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Old 09-02-2020, 05:17 PM   #1
chris fowler
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Default 2009 Aura XR 3.5 132000 miles and Battery light on.

My battery light came on and it finally killed the battery. My mechanic installed a delco reman alternator which died the next day. He replaced it again 4 more times before he blamed the battery. Soooo brand new battery installed and he replaced the alt again. It failed the next day and he said its not the alternator, its the car, take it to the dealer. Took it to the chevrolet dealer with a failed alt and they came back and said it was the battery cables were loose. I went out to the car and did not even get in because all the warning lights were on. I showed it to the service advisor and he then believed me that the car was only running on battery. Boom, took it back to my mech and he put a delco reman on the car for the last time. I drove it straight back to dealer with everyting working. They kept the car for 2 days and said noting was wrong with the car. Brought it home and the next day SUPPRISE!!! battery light on again. Took it back 2 dealer with the light on. after 2 days they called and said it was the alt. $1100 dollars and they will install a reman delco alt. I asked if they bench checked my alt and was told that it was good??? wait what!! they want to charge me money to remove a good alt and install another good alt. thats just what they want 2 do. and by the way they said that if the new alt does not fix the problem, I stilll owe for the alt as it cant be returned. But if it failed again they would start diagnosing the problem again.....................They have no idea how to get off of the circular track that they are running on and refuse to diverge from it. Any ideal whats happening with the alt light on and the good alt not charging the battery? Very frustrating to say the least
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Old 09-02-2020, 06:05 PM   #2
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Default Re: 2009 Aura XR 3.5 132000 miles and Battery light on.

Wow!? Simply astonishing to have a mechanic replace the alternator 4x then declare the battery faulty then with a new battery the battery light still turns on?! And turning to GM expertise (supposedly), they diagnose the same alternator fault?! In my opinion, before the second alternator was put in I would have (as diyer) measured for 12v power from the fusible link wire attached to the rear or side of the alternator. This fusible link wire is always HOT since it derives power from the starter terminal with the HOT wire from the battery. If 12v is measured at the alternator (to ground), the other wire(s) are the signals for the ecm to cycle the battery light on/off. All I'm describing are basic wiring for virtually every vehicle with a battery/alternator system as almost every vehicle uses the same wiring configuration. Most mechanics that can read and write along with auto electric skills as well as dealers should have this knowledge. When a second alternator is considered, everyone should be reading wiring diagrams to separate wiring from electronic issues. Electronic issues requires advanced knowledge of main power systems and if electronics is involved. This separates the replacement artists from skilled people using their knowledge to determine if an underlying problem goes beyond replacing alternators and batteries. It can be as simple as severely corroded or damaged main power wiring and main grounds, poor installation of the power wire to the alternator, a damaged fusible link wire to a serious electronic problem. My guess is you haven't found anyone yet with skills above replacing parts.

If this were my problem, service manuals are read to familiarize myself with battery/ alternator circuits then if electronics are involved, familiarizing myself with any electronics to see if this is the problem. Basic troubleshooting, connections, measuring hot voltage at the alternator come first before delving into electrical/electronic circuits.
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Old 09-02-2020, 06:13 PM   #3
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Default Re: 2009 Aura XR 3.5 132000 miles and Battery light on.

Thanks. When I get the car back from dealer I'll try that. I got GM customer service involved and am awiating a response from the GM rep at the dealership. I'm not very hopeful that anything will get resolved, But I'm preparing to have to figure it out myself.
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Old 09-02-2020, 06:37 PM   #4
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2008 AURA XE
Default Re: 2009 Aura XR 3.5 132000 miles and Battery light on.

Do you know what codes were pulled?
There is a fusible link that runs from the alternator BATT terminal on the to a stud on the starter then to the battery. If the fusible link is blown, the alternator can never charge the battery.
The alternator is controlled by the ECM which also turns on the battery light.
Check battery connections, Battery ground to engine block connection. Check starter to battery cable and alternator to starter fusible link connections.
Check the BATT terminal and plug on the alternator and the wiring back to the ECM. If all the wiring checks good the ECM or alternator could be bad.
This diagram shows how the alternator and ECM connect. (It's for a different GM vehicle so don't go by the ECM pin numbers)
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File Type: jpg Aura charge circuit.jpg (136.1 KB, 8 views)
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2008 Saturn Aura XE 3.5L 4 spd
2000 Saturn SL1 1.9L SOHC (Retired)
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Old 09-02-2020, 07:07 PM   #5
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Default Re: 2009 Aura XR 3.5 132000 miles and Battery light on.

