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BATTERY GOES DEAD OVERNIGHT - Sierra 1500 GMC Cars & Trucks

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Check that the alternator and charging circuit is actually working. You can do this with a voltmeter across the battery terminals. Check the value with the ignition off - you should see 12.1 and 12.5 volts. Then start the engine and leave it on idle - you should see between 13.8 to 14.2 volts. Watch the voltmeter as the gas is pressed down. With the engine revving around 2000 rpm the voltmeter value should increase up to something like 14 to 14.2 V but not increase any further with an increase of engine revs. If you see voltages of 14.5V or above then the voltage regulator needs replacing.

Note that if you constantly see voltages of 12V or less with the engine switched off then the battery should be replaced as it will not hold charge and gradually drain down as you are experiencing to a point where it will not turn the car engine.

If you don’t see any increase in battery voltage, or the battery voltage falls, when the engine is switched on then either the alternator or the voltage regulator need to be replaced.

Posted on Nov 19, 2009

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Have you checked the electrical system for draws? You'll need a multi meter capable of reading amperage. Disconnect the positive cable and hook the meter up in series with the battery and the positive cable. You want to make sure the key is out of the ignition, all the doors are closed and all the dome lights etc are turned off before doing this. If you get a reading of more than .050 amps than you have a draw. You may have to wait for 20 minutes or so for everything to power down to get an accurate reading.

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