Please help! My son drives an 02 Camaro with 119,000 miles on it. About two months ago something strange started happening electrically and local mechanics can’t solve it. First sign was one night he approached his car in a parking lot and the radio was lit up and playing with the car off. He drive it that night and when he turned the car off the radio didn’t shut off until 30 minutes had passed. I had him disconnect the battery cables that night so the battery wouldn’t get drained if it happened again. I had him start the car each day for a few days and it continued to start. However, after a few days it was dead. I changed the battery in the car and drive it home. Had a mechanic check it out but they could find nothing wrong after having it a week. Said they couldn’t track it down if it wasn’t doing it while they had it. Two days after I picked it up from them it was dead again. Now what is happening is the battery slowly drains over a few days. I charge it. It drains. I removed the radio to see if something was causing it to drain battery (aftermarket radio that has been in over a year with no problems) but it still is being drained. No lights are on…no radio is in car…continues to drain. There is no visible sign anything is draining the battery but it is. I continue to recharge it and it continues to drain. Help! Does anyone have any ideas or experience with this type of thing?
Have you had the alternator tested? It could be failing and be unable to keep the battery charged.
It’s also interesting to me that the radio was on when the car was off. Makes me wonder if maybe the car though the key in the ignition was turned to ACC or something. Meaning, I wonder if the ignition switch might be going bad.
I’ve never done it myself… but I suspect you could try and track down the electrical drain with a multimeter. When the car is off, use a multimeter on each fuse in the fuse box to see what’s drawing power. Even a 2002 model car will need some power to keep the computer “alive”, but it sounds to me like whatever is causing the drain in your car should be pulling a lot of power.
It sounds like the body control module is failing.
Head on over the YouTube. Look up parasitic battery drain. Look for the posters Humble Mechanic or Eric the Car Guy. They have good videos explaining how to run a parasitic draw test to identify the component that is staying wide awake when the key is off.