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Old 01-16-2008, 02:20 PM   #1
gregsus
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Default Battery Issue

Hello All,

Just a quick backstory of my issue. Hopefully someone here can help.

Bought our Outlook in April of 2007 - and LOVE IT, except we keep having battery problems.

The problems started on our vacation we drove to NYC from Cleveland and the battery died in the parking garage. Got a jump and drove to Boston, where it was slow to turn over, but did work. From Boston, up to Maine and Acadia National Park, where it completly died - smack in the center of the park. Gotta another jump and was able to nurse the car home on the 15 hour drive. Took it to Saturn where they said that the battery has a service call on it and replaced the battery.

It was working, but I noticed that the lights would take a while to come on at times. The dash lights.

Fast foward to 2 weeks ago. My husband goes outside to get the dog and the car is ticking. Sounds like a treed squirrel. This is about 10:00 at night, we call On-Star and they put us intouch with someone else, who recommends that we have the car towed to the dealership. So, at midnight they came and took my car.

They said it was the battery and blamed it on us for keeping the keys in the ignitation. But they did replace it.

So, fast forward to two days ago. We have stopped leaving the keys in the car at night. But, the car starts having a delay at start and the battery is running hot. So, I am taking the car back to the dealership tomoorrow.

Any suggestions on what this could be or has anyone else had this issue?

Thanks for taking the time to read this and help in this matter

Susan
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Old 01-16-2008, 03:55 PM   #2
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Default Re: Battery Issue

A few questions:
When you say you leave the keys in the ignition, is it in the ACC postion or do you turn off the car and leave the keys there? How safe is it in your area to leave the keys in the ignition?
When you say the battery is hot, do you mean by touching it? I'm assuming you know that it's located behind the front passenger seat.

Did the service center give an explanation as to what the "service call" on the battery was?

If you have the heated washer system then it could be draining the battery. There was a technical service bulletin (TSB) out that repaired the heating element which would not shut off after it completed its cycle.

Any number of things could be causing a parasitic load on the battery when the car is off.

The ticking noise could be a solenoid or it could be the exhaust system cooling off.
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Old 01-16-2008, 04:43 PM   #3
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Default Re: Battery Issue

First things first.... even in your own garage it is not a good idea to keep the keys in the ignition. The keys are like a fuse, and even if you don't light it, it's still better to take the fuse out, right?

Other threads on the forum have mentioned the washer fluid heater, and several have mentioned battery issues because of it, so that would be the first place to look.
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Old 01-16-2008, 09:46 PM   #4
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Default Re: Battery Issue

Thanks for your replys.

1.When we left the keys in, they were in the off position. It was/is in case of an emergency we wouldn't have to fuss with finding the keys in the house or in the car. It is almost always parked in the garage, so yes it is safe to have the keys in the car at night. We have stopped doing that.

2. The meter that reads the alternator is reading between 13 and 18. From what we have read it should be reading between 8 and 13.

3. The service call was campaign #07133 / Battery Drain / No Start. The second time it is stated on the work order that that the battery will not hold charge.

They also did campaign #07074 Console-Mounted Switches - not sure what they did. I will have to get details.

4. Yes, we have the heated washing system. I will look into that.

Thanks for you answers. I hope that I have answered yours and you will be able to advise.

Susan
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Old 01-16-2008, 09:53 PM   #5
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Default Re: Battery Issue

Quote : The meter that reads the alternator is reading between 13 and 18. From what we have read it should be reading between 8 and 13.



Reply : Mine always reads above 13(as much as 1/2 way to 18). So far(touch wood) we have had no battery problems, so I don't think that is where the problem lies(I believe it registers how the charging system is working).
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Old 01-16-2008, 09:56 PM   #6
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Default Re: Battery Issue

on the outlook the volt meter is actually not a volt meter. it reads volts when the ignition is on but car not running. when running it reads the condition of the charging system. when i first got mine it was hot with the air on and it went under 13 and i was getting worried. i looked in the book and thats what it said it is not a volt meter.
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Old 01-17-2008, 10:07 AM   #7
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Default Re: Battery Issue

Correct, but ours is ready on the high end. According to what we read, if we are understanding it correctly, something is working harder than it should, to keep the battery charging and the electrial working. It should be reading on the low end. This is how it was reading when it stopped working the other times. On the high end.

I will know more tomorrow. I will post what happens at the dealership.

