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Old 09-16-2020, 02:51 PM   #1
hbelkins
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2008 VUE Green Line
2003 VUE 2.4L
Attention 2008 Green Line intermittent battery light issues

Been awhile since I've been on the forum, but I have a frustrating charging issue with my 2008 Green Line (280K miles, original alternator) that just seems to happen at intermittent times.

I had a new battery installed a few months ago after a major failure that I suspected was caused by the alternator. However, anytime the alternator is tested, it's putting out a consistent voltage of around 14.7 volts under load.

I'm getting an intermittent battery light illumination, which is sometimes accompanied by either a "Service Hybrid System" notation, a combination of "Service Stabilitrak/Service Traction Control/Traction Control Off" notation (which can indicate a low battery), or both. It should be noted that the hybrid system had not worked for several months prior to having the new battery installed, and it started working after that.

The problem seems to manifest itself if I drive for a short distance, stop the car, then restart it. I can drive it 6-7 miles without issue, stop to go in a store or something, then when I come back out, the battery light will be on (sometimes accompanied by the other DIC messages mentioned above.)

Two weeks ago, I started out on a 50-mile trip, and stopped at a gas station about 7 miles away. When I started it back up, the battery light was on. I drove back home and borrowed my wife's 2003 Vue to make the trip.

Each day for several days, if I started the car, the battery light was on. However, a week later, I started the car and the light was off. I drove it to town, 7.5 miles away, made one stop, and drove it back home without issue. I unloaded what I had bought and went to move the car, and the battery light was on. I decided to take it to an independent garage near my home. When I started it to take it out there, the light was not on.

He checked the alternator several times and it's putting out a good charge. He also checked the tightness of the serpentine belt and everything seems to be in good order. So it was a case of the dreaded "unable to replicate the issue" syndrome.

I don't know what would cause this intermittent problem, and he was hesitant to replace the alternator since it was putting out a good charge. As noted above, the alternator is original to the vehicle at 280K miles. There didn't appear to be any loose or corroded wires or connections. Is this an alternator problem? I hate to invest that much money for it to be something else. Is it possible that the internal voltage regulator is wonky?

The GM replacement AC22762984 costs $300, but a substitute TYC Alternator from Rock Auto is half that price.

The check engine light has been on for eons, predating this issue, but I had that code run a long time ago and it's an oxygen sensor and I haven't bothered to have it replaced.

Advice in layman's terms appreciated.

Last edited by hbelkins; 09-16-2020 at 02:53 PM. Reason: corrected a misspelling
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Old 09-16-2020, 04:49 PM   #2
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Default Re: 2008 Green Line intermittent battery light issues

Is this Vue Green Line using the 2.4L 4cyl engine featuring the belt alternator starter (BAS) system?
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Old 09-16-2020, 08:07 PM   #3
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Default Re: 2008 Green Line intermittent battery light issues

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Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
Is this Vue Green Line using the 2.4L 4cyl engine featuring the belt alternator starter (BAS) system?
It's that engine, but I do not know about the BAS system. And not sure how I would determine that.
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Old 09-17-2020, 12:17 AM   #4
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Default Re: 2008 Green Line intermittent battery light issues

Either search past threads about Green Line unique issues related to the hybrid electric system or try reading Similar Threads at the bottom of this page. With 10+ years of operation, issues with the engine, battery hybrid system and belt alternator starter may occur, requiring expertise in electrical/electronic systems uncommon with conventional engines. A member here with a GL machined his own belt tensioner with snapshots. The belt tensioner is an unusual design and stands out. It's also difficult to service without special tools.

Here's one link from below; http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=212021. On that page, Similar Threads link to more GL issues.
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Old 09-17-2020, 12:17 PM   #5
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Default Re: 2008 Green Line intermittent battery light issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
Either search past threads about Green Line unique issues related to the hybrid electric system or try reading Similar Threads at the bottom of this page. With 10+ years of operation, issues with the engine, battery hybrid system and belt alternator starter may occur, requiring expertise in electrical/electronic systems uncommon with conventional engines. A member here with a GL machined his own belt tensioner with snapshots. The belt tensioner is an unusual design and stands out. It's also difficult to service without special tools.

Here's one link from below; http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=212021. On that page, Similar Threads link to more GL issues.
The belt tensioner failed four years ago and was replaced.
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Old 09-17-2020, 04:52 PM   #6
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Default Re: 2008 Green Line intermittent battery light issues

If you have the belt tensioner as shown in this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uo0ZDg0vq0o) your GL have unique problems most diyers here are not familiar with. I wasn't implying a belt tensioner problem but mentioned it relative to GL issues.

GL hybrid systems are unique and may not be shared with other GM vehicles. This may make diagnosing and troubleshooting more difficult for anyone here. Your options are few; seeking other diy GL sites with members more familiar with your issues, subscribe to alldata or Mitchell for diy online service manuals, GM dealer, repair shops with expertise in GM hybrid vehicles or mobile technicians expert in GM hybrid systems.

MY guess is this is far more than intermittent battery light issues. The GL with hybrid battery pack and additional electronics complicates diagnosing what are usually easy to diagnose battery light issues. More complicated than non hybrid vehicles. My course of action as a diyer usually refers to service manuals, detailed descriptions, maintenance records, years of ownership and mileage to help determine if a fault is genuine, false, hiding more serious problems, etc. I'm not familiar with GL problems and much less knowledgeable without GM service manuals.
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Old 09-17-2020, 06:55 PM   #7
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Default Re: 2008 Green Line intermittent battery light issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
If you have the belt tensioner as shown in this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uo0ZDg0vq0o) your GL have unique problems most diyers here are not familiar with. I wasn't implying a belt tensioner problem but mentioned it relative to GL issues.
Thanks for the clarification. I think mine may look a little different, it's certainly not as easy to see down in the engine compartment as this one in the video is, unless they've moved some stuff around in the video vehicle to make it easier to see.

