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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought a 2014 Cruze (1.4L Turbo) about 6 weeks ago. I mainly drive my pick-up but I live in a remote area and the Cruze was purchased as a second car. Under normal conditions, it will be driven only about 40 miles one day per week.

The car I traded on the Cruze (2002 Ford Escort) failed to start only once in 15 years (when the battery died). So far, the Cruze has failed to start three times in the last month. I took it to the local dealership yesterday to check the battery and electrical system. They told me everything was fine and working normally. I talked for a while with the technician and he said that with all the electronics on-board, it appeared I just wasn't driving it enough to keep the battery charged. He said I had Gen 9 OnStar and that the system would remain powered-up for 48 hours from ignition off, then go into a cycle of 9 minutes off and 1 minute on for FIVE DAYS. He also printed the bulletin for me that explains all this (PIC4935F dated Feb. 24, 2017).

He also warned me to end all Bluetooth calls before turning off the ignition, which I was already aware of from doing research on this forum.

The technician said my options were to drive the car more, pull the OnStar fuse (which would also disable Bluetooth and Voice Assist), get a top of the line battery or use a trickle charger.

Any reason I can't just remove the battery cable when the car won't be driven for at least several days? It seems easier than dealing with a trickle charger.

Any other suggestions will be appreciated.
 

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I'm an electrician and bought an 04 ford ranger as a work vehicle, in new england weather I don't drive caitelynn (2011 cruze ltz), haven't driven since October, I use a trickle charger, I have since removed the battery front the car has in worried about hot/cold temp changes, but the trickle worked great for me,personally

maybe keep a spare 10mm socket in your car and just disconnect it, it hasn't caused harm to my car, I still have the factory battery, I barely drive mine as the truck is so much more convenient space and ground clearance wise but the gas efficiency is nice to have

I wouldn't like the idea of pulling the fuse, the car shouldn't need to go without it, it was designed with the system in the first place, have you had your alternator tested? How old is the battery?


Are you aware of the TSB concerning the negative battery cable? A rough connection to the negative/ground could cause difficulty starting
11 Cruze LTZ 1.4T
04 Ranger XLT 4.0 4x4
 

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Depending on where you park your car, I'd consider putting a solar panel on the back window shelf wired to keep the battery up.

I'd also make sure you lock your car. We've had reports of batteries going flat and it seems to happen more often if the car isn't locked. As if the car won't fully go to sleep unless it's locked.

But in answer to your question, if you disconnect the battery, make sure the driver's door is closed when you re-connect. As for what you'll lose, it would be the time/date on the radio (I'm not sure if 2014 has auto-set) and you'll have to cycle the driver's window up/down once. That's about it. Not a big deal, but enough that I'd be looking for a nicer solution. Maybe a trickle charger wired up with a plug coming out the grill like those car heaters they have in the north. That would be easier then having to pop the hood and disconnecting the battery every time.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Thanks for the information. The battery was thoroughly tested at the dealership yesterday. The technician said they did an overall test and then tested each individual cell. Considering what they charged me, I expect they checked the alternator too. However, on the battery info DIC screen, it is showing about 15 volts when the car is being driven so it appears the alternator is working. Don't know how old the battery is, can't find a date on it but it showed 577 CCA on the test.
 

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Rainmaker-

It depends on how far you park from an outlet. I have a battery tender Jr. that I plug into the car when it's going to sit for more than 3-4 days. My factory battery is going on 5.5 years old.

If you have a multimeter, I would check the voltage across each of the fuses with the car off. You should be able to find what fuses are taking the current. Don't measure current inline like the old school way, because disconnecting and reconnecting the battery will wake up modules that could be sleeping. measure the low voltage drop across fuses while they are plugged in. Take a look at the current drain video's from Humblemechanic on youtube.


Both fuse boxes of the cruze GEN1 are easy to get to. I'd pull the onstar fuse to see if that's it. Pulling a fuse makes the car drive-able for others that may not be willing or skilled to install the negative cable.

