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Old 03-15-2014, 06:49 PM   #1
JCsChallenger
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2005 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
1995 SL2
Default 2005 L300 Battery Light ABS Headlights Taillights and power failing

I have a 2005 Saturn L300 with approx. 70,000 on it and we had smelled a slight burning smell on a couple occasions over the last 2 months but no smoke and only lasted a couple seconds. The last time we smelled this I looked under the hood and found the oil cap of the car off and the top of the engine and surrounding areas coated in oil badly. I wiped up the oil the best I could and continued to check and clean off more as it settled. This was about three weeks and all has been well except the blower motor for the heat has fluctuated in speed up and down on its own periodically. Last night while we where driving on the expressway the battery light came on at first and went out quickly. It soon came back on and stayed on until I let off the gas, which I was surprised with as usually the alternator charges better at higher RPM. We made it to our destination and all was well and the car was running fine and functioning except the battery light. I noticed the lights on the dash getting dimmer but the headlights looked fine. The car would not start about 20 min later when we went to leave. I checked the battery connections and may have had a loose ground, but I am not sure if I loosened it checking them. I got a jumpstart and the car started fine and no battery light on at that time. I thought the cable may have been loose and I lucked out, but the battery light came back on about 8 miles down the road. The car started having sporadic lights blink on the dash the speedo froze, the tac dropped, dash lights went out, followed by headlights and tail lights and the car stalled. Turning the ignition off and back on the car responded with fast blinking dash lights, crackling door chime as if a short.
My question is with the only codes on the car being P0562 LOW VOLTAGE, P0175 BANK2 RICH, P0172 BANK 1 RICH, and previous P0700 TEMP COOLANT (CONSTANT PROBLEM BAD THERMOSTAT), does this sound like a bad BCM or could something under the hood be oil soaked connection problems. I replaced the battery as the low/high charge indicator light can come on with a dead shorted battery and I had a good battery on hand to test that.
Quite a few of the connectors on the engine have oil on them but I don't know where to start. Any help will be great.

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Old 03-15-2014, 09:40 PM   #2
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: 2005 L300 Battery Light ABS Headlights Taillights and power failing

Oiled drive belt slipping and killing any alternator output?

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Old 03-15-2014, 10:08 PM   #3
JCsChallenger
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2005 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
1995 SL2
Default Re: 2005 L300 Battery Light ABS Headlights Taillights and power failing

Thanks for the idea, I will check that out. The two wire connectors on top of the PCM or ECM on the top of the engine are very oil soaked. I am wondering
1)if there is a way to test the BCM with out replacement
2) can I remove the battery terminal while the car is running to see if the alternator can maintain the running. (old school test confirming alternator output
3) should I remove the PCM connectors and spray them off with CRC electrical contact cleaner

Just not sure if the PCM could lead to the flickering (high speed blinking of all the dash lights)
Hoping its not the BCM due to the high cost and needed dealer programing.

I will start with cleaning the belt and see if that helps.
Thanks again.

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Old 03-15-2014, 10:24 PM   #4
Wayne G.
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2001 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
1997 SL2
Default Re: 2005 L300 Battery Light ABS Headlights Taillights and power failing

Just replaced the alternator in my 2001 L300. I had had charging issues for some time - first thought it was the battery, but the battery was only 4mos. old. It was the alt. and as the battery died it did all the things you mentioned and I coasted to a stop. New battery and a full recharge on the battery and all is good. I had other sporadic issues with dash lights and battery not fully charging most evident as the car could not sit for more than one or would almost not start.

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Old 03-15-2014, 10:38 PM   #5
JCsChallenger
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Default Re: 2005 L300 Battery Light ABS Headlights Taillights and power failing

I was suspecting alternator or battery at first, but then I realized the lights didn't brighten with rpm as normally with a weak charging alternator. When driving the charging light on the dash actually went out at part throttle or off throttle coasting, and would come back on during acceleration. I will check the belt due to the oil and then look into the alternator as well. Thank you for your input.

