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Old 01-15-2015, 02:35 PM   #1
werecowmoo
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Dizzy Battery Light Troubleshooting

Hello! Forgive me if this should be in the Tech forum, but I hope I can get some insight here...

My battery light just came on and I have no idea why. I checked to make sure I didn't have any lights on when the car was off, and I had the battery was replaced beginning of December. Also, the alternator was replaced right before Christmas. Spark plugs were replaced right before New Years. When I put the accessory belt back on the car it looked to be in pretty good shape but I haven't checked it make sure it hasn't slipped off (its pouring outside).

IF the accessory belt is still on the car, where else should I check? What are the chances of a battery or an alternator failing after a month or less? Could the spark plug change play into it?

Thanks!

Quick Edit: 5 spd manual 1999 Saturn SL.

Last edited by werecowmoo; 01-15-2015 at 02:42 PM.. Reason: car details

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Old 01-15-2015, 02:46 PM   #2
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1999 SL
Default Re: Battery Light Troubleshooting

Whereabouts are you located? Esp. with the colder conditions around the country, it is not completely out of the question that the battery could have developed a bad cell in it.



Take a voltmeter to the battery and see if you are getting 12 Volts with the car sitting and parked. If it is reading 12 Volts, the battery is good. Less then 12 Volts tells you that the battery needs to replaced. With the car started and running, test the battery again with the Voltmeter. If the Battery tests at 13-14 Volts then your alternator is working properly. If it is less, then the alternator will need to be replaced.

Do you have any aftermarket electronics on this car? An aftermarket radio or lighting could cause a parasitic draw on the battery.

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Old 01-15-2015, 02:54 PM   #3
werecowmoo
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Default Re: Battery Light Troubleshooting

Bryan,

Battery is less than 1 month old.
Alternator is less than 1 month old.

Located in GA.
Aftermarket stereo which is 1-yr old.

1999 Saturn SL
5-SP Manual.

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Old 01-15-2015, 04:17 PM   #4
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2004 VUE 2.2L
Default Re: Battery Light Troubleshooting

A dead cell in the battery or just about any other issue battery ONLY related will not make the light come on. It WILL come on because of an issue with the charging system. Start there. Simple things like the belt and check fuses. But odds are your "new" alternator failed

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Old 01-15-2015, 08:52 PM   #5
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Default Re: Battery Light Troubleshooting

New battery, new alternator? Did you check the condition of the drive belt and tensioner? A worn out belt tensioner not keeping the drive belt taut will simply allow less engine power to transmit from belt to alternator. A slipping belt means less alternator power output to supply power to the car while recharging the battery. If you can depress the drive belt easily with just your fingers, the belt tensioner may be worn out.

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Old 01-18-2015, 07:29 AM   #6
bobbyrae
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Default Re: Battery Light Troubleshooting

Is the battery light on all the time or just at idle? Could you give more details?

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Old 01-18-2015, 06:46 PM   #7
boatmoter
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1993 SL2
Default Re: Battery Light Troubleshooting

if the battery light is on it most likely is not charging or the drive belt is off or slipping on the Alternator pulley, I would check the belt to make sure the tension is good and the tensioner has a strong pull on the belt, if thats ok,I would remove the alternator and have it tested.. never rule out a part jus because it's new in todays world of sub-quality parts.. even parts from the dealer

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Old 01-18-2015, 08:16 PM   #8
jacek_p
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Default Re: Battery Light Troubleshooting

Quote:
Originally Posted by werecowmoo View Post
Also, the alternator was replaced right before Christmas.
Replaced with what? If it was the $100 "remanufactured" special, it was probably lipstick on a pig.

All you need to do is to put voltmeter on the battery terminals while running. Is it too hard to do?

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