Much Confusion - 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.

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Old 09-15-2003, 12:28 AM   #1
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Well, there'* a little story behind this.

On the way back from a football game I was getting off the freeway ramp and my turn signal was not blinking, it just stayed on?! Then once I stoped the car at the light it was kind-of sputtering? I turned left and the person I had following me (because she didn't know how to get to the game and then back home) got in front of me to show me where she wanted to go out and eat. We got down the road 1/2 a mile and all the sudden all of my gauges were tweeking out! I had no readout on the boost, temp., oil, speed or tach. The car also put on all the light up warning lights and all the compass directions were on?! Ok so my friend in front of me turns right on to another road. I follow but pull over and think I just need to re-start it. Well, it didn't re-start. It wouldn't even turn over! I try to jump it with my friends car, and it works, YAY, but then it dies before I was able to even put it in drive. Ok so, I called my dad and he says he'* on his way but he'* an easy 20min. drive away. During the time we waited there, a cop stoped and asked if we were ok, and we said we were and that we had a person coming. The cop left and soon there after my dad showed up. We went out and got a new battery at a Fred Meyer (like a WAL-MART). It started right up! I got home that evening thinking my car will be fine now, I was wrong. The next evening I went out and met a few of my friends behind a store and we were going to go for a little drive before we went to a sleepover. I turned off my car so I could get out and wait for my other friends to get there. Once they did I went to go and the damn car won't start up?! Oh, I was PISSED! This time I was going to get my car running! I let my car charge it'* battery off one of my friends car enough so I knew that I could get back to my house that was only a few miles away. I got home, and left my car there and drove my pimpin Ford Aerostar. So my grandpa and I thought it was the altrinator. AH-HA! WE HAVE THE ANSWER!

$60.00 battery + $90.00 altrinator = complete frustration!
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Old 09-15-2003, 12:36 AM   #2
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That'* where it helps to have a voltmeter - The SSEi do not have one, but your alternator may be toast. Can you get voltage readings while driving? Probably low.
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Old 09-15-2003, 12:37 AM   #3
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Sounds to me like your alternator died, and you've been running off your battery.

What happens when you start the car and while it'* running, disconnect the + battery terminal? Unless there'* something funky with the Bonneville (I've never had to try it with mine), if the alternator is good, the car should continue to run. If it dies, you're running off the battery, cuz your alt is a POS. These things are notorious for eating alternators, and I personally believe the SSEi'* eat 'em faster. We have more of a current draw with all our gizmos, and the Alt is subjected to more heat.....both because of the different mounting location AND the extra heat produced by the SC.

Go to Autozone, John. Get a charging system test done for free. I'm betting you just lost an Alt. Check my sig for a good suggestion, and read the 'alternator kills' post in General chat.
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Old 09-15-2003, 12:42 AM   #4
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OK, I must have not said this, I did go out and buy an altrinator. We tested the battery with a voltometer before the new altrinator and it was only around 10.95 volts. That jumped to 14.95 with the altrinator .
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Old 09-15-2003, 07:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willwren
Sounds to me like your alternator died, and you've been running off your battery.

What happens when you start the car and while it'* running, disconnect the + battery terminal? Unless there'* something funky with the Bonneville (I've never had to try it with mine), if the alternator is good, the car should continue to run.
NO. Don't EVER do that. Opening the battery circuit will send the alternator output kablooey. It'* a great way to fry it if it wasn't dead to begin with.

If the alternator'* in doubt, do an output test on it. In this particular case, it sounds like a classic Dead Bonneville Alternator syndrome.

P.*. Yes, it'* "alternator," not "altrinator."
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Old 09-17-2003, 06:22 PM   #6
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Not only is it probable to fry your alternator diodes by disconnecting the battery while running, you also risk a fatal meltdown of any computers, radio, & dash electronics by disconnecting the battery any time the key is turned on. VERY RISKY!
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Old 09-17-2003, 06:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigred
Not only is it probable to fry your alternator diodes by disconnecting the battery while running, you also risk a fatal meltdown of any computers, radio, & dash electronics by disconnecting the battery any time the key is turned on. VERY RISKY!
In addition, it doesn't even prove the test it'* trying to perform. See, you can run the engine and drive the car on _very_ little power. All the alternator needs to produce is a trickle of amperage and the engine can still run, but the battery is not going to get the recharging it needs to start the car with full power next time.

Eventually the battery dies, but the alternator itself may have keeled over long before; you just didn't notice until finally the battery couldn't come up with enough juice to start the car.

Cranking the starter motor may take hundreds of amps, but running the _engine_ afterwards takes only a few.
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Old 09-17-2003, 07:19 PM   #8
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Thanks guys, I've not done this in YEARS, and didn't know if it still worked or not.
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