Battery light on

Tiny
LOPICCOLO49
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 CHEVROLET SILVERADO
  • V8
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 68,759 MILES
Problem with Gauges! They "dump" without warning and will eventually return. Oil, odometer, & battery will work. Cluster has been replaced 3 TIMES! Battery icon appears in message center as gauges dump and stays on until they return. Any ideas? Tired of taking it back & forth. Need a good old fashion "wrencher" to help me out. Thanks-lopiccolo49
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Friday, July 29th, 2011 AT 12:14 PM

23 Replies

Tiny
FIXITMR
  • MEMBER
Gauge repair, now we know why it's a banking business? How long does the replaced gauge last?Were they new, used, or repaired?
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Friday, October 21st, 2011 AT 1:58 AM
Tiny
DCAMARO
  • MEMBER
I had the same problem! Turned out to be ground wires at the back of the L.H. Head. You wont be able to see them, but reach in behind and you will feel two wires (black). These ground the dash cluster and they break off from vibration and being oil soaked.
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Friday, October 21st, 2011 AT 3:11 AM
Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
Could be coming from the computer controlled of the alternator's field generation circuit-
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Friday, October 21st, 2011 AT 4:37 AM
Tiny
JDL
  • EXPERT
Any applicable trouble codes? There are codes listed for the instrument cluster. The instrument cluster receives serial data from the pcm to operate gages. Any wrencher is the best at what make and model they work on the most, that's just how it is.
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Friday, October 21st, 2011 AT 4:59 PM
Tiny
DEB991B
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 CHEVROLET SILVERADO
  • V8
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 89,000 MILES
Security and battery light stay on and flash this morning my dash gauges would not work
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Saturday, August 17th, 2019 AT 1:50 PM (Merged)
Tiny
FIXITMR
  • MEMBER
If vehicle still functions and drives your instrument cluster needs repair. Ebay has several low cost repair services.
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Saturday, August 17th, 2019 AT 1:50 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JOE1953
  • MEMBER
  • 1996 CHEVROLET SILVERADO
  • 5.7L
  • RWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 224,000 MILES
My battry light is on and when I turn the headlights on they are dim but the engine is still cranking the battry voltage when the engine is running is below 12 voltage what is causing the battry light to be on when the engine is running?
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Saturday, August 17th, 2019 AT 1:51 PM (Merged)
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
The "Battery" light hasn't changed since the 1960s. It means the generator isn't recharging the battery while you're driving. What HAS changed is GM redesigned their generators for the '87 model year and it's a very poor design. They develop huge voltage spikes that can damage the internal diodes and voltage regulator, and can interfere with computer sensor signals. It is real common to go through four to six replacement generators in the life of the vehicle. To reduce the number of repeat failures, replace the battery at the same time unless it's less than about two years old. As they age, the lead flakes off the plates and they lose their ability to absorb those voltage spikes.

You already noticed the charging voltage is too low. Measured at the battery with the engine running, the voltage must be between 13.75 to 14.75 volts. If it is low, suspect the generator. If the voltage is okay, you need a professional load tester for the second part of the test. That will test for maximum output current and "ripple" voltage. If one of the six diodes has been damaged, you'll only be able to get exactly one third of the generator's rated maximum current, and ripple voltage will be very high.
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Saturday, August 17th, 2019 AT 1:51 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JOE1953
  • MEMBER
I replace the alternater June 11th. 2013 I replace the battery June 12th. 2013. So I didn't replace both the same time.
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Saturday, August 17th, 2019 AT 1:51 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JOE1953
  • MEMBER
I replace the alternater on today September 24 but I didn't replace the battery the engine is still cranking good, after I replace the alternater what do I do next drive the veichel?
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Saturday, August 17th, 2019 AT 1:51 PM (Merged)
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
You didn't list any symptoms now after the generator was replaced. The battery is likely still okay, so leave that alone for now. The old generator from 2013 worked okay for two years, so replacing the battery the next day was good enough to avoid another generator failure. The failure now was just "the nature of the beast". Every GM owner replaces their generator two or three times if they keep the vehicle long enough.

My recommendation now is to have the charging system professionally tested by a mechanic, not at an auto parts store. In particular, what I want to see is "regulation voltage" between 13.75 and 14.75 volts, full-load charging current very close to the generator's rated value, and "ripple voltage" should not be excessively high.

