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Old 07-27-2016, 04:18 PM   #1
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Exclamation PA 97 Possible electrical problem?

So last year between feb and march i replaced the battery, starter, and alternator.

last month somehow my car died after leaving work and driving ten miles to costco. got a jump everything is all good...

Now these past couple of days i've been needed a jump every time i turned the car off. just yesterday the radio remind on even if the car is on the off switch. I know that if u leave your door close and take the keys out it stays on for a few minutes, but I already took the key out and opened the door and it still stayed on after the fact.

I just took it to advance cause that is where i purchased the battery and etc. he checks the fuse'* blah blah blah, everything checks out. he decides to warranty exchange the battery, changes battery, radio (after market) stays off.

runs the system check, everything is still checking out fine, he recommended me taking it to a shop to get it hooked up to some machine where it can check the car'* electrical system.

attached are some pics of the battery test that he did. if anyone has any ideas let me know.
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Old 07-28-2016, 09:07 AM   #2
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Basically, the test he did, did check the electrical system.....the only thing it didn't do, was check for a draw.....

What are your driving habits? A lot of short trips? If yes, then the alternator is not having enough time to recharge the battery......the alternator is meant to recharge the battery, due to the draw of the starter motor on startup, and then to run the car after startup......but if the battery is discharged/weak, the alternator is not meant to be used as a charger.....

The cause is your battery is weak, due to a draw......by that I mean, something is drawing current from the battery, when the vehicle is off....this lowers the charge in the battery, so that it doesn't have enough cranking amps to turn that starter....

Looking at your test results, bat voltage is 12.22 volts....a fully charged battery, especially a new one, should be 12.6 volts....so already, it is low, that'* why there was a recommendation for a recharge...your CCA is ok at that time, but if your battery should start to measure 12.0 volts or lower, than the CCA will drop also....Your connections should be good at the battery since it has been replaced, and since it starts every time with a jump, the connections at the starter should be ok....the graph of the draw from the starter motor was good, and your load test, at that time, was ok.....

However, alternators can be finicky....they test out ok, and then when warm/hot, can go downhill quickly.....

So the first thing I would do is have a parasitic draw test done....basically the negative battery cable is disconnected, and an amp meter is installed between the negative bat terminal and the neg cable....nothing should be on in the vehicle.....the initial reading will be high, because modules will be waking up...it could take upwards of 10 minutes for them to go to "sleep".......that'* why a jumper should be run in parallel with the ampmeter, because most ampmeters will time out before the 10 minutes is up....so the initial reading will be high in AMPS........after about 10 minutes, it should drop down to MILLIAMPS.......in fact it should drop down to around 25 milliamps, or 0.025 amps....If the reading is well above that, then you have a draw....can be something as simple as a glove box light or trunk light, staying on.....or if you have an aftermarket accessory added to the vehicle, that might cause a draw.....or it could be a wiring problem, like a shorted wire....that will take some investigating time.....

However, if you DO NOT HAVE A DRAW, then my money is on the alternator......like I said, they can test out ok, but can act up....

Does your instrument cluster have a voltage gage or just a BAT light? Is gage, constantly reading 13 volts while driving? Does that BAT light ever come on in the dash? If voltage drops on the gage or the BAT light comes on, you need an alternator.....
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Old 07-28-2016, 12:44 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tech II View Post
Basically, the test he did, did check the electrical system.....the only thing it didn't do, was check for a draw.....

What are your driving habits? A lot of short trips? If yes, then the alternator is not having enough time to recharge the battery......the alternator is meant to recharge the battery, due to the draw of the starter motor on startup, and then to run the car after startup......but if the battery is discharged/weak, the alternator is not meant to be used as a charger.....

The cause is your battery is weak, due to a draw......by that I mean, something is drawing current from the battery, when the vehicle is off....this lowers the charge in the battery, so that it doesn't have enough cranking amps to turn that starter....

Looking at your test results, bat voltage is 12.22 volts....a fully charged battery, especially a new one, should be 12.6 volts....so already, it is low, that'* why there was a recommendation for a recharge...your CCA is ok at that time, but if your battery should start to measure 12.0 volts or lower, than the CCA will drop also....Your connections should be good at the battery since it has been replaced, and since it starts every time with a jump, the connections at the starter should be ok....the graph of the draw from the starter motor was good, and your load test, at that time, was ok.....

However, alternators can be finicky....they test out ok, and then when warm/hot, can go downhill quickly.....

So the first thing I would do is have a parasitic draw test done....basically the negative battery cable is disconnected, and an amp meter is installed between the negative bat terminal and the neg cable....nothing should be on in the vehicle.....the initial reading will be high, because modules will be waking up...it could take upwards of 10 minutes for them to go to "sleep".......that'* why a jumper should be run in parallel with the ampmeter, because most ampmeters will time out before the 10 minutes is up....so the initial reading will be high in AMPS........after about 10 minutes, it should drop down to MILLIAMPS.......in fact it should drop down to around 25 milliamps, or 0.025 amps....If the reading is well above that, then you have a draw....can be something as simple as a glove box light or trunk light, staying on.....or if you have an aftermarket accessory added to the vehicle, that might cause a draw.....or it could be a wiring problem, like a shorted wire....that will take some investigating time.....

However, if you DO NOT HAVE A DRAW, then my money is on the alternator......like I said, they can test out ok, but can act up....

Does your instrument cluster have a voltage gage or just a BAT light? Is gage, constantly reading 13 volts while driving? Does that BAT light ever come on in the dash? If voltage drops on the gage or the BAT light comes on, you need an alternator.....


I live in Miami so there is a lot of stop and go, my cluster does have voltage gage after him changing the battery I drove and watched it for a little bit, when I was idle or at a stop it would drop to 11.6 and as I began to drive again it would return to 12.6-8. never seen it at 13.

Also a friend told me thati should get a premium battery cause it'* been really hot lately down here and he thinks the heat maybe the cause of it. Yesterday was 91 degrees...
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Old 07-28-2016, 03:09 PM   #4
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The voltages you are seeing are unacceptably low. I would check the alternator for functionality (probably a charging system check at another store chain) as well as cables for tightness and corrosion.
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Old 07-28-2016, 03:10 PM   #5
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You should also check voltage at the battery to confirm the voltages are accurate first.
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Old 07-28-2016, 11:34 PM   #6
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Definitely check for a parasitic draw, and charging voltages. I use the under seat accessory socket hooked into a VOM for in live readings. An OBD2 reader plugged in can also read live voltages.
Here is an interesting read. https://www.gmforum.com/buick-172/al...-volts-307436/
My Pk Ave charging voltage suffers greatly, especially in summer when alt is hot & A/C is running, due mainly to low rpm'*. The alternator will not be able to often maintain good voltages until 1000-2000 rpm is achieved.
In other words, city driving (idle) low rpm'* can offer up insufficient output volts on these cars.
Running a smaller diameter pulley would spin at a faster rate, and may be beneficial.
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