10-14-2008, 11:57 AM
this is what it says in the 08 owners manual:poke: and I think that is how long mine have stayed on while working on the car.

Battery Run-Down Protection
Your vehicle has a battery saver feature designed to
protect the vehicle’s battery.
When any interior lamp is left on and the ignition is
turned off, the battery rundown protection system
automatically turns the lamp off after 20 minutes. This
prevents draining of the battery.

Xsta Z 28
10-14-2008, 01:27 PM
I did the unthinkable, I checked my owners manual . . . .


Too funny . . . . :lol:

Eldon
10-14-2008, 03:20 PM
I read these things have a battery run down protection. What does this include?

Battery run down protection is to shut off the cars computer.

I just had my battery die about a week ago and don't know what caused it so I asked the dealer what the heck run down protection was for and that's what I was told.

ChevyMgr
10-14-2008, 03:43 PM
Battery run down protection is to shut off the cars computer.

I just had my battery die about a week ago and don't know what caused it so I asked the dealer what the heck run down protection was for and that's what I was told.

Your dealer is wrong. See post #16, only shuts down interior lighting. Computers go to sleep after ignition shut down, but still draw milliamps.

You probably had a bad battery.