Update: I drove the vehicle about six miles just a bit ago, and stopped it to buy something. When I started it again, the battery light came on with a "service hybrid system" message. I drove it home. About a mile from home, the "stabilitrak" and "traction control" messages appeared in the DIC. To my layman's mind, that indicates that the vehicle was running on battery power and the battery was starting to get low.

If I start it tomorrow morning and the battery light is still on, I'm going to take it straight to the garage and let him test the alternator's output, since the battery light never illuminated when he had it in the shop. If it's not something like the voltage regulator or something else internal to the alternator (he used a term I don't remember, and I've also seen that term used elsewhere, but can't remember it off the top of my head) that replacing the alternator won't solve, it will likely be above my financial ability to get repaired.

Rock Auto has this alternator for $150. https://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo...440278&jsn=331 If it's the BCM or ECM, they have those at a reasonable price, although programming might be an issue.

All the Rock Auto parts for my vehicle are at https://www.rockauto.com/en/catalog/...ic/gas,1440278

I wonder if it might be a relay? Or possibly a fuse?
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Old 09-17-2020, 08:22 PM   #8
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Default Re: 2008 Green Line intermittent battery light issues

I'm at a loss with this problem and hesitate in giving any definitive answers other than what was given as background info. The belt tensioner shown in the video is a very high tension device to maintain a much higher belt tension than non hybrid vehicles because the generator is the starter. All my information comes from info already available here and from specs provided from known sources to separate a conventional engine from a hybrid GM experimented with, the Green Line. Additional electronics manages the hybrid modes to allow the supplemental battery to run the generator as a starter motor as well as provide additional power to the engine. This complicates diagnosis in isolating hybrid issues from non hybrid problems as age related issues can creep into the hybrid system to complicate diagnosing this problem. If I'm not clear, it's not my intention as GMs hybrid vehicles are much more complex that a run of the mill EFI systems I'm familiar with.

One of the first things to check would be any error codes turning on the check engine or wrench light. The engine light covers only emissions issues and most readers can decode them. However, wrench light indicators store non emissions error code requiring better readers. Wrench codes are manufacturer's codes, different for each vehicle brand (Ford, GM, FCA, Ferrari, etc) and requires either better aftermarket readers or GMs scantool. Better repair shops have expensive scantools since they're working on many brands but this is added costs in diagnostic fees (if any) added to a repair bill.

Personally, I would not second guess this problem if this is my GL as I would buy or subscribe to alldata or Mitchell for online access to GM service manuals. Not having service manuals, either GM or someone familiar with GMs hybrid vehicles, not the regular repair shop that are most likely unfamiliar with hybrid issues.
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Old 09-19-2020, 07:21 PM   #9
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Default Re: 2008 Green Line intermittent battery light issues

Started the car this afternoon, no battery light on, but still getting "service traction control" and "service stabilitrak" messages. I pulled several underhood fuses and left them out for a few seconds before reinserting them; pretty much everything that I could think of related to the system (ECM, Engine 1-2-3, TCM, one that was marked BCM but isn't listed in the owner's manual, Main) and those two messages went away. Perhaps that reset may solve the issue.
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Old 09-22-2020, 05:19 PM   #10
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Default Re: 2008 Green Line intermittent battery light issues

Another update. Drove the vehicle five miles today, no issues. Took a somewhat longer route back home, about 7.5 miles, no issues. Started it back up once I got home and the battery light was on (along with "Service Hybrid System" message.) Took it to the garage and it tested as outputting about 12 volts with the battery light on. Shut it off, started it back up immediately, and the battery light was off, and it tested at 14.7 volts. So it appears that it is indeed the alternator, or possibly the voltage regulator.

So now to find a suitable replacement, since GM no longer makes the original equipment alternator (part number 24238340). There is a "generator assembly" listed, part number 24242950, but it costs $1,000.
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Old 09-22-2020, 07:22 PM   #11
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Default Re: 2008 Green Line intermittent battery light issues

Addendum to the above: Looking up the vehicle by VIN on https://parts-catalog.acdelco.com/ca...log_search.php shows an alternator, part number 22762984, that is specified for the vehicle. Punch that number into many parts sites and you get a message that the alternator doesn't fit the '08 Saturn Green Line, however. I'm also trying to find a suitable third-party replacement that might cost less than the $250 I'd have to pay for that alternator from Walmart.com. So far, Rock Auto's price for a TYC alternator is the best I've found.
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Old 09-29-2020, 05:45 PM   #12
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Default Re: 2008 Green Line intermittent battery light issues

Not-so-good update: The alternator I ordered did not fit, despite multiple sources indicating it would. I called the parts department where I bought the vehicle, and they asked for the last eight digits of the VIN. I was then told that I needed the 24242950 alternator, which is a true generator, and they'd gladly sell me one for around $1,400.

I'm having no luck finding a less-expensive third-party replacement model.

Odd that going to the AC Delco parts locator site doesn't return that specific alternator when I input the VIN there.

Rock Auto doesn't carry a replacement for the 24242950. If anyone has any leads on other parts suppliers where I might be able to find one without breaking the bank, it would be appreciated. There's one on eBay for about $650, but that's still more than I can afford.
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