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Old 02-09-2011, 01:46 PM   #1
Stowellez
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Dizzy Battery Light

Here's the situation: I came back from a 5 month deployment and the battery in my 04 Saturn Ion is completely drained. (I know...it was supposed to have been run several times while I was away)
Tried jumping it from the terminal under the hood and succeeded in blowing a lot of fuses. I replaced the fuses and battery and got the car to turn over. However, the battery light is now on. A garage confirmed what I thought, that the alternator was shot
I replaced the alternator myself with a rebuilt but got the same battery light. I then drove the car to the OReillys I had gotten the alternator from. They tested it and said it too was bad. I've since installed another alternator and still have the battery light on.
I have checked/cleaned all of the electrical connections on battery and alternator. The belt is in decent shape with no apparent slippage.

Any thoughts on what the issue could be? Thanks!

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Old 02-09-2011, 03:37 PM   #2
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Default Re: Battery Light

you might be looking at replacing your car. you might have done a a LOT of damage when you tried to jump it. if you blew fuses, you did it wrong, and hurt your car. there's a lot of things you can damage by jumping it wrong.

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Old 02-09-2011, 09:12 PM   #3
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Default Re: Battery Light

Thanks for the reply. Geez I hope you are wrong but it definitely seems something happened while jumping the car. Just need to know what.

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Old 02-09-2011, 09:15 PM   #4
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Default Re: Battery Light

The fact that fuses blew means that most of the vital systems were protected. The battery light may mean the battery is shot. Have your battery load tested and charged.

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Old 02-09-2011, 09:26 PM   #5
2006 ion2
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Default Re: Battery Light

Quote:
Originally Posted by cardude427 View Post
The fact that fuses blew means that most of the vital systems were protected. The battery light may mean the battery is shot. Have your battery load tested and charged.
the battery was replaced before they even posted on here, as stated in post 1. you>reading.

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Old 02-10-2011, 04:49 PM   #6
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Default Re: Battery Light

Post doesn't actually say the "replacement" battery has been tested good or bad. I'm curious if all the bad fuses/relays were actually replaced.

Double check the assumptions. Could be something simple. Otherwise, if you search for other "bad jumps" here you might get some ideas of areas you'll want to verify good.

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Old 02-10-2011, 07:05 PM   #7
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Default Re: Battery Light

Yes, the new battery has been checked and is good. The fuses have been double checked and are good. I took the battery and alternator to OReillys for a bench test. The battery tested good but the machine they used for the alternator claimed it couldn't support that type of alternator. WTF?!?
I'm entertaining any and all possibilities. Thanks again!

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Old 02-10-2011, 08:01 PM   #8
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Default Re: Battery Light

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2006 ion2 View Post
the battery was replaced before they even posted on here, as stated in post 1. you>reading.
Rule #1 of automotive electrical diagnosis is confirm battery performance no matter if its brand new or the current battery.

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Old 02-10-2011, 08:05 PM   #9
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Default Re: Battery Light

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stowellez View Post
Yes, the new battery has been checked and is good. The fuses have been double checked and are good. I took the battery and alternator to OReillys for a bench test. The battery tested good but the machine they used for the alternator claimed it couldn't support that type of alternator. WTF?!?
I'm entertaining any and all possibilities. Thanks again!
Could the indicator light just be wrong? battery lights are usually just voltmeters so it could just be wrong and need replacement. If the battery isnt charging then let the car run with as many accessories as you can on and see if the car quits, if it doesnt then you know its not an alt/battery problem

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Old 02-10-2011, 09:18 PM   #10
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by cardude427 View Post
Could the indicator light just be wrong? battery lights are usually just voltmeters so it could just be wrong and need replacement. If the battery isnt charging then let the car run with as many accessories as you can on and see if the car quits, if it doesnt then you know its not an alt/battery problem
Or the Auto Parts Store / Shop can perform a Load Test with the charging system in one piece. You could also try checking the Voltage on the Battery with the vehicle running.
Some "Smart" Battery Chargers also have various test features.

