Battery light stays on

Tiny
AYB
  • MEMBER
  • 2004 SATURN VUE
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 160,000 MILES
Went off after new battery replacement for a few seconds and then came back on and remains on.
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Tuesday, January 14th, 2020 AT 6:04 AM

3 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
That warning light means the charging system is not keeping the battery charged while you're driving. The generators on GM vehicles are a very high-failure item starting with 1987 models. Due to their design, they develop huge harmful voltage spikes that can damage the internal voltage regulator and diodes, and interfere with computer sensor signals. The battery is the key component in damping and absorbing those spikes, but as they age and the lead flakes off the plates, they lose their ability to do that. To reduce the high number of repeat failures, always replace the battery at the same time, unless it is less than about two years old. The old battery can still work okay in an '86 or older model.

Since you already replaced the battery, we don't have to worry about that, but the place to start is by having the charging system tested and repaired. The most logical suspect is the generator. If you want to start the testing yourself, here's links to some articles that may be of help:

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-check-a-car-alternator

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-use-a-voltmeter

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-replace-an-alternator

You can find a perfectly fine digital voltmeter at places like Harbor Freight Tools, Walmart, or any hardware store or auto parts store for less than ten dollars. The voltmeter article shows using an auto-ranging meter which is a feature you don't need. If you have the less-expensive meter and need help selecting the ranges, I can help with that.
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Tuesday, January 14th, 2020 AT 11:42 AM
Tiny
AYB
  • MEMBER
Thank you. I will look into this.
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Tuesday, January 14th, 2020 AT 7:57 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Please keep us updated on your progress, and let me know if you have more questions.
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Wednesday, January 15th, 2020 AT 4:08 PM

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