I just don't want to have to get the Lemon-Law working. I love my car

Susan
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Old 01-17-2008, 10:15 AM   #8
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Default Re: Battery Issue

mine read from about half to 3/4 on the gauge. i have no idea if this is possible but i wonder if now adays if the key is left in the ignition the car is continuisly(sp) trying to read the key immobilizer. just a thought.
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Old 01-17-2008, 01:24 PM   #9
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Default Re: Battery Issue

Yes, the tech that worked on it last, did say that if the key is left in, the computer does try to start turning itself on. So, we have not left the key in the car since and we are still having issues. But they did also say, that having the key in the car, probably did help drain the battery, but it didn't cause the battery not to hold the charge. Something is keeping the battery(s) from staying charged. That is what I think this is coming down to. Something is draining it but also not letting it recharge and stay charged.

Susan
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Old 01-17-2008, 01:53 PM   #10
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Default Re: Battery Issue

Voltmeter Gage
When the engine is not running, but the ignition is turned to ON, this gage shows the battery’s state of charge in DC volts.

When the engine is running, this gage shows the condition of the charging system. The vehicle’s charging system regulates voltage based on the state of charge of the battery. The voltmeter may fluctuate. This is normal. Readings between the low and high warning zones indicate the normal operating range.
-- From the manual

You do not have anything to worry about regarding your voltmeter gage always being in the 13 - 18V range.
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Old 01-17-2008, 06:39 PM   #11
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Dizzy Re: Battery Issue

I have an 2007 Outlook that is 11 months and 27000 miles into it's life and have been very happy with my Saturn even with the service bulletins and recalls. But just this morning I also had a dead battery....this is the fourth time this has occurred over the 11 months. No key in the ignition, no lights left on......just a dead battery.

Once I jump the car I don't have another problem until the next episode. My call to the Saturn Service Manager was very pleasant and asked if the previous time I brought it in for this problem if they replaced the battery. I said no ........it doesn't appear to be a battrery since after it starts there are no other failures that occur. The comment about something staying on and draining the battery seems to be right on the mark.

I will be bringing the Outlook into the dealership tomorrow and hope to find out why this happens.
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Old 01-18-2008, 01:30 PM   #12
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Default Re: Battery Issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by gregsus View Post
Yes, the tech that worked on it last, did say that if the key is left in, the computer does try to start turning itself on.
Fully draining an automotive battery permanently damages the plates. To generate the high current required for engine starts, the plates are numerous but thin, and they can get holes (or completely disappear) when the battery is completely discharged. Once damaged this way, a charge cycle doesn't restore the plates. (this is why we use deep-cycle batteries for boats and RVs, which have much thicker plates).

Anyway, it's possible that even though you've reduced or changed the drain on the system, what you're seeing now is battery damage.

Fortunately, this is easy to test! Next time you're in have the techs test the battery by itself with a good battery tester; they should have one...
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Old 01-20-2008, 04:47 PM   #13
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Default Re: Battery Issue

I have had a similar problem with my 2007 XR AWD a couple of weeks ago. It does not have the heated fluid option. Got in one night and tried to start it and nothing. Boosting it did nothing and had to get a tow to the dealership. Was told they had to replace the battery. I'm hoping this is not a recurring issue and that if something has a constant drain on the battery it can be resolved.
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Old 01-21-2008, 01:20 PM   #14
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Default Re: Battery Issue

Well, I took the truck in on Friday. They tested the battery and had the only machanic that owns an Outlook actually work on it this time. According to him, the battery is supposed to read between 13 and 15 volts. That is where it is. So, everything is I guess correct. It is still slow turning over, but they are thinking that it is the cold weather.

I will keep you all informed.

Thanks for the advise.

Susan
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Old 03-20-2008, 03:50 PM   #15
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Default Re: Battery Issue

okay - I need some help here related to the battery issue I'm having in my 2007 Outlook. I don't drive it much and was told by the service department that is the source of my problem. However some interesting things have happened. Problem: the vehicle won't start after sitting in the garage for about 2 weeks. What was interesting was before I took it to the dealer the last time - it started fine, my wife drove it to make some errands and after about the 3rd place she went to, it wouldn't start. We jumped it and drove it to the retailer. Where they checked it out the following day. They say it started when they checked it, however the battery was low, so they charged it. When I asked if the charging system is working (since it started and was driven but failed to start later) they told me that the charging system was working. There solution to me was to "drive the car more often". I find it odd that the battery will run down on this car after such a short period of time - is that normal - none of our other vehicles behave this way even if that sat for a month! Have anyone else experienced similar problems with their Outlook not starting/battery issues.

BTW, my 2007 Outlook XR has everything except HID and NAV.
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Old 03-20-2008, 08:36 PM   #16
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Default Re: Battery Issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by gregsus View Post
Thanks for your replys.

