1999 Chevy S-10 1999 Chevy S-10 Recurring Electrical Proble

Tiny
DEWAYNE01
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 CHEVROLET S-10
  • 6 CYL
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 114,000 MILES
The first time I encountered a problem with the electrical system was last summer. I found that the alternator was dead and the battery as well. At the same time I replaced the starter, plugs, and plug wires since they were all ready for new parts. Everything worked great until recently.

I left for the summer on an internship and left the pickup behind in our lot. This would make 3 months that the pickup would sit without being ran. The neighbors said that they had to move it while we were gone and they had to jump it (around 7/13/09).

Today, (8/24/09) I decided to give it a jump and see what the trouble is. After giving it a jump and I could only get the pickup to barely start and the starter relay would kick out. No power remained after pulling the jumpers, no dash lights or anything. Seems to not have enough juice to turn over.

My question is given what I have done in the past and what is currently happening, where do I go from here? Any help you can give would be great!
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Monday, August 24th, 2009 AT 12:41 PM

7 Replies

Tiny
JDL
  • EXPERT
Make sure the battery has a full charge and the battery connections are all good. Also check the charging system. There are some systems in your vehicle that will use voltage all the time, even with the key off. The battery will drain down over time. If you think the drain is excessive, check amp draw, with everything turned off.
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Monday, August 24th, 2009 AT 12:54 PM
Tiny
DEWAYNE01
  • MEMBER
Thanks for your help jdl123.

The battery will not hold a charge so items that use voltage with the key off, such as the power locks and clock, are not operable. In fact, when I remove the cables from the vehicle I was jumping the truck from the charge was right back at zero.

I had a very similar problem last summer and found that the battery then was ruined by the bad alternator, I replaced both and the vehicle worked fine electrically until I left it to sit at the beginning of the summer.

Do you know of a common grounding problem that may be causing me to loose batteries so quickly? Also, even though I have not been able to start it as of yet (this is just a suspicion), do you know of anything that could repeatedly ruin alternators?

Thanks again for your help, I will post updates as they are available today.
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Monday, August 24th, 2009 AT 1:30 PM
Tiny
JDL
  • EXPERT
Even if the alternator is new, if there is a problem with the wiring circuit somewhere, the charging system won't work. Sometimes I have problems with the alternators from the discount stores? They don't seem to last very long, some of them, anyway.
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Monday, August 24th, 2009 AT 2:01 PM
Tiny
DEWAYNE01
  • MEMBER
Good point.

The original alternator was OEM and was put in a year prior to last summer's change out which leads me to believe that the alternator is a symptom of the problem. The newest one is an "el cheapo" brand.

Are there common areas of problems I should check first with the charging system?

Awaiting a battery and alternator test as of right now.
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Monday, August 24th, 2009 AT 2:51 PM
Tiny
JDL
  • EXPERT
Sometimes due to a cash flow problem, I may use the el-cheapo also from time to time. When I can, I go for the better brand, I never regret it.

If you have a digital multimeter, you can do some testing yourself. If you place the leads across the battery post, everything turned off, the generic specs for a fully charged battery is 12.6 volts. Then start the vehicle, take a second reading across the battery posts, the second reading should be higher than the first, that shows the alternator is charging.
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Monday, August 24th, 2009 AT 3:40 PM
Tiny
DEWAYNE01
  • MEMBER
Well I took the battery and alternator to Autozone thinking maybe the alternator may have been grounding out the battery. I suspected the alternator only because that particular battery wasn't an el cheapo, it was a Delco.

The battery (only one year old) was not holding a charge and the alternator checked out ok. Maybe leaving my battery sit for so long with out the charging system being able to give it a charged drained the battery a little far. If so this is similar to what happened last year.

Any thoughts?
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Monday, August 24th, 2009 AT 4:18 PM
Tiny
JDL
  • EXPERT
I'd still have to double check the charging system. You could check for an excessive drain. If you leave it sit for a long time, you could disconnect the battery. Disconnecting the battery will have an effect on any system that has a memory.
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Tuesday, August 25th, 2009 AT 8:57 AM

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