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Car battery keeps dying


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Wliz
New User

Dec 21, 2013, 11:10 PM

Post #1 of 6 (1433 views)
Car battery keeps dying Sign In

I have an 02 Saturn Vue AWD 6 cyl with a little over 150,000 miles on it. In July/2013 my battery light came on. While driving it home every emergency light came on and off, followed by my gauges going crazy till they finally stopped working all together. After all that we lost power steering while turning in the driveway. Shut it off and it wouldn't start back up or take a jump. Had a local mechanic put in a new alternator and everything was fine, until a couple weeks ago. (Dec 2013) we had all the same symptoms as the first time starting with the battery light. Tried to make it to my fathers and it died on the highway. This time it took a jump and died again in his driveway. Had it towed to the same mechanic (thinking it was the alternator/ under warranty) he did some test and the voltage was where it should be so he charged the battery over night called to have picked up but when I started it the battery light came on. He pulled it back in and put another alternator in. This time a drove it around town for maybe a couple hours and I'm having all the same problems again. Auto zone tested the battery and it said it was at 9 percent. (I know nothing about cars) does anyone know what could be causing this to happen? Due to the holidays I won't be able to get it looked at anytime soon but will be taking it in if it's not something we can do ourselves.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Dec 21, 2013, 11:59 PM

Post #2 of 6 (1422 views)
Re: Car battery keeps dying Sign In

? At a glance I think battery is junk and in turn overworking alternator and blowing that probably getting so hot trying.


A not funny comedy of errors. Guessing tests on battery were NOT conclusive. You said 9%? Did you mean 90%? Assorted test could be showing it's fine, takes a charge, is done charging and so on but when running can't keep up. Brings about is belt OK and staying tight enough too.


Side posts are always a suspect for odd problems with hidden corrosion under now hard rubber boots if original.


All this has to be good or assorted testing could show OK and not be and clearly it isn't. Again I blame the battery so far and it needs a LOAD test when fully charged off car.


Not sure of location of alternator (to touch while running safely) on this 6 engine but if that thing is too hot to touch fairly quickly with known good alternator it's working too hard. That's the guess of the day. Battery/alternator issues can play Ping-Pong harming each other so both need to be right at the same time,


T



(This post was edited by Tom Greenleaf on Dec 22, 2013, 12:00 AM)


Wliz
New User

Dec 22, 2013, 12:27 AM

Post #3 of 6 (1412 views)
Re: Car battery keeps dying Sign In

Thanks. And auto zone tested the battery when the car was dead. Not sure how all that works but pretty sure he said 9 percent.

We bought a new battery for $115 but we didn't put it in. Worried that it wouldn't be the battery, and didn't want to be out the money. (husband thinks it the alternator again)

I've also been told it could be my serpentine belt.

Also I have an remote car started that I used this last time the battery light came on and after it started (I was still in the house) the car turned over by itself and then the battery light came on. Wondering if that may have something to do with it. I also know that we need the mass air flow sensor replaced.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Dec 22, 2013, 12:44 AM

Post #4 of 6 (1411 views)
Re: Car battery keeps dying Sign In

Arggh. You can't really test a dead battery for much. They also self destruct if left dead and plain don't tolerate being dead well and or if dead and cold will freeze and even crack new or not.


New batteries are rarely charged when purchased too. About everyone should request it be charged or own a charger if only a tiny trickle charger still only about $20 bucks but must be auto off type as overcharging also kills batteries.


You may love the remote starter but I'd have it professionally removed and any wiring put back to OE as that is just asking for troubles and complicated diagnosing of problems,


T



Wliz
New User

Dec 22, 2013, 12:49 AM

Post #5 of 6 (1404 views)
Re: Car battery keeps dying Sign In

I don't really care for it. (Remote starter) I have used it only a hand full of times.

I do live in Michigan and the weather changes so often. (Right now we have freezing rain.

Is there a way the battery can get charged before taking it to the mechanic?


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Dec 22, 2013, 4:23 AM

Post #6 of 6 (1399 views)
Re: Car battery keeps dying Sign In

What bugs me with remote started vehicles is they are not being attended or an unintentional running vehicle perhaps in a closed garage or snowed in such that exhaust pipe is blocked making it a carbon monoxide mess. I know about all also shut down at X # of minutes and the wiring that gets tapped plus components when vehicle doesn't just plain run as intended are in question just adds to problems.


I hear you with Winter weather and seems nice to have one all warmed up and ready or easier to clear off and get going.


Battery chargers are sold in about any parts outlets in great assortment but also at department stores and home centers. Ex: Home Depot sells a Black and Decker 12V automatic "Maintainer/Charger" and surely other places that will shut off when done and a stead green light is lit. That only means the battery is at preset voltage and device can quit now NOT how strong the battery is. Those types are great for stored vehicles or things but sloooow for plain charging. For rare use at least the things are real small if just putting it away for some other time or put it on some seasonal device with a battery starter for the off season is the real benefit of the things for me including a generator that I hope I don't need much and we too are expecting some sort of ice storm which is high on the power outage list that could last way too long.


Vehicle to vehicle things even cheaper but donor vehicle needs to be running and it could take many hours so not practical for much.


These parts places the do free testing do advertise free battery charging if you leave it with them. Do they all know what they are doing? Who knows?


Ask around locally for device or best approach for you,


T
(on edit) Taking battery out can break hold-down fasteners and GM style side post batteries would require small charging posts to do off vehicle for most to hook anything up to them......



(This post was edited by Tom Greenleaf on Dec 22, 2013, 4:27 AM)






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