1.When we left the keys in, they were in the off position. It was/is in case of an emergency we wouldn't have to fuss with finding the keys in the house or in the car. It is almost always parked in the garage, so yes it is safe to have the keys in the car at night. We have stopped doing that.

2. The meter that reads the alternator is reading between 13 and 18. From what we have read it should be reading between 8 and 13.

3. The service call was campaign #07133 / Battery Drain / No Start. The second time it is stated on the work order that that the battery will not hold charge.

They also did campaign #07074 Console-Mounted Switches - not sure what they did. I will have to get details.

4. Yes, we have the heated washing system. I will look into that.

Thanks for you answers. I hope that I have answered yours and you will be able to advise.

Susan
leaving the keys in the ignition even in the off position will keep some of the computers in the car from going into standby mode. Thats why the battery was gettin killed when in the garage.

as for the battery gauge that is exactly where it is supposed to be. UNless you have all the accessories on at the same time it shoudl never drop below 14 Volts. If its between 8-13 that means the alternator is not charging the battery sufficiently. It has NOTHING to do with the temperature of the battery. it is the amount of voltage that is being pumped through it. Your car is operating correctly.
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Old 03-20-2008, 08:39 PM   #17
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Default Re: Battery Issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by myblubu View Post
okay - I need some help here related to the battery issue I'm having in my 2007 Outlook. I don't drive it much and was told by the service department that is the source of my problem. However some interesting things have happened. Problem: the vehicle won't start after sitting in the garage for about 2 weeks. What was interesting was before I took it to the dealer the last time - it started fine, my wife drove it to make some errands and after about the 3rd place she went to, it wouldn't start. We jumped it and drove it to the retailer. Where they checked it out the following day. They say it started when they checked it, however the battery was low, so they charged it. When I asked if the charging system is working (since it started and was driven but failed to start later) they told me that the charging system was working. There solution to me was to "drive the car more often". I find it odd that the battery will run down on this car after such a short period of time - is that normal - none of our other vehicles behave this way even if that sat for a month! Have anyone else experienced similar problems with their Outlook not starting/battery issues.

BTW, my 2007 Outlook XR has everything except HID and NAV.
see above comments about the washer bottle heater staying on, If you do not have this option and the battery has already been replaced per the bulletin the next time you go in ask them if they did a parasitic load test on the car the last tiem it was in, and to do one on it this time. 2 weeks is wayyyyy too short for a battery to go dead on its own unless the battery was weak from repeated jumpstarts while it was on the Lot at the dealer. Which can be the case if the car was recieved a while ago and sat on the lot for a while.
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Old 03-21-2008, 09:31 AM   #18
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Default Re: Battery Issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by F-Bobby View Post
see above comments about the washer bottle heater staying on, If you do not have this option and the battery has already been replaced per the bulletin the next time you go in ask them if they did a parasitic load test on the car the last tiem it was in, and to do one on it this time. 2 weeks is wayyyyy too short for a battery to go dead on its own unless the battery was weak from repeated jumpstarts while it was on the Lot at the dealer. Which can be the case if the car was recieved a while ago and sat on the lot for a while.
Thanks for the reply! I'm taking it back to the dealer today. BTW our Outlook is about 11 months old and has 9,500 miles.

I have the heated washer fluid option. The battery was never replaced. When it was in to the dealer before, they said the battery was 'low' and charged it and said that everything checked out fine. I don't know if they did a Parasitic Load Test. The comments on the receipt (it may include some Typo's but this is exactly what's on the service invoice):

TECH COMM: C/S CAR NEEDE JUMP TO GET STARTED.TEST ALT ALT TEST GOOD W/GOOD DIOD PATTURNS STARTER GOOD. NO CODED FOUND CAR STARTED GOOD AFTER SETTING 36 HOURS.

REPAIR: BATTERY _ CHARGE AND TEST
OPCODE: N0100
HRS: .20
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Old 03-21-2008, 02:00 PM   #19
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Default Re: Battery Issue

According to that operation code and 0.2 hrs of labor claimed, they very likely DID NOT perform a thorough parasitic drain test. Probably charged and (possibly) tested the battery (be interesing to see if the "test result code" from the tool was correctly applied to the work order) and then likely just visually checked for any aftermarket devices (cell charger, radar detector etc) for being plugged into an outlet and "kicked it out"
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Old 03-21-2008, 02:23 PM   #20
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Default Re: Battery Issue

we have had two outlooks, the first one the gauge always read about 3/4, we decided to trade it in under the 30 day/1500 mile thing, when we returned it it was only reading 13 while driving. the new one , like the first , read about 3/4 on the gauge, today it stayed at 13, so there is def a problem somewhere , you don't see a gauge of this type moving 1/4 under normal criving.
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