Saturn Battery Light... unfortunately not as simple

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by italia83, Jun 15, 2007.

  1. italia83

    italia83 Guest

    I drive a 1996 Saturn SL2. About 2 months after purchasing the car,
    the battery light came on. As most would think, I took this to be a
    problem with the charging system. Using a voltmeter, I checked the
    voltage on the battery. 12 when off, around 13.5 when running warm.
    Seemed ok. Saw that the voltage dropped a small amount once the
    battery light came on (or vice versa I guess). So I proceeded to
    replace everything. I replaced the alternator, then the battery, then
    the drive belt, and finally the battery cables. The issue still
    occurs, and it's driving me crazy. Any ideas? And more specifically,
    since I don't have the owner's manual, can anyone tell me EXACTLY what
    it says in the manual about that light? Any help would be greatly
    appreciated. Thanks
    italia83, Jun 15, 2007
  2. italia83

    James1549 Guest

    A good battery, once properly charged should hold 12.6 volts, not 12.
    If the alternator is charging properly, mine is closer to 14 volts,
    not 13.5. 13.5 volts will work, but not optimum.

    I am curious if you replaced the battery and alternator at the exact
    same time. I have seen many times that a bad battery burn out a new
    good alternator in just a few hours or days.

    I know it is a PITA, but maybe you need to have your alternator bench
    tested in a machine to check the output to see if it can handle the

    Another thing to check: The charging wire that connects the alternator
    to the battery wire on the starter. Maybe it has a bad connection or
    corroded fuse link. That wire had a recall on it when my car was just
    a year old. The old wire didn't have a fuse link, the new one did. But
    they go bad as well, even intermittent.

    James1549, Jun 17, 2007
  3. italia83

    Oppie Guest

    '96 should be obdii so have diagnostics run on it. See what the ECM
    perceives the battery voltage to be. Could just be a broken sense wire or a
    corroding contact on one of the connectors.
    Few things are easy...
    Oppie, Jun 19, 2007
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