Did the dealer activate onstar when you bought the car? I'm guessing you may have gotten a free trial? Directions, ability to call an advisor using the blue button, ect? I'd be patient until this "free onstar" expires. I think the car does " call home" and provide mileage and service history fault codes to GM.

If I recall correctly the blue light on the mirror stayed on while I had onstar service. Then after service expired it was blue for a little while longer "tempting me for a few months to resubscribe". Now it's off and I get no onstar lights on the mirror.

I'm guessing there's different levels of activation within Onstar. Active customers, recently expired customers, and the somewhat totally off customers.

Sure nothing is completely off, but they can't afford to track statistics on all the GM cars that aren't paying for service.
 
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Thanks for the information. The battery was thoroughly tested at the dealership yesterday. The technician said they did an overall test and then tested each individual cell. Considering what they charged me, I expect they checked the alternator too.
How much did they charge, usually those items are inspected at no charge. Why is the AC Delco PS (Professional Series) used by G.M. only 525 CCA when the Consumer version is 630 CCA or 650 CCA? Sure one costs more~
Product Technology Electronic device Electronics Font
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I was at the dealership about 2 hours, it looked like a technician spent about an hour and a half with the car. They charged me $89 for labor. With taxes it was $93. The car has 38k miles, so it is not under warranty except for the powertrain.
How much did they charge, usually those items are inspected at no charge. Why is the AC Delco PS (Professional Series) used by G.M. only 525 CCA when the Consumer version is 630 CCA or 650 CCA? Sure one costs more~
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Rainmaker-

It depends on how far you park from an outlet. I have a battery tender Jr. that I plug into the car when it's going to sit for more than 3-4 days. My factory battery is going on 5.5 years old.

If you have a multimeter, I would check the voltage across each of the fuses with the car off. You should be able to find what fuses are taking the current. Don't measure current inline like the old school way, because disconnecting and reconnecting the battery will wake up modules that could be sleeping. measure the low voltage drop across fuses while they are plugged in. Take a look at the current drain video's from Humblemechanic on youtube.


Both fuse boxes of the cruze GEN1 are easy to get to. I'd pull the onstar fuse to see if that's it. Pulling a fuse makes the car drive-able for others that may not be willing or skilled to install the negative cable.

Did the dealer activate onstar when you bought the car? I'm guessing you may have gotten a free trial? Directions, ability to call an advisor using the blue button, ect? I'd be patient until this "free onstar" expires. I think the car does " call home" and provide mileage and service history fault codes to GM.

If I recall correctly the blue light on the mirror stayed on while I had onstar service. Then after service expired it was blue for a little while longer "tempting me for a few months to resubscribe". Now it's off and I get no onstar lights on the mirror.

I'm guessing there's different levels of activation within Onstar. Active customers, recently expired customers, and the somewhat totally off customers.

Sure nothing is completely off, but they can't afford to track statistics on all the GM cars that aren't paying for service.
Thanks for the info. I have a free trial for OnStar. I'm not going to pay for a subscription after the trial period ends, but they indicated that they would send an email to me once per month for 3 years concerning results of diagnostic tests whether I have an active subscription or not. May call them and tell them to cancel everything. OnStar draining the battery for FIVE DAYS after the ignition is turned off isn't worth it, as far as I'm concerned.
 

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If you have a multimeter, I would check the voltage across each of the fuses with the car off. You should be able to find what fuses are taking the current. Don't measure current inline like the old school way, because disconnecting and reconnecting the battery will wake up modules that could be sleeping. measure the low voltage drop across fuses while they are plugged in. Take a look at the current drain video's from Humblemechanic on youtube.
Here's the video:

 
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Thanks for the info. I have a free trial for OnStar. I'm not going to pay for a subscription after the trial period ends, but they indicated that they would send an email to me once per month for 3 years concerning results of diagnostic tests whether I have an active subscription or not. May call them and tell them to cancel everything. OnStar draining the battery for FIVE DAYS after the ignition is turned off isn't worth it, as far as I'm concerned.
I love Onstar even though I only used it once this year. Even after your free trial ends the electronics will not change unless you take certain corrective actions. $93 labor seems fair although non dealers would have run similar tests for little or no cost. For a car that is heavy on electronics, I'm not sure a 525 CCA battery is the best battery. My CRUZE was initially set to keep the Headlamps lit for an additional 30 seconds while exiting the car, another power drain
 

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My CRUZE was initially set to keep the Headlamps lit for an additional 30 seconds while exiting the car, another power drain
That's default and one of the first things I changed. I don't think it's doing the battery any favors. Battery life is based on how many charge/discharge cycles. Running the lights after shutting off just adds that much more.
 