The common generators for your truck were a 105 amp, a 124 amp, and a 140 amp unit. Full-load current will be very close to one of those values, or, ... If there's a defective diode inside the generator, you'll get exactly one third of that value. A generator is physically incapable of developing more current than it's designed for.

If ripple voltage is high, that is caused by the generator developing harmful voltage spikes, but it's the job of the battery to dampen and absorb them. Consider replacing the battery if ripple voltage is high/
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Saturday, August 17th, 2019 AT 1:51 PM (Merged)
Tiny
NEWFIETREV
  • MEMBER
  • 1992 CHEVROLET SILVERADO
  • V8
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 235,000 MILES
I changed the alternator and replaced the battery but the light stays on. What do you suggest?
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Saturday, August 17th, 2019 AT 1:51 PM (Merged)
Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
Check wiring back to the charge light


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/12900_alty_45.jpg

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+1
Saturday, August 17th, 2019 AT 1:51 PM (Merged)
Tiny
NEWFIETREV
  • MEMBER
Thanks for the time wasted on my question. But I think I am going to sell it anyways. It has been giving me a headache ever since I bought it. First I had to put a new tranny in and then replace the steering column so now I think its time to get rid of it.
Thanks
Trevor.
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Saturday, August 17th, 2019 AT 1:51 PM (Merged)
Tiny
NEWFIETREV
  • MEMBER
Sorry about that i am very frustrated about my truck. it seems like every time i try to fix it something else goes wrong with it so if u have any other suggestions would you reply asap thanks again
Trevor
p.s. i found the problem, it had to deal with the instrument cluster on the fire wall to the right of the motor. i guess the guy who had the truck before must of burnt the wires and tried to duck tape them together. thank you again for your time.


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/327017_001_1.jpg

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Saturday, August 17th, 2019 AT 1:51 PM (Merged)
Tiny
CDICKMAN
  • MEMBER
  • 1991 CHEVROLET SILVERADO
  • V8
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 165,000 MILES
I just replaced a bad alternator on my truck, the battery was replaced in Nov. Of '08. The auto parts store tested the new alternator before I left the store with it and it tested fine. The problem is after installing the new alternator the battery gauge still reads barely above 9 and the batter light is on. Is it possible for the battery to be bad already? Or do I have other electrical problems. When the truck is off the battery reads 12 volts.
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Saturday, August 17th, 2019 AT 1:51 PM (Merged)
Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
Get the battery load tested if okay and light continues to come on-check wiring if okay get the alternator retested.
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Saturday, August 17th, 2019 AT 1:51 PM (Merged)
Tiny
SWENSON
  • MEMBER
  • 1993 CHEVROLET SILVERADO
  • V8
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
I have a 1993 chevy k1500 silverado and just the other day I got in it and started it up and the battery light was on and the battery guage was almost all the way on the low mark. I just replaced the battery and alternator a couple weeks ago so I don't think it could be that. Also when I start it up it idles at 2000 rpms when in park and 1500 rpms when in gear and I haven't changed anything this all just randomly happened. I cant fingure anyting out can anyone help me? I can't even listen to the radio when its running it just turns on and off. Also a few months ago I realized that after I shut the truck off the windows still roll up and down without the key on
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Saturday, August 17th, 2019 AT 1:51 PM (Merged)
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Beginning with the '87 models the GM generator is an extremely poor design. It is very common to go through four to six of them in the life of the vehicle. You already did what has been found to be most effective at reducing repeat failures. That is replacing the battery at the same time.

To verify if the new generator is defective, use an inexpensive digital voltmeter to measure battery voltage while the engine is running. It must be between 13.75 and 14.75 volts. If it is closer to 12.6 volts or less, double-check the voltage on the output stud on the back of the generator. On the rare chance it is higher there, look for a break in that fat wire that goes to the battery.
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Saturday, August 17th, 2019 AT 1:51 PM (Merged)
Tiny
SWENSON
  • MEMBER
If the alternator was faulty wouldnt the battery be dead from not charging? And also do you have any idea about the idle problem
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Saturday, August 17th, 2019 AT 1:51 PM (Merged)

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