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Old 09-30-2004, 05:06 AM   #1
SL1Joe
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1995 SL1
Question Charging System Issue

Yesterday while running an errand the Alternator Light came on, at first I wasn't paying attention but I noticed the clock light wasn't quite as bright as before then I noticed the light on, about now i'm thinkin greeeat I aint had the car a week and already theres a problem. Anyhow I got it home fortunatley I wasn't far from my house when this happened. Natually I assumed the Alternator at first but I wanted to be sure and checked all the connections (Battery, ALT wires, etc) to see if maybe something rattled loose, everything looks good belt had sufficent tension.
Btw the light never went off stays on consistantly so I know it's not intermittant.
Any ideas on what the problem might be, ALT possibly?? Only thing I can think to do is take the Alternator into Kragen or AutoZone and have it tested. I would of course prefer to do that while it's still in the car but with it running at a discharge I don't wanna weaken the battery any furthur by driving it over there, fortunatley I have two other vehicles here but unlike the Saturn their batteries use Top Terminals so can't interchange them.

Car Info - 1995 SL1 (about 114,500 miles)

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Old 09-30-2004, 06:50 AM   #2
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You can take your car to Autozone or O'reilly's where they will test it free. My alternator went bad on my 94 SL2 but never got a light, just the battery wasn't charging and Autozone said it was bad. I bought a new one and once I put it on, my alt light came on and stayed on. I took it back to Autozone so they could test the new old. They said it was over charging so they gave me another one.

I haven't had any problems since.

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Old 10-01-2004, 11:01 PM   #3
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Simple alternator HOME test.
Lossen but do not remove the POS battery cable at the battery
BE CAREFULL NOT to touch ANY part of the car with the tool you use to loosen the POS battery cable post while it is also in contact with the post itself!
Start the car
With the car RUNNING, CAREFULLY remove the Positive battery cable completely from the battery post.

Did the car quit? If YES, the alternator is SHOT.

IMPORTANT NOTE: DO NOT reconnect the POS cable during this test with the engine RUNNING! DO NOT drive the car or leave it running for more than 1~2 minutes MAX with the cable disconnected!

...
Old Saturns never die, people KILL them, so check your damn oil!
"Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth." Albert Einstein

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Old 10-02-2004, 10:03 AM   #4
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Good post, wolfman. That should probably be posted in the "How To" forum, too.

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Old 10-03-2004, 04:41 AM   #5
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Thanx wolfman, it was the Alternator. Went to AutoZone and bought a new Gold Duralast for $120 w/Lifetime Warranty, didn't wanna go reman I know those can be good too but I just felt better going with the 100% new one.

Now if I could just get that passenger power window working (doesn't move and it's not completley closed) i'd have it made here . Haven't been able to wash the car for fear of getting my interior wet.

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