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That's default and one of the first things I changed. I don't think it's doing the battery any favors. Battery life is based on how many charge/discharge cycles. Running the lights after shutting off just adds that much more.
Yes its easily found in the MyLink settings. I would like to find a setting for auto locks as my CRUZE wont do this by itself. I see the lighting and honking options and that's about all?
 

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I have the same problem with my 2012 Ltz if left for a week without driving it, Doesn't matter if you lock the doors, don't lock the doors, Leave the car with or without a Bluetooth call,Do a jumping jack, ect ect ect, the car will still Drain the battery down... Really I don't care, because I keep getting new batteries for free every two years as this non-deep cycle battery keeps getting drained down then charged , ect ect ect

Brought to the dealer a million times, they Want to blame everything but the car, its your Radar Detector, ect..I'm like Idiots, everything in the car get powered down after 10 minutes by the computer!!!!!!!!!!!

All I know is I keep getting letters from legal firms wanting me to sue GM for electrical issues, bought to take em up on it!
 

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I have the same problem with my 2012 Ltz if left for a week without driving it, Doesn't matter if you lock the doors, don't lock the doors, Leave the car with or without a Bluetooth call,Do a jumping jack, ect ect ect, the car will still Drain the battery down... Really I don't care, because I keep getting new batteries for free every two years as this non-deep cycle battery keeps getting drained down then charged , ect ect ect

Brought to the dealer a million times, they Want to blame everything but the car, its your Radar Detector, ect..I'm like Idiots, everything in the car get powered down after 10 minutes by the computer!!!!!!!!!!!

All I know is I keep getting letters from legal firms wanting me to sue GM for electrical issues, bought to take em up on it!
Not true.
 

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Whats not true
I assume it's the part he put in bold. Depending on how you've connected your radar detector to power, that may not be true. And I've found cases where the service manual is incorrect. For example, the service manual indicates that the radio power will be removed if the battery saver relay kicks in, but apparently there was a later revision that removed that. So the radio is powered 24/7 and it's the radio's responsibility to go to sleep.

In fact, I'm not completely sure there is any power bus that goes off after 10 minutes. I think that might be just a software command and a state where the BCM powers off the things it controls.
 

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Retained Auxillary Power (RAP) goes off after a predetermined amount of time. All radio power was once on RAP circuits. However, as ChevyGuy mentions newer radios appear to have B+ all the time. B+ is a direct battery power supply.

The cigarette sockets are about the only circuit in the entire car that goes to sleep when the key is removed and the drivers door is opened.

If you take a multi-meter and check for voltage on every fuse inside the car fuse box with the engine off you will find voltage.

The best way to wire auxiliary items is to use the two 20 amp auxiliary cigarette circuits. At least you know they go off immediately when the engine is off, and drivers door is opened.

This is a weird GM car unlike any other that I've looked at Wiring diagrams for. You used to have to put the car in accessory mode to listen to the radio on GM cars. Not anymore. Turn it on and leave it on.

The BCM does attempt to calculate the status of battery charge based on voltage and temperature. In reading the electrical description in the service manuals, if the total voltage falls low enough the car will attempt to kill circuits to maintain enough battery voltage to start the car.

Depending on the quality of the battery this could be too little to late.
 

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This is a wierd GM car unlike any other that I've looked at Wiring diagrams for. You used to have to put the car in accessory mode to listen to the radio on GM cars. Not anymore. Turn it on and leave it on.
Weird, not wierd. My MyLink times out in 10 minutes
 
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