2000 Gem Battery and Headlight problem

Good Morning All,
I am the proud new owner of a 2000 Gem. Got it for a steal…because of the issues.

Quick back story. The previous owner had it for 3 years. Probably drove it a total of 10 hours. Sat in a garage with little to no attention. When I test drove it yesterday, it would top out at around 18mph before getting error code 15. As soon as it threw the error code, it stopped accelerating.

All 6 batteries were Trojan 30XHS. 2 were replaced in February. Of the 4 “older” ones, only 1 failed when I tested it with a voltage meter. I replaced that battery with a Duracell equivalent. After swapping this 1 battery, I was able to hit 25mph and drove for probably 5 miles without any issues. After 5 miles or so, battery dropped to 20-30 and it started to throw both error code 11 and 15. I verified that nothing was stuck under the accelerator.

I charged the Gem for probably 3 hours and it went back up to 100. I then started to drive and about 30 sec in, my headlights shut off. My blinkers and wiper still work fine, but now the lights wont turn on.

I am looking for some tips and guidance here from experienced owners. I could potentially start over with 6 brand new Trojan 30XHS batteries and see if that fixes all of my issues (since it all seems connected to power issues).

Thanks for your time!

if your other 12V features still work fine then the problem with the headlights is probably wiring. Check the grounds and 12V wires in the front and if ok, you might want to take a look at the switch on the steering column.

Sounds like you know how to use a DMM so that’s your best bet for tacking it down.

What are you recommendations for how to take a look at the switch on the column? The lights were working fine and then just went out mid-drive, so maybe something came loose? I have been unsuccessful in trying to find a wiring diagram for the lights. The blinkers, horn and wiper still works. Unfortunately, the DMM was a friend’s and I no longer have it with me.

Sounds like 2 problems. One for the lights and another with the batteries. When voltage drops off that fast, you’ve got a number of bad cells or possibly entire batteries are shot. Leaving a lead-acid battery sit for as long as they were is basically death to them.

I could have sworn there was a wiring diagram for the older models posted here somewhere, but now I can’t find it. I have it downloaded, but not on the computer I’m at right now.

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you really need a digital multi meter(DMM) and they are under $20 so that’s the first thing to do.
Then start at the head lights, look at the wires, check the connectors, check them for voltage, check them for good contact and that wires are still in the connector. Start at the light closes to the wiring harness because if that one goes, the other will go out too.

As for the light switch, you take appart the dash area with a dozen screws or something like that. Should be able to open it enough to measure if 12V is on the other side of the switch and then after throwing the switch you see 12V on the other side too.

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Here’s the wiring diagram. Supposedly for all 2004 and prior. Hope that helps.

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It’s very common that a bad set of battery’s will give you a false hope. Example you charge up the pack and the dash says 100% you THINK your good to go. 10mims later the dash is saying -15 that’s a sigh along with all the other information you have provided that your pack is no more. It’s best to confirm that with a DMM. Then you know for sure what your voltages are when things start to not work.

I would make sure your pack voltage is good to go and is not the problem b4 trying to chase other electrical problems


This has all been super helpful! I now know that I definitely need new batteries. I will start with that and then tackle the rest of the electrical issues.

Next question. Can I put in Deka 8A31DTM batteries in a stock 2000 Gem? Do I need to do anything to the stock charger? I am trying to do AGM instead due to lower maintenance but I can’t find anything definitive on whether or not the stock Zivan charger will work with those. Thanks a lot!!