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Alternator warning light

 
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Walter2
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2003 Chevrolet Impala


PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 11:36 pm    Post subject:  Alternator warning light Reply with quote

My 2003 Impala base model with 3.4L engine has two electrical problems but not sure if there related. Three months ago when I turned the ignition key nothing happened. Total loss of electrical power, no lights, clock, horn, even the instrument cluster was blank. With only a single jumper cable connected between the negative battery terminal and chassis power was restored. Uh Ha, bad ground? When I got home I cleaned both battery terminals, cables and chassis ground from battery. Also installed a short 6ga ground cable between alternator bracket and strut bolt (chassis). Paint surfaces were sanded to bare metal. That problem never happened again. But engine did cut out 2-3 times when driving. It happened so fast that I think it was electrical. It always restarted.

2nd problem, alternator warning light will come on a few times a day but only stay on for 5 – 30 seconds. When driving I have been monitoring the voltage with a digital multimeter. With a cold running engine, voltage will be ~14.25 volts. After engine reaches operating temperature, it is between 13.8 – 14.0 volts. I have never seen it drop below 13.8 volts. So why the warning light?

I just need a reliable car that will start each and every time. In an attempt to fix these problems I replaced the following parts:
• Serpentine belt tensioner
• Ignition switch
• Bypassed PassLock system with resistor.
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billy101
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Location: Willow Spring, NC

2001 Chevrolet Impala
2010 Chevrolet Malibu


PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 11:54 pm    Post subject:  Re: Alternator warning light Reply with quote

Walter2 wrote:
My 2003 Impala base model with 3.4L engine has two electrical problems but not sure if there related. Three months ago when I turned the ignition key nothing happened. Total loss of electrical power, no lights, clock, horn, even the instrument cluster was blank. With only a single jumper cable connected between the negative battery terminal and chassis power was restored. Uh Ha, bad ground? When I got home I cleaned both battery terminals, cables and chassis ground from battery. Also installed a short 6ga ground cable between alternator bracket and strut bolt (chassis). Paint surfaces were sanded to bare metal. That problem never happened again. But engine did cut out 2-3 times when driving. It happened so fast that I think it was electrical. It always restarted.

2nd problem, alternator warning light will come on a few times a day but only stay on for 5 – 30 seconds. When driving I have been monitoring the voltage with a digital multimeter. With a cold running engine, voltage will be ~14.25 volts. After engine reaches operating temperature, it is between 13.8 – 14.0 volts. I have never seen it drop below 13.8 volts. So why the warning light?

I just need a reliable car that will start each and every time. In an attempt to fix these problems I replaced the following parts:
• Serpentine belt tensioner
• Ignition switch
• Bypassed PassLock system with resistor.


I was getting the BATTERY light on my dash when I was sitting at light with bass on full tilt, and with AC on. My alternator was on it's way out and before I figured out it was the alternator, I replaced the serpentine belt, and the battery. To no avail, I had to get a new alternator. Spent $300 on a DC Power 190A H/O Alternator and everything's been good since. When the alternator is hot the regulator could be slowly going out and not charging correctly. Otherwise, idk what your problem is...sorry! Maybe go have your battery and alternator tested at your local AZ or Advanced?

_________________
2002 Impala LS 3.8 -121,749 miles 11/13/2011
2001 Impala LS 3.8 - 118,510 miles. 9/2/2011. RIP - 11/12/2011
2010 Malibu LTZ 3.6 - 16,014miles. 8/20/2011.
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Irish_alley
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2004 Chevrolet Impala
1986 GMC Sierra
1994 Chevrolet Silverado
1984 GMC Sierra
1979 Chevrolet Silverado
1991 Chevrolet Silverado


PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 5:07 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote

I don’t see how one battery cable connected to the ground of the car. Seams like a bad connection with one of your cables might be your problem and causing more than one problem. also i know on other cars/trucks there is a little red wire on the starter if it has a bad connection it will act just like how you described in the first part of the post. you r car will seam to be dead no gauges no light almost like you haven’t turned they key at all. a good way to piss someone off you don’t like lol

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Walter2
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Joined: Aug 11, 2010
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2003 Chevrolet Impala


PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 3:13 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

To billy101: I have a stock car that has minimal electrical demands. Alternator voltage never drops below a point where it should trigger a warning light. That is why I suspect a problem with wiring. I am hoping for additional suggestions to try before replacing alternator.

To irish_alley: Unknown to me at that time, I had high electrical resistance with the original factory ground cable. Away from home and without any hand tools I connected a single jumper cable from negative battery terminal to chassis ground to provided another ground path. I resolved the grounding cable problem when I got home by sanding the contact points clean. At your suggestion, I'll look for that red wire near the starter.

Thanks for both your inputs. Does anyone what to chime in with their thoughts?
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billy101
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Joined: Sep 12, 2010
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Location: Willow Spring, NC

2001 Chevrolet Impala
2010 Chevrolet Malibu


PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 3:50 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Walter2 wrote:
To billy101: I have a stock car that has minimal electrical demands. Alternator voltage never drops below a point where it should trigger a warning light. That is why I suspect a problem with wiring. I am hoping for additional suggestions to try before replacing alternator.

To irish_alley: Unknown to me at that time, I had high electrical resistance with the original factory ground cable. Away from home and without any hand tools I connected a single jumper cable from negative battery terminal to chassis ground to provided another ground path. I resolved the grounding cable problem when I got home by sanding the contact points clean. At your suggestion, I'll look for that red wire near the starter.

Thanks for both your inputs. Does anyone what to chime in with their thoughts?


There are three grounding points that I have found. One right under where the fuse boxes are under the hood, kinda hard to get to. Another one on the transmission casing underneath the crossover pipe near the starter, and a grounding wire to the radiator support on the driver side behind the headlight.

_________________
2002 Impala LS 3.8 -121,749 miles 11/13/2011
2001 Impala LS 3.8 - 118,510 miles. 9/2/2011. RIP - 11/12/2011
2010 Malibu LTZ 3.6 - 16,014miles. 8/20/2011.
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Irish_alley
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Joined: Dec 13, 2007
Posts: 558
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2004 Chevrolet Impala
1986 GMC Sierra
1994 Chevrolet Silverado
1984 GMC Sierra
1979 Chevrolet Silverado
1991 Chevrolet Silverado


PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:45 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

now i understand the ground thing lol i was thinking how the heck would connecting jumpers do this but you didnt jump it you used the cables as leads

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I’m SO Much Cooler Online
"Racecar driving is like sex, all men think they are good at it. “-Jay Leno

Sorry if i'm an a**hole, but i tend to speak whats on my mind and the truth as i see it.. May not be right but it seamed right.
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