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Old 02-16-2017, 11:09 PM   #1
vikasevan
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Default 1999 Saturn SC2 manual how many miles it will drive only on battery

1999 Saturn SC2 manual

Car cranks but it does not start and guy thinks its because of alternator..

My understanding is even if alternator is completely bad ...but if battery is good enough juicy it will still start correct?


how many miles it will drive just on battery if alternator is bad?

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Old 02-16-2017, 11:27 PM   #2
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Default Re: 1999 Saturn SC2 manual how many miles it will drive only on battery

The alternator cannot stop it from starting, but the battery must have a decent charge and the bad alt may have caused it to be too discharged. I think that is unlikely, but it is very easy to check. If the battery voltage can keep up above 10V while cranking, then it should fire and start.

How far it will go on just the battery... depends. It is more a matter of run-time and load on the electrical system. Running at night, with lights on, wipers and heater going will reduce range; and I'll assume you wouldn't dare try to use your 3000W sound blaster or eyeball-burning high-beams. During the day, powering only the engine and trans, I think you could get two hours of run-time out of a good and well-charged battery

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Old 02-16-2017, 11:37 PM   #3
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Default Re: 1999 Saturn SC2 manual how many miles it will drive only on battery

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Originally Posted by billr View Post
The alternator cannot stop it from starting, but the battery must have a decent charge and the bad alt may have caused it to be too discharged. I think that is unlikely, but it is very easy to check. If the battery voltage can keep up above 10V while cranking, then it should fire and start.

How far it will go on just the battery... depends. It is more a matter of run-time and load on the electrical system. Running at night, with lights on, wipers and heater going will reduce range; and I'll assume you wouldn't dare try to use your 3000W sound blaster or eyeball-burning high-beams. During the day, powering only the engine and trans, I think you could get two hours of run-time out of a good and well-charged battery
Thanks so this seller who wants to sell this 99 sc2 is saying it does not start because of alternator and he says battery is only a year old ..he also added It started when he jumped started it but as soon as pull the cables off it dies.

Do you think he is hiding something?

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Old 02-17-2017, 12:49 AM   #4
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Default Re: 1999 Saturn SC2 manual how many miles it will drive only on battery

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Originally Posted by vikasevan View Post
Thanks so this seller who wants to sell this 99 sc2 is saying it does not start because of alternator and he says battery is only a year old ..he also added It started when he jumped started it but as soon as pull the cables off it dies.

Do you think he is hiding something?
If it doesn't stay running with no battery the alternator is dead (bad idea to run this way much over 5 seconds if the alternator is good...if even that long), if it runs only while jumpstarted then it's probably just a dead battery. I'd either show up with a known good spare battery or swap the battery out of the GM car I showed up with.

When I check out a '96+ anything I bring my OBD II scanner and if they say anything about battery/alternator issue's (no matter the year) I bring my DMM and spare battery as well.

My '93 SL2 went about 30 miles on just the battery, the last 10 of those at midnight and all of them with everything being used normally as I didn't realize I broke my spare alternator upon installing it.
Went on a 60mi each way trip with a '96 SC2...half way there the battery light started randomly flashing. Got there, got my job done, 4hr's later no-start and nearly 2hrs from home/tools (insert random panicking music...lol). Popped the hood and immediately saw a loose positive battery terminal...tightened it as best I could with a pair of pliers and she started right up like I hadn't made an idiot mistake.

Last edited by fetchitfido; 02-17-2017 at 12:55 AM..

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Old 02-17-2017, 08:19 AM   #5
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Default Re: 1999 Saturn SC2 manual how many miles it will drive only on battery

So, this is the same car you asked about 2 days ago?
Where the car would only run whenever jumper cables were on it?

Sounds like you want to buy the car and wondered if you could make it home in daylight. Just pop in a spare battery (and if long distance) and keep a second one with you for insurance to make it home. OR replace the alternator on the spot and go for it.

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Old 02-17-2017, 10:13 AM   #6
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Default Re: 1999 Saturn SC2 manual how many miles it will drive only on battery

It should run a good 25 miles, maybe 50 miles.
But don't turn it off cause it won't restart.
Don't turn on anything.

Had this happen to a Vega, alternator died on way to Nags Head.
We got a jump about 45 minutes away from beach. I kept going and drove to a NAPA store in Nags Head and bought a new alternator. Then store gave me a jump and it was good.

All the engine needed was enough power to keep spark going and some minor electronics.

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Old 02-17-2017, 01:29 PM   #7
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Default Re: 1999 Saturn SC2 manual how many miles it will drive only on battery

A Saturn is going to need electrical power for the spark, injectors, "minor electronics", and the fuel pump. Also the engine cooling fan, if you get caught in traffic. The pump is a fairly good load (6-10A?), as will be the fan if needed.

I can't tell if the seller is trying to hide something, they may just not be knowledgeable. Any car that won't start and keep running is rather a gamble, assume some major work may be needed and pay accordingly.

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Old 03-03-2017, 11:47 PM   #8
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Default Re: 1999 Saturn SC2 manual how many miles it will drive only on battery

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Originally Posted by billr View Post
A Saturn is going to need electrical power for the spark, injectors, "minor electronics", and the fuel pump. Also the engine cooling fan, if you get caught in traffic. The pump is a fairly good load (6-10A?), as will be the fan if needed.

I can't tell if the seller is trying to hide something, they may just not be knowledgeable. Any car that won't start and keep running is rather a gamble, assume some major work may be needed and pay accordingly.
Apart from dead battery what else could be reason for no start? how about camshaft or crankshaft position sensor or ignition coil? He said starter is new + new cat + 2 new ignition coils

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Old 03-04-2017, 10:55 AM   #9
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Default Re: 1999 Saturn SC2 manual how many miles it will drive only on battery

Is the situation the same, it won't crank unless jumper cables are used, and run then only as long as the jumper cables are left in place?

If it will continue running as long as the jumper cables are attached, then it is very unlikely this is some problem other than the battery/alternator system.

Has the battery been tested and charged, or a know-good battery tried? In my (high cost-of-living) area, I can get a good new battery for $80; I wouldn't even consider this car without getting a good battery in place for some further evaluation of the car's operating condition.

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