charging problem - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat

1992-1999 Series I L27 (1992-1994 SE,SLE, SSE) & Series II L36 (1995-1999 SE, SSE, SLE) and common problems for the Series I and II L67 (all supercharged models 92-99) Including Olds 88's, Olds LSS's and Buick Lesabres Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 01-25-2014, 08:22 PM   #1
Senior Member
Posts like a Supercharger
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 161
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
ggenovez is on a distinguished road
Default charging problem

Hi everyone,

I've run into an issue with the charging system. For some reason I've been chewing up batteries. I get them from Costco so I've never thought much about it, but I seam to replace them every 2-3 years.

I noticed that when the battery was new it would fire right up, now I see there is a bit of hesitation, so I put a charger on the battery and it read 25% charge. Brought it up to full charge, and started strong again.

It'* been about 2-3 weeks, and I noticed it was getting hard to start again. This time I hooked up a volt meter and at idle I'm reading a little over 14 volts. Seams a little high. SO I hooked it up the charger again and I'm reading 25% again.

Any ideas whats going on?

ggenovez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2014, 08:32 PM   #2
Senior Member
Posts like a Camaro
rjblazer's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Elmira, New York
Posts: 853
Thanked 31 Times in 29 Posts
rjblazer has a spectacular aura aboutrjblazer has a spectacular aura about

That'* prolly all you are going to get out of a battery form there. Just like walmart batteries I have never seen one last much longer than that. There made cheaper and don't last as long. I always buy the highest amperage battery that fits in the vehicle and they usually have like a 6 or 8 year prorated warranty with like a 2 year free replacement. I normally get them at autozone or advance auto.
rjblazer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2014, 08:38 PM   #3
Senior Administrator

Certified Car Nut
Mike's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Horseheads, NY
Posts: 15,649
Thanked 1,001 Times in 777 Posts
Mike has a reputation beyond reputeMike has a reputation beyond reputeMike has a reputation beyond reputeMike has a reputation beyond reputeMike has a reputation beyond reputeMike has a reputation beyond reputeMike has a reputation beyond reputeMike has a reputation beyond reputeMike has a reputation beyond reputeMike has a reputation beyond reputeMike has a reputation beyond repute

14 volts seems normal for the alternator to be charging. Anything higher than 14 or lower than 12 is abnormal. Extreme cold temps can have effects on how well the battery performs.
Mike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2014, 01:18 AM   #4
Senior Member
True Car Nut
Soft Ride's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: BC Canada
Posts: 3,591
Thanked 341 Times in 303 Posts
Soft Ride has much to be proud ofSoft Ride has much to be proud ofSoft Ride has much to be proud ofSoft Ride has much to be proud ofSoft Ride has much to be proud ofSoft Ride has much to be proud ofSoft Ride has much to be proud ofSoft Ride has much to be proud of

I think George you are doing the right thing during winter, to keep your battery charged up!
If you are concerned at all about the Alternator'* charging ability, an easy test is to start the car and put a serious load on, by having all the lights on high, heater fan on high, rear defroster on, and radio on, and then check the voltage that is coming out at idle and at 2000 rpm. What are your car readings now with load on?
If you have removable caps for water, take a peek in there (Use safety goggles please) to make sure your water level is slightly above the cell line. If additional water is needed, add distilled water.
If you really want to know the specific gravity reading or state of charge of a battery, an inexpensive hydrometer will tell you how your battery is doing on each cell!
In the photo below with a battery that has been trickle charged over night, it is well above the good mark or 1.300 reading!

Many do not realize that a 10 or 15 minute run to the store is really not charging up your battery very well at all. Especially if the car is occasional use or will sit for a few days!
Most cars with security systems etc also have some minimal drain placed on the battery overnight too. Once the car has been off for 10 minutes, look to see if the battery voltage is holding or dropping, indicating a possible major drain down. (electrical drain or bad cell)
So charging up occasionally is a good thing! Always look for an intelligent charger or one that goes green when full.
As Richard stated many lesser expensive batteries may only last a few years and I agree that higher CCA (cold cranking amp) battery (that can fit) is the way to go!
That being said using a trickle charger on your batteries will extend their life, with proper maintenance. Including keeping your terminals free from corrosion!
Mike Mentioned Extreme Cold and here is the straight goods that explains the relationship between CCA and required power to start on cold mornings!

I also have a battery load tester and after charging overnight I can apply a 100 amp load and take a reading.
There is no fooling this tool. When your battery is weak it will tell you by the scales how many CCA are available from that battery!

If you want to spend more money for a much longer lasting battery, all the new series of AGM (Absorb glass matt) will offer much better performance, and are maintenance free. AGM'* wont vent like conventional lead acid batteries, so u will not get corrosion on your terminals either. I use a top of the line Odyssey in The Pk Ave, but Enersys makes the same for much less dollars in the US as a Sears Die Hard Platinum (AGM)
In the photo below I am charging with a C-Tek that is ready for AGM batteries as well. These chargers offer a desulfation wave to restore weak batteries too!
Name:  OdysseyonCTEKCharger.jpg
Views: 23
Size:  122.9 KB
Possibly too much information...But that is just me..don't get me "started" by battery topics LOL..
I hope this may be helpful!!
Attached Thumbnails
charging problem-batteryhydrometer.jpg   charging problem-batterytest6.jpg   charging problem-loadtester100amp_zps377d70df.jpg  

Last edited by Soft Ride; 01-26-2014 at 04:17 AM. Reason: added AGM Section
Soft Ride is offline   Reply With Quote

Related Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
1990 GMC K1500 with an intermittent charging problem steve_nd GMC/Chevrolet Truck/SUV 19 03-06-2011 06:56 PM
Charging System problem garyrayfield 1992-1999 3 08-21-2008 08:56 AM
94 Alternator Not Charging / PCM Problem? mattwz Everything Electrical & Electronic 4 07-20-2007 06:08 PM
Charging system problem russianpolarbear 1992-1999 11 09-23-2004 07:52 PM
Non Bonneville related.....MAZDA CHARGING SYSTEM PROBLEM!! SSEimatt93 General GM Chat 6 10-31-2003 01:21 AM

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:05 AM.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.