Battery dies every 24 hours

Been dealing with this for 9 months. Have to drive the car 20 minutes every day or get nothing but starter clicks. I plan on buying a digital multimeter and pulling fuses one at a time. This problem started basically at the same time that the BRAKE, ABS, and TRAC lights all came on. They’ve been on ever since. The fact that I’ve been dealing with this for 9 months should give you some idea what a total disaster every aspect of my living hell life has become. So could the two problems be the same/related?

This is a thread about a parasitic draw that will help you on how to check for one…

But at the same time, if the lights came on about the same time then the computer is trying to tell you something, you need to find out twhy the lights are on, it is possible the 2 issues are linked…

A bad BCM can cause the problem you’re having.


Why are those lights on?

Yes they could.

This is not car related but why have you waited 9 months to address this?


“Everything off” battery draw should be 75 mA or less. Suggest to ask shop do that measurement for you. You are welcome of course to post the results here. Note that it may take 1/2 hour or more before everything turns off after you park your Terrain.

My guess however is your brake lights (rear of vehicle, either side and one higher up) are turning on or staying on during the night. Not an uncommon thing, usually caused by faulty brake light switch. My Corolla developed this problem at one point. Park your truck so it is easy to tell if the brake lights are on, and monitor them during the night. They might not come on until 2 am, so next time you find yourself awake at 2 am you know what to do.

In the meantime, is there a reason you aren’t connecting the battery to a battery charger or maintainer overnight? That seems like the most simple common-sense solution until the actual problem is located. Finally, almost all vehicles have to be driven on a consistent basis or their battery will discharge and make it hard to crank engine. How many miles per week do you drive your car? 30 miles per week should be enough to keep battery charged for most car designs.

Have you posted here about this problem before? If so, describe what you or your shop has already done to diagnose the culprit.

{f you have a check engine light on as well, that can cause the other 3 lights.

Google “find a parasitic draw” and get that multimeter.

The only lights on are the “BRAKE” “ABS” and “TRAC” no CEL.
The lane depart warning and the collision warning also stopped working at the same time the lights came on. I took the car to get the codes read at several places and there are no codes that could be read. I do not have a GM scan tool that would show ABS or other more specific codes. I might also add that this is the third good battery that these problems have happened with. They all tested good, and all held a full charge so it definitely is not the battery. The car never fails to start with a battery that is charged-up and that 15-20 mins of running charges the battery just fine, so I also do not think it is either the actual starter nor alternator. The car has 16K miles, has never spent a night outside of the garage and is basically squeaky clean and in brand-new condition.

Nine months with the ABS light on! Why have you not have this error diagnosed and repaired?

[quote=“DJ44, post:1, topic:189218, full:true”]
This problem started basically at the same time that the BRAKE, ABS, and TRAC lights all came on. They’ve been on ever since.

Remember what Tester mentioned, possible failure of the BCM.

I did not see where you stated the year of your vehicle, did the problem start while under warranty?
Only 16,000 miles, can not be very old.

2013 GMC Terrain

Where are you having the codes checked at?? Scanners are not all created equally and or the non trained mechanics at the parts counter don’t know how to check for Brake/ABS/Trac light codes… If I just plug my scanner in and hit read codes it only looks for CEL codes, I have to ask it to check for the ABS etc coeds… If the ABS etc lights are on there are codes in the system, just have to be able to find them… Might try having a professional (and pay for it) check for you… Some auto repair shops (not parts houses) will check them for a low cost or free, I didn’t say diagnose it for free just pull the codes… And a professional scanner can tell you when they came on, how fast you were going etc (varies by manufacture)… That is why you pay for diag work, my buddy’s scanner cost him $7,000.00…

OK, at the risk of sounding dumb, or just uninformed. Is the BCM the same as the Ignition Control Module. A have the shop manual for this vehicle but can’t find anything in search for Body Control Module(BCM). Would you happen to know where the BCM located on this vehicle. I saw it listed for a couple of other completely different makes and models of newer cars as being under the interior dash. Thanks Tester.

Read the ABS faults first, it is unlikely that the body control module is causing an ABS failure.



It is located under the dash on the driver’s side:

It should look more or less like this:

Depending on the manufacture, a vehicle might have 1,2,3 or more on board computers… Cadillac years ago had 6 or 7 different on board computers (hadn’t looked how many lately)… Some are under the dash, some under the Hood, some are under the seats and probably even a few more places, or a combination of places…

Some have the grounds to them located under the center console so when you spill your coffee and other drinks of choice the liquid gets on the connections and corrodes the grounds causing some crazy crap to happen…

MY 1996 Dodge without ABS has 4 computers. The 2013 Terrain has more that 20 computers.

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I forgot something that may be related. Right around the time (never before and not since) these problems started, I heard a stop-watch type ticking just like the 60-minutes watch sound coming from somewhere under the hood. This happened after the car was shut off and after all the usual lights went out and it was normally quiet and dark. This was definitely NOT the sound of metal or exhaust cooling off. This was not random - it sounded almost exactly as I described. Car was fine before this time period and has had the problem ever since but the noise only happened maybe a day or two right about when the problems started. Clues?

You’ve got to start with the very basic step of finding out why the ABS warning light is on. If the light came on at the same time you started having battery issues they are probably related. Probably, not for sure. But an ABS fault could definitely cause a dead battery. Please have the codes read and report back.

This is the multimeter I have. Is is sufficient or do I need a different/better one?

That should work fine as a multimeter, but what do you want to do with it?

You need to start at the beginning. Find out why these lights are on, then we will know whether the problem that’s making these lights stay on could be the same problem that’s killing your battery.

I’m trying to determine what is causing the drain on the battery… The reason I ask is because I have seen that you are supposed to have a meter that can test a minimum of 10a and from what I can tell this one is 5a max but I just got it so I am not sure