Thanks. I will download the diagram and begin those checks when the vehicle come home to me. I am an aircraft mechanic by profession so doing these checks won't be a problem. I just don't work on my cars because I choose not to, but at this point I'm thinking "hey with community input,,,, we can figure this out then be really petty and rub their noses in it just cause I can!
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Old 09-02-2020, 07:14 PM   #6
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Default Re: 2009 Aura XR 3.5 132000 miles and Battery light on.

Well then...I think you'll find this a good read. Lots of alternators get replaced because of a lack of understanding of these new fangled charging systems.
https://www.underhoodservice.com/sta...rging-systems/
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Old 09-02-2020, 07:50 PM   #7
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Default Re: 2009 Aura XR 3.5 132000 miles and Battery light on.

chris, do you work on aircraft electrical/electronic systems or are they separate areas for a/c mechanics. Personal curiosity because I had hoped on becoming an a/c mechanic with the government providing free training in the military but life took me in a different path. Retired as an electronic technician. My dim view of ill equipped repair shops and dealers from members relating their experiences are mimicked in my area as a former government et (a percentage of replacement artists exists everywhere with few experienced people performing real work). I learned years ago to put aside my shortcomings and simply reach out to others more educated or experienced to solve problems. The "I've fallen and I can't get up" was my personal mantra when I realized I was in over my head and simply asking for help usually came with people willing to work a problem.
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Old 09-02-2020, 08:01 PM   #8
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Default Re: 2009 Aura XR 3.5 132000 miles and Battery light on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
Retired as an electronic technician.
Me too...
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Old 09-02-2020, 08:21 PM   #9
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Default Re: 2009 Aura XR 3.5 132000 miles and Battery light on.

Fdryer,
I do it all. read wiring diagrams, interpret data, and trouble shoot systems problems. the one thing we do NOT do is throw parts (which in aviation are stupid expensive) at our customers aircraft. Our avionics team does new installs and service work and helps out a great deal when we A&P's have too much on our plate. It is truly a blessing to me to be surrounded by talented people that as a cohesive unit we can solve almost any issue.
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Old 09-02-2020, 09:07 PM   #10
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Default Re: 2009 Aura XR 3.5 132000 miles and Battery light on.

I know I'm going off topic with this addendum. I know A&Ps keep a/c from falling out of the sky and appreciate the invisible ground maintenance people gainfully employed for safer skies. I managed to acquire a PPL in rotorcraft, mindful of all those moving parts in synch. Even a loose radio antenna interfering with comms was temporarily solved by tightening with a key chain swiss tool as my instructor looked on. Knowing I wasn't supposed to meddle with things, I informed the school's owner (A&P licensed) of what I did so if anything I did wrong was mine to own up to. That a/c was new.

Did you read about a student pilot spraying alcohol based sanitizer on his training a/c with the overspray coating the instrument panel? The (shellac or varnish) coating dissolved on two training Cessnas incurring replacement of both panels. An innocent mistake due to the world wide pandemic. It's enough for me to climb all over for a preflight while touching things to ensure nothing's out of place. The jesus nut visual inspection was a preflight requirement. I'm not sure if I can climb up again, being away from flying.


imaddicted2u, your background explains your contributions of advanced knowledge with our Saturns.
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Old 09-19-2020, 03:29 PM   #11
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Default Re: 2009 Aura XR 3.5 132000 miles and Battery light on.

OK sooooo update. The stealer put on a reman delco OEM and removed the reman delco professional alternator and BOOM the problem was solved. Apparently this Aura does not like delco pro alternators. I'm not sure what the difference is between the two alts other than price (reman OEM costs more) but it fixed the problem.
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