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Re: '88 5000cstq electric gremlins

> I have a 5000cstq w/problems of electric problem-the car keeps on goint dead
> after overnight or a few hours of being parked. My mechanic has been
> sleuthing it out but here some issues - the elctirc antenna is stuck down and
> seems to be running sometimes even on its own. My wife noticed it in the
> upright position with radio off. Then she slammed the rear door and the
> antenna went down. It is now stuck in the down position. She noticed the
> whirring sound (sounded like it was running) before she opened the door, even
> though the radio was off. ALso I found water (@2 inches) in the bottom left
> of the trunk compartment-could this be a problem?. This car has 113,000 miles
> and in great shape but will have to go if this continues and it won't start
> reliably. Any ideas or suggestion welcome. Any idea about replacing the
> antenna at a reasonable price? Thank you. Steve Meyrich - StevenM659@aol.com

the power antenna is powered off the same lead as the rear amp/crossover.  Pull the inline fuse; if the car starts fine
then next morning, you know where your problem is :)
I'd say that if the antenna is operating randomly, then you have a short of some kind, or, yes, there is water. I doubt
the water is the direct source of the drain, rather, it's triggering the antenna which is draining the battery, but even
that doesn't seem like it draws enough current.
If it happens after a few hours of being parked, you've got a bad battery.  Sorry, but for a battery of 100 a/hr
capactity, going dead after 4 hours would be 25 amps of juice-way, way, way more than your antenna motor _and_ water
combined.  Though I don't remember the exact numbers for my 5k battery, our ovloV has a 400 a/hr battery in it.
Discharging it in 4 hours would require 100 amps.  That's almost every accessory in the car, including heated mirrors, A/C
fan, headlights on high(all four bulbs.)  While you probably don't have as beefy a battery...still, that's a lot of
current that's dissapearing into nowhere.

If the problem has been getting worse, perhaps you damaged the battery from a quick-charger, or there is not enough fluid
in the battery, etc.
Have your mechanic test the battery with a battery tester...it's basically a super-high current load w/ammeter.
Another possible test is to SLOW charge the battery, wait a few minutes, and measure the voltage.  Come back in 3 hours,
and if it's significantly lower, your battery has a short.

Also, check terminals for corrosion. Here's a test:
-see if an accessory works.
-turn on the accessory.
-turn key to "start"
-if radio/headlights/radar detector/dash clock goes out, boom, you've probably got corrosion on the terminals of the
battery(the corrosion introduces a small resistance that does not affect low current loads, but causes major issues with
super-high-current stuff like starters; the voltage drops, and the accessories loose power.)

hope this helps.