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Old 02-10-2011, 09:52 PM   #11
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Default Re: Battery Light

Quote:
Originally Posted by cardude427 View Post
Could the indicator light just be wrong? battery lights are usually just voltmeters so it could just be wrong and need replacement. If the battery isnt charging then let the car run with as many accessories as you can on and see if the car quits, if it doesnt then you know its not an alt/battery problem
they did confirm it good. also, the "light" is just a light, an LED. I'm not sure what the ECU monitors to turn it on, but I have no clue what replacing an LED would accomplish. also, the test you mention is a test, but you have missed the point of it.

here's how to do what you suggest. idling, you need to run EVERYTHING electrical. if your lights start to dim with the bass of the song after a little while, you have a bad alternator, not battery.

the problem with this test is it potentially takes a while to manifest any problems, and the load test your local parts store (napa, advance auto, auto zone) that is performed with the alternator in the car is faster, and far more accurate.

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Old 02-11-2011, 07:29 AM   #12
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Default Re: Battery Light

back to some simple stuff for the moment.... get a volt meter out and check the voltage. First start with the battery, with should be ~12.5 volts or better at rest. Next you can do a simple load test on the battery, turn all the lights on for a minute. the voltage will drop, after the minute see how long it take for the battery to recover. It should come back to the pre-test voltage relatively quickly.

next test the voltage with the engine running. Should be seeing ~14 volts across the battery. next turn on everything that you can and check the voltage. Its going to drop, but if it drops into the 12 volt range then its possible its the alternator. If when running there is less then the battery voltage you know the alternator isn't charging. Also rev the engine to see if the voltage changes.

other then that you will need to get a shop manual. I'm going to guess that GM has pin point tests in the shop manual like Ford that will get you to the source of the problem.

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Old 02-11-2011, 07:29 PM   #13
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Default Re: Battery Light

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2006 ion2 View Post
they did confirm it good. also, the "light" is just a light, an LED. I'm not sure what the ECU monitors to turn it on, but I have no clue what replacing an LED would accomplish. also, the test you mention is a test, but you have missed the point of it.

here's how to do what you suggest. idling, you need to run EVERYTHING electrical. if your lights start to dim with the bass of the song after a little while, you have a bad alternator, not battery.

the problem with this test is it potentially takes a while to manifest any problems, and the load test your local parts store (napa, advance auto, auto zone) that is performed with the alternator in the car is faster, and far more accurate.
I didnt say replace the led. I meant replace whats telling the led to turn on. Because we've established that the Alternator/battery is good, the car runs but the light is on. One would think that if those are both good and the car runs but the light is on that the light is wrong and therefor whatever tells the light to turn on is not working properly which would be a voltmeter now whether or not the voltmeter is apart of the ecu or a separate sensor is something else altogether but whatever is telling the little light to turn on is clearly wrong.

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Old 02-11-2011, 09:24 PM   #14
2006 ion2
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Default Re: Battery Light

actually, once again, if you read the responses, the alternators keep coming back bad.

...
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Old 02-12-2011, 08:39 PM   #15
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Default Re: Battery Light

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2006 ion2 View Post
actually, once again, if you read the responses, the alternators keep coming back bad.
Really because if you read his posts its says he replaced the alternator then got the new one tested and the machine said it wasnt able to support the alternator. So quit the the "i know more then everyone" attitude and try and help the guy.

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Old 02-12-2011, 10:16 PM   #16
2006 ion2
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Default Re: Battery Light

I am, I suggested more ways to test it, and more places to go to have it tested in the car for free. I'm not pretending I know everything, you need to read more before responding. I obviously upset you, but this is not my intent. I just don't like having to repeat info.

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Old 02-27-2011, 09:27 PM   #17
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Thumbs Up Re: Battery Light

Problem resolved! Found a fusible link between the alternator and starter had melted. It melted very close to the starter which is why I never saw it before, and the fact that all of the garages said it was the alternator. Anyway, I'm back on the road, lessons learned. Thanks for your help all!

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Old 02-27-2011, 10:00 PM   #18
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Default Re: Battery Light

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stowellez View Post
Problem resolved! Found a fusible link between the alternator and starter had melted. It melted very close to the starter which is why I never saw it before, and the fact that all of the garages said it was the alternator. Anyway, I'm back on the road, lessons learned. Thanks for your help all!
Glad it was something simple... it just took a while to find. Fuses and Wires can be some of the hardest things to track...

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