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Old 06-06-2021, 02:10 PM   #1
kw1808
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Default 2008 Outlook Charging System Issue

I have a 2008 Outlook with some charging problems. Hope anyone here could offer some hints.

The main issue is battery is not charged fully every day after the commute drives (one way about 30 miles). The voltage shows the battery is about 12.3v. It would start the next day without problem but I could feel it is weak.

The SUV has regulated voltage control so I see the voltage meter on the control panel goes to 13V after car warms-up (14.5v every time once I start the car). It seems for me the alternator is working properly. But looks the car does not work to keep the battery soc to 90%+. With 12.3v on the battery, I could expect the lifetime of the battery not long at all.

I've checked everything else I can. No current leakage, no error code, no lights on, battery about 1.5 years old. And, I charged the battery that can holds the voltage at 12.6v without problem.

Any idea?
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Old 06-06-2021, 03:04 PM   #2
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: 2008 Outlook Charging System Issue

*Check for a loose drive belt. Belt tensioners are usually spring loaded to maintain tight belt tension against slipping from ac compressor and alternator loads.

*Drive belt eliminated, measure voltage with a multimeter with engine idling. Normal alternator output is around 14.5vdc, a few volts higher than battery with engine off - the entire electrical system is run on the alternator while its recharging the battery (the reason vehicles can run without a battery after starting up but never recommended).

*Try Autozone or other auto parts store selling car batteries offering free battery/alternator tests on the vehicle. With a relatively new battery, alternator testing may reveal a worn out one. Be sure connections to alternator are free of corrosion and not loose.
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Old 06-06-2021, 04:57 PM   #3
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Default Re: 2008 Outlook Charging System Issue

thank you! The output of the alternator is regulated by computer so it won't stay at 14.5v all the time. Autozone only test the output and said it is good.
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Old 06-06-2021, 10:45 PM   #4
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Default Re: 2008 Outlook Charging System Issue

Without service manuals, second guessing can be costly. However, searching online seems to reveal your presumptions of computer controlled charging system may be hinting at more info than most are willing to find out. There's one reply that seems to describe the charging system using a battery current sensor on one of the battery cables. If your battery is in the rear, be sure both battery cables are clean and free of corrosion otherwise poor electrical connections may create unusual system electrical problems beyond the ability of average diyers. Examine both battery cables connecting to the battery as well as battery ground, chassis and engine. Battery positive connects somewhere in the engine bay, perhaps at a terminal next to the main fuse panel.

Here's the link addressing the charging sensor and cable; https://www.fixya.com/cars/t13479199...harging_system. Jeff Armer replies with charging sensor and battery cable review.
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Old 06-07-2021, 10:33 AM   #5
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Default Re: 2008 Outlook Charging System Issue

The battery has the current sensor. Also, it has both poles wired to measure the battery voltage. I assume all these will be sent to BCM. The battery bay is in middle of the car so everything is super clean.

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Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
Without service manuals, second guessing can be costly. However, searching online seems to reveal your presumptions of computer controlled charging system may be hinting at more info than most are willing to find out. There's one reply that seems to describe the charging system using a battery current sensor on one of the battery cables. If your battery is in the rear, be sure both battery cables are clean and free of corrosion otherwise poor electrical connections may create unusual system electrical problems beyond the ability of average diyers. Examine both battery cables connecting to the battery as well as battery ground, chassis and engine. Battery positive connects somewhere in the engine bay, perhaps at a terminal next to the main fuse panel.

Here's the link addressing the charging sensor and cable; https://www.fixya.com/cars/t13479199...harging_system. Jeff Armer replies with charging sensor and battery cable review.
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Old 06-07-2021, 11:59 AM   #6
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Default Re: 2008 Outlook Charging System Issue

While the battery bay may be clean, looks can be deceiving. Did you check battery cables connections to the engine fuse box and ground(s)? Going over the simple things may reveal a problem before looking at advanced troubleshooting. Subscribing to alldata or Mitchell fort online service manuals can help before visiting GM or a knowledgeable repair shop with expertise in electrical/electronic diagnosing. Like AutoZone, many repair shops may not have expertise in computerized charging systems - they have to resort to service manuals if second guessing on alternator replacement doesn't work. Seeing 14.5vdc at startup and idle but dropping below while driving suggests the alternator is fine but possibly the voltage sensors and/or battery cables are suspect. This part of troubleshooting is at the advanced level and above the average diy skill set. It may be a faulty alternator but with limited info, I cannot determine where the problem lies.
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Old 06-07-2021, 02:21 PM   #7
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Default Re: 2008 Outlook Charging System Issue

Thank you so much! I will double check the cables.

Agree with you that the alternator might be OK. Every time, when I started the car, it always start by 14.5+ and slowly drop to 13. This is even true when I start the engine hot (I suspected it was due to a hot engine/alternator). Overall, there is no definite signs telling me a faulty part, except the battery is not fully charged after a day commute.



Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
While the battery bay may be clean, looks can be deceiving. Did you check battery cables connections to the engine fuse box and ground(s)? Going over the simple things may reveal a problem before looking at advanced troubleshooting. Subscribing to alldata or Mitchell fort online service manuals can help before visiting GM or a knowledgeable repair shop with expertise in electrical/electronic diagnosing. Like AutoZone, many repair shops may not have expertise in computerized charging systems - they have to resort to service manuals if second guessing on alternator replacement doesn't work. Seeing 14.5vdc at startup and idle but dropping below while driving suggests the alternator is fine but possibly the voltage sensors and/or battery cables are suspect. This part of troubleshooting is at the advanced level and above the average diy skill set. It may be a faulty alternator but with limited info, I cannot determine where the problem lies.
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