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Old 01-13-2016, 03:11 PM   #1
pmurphy
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2001 L-Series 2.2L Sedan
Default New Battery, New Alternator, No Codes, No Go, OH MY!

I'll try to not be long winded on this one, but I am stumped.

2001 Saturn L200 with 2.2 Ecotec. (125K miles)
Ran into issues with the battery light coming on and car stalling. After testing I opted to replace both the battery (8 years old) and the alternator (original).

Checked the ground cables and belt tension but the alternator does not charge the battery. I have even gone and returned the alternator for another and it still won't charge. I check the post of the alternator and I only have the standard 12.5 volts and as the car runs it slowly goes down until it decides it wants to die of electrical starvation.

I'm not sure where else to look at this point, but I have a scantool and there are no engine codes for me to use as a hint as to what this may be. Any suggestions would certainly be appreciated.

The vehicle runs perfectly as long as I have jumper cables hooked up.

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Old 01-14-2016, 03:22 AM   #2
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2000 L-Series 2.2L Sedan
Default Re: New Battery, New Alternator, No Codes, No Go, OH MY!


...
273,000 miles-it keeps on rolling!
The blessings of liberty erode in my country.
Gov't's grown bigger, but a chance exists that it will be reduced. I'm cautiously hopeful.

Last edited by pierrot; 01-14-2016 at 03:29 AM..

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Old 01-14-2016, 03:25 AM   #3
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2000 L-Series 2.2L Sedan
Default Re: New Battery, New Alternator, No Codes, No Go, OH MY!

Welcome to SaturnFans! It's a helpful site. As you know, there are only two components making up the charging system - with the voltage regulator self-contained in the alternator. If the alternator isn't providing its additional voltage to the system then it's most of likely to be bad. While having two replacement alternators fail to perform correctly is rare, it's not unheard of. What company rebuilt the alternator? It might be worth contacting them directly and informing them of your problem. They may provide further assistance.

An OBD II scan tool, if that's what you're using, only detects emission related faults.

...
273,000 miles-it keeps on rolling!
The blessings of liberty erode in my country.
Gov't's grown bigger, but a chance exists that it will be reduced. I'm cautiously hopeful.

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Old 01-14-2016, 04:30 AM   #4
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: New Battery, New Alternator, No Codes, No Go, OH MY!

Does the battery light turn on when ignition is turned on? Is the battery light still on when the engine's running?

If you can read wiring diagrams, the supplied drawing shows three wires, the red fusible link wire that you measured for 12 volt power from the battery and two more wires on the connector, red and grey. It may be possible for one of these two wires or terminals not making electrical connections or a break in wiring somewhere between the connection at the alternator or pcm.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf starting-charging-charging-circuit-1-of-1.pdf (45.2 KB, 12 views)

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Old 01-14-2016, 12:31 PM   #5
Russet
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
2002 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: New Battery, New Alternator, No Codes, No Go, OH MY!

Quote:
Originally Posted by pmurphy View Post
I'll try to not be long winded on this one, but I am stumped.

2001 Saturn L200 with 2.2 Ecotec. (125K miles)
Ran into issues with the battery light coming on and car stalling. After testing I opted to replace both the battery (8 years old) and the alternator (original).
Big mistake. Any battery over 5 years old should be replaced regardless of what one may think. Alt is replaced only after you take it out and to a Auto Shop to test that hows you know if it is really bad-just replacing it mask the problem and now tracing the problem will be harder to do.


Quote:
Originally Posted by pmurphy View Post
Checked the ground cables and belt tension but the alternator does not charge the battery. I have even gone and returned the alternator for another and it still won't charge. I check the post of the alternator and I only have the standard 12.5 volts and as the car runs it slowly goes down until it decides it wants to die of electrical starvation.
Where are you getting 12.5 volts? If the car is running and alt is good then it should show 14.4 volts roughly. All your reading is just the battery itself not the complete charging circuit voltage.


Quote:
Originally Posted by pmurphy View Post
I'm not sure where else to look at this point, but I have a scantool and there are no engine codes for me to use as a hint as to what this may be. Any suggestions would certainly be appreciated.
Scantool only work if the car starts and sets a codes if that doesn't work then you will not get a code. If you can't get it started Saturn self check will not diagnosis to get you a error code.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pmurphy View Post
The vehicle runs perfectly as long as I have jumper cables hooked up.
Because the other car is charging the battery so it doesn't die.