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Old 03-15-2014, 11:06 PM   #6
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Default Re: 2005 L300 Battery Light ABS Headlights Taillights and power failing

The ecm is the one on the engine. The bcm is above the glove box. Whatever you do, disconnect battery negative first before disconnecting electronics. Ecm's, pcm's, bcm's, bcm's, tcm's, airbags and ABS/TC all use standby battery power for memory and small circuit power needs. Disconnecting battery negative will kill all power to everything for safe working like using electrical contact cleaner and compressed air to clean and dry off electrical terminals on electrical/electronic parts. Use care in handing the various clamping methods used to secure these connections, especially the multiple pin connectors.

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Old 03-16-2014, 01:39 PM   #7
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Default Re: 2005 L300 Battery Light ABS Headlights Taillights and power failing

I think I found out the problem and narrowed it down. I cleaned the oil off all the electrical connections and the drive belt and pulleys look dry with no residue or slack. I charged the batteries while I did this. The next step was to check the batteries charged voltage pre-install and both were 12.5 and 12.35 respectively. I installed the first battery with the 12.3 and the car would not turn over, so I immediately check the voltage and it was at 10.9v.
Totally possible as the battery has been in a discharge state for a few months over winter. The next step I put the new battery purchased 4 months ago in 12.5v and the car started right up. No flickering of lights or any odd actions. I immediately check the battery terminal voltage and the voltage while running was dropping 12.5 ,12.4 12.3 etc in just 30-45 seconds while running on idle. The battery light did not come on the dash yet but I only dropped battery voltage to about 11.7 volts while running. If we raised the rpms above 2k rpm the voltage would build ever so slightly 11.7, 11.71, 11.73 etc gaining back to 11.9 volts in a few minutes. This is not a good sign for the alternators state of condition. When my wife started the car the heater and blower motor were on low and the smell returned. I then noticed for the first time the smell appears to actually coming from under the hood passengers side right by the fire wall alternator area very strong. Never had an alternator smell of burning but this may be a first for me. Sound logical? The blower motor will barely come up to mid speed , but I think that is due to the limited battery voltage and alternator out put. I think this points to alternator, unless I am over looing something. Any additional Ideas? Thanks for every ones help.

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Old 03-16-2014, 09:42 PM   #8
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Default Re: 2005 L300 Battery Light ABS Headlights Taillights and power failing

Voltages below 13 volts with the engine idling points to either the alternator or drive belt. Be sure the belt isn't slipping or lost belt tension. If the belt is tight and clean then the alternator failed. All alternators, provided the drive belt is tight/not slipping, output at least 13 volts, typically 14+ volts at idle with a good battery. Don't bother to use any electrical items that draw power as you're describing a dead alternator or loose drive belt with the battery powering everything - voltage dropping as the engine idles and electrical things turned on. If you are describing a burned electrical smell, the alternator may be damaged from oil soaking into the electrical/electronic parts.

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Old 03-16-2014, 11:34 PM   #9
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Default Re: 2005 L300 Battery Light ABS Headlights Taillights and power failing

Drive belt not oil coated at all and seams tight and no apparent slipping. Removed the alternator and am picking a rebuilt up tomorrow night along with a new drive belt as there is some cracking showing up and while down there why not. I should get it done when I get home tomorrow night if its not too cold, but they say 18 degrees so might do it Tuesday when its a balmy 40ish out. Thanks again.

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Old 03-17-2014, 07:19 PM   #10
JCsChallenger
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Default Re: 2005 L300 Battery Light ABS Headlights Taillights and power failing

Well new alternator went in easy as pi, however the belt is in the garage for a warmer time. I forgot about the motor mount removal and its pretty cold outside right now. I will tackle that belt indoor or during a warm spell. The new alternator is charging well on idle it maintains 14.39-14.4 with lights, heat and fan on. Which leads me to my next project, blower motor that goes up and down in speed no matter what speed it is set on. I will search for ideas on that project now. Thanks again for every ones help.

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