Battery and Alternator question

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by Wurm, Nov 5, 2004.

  1. Wurm

    Wurm Guest

    Hey all,

    Driving in to work today, for the first time since I've owned my Saturn
    (SL2, 98, bought used in 2001) my battery indicator light came on. Now, I've
    heard and read in the past about the problems that Saturns have with
    alternators, and if you get your alternator changed you should get the
    battery changed at the same time, but my question is: is this true in
    reverse?. Can I just head down to Canadian Tire and get a new batt and drop
    it in myself?, or are there tests or verifications that I should do first to
    find out if my alternator needs to be changed as well?


    Wurm, Nov 5, 2004
  2. Wurm

    Oppie Guest

    The 'battery indicator' is really a charging system indicator and comes on
    when the ignition is on but the alternator is not putting out any juice. I'd
    have a charging system diagnostic run first before replacing anything.
    Oppie, Nov 5, 2004
  3. Wurm

    Wurm Guest

    Oh, thats news to me. While I was driving in, as soon as I noticed it I
    turned off my lights and the indicator went away for a few moments before
    coming back on. I then turned off my stereo system and once again the
    indicator dissapeared for a few minutes only to eventually come back.

    How worried should I be right now about this?, should I get this checked
    immediately or should I be able to wait till early next week (got a week
    off) to bring the car in?

    Thanks again!

    Wurm, Nov 5, 2004
  4. You have about 80km to go, or 40 at night. I'd leave the radio and climate
    controls off.

    If you have a battery charger, you can limp along driving less than the
    above distance and recharging it overnight.

    Either way, get it in soon for a new alternator. It aint good for the
    battery to drain that much repeatedly.
    Jeff McDonald, Nov 5, 2004
  5. Wurm

    Wurm Guest

    well thats just frightening..... thanks for the heads up, ill bring it in
    next chance I can
    Wurm, Nov 5, 2004
  6. Wurm

    BANDIT2941 Guest

    Oh, thats news to me. While I was driving in, as soon as I noticed it I
    You should be VERY worried about making it anywhere. The fact that the light
    came on, then went off when you turned the lights off, then turned on a few
    minutes later, then back off when you turend the stereo off, then came back
    on......that means the alternator isn't charging, you're running only on the
    battery - and the battery is almost dead!

    It will rapidly decline until the light comes on every time you hit the brake
    pedal(current draw from brake lights). Shortly after the gauges will all go to
    zero. Soon after that you won't be driving the car.
    BANDIT2941, Nov 6, 2004
  7. Wurm

    BANDIT2941 Guest

    You have about 80km to go, or 40 at night. I'd leave the radio and climate
    Thats provided he starts with a fully charged battery. By his indications, his
    battery is already hurtin' and he's not going to make it far.
    BANDIT2941, Nov 6, 2004
  8. Wurm

    Earl43P Guest

    You're on borrowed time. I'm surprised the car still starts in the
    morning. Must be a REAL good battery.

    I've put 3 sets of brushes in my original 92 alternator (still installed,
    with 270,000 miles on it). Thy're carbon and wear down....then the

    Hardest thing is getting the alternator off the car.... Split the
    alternator case, install new brushes (requires soldering unless I'm
    confusing it with the Nippondenso I did for my buddy last month -CRS), PIN
    the brushes with a straightened paper clip so they are fully recessed, slap
    the case back together, pull the pins, reinstall alternator and you're good
    for another 80-100k. Lots of auto parts stores carry the brushes, though
    you may need to carry in the old ones to compare.

    Or just buy a new alternator.....but that's no fun!

    As far as your battery goes, have it tested. Good is good. No reason to
    change both if the just alternator is bad. That kind of advise comes from
    mechanics padding the bill for profit.
    Earl43P, Nov 10, 2004
  9. Wurm

    BANDIT2941 Guest

    As far as your battery goes, have it tested. Good is good. No reason to
    Here's some good advice. About the best advice I've heard around here for
    batteries. Most say that "replace both" BS......
    BANDIT2941, Nov 11, 2004
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