View Full Version : 03 Duramax, Dead batteries, whats going on???

01-28-2003, 03:46 PM
I went out to start my 03 Duramax this morning, it was about 30 some degrees & everything appeared fine, but I went to start it, the glow plugs came on but there wasn't enough juice to crank it over...

I now have it charging with a 10 amp battery charger, but why is my almost 50K truck running the batteries dead??
There were no lights or anything left on & I had my keys part way into the ingnition...

Whats going on?

Can anyone help?



01-28-2003, 04:32 PM
:eek: Wow, all these problems I'm seeing after buying this truck and I'm beginning to wish I kept my Dodge. Dead batteries, fuel filters gelling, 4-wheel drive gremlins. Thanks god I haven't seen these problems.

Bobcat, by chance was an overhead light left on, glove box left open, etc. I leave the key in the ignition also pulled out so chime doesn't ring. Don't know what to tell ya. :(

Husker Fan
01-28-2003, 04:46 PM
Hey Runaway,

Don't worry about it. My '03 has 10,025 Miles (As of today) with NO problems. No dead batteries, no fuel gelling, no 4-wheel-drive problems. The thing starts at -10 Deg F, I even have to put it into 4-wheel-drive just to get out of my driveway when it snows. As for fuel, I've even filled it with regular diesel (Not blended) and it still starts when the temperature is in the single digits. Great truck, pulls my goosenect like a mule, starts everytime, no problems. I'd recommend it to anybody.

01-28-2003, 04:52 PM
There was a post 12/22/02 by TxDoc re #02066-Battery Drain Recall. The fix is a BCM calibration reprogramming to correct an anomaly in the operation of the steering wheel position sensor that may keep the Body Control Module from shutting down. This post says that GM sent this out to the dealers. The post also lists the affected VIN numbers. My truck is one of the VINs, but when I showed this post to my dealer service manager he said that's just something off the Internet and has no validity. He looked the truck up on the computer and there was no recall posted for the VIN, but I still worry. Maybe this is your problem, and I wonder if there is another way I can persue this before it becomes my problem too. Any suggestions? I have the post if you can't find it and would like me to check your VIN.

03 2500HD CC SB D/A

01-28-2003, 05:51 PM
Mine did it when it was new, with 200 miles on it. Dead! I charged the two batteries with a trickle charge for a long, long time until I could see the green light in the "eye" on the battery. The only thing that I could find that could have caused the battery drain was that I left my radar detector plugged in and on for about 4 days. That little red power led! The dealer said he could find nothing wrong with the truck. Try unplugging any accessory you may have during these colder days. Also, try pressing the emergency brake before turning the key to keep the headlights from coming on during the glow plug warm-up. Almost a year later and I have not seen the problem again.
Many have had less than good things to say about AC Delco batteries. I will reserve judgment. Dave

01-28-2003, 06:08 PM
Back in October I posted a problem with my 2003 3500. But nobody here had heard of it and couldn't help.
The headlights would come on by themselves at night and in the daytime. Happened four times in Sept. and six times in Oct. then it quit doing it until today. Lights came on after I parked at work. No marker lights no dash lights just headlights. When I started the truck the headlights AND daytime running lights were on.
Took it to the dealer and they saw it this time. There was no tsb for this kind of problem so they " flashed the computer " and it works now, but for how long.
I did notice it turned over a bit slower when I started it this morning. Could something like this be happening to yours?
Ijust look out my window some nights and there it lights on. The only way to shut them off is to start the engine then shut it off.
Hope the reflash fixed it.

01-28-2003, 06:58 PM
I had a dead battery problem and it was the air conditioning relay sticking. They replaced it and no problem since. tongue.gif

01-28-2003, 07:03 PM
Ah, elictric can be funny things. My 78 Corvette when 3 months old decided it didn't want to shut off. I came home one nite took keys out, locked door , and then turned round thinking : Its still running !! Turned out to be bad power window relay keeping circuits energized !
Unfortunately, our new GM hds are a lot more complicated than my 78 Corvette.
I've always had good luck with Delco Batteries , after trying diehard I switched back.
Caught the tip about headlights and parking brake.
I've been concerned about both drawing juice, especially on a sub zero morning.



01-28-2003, 07:06 PM
looks like I need a spelling lesson !!

19,502 miles on my 02 Duramax purchased July 1.No big problems , hasn't seen dealer yet for warrantee stuff.
510,000 miles on 88 GMC 6.2 diesel ext cab.

01-28-2003, 07:16 PM
Sounds like GM's new 'less wire is better' electrical system still has some problems. With 116,000 miles, starting in 2 winters, plowing, leaving radar detector and CB on, dome light and reading light on once and a while.......my stock batteries are doing very well so far. If I leave any lights on, my truck automatically shut them off so I don't have dead batteries. Lots of pep yet. Sounds like electronic gliches to me. Hope they figure this stuff out for 04'.

01-28-2003, 10:25 PM
My wife has a 2002 Envoy and the battery is going dead the same way. It is going in on Thursday to fix. The dealer said there is a bulletin on discharge problem having something to do with the On-Star. Do you have the On-Star? I'll let you know what they find.

01-28-2003, 10:40 PM
Thanks for all of the replies, you guys are fast!

I have On*.

The truck has sat for about 4 days now, then when I try to use it today, the batteries are dead. So sometime in that time period they went dead.


01-28-2003, 11:16 PM

The most common problem for unexplained battery drain in a New GM vehicle is a stuck relay or arcing relay contacts. These trucks have a number of them and it only takes one to act up to drain your battery. You could try lightly tapping on a few of them in the fuse box area to see if you see or hear something come on or off.

This type of problem is usually not easy to find as it can be intermittent. If the problem continues after you charge your batteries, then run it in to your dealer and they should be able to isolate any bad relays.

Good Luck smile.gif

01-29-2003, 06:07 AM
I had the same problem with my 2002. Dealer found one of the screws for the grill was too long and penetrated the DS battery causing one cell to drain. If you didn't drive it every day the one bat. would die and draw down the other one.

01-30-2003, 09:11 PM
I had intermittant 'no starts' even driving 40 miles one day it would not start the next. I have 26000 miles on a 2002. dealer said both batteries were bad and replaced them at no cost to me.I have had no problems for 3 weeks now and the truck is parked for days at the time.Stu

01-30-2003, 09:28 PM
Never had them go dead but one strted leaking at the side terminal at about 35,000 miles.