What I see here is you failed to check all the relays and fuses between your battery and main fuse box to see if something else there is the cause of problem as well. Just going out and replacing the ALT without confirming it - is throwing away good money which will not fix your problem. If you can't find it then you will have to take it to a Mechanic shop to have it properly diagnosed.

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Old 01-14-2016, 12:59 PM   #6
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2001 L-Series 2.2L Sedan
Default Re: New Battery, New Alternator, No Codes, No Go, OH MY!

Thank you for your reply Russet.

I did actually check all the grounds and fuses before replacing anything on this car. The only reason that I opted to change the alternator as well on this vehicle while I was replacing the battery is that I am/was going to give it to my brother to take to school and I didn't want him to have to worry about something going wrong, so I may of spent money that I didn't have to but I though that the peace of mind was worth it considering I took care of a lot of things with this car to ensure it operates well since I would be more than 9 hours away if he had an issue. I still have the original alternator BTW. It failed testing at Advanced Auto Parts.

I already replace Struts and springs, brakes, inner and outer tie rods, new AC/Compressor, expansion valve, drier, and a standard tune up, plugs, and filters. The battery was supposed to finish the work until it just died on me. Long story short, I checked the fuses in all 3 locations on that vehicle as well as the fusible link between the battery and alternator.

Also when I use the scantool, I do not have another vehicle hooked up to it. I do what I can to charge the battery up(car off) and run the car just off what juice it has, but it does run the battery down while I do that quite a bit. The point I was trying to make by saying it runs fine is that there does not appear to be any other issues with the engine/lights/etc... that would indicate and issue with the PCM/ECM.

I receive 12.5 volts after I charge the battery and before I turn on the car from the following locations.

Fusible link (alternator side) to engine ground
Fusible link (alternator side) to chassis ground

If you can provide me with any other areas to check I would be very grateful.

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Old 01-15-2016, 01:20 AM   #7
Russet
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
2002 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: New Battery, New Alternator, No Codes, No Go, OH MY!

Quote:
Originally Posted by pmurphy View Post
Thank you for your reply Russet.

I did actually check all the grounds and fuses before replacing anything on this car. The only reason that I opted to change the alternator as well on this vehicle while I was replacing the battery is that I am/was going to give it to my brother to take to school and I didn't want him to have to worry about something going wrong, so I may of spent money that I didn't have to but I though that the peace of mind was worth it considering I took care of a lot of things with this car to ensure it operates well since I would be more than 9 hours away if he had an issue. I still have the original alternator BTW. It failed testing at Advanced Auto Parts.
This means your going to have to trace the power from the alternator to the battery to see if there isn't a broken wire. Also I had bad experience with their auto parts and now I won't buy parts from them again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pmurphy View Post
I already replace Struts and springs, brakes, inner and outer tie rods, new AC/Compressor, expansion valve, drier, and a standard tune up, plugs, and filters. The battery was supposed to finish the work until it just died on me. Long story short, I checked the fuses in all 3 locations on that vehicle as well as the fusible link between the battery and alternator.
Suspension are going to be replace for a car this old. I think you might have a broken wire that connects but not make a solid connection.


Quote:
Originally Posted by pmurphy View Post
Also when I use the scantool, I do not have another vehicle hooked up to it. I do what I can to charge the battery up(car off) and run the car just off what juice it has, but it does run the battery down while I do that quite a bit. The point I was trying to make by saying it runs fine is that there does not appear to be any other issues with the engine/lights/etc... that would indicate and issue with the PCM/ECM.
Scan tool will only register a error code when the system computer diagnosis detects a problem.


Quote:
Originally Posted by pmurphy View Post
I receive 12.5 volts after I charge the battery and before I turn on the car from the following locations.

Fusible link (alternator side) to engine ground
Fusible link (alternator side) to chassis ground

If you can provide me with any other areas to check I would be very grateful.
What you want to measure is the voltage at the battery with the car running if the battery is properly charging from Alt then it would be in the 13-14v range. That will tell you the charging circuit it working. If not and you just read the battery charge then there is a problem with the charging circuit and you need to trance all the wire from Alt to battery and check the grounds.

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Old 01-15-2016, 01:43 PM   #8
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2002 L-Series 2.2L Sedan
2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: New Battery, New Alternator, No Codes, No Go, OH MY!

i would pull the plug from the alternator and check the contacts...definitely sounds like you have a broken wire...

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