2002 Chevy Venture 2002 Chevy Venture Intermittent Battery

Tiny
DMHOOT
  • MEMBER
  • 2002 CHEVROLET VENTURE
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 85,000 MILES
My venture has a Intermittent battery light on problem. Started with a solid on condition. Alternator was bad and that's repalced. Week goes buy and light would come on and then off about once a day. Took back to shop and they had a TSB to replace the battery cables. I replaced the cables(purchased from GM). Battery light still comes on for a sec, but not as frequent. Checked the fusable link/wire from alternator to starter. 0.1 ohms. Cleaned up all connections. Same issue, light comes on then back off. Checked voltage at battery with running and is ~13.3volts and at the fuse block 13.3v. Voltatage at alternator ouput ~14.3volts. Battery is about 1 1/2 years old. Shop tested it as good, sears tested it as good. Took van to chevy dealer and they could not find an issue with the system and said battery was good. Serp belt is 2 months old. Running out of idea's. Any suggestions?
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Sunday, September 6th, 2009 AT 6:00 PM

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Tiny
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I Tested van with a odb-II scanner and with engine off, computer reads voltage of 11.8v. With engine running, scanner reads voltage of 13.4v. DVM at the battery with surface charge was 12.4v, after removing surface charge with lights on for 1min, voltage was 12.1v. Scanner read no DTC's. On the alternator, their is a 2 wire plug that I have not tested yet, not sure where it goes to. Maybee the PCM?
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Sunday, September 6th, 2009 AT 11:16 PM
Tiny
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Hello -

To better assist you is your model just the Venture or the LS, or LT, or the Warner Bros Edition and please tell me the engine size in liter
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Monday, September 7th, 2009 AT 9:19 PM
Tiny
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Venture is a LT with 3.4L. Today I checked the connections at the alternator, the 2 wire plug connector. The orange wire that runs to the power dist block ohm'd out good at.1. With van off, voltage at end of orange cable matches battery voltage(12.4). With engine running, all voltages matched at the fuse in the power dist block, and battery. I have not tested the red wire that runs from the alt plug to the pcm. Test drove and no battery light, but it usually takes a day or 2 to come on for a sec then back off. I did notice something is when I drove it tonight, had the A/C on full, when I accellerate, the a/c blower slowes down and I can see the headlights dim down some. I've been thinking of leaving my Scanner plugged in and monitor the voltage and hopefully see what the voltage is when the light comes on. Not really sure what to check out anymore. No fix as of yet. Been wondering if when the initial battery light on when the alternator failed if that somehow killed a cell or 2 in the battery. When the orginal bat light came on, I drove to shop right away and the drivers cluster started going with abs lights, low fuel, service traction soon then I had to accellerate more just to get the van into the parking lot. Think that may have fried a battery cell since I was only running on battery power?
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Monday, September 7th, 2009 AT 11:25 PM
Tiny
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Ok, I got a theory here. Interminant alternator output under load. I'm thinking since I see the lights dim during acceleration, the alternator may not be keeping up or interminantly dropping out. Then the vechile is pulling that missing power from the battery, the battery drops below 11.2 volts and kicks on my Battery light. Then the alternator comes back and re-charges the battery. The schemtics for battery light show it will come on if battery drops below 11.2v, above 16.5v, or a stopped generator. Now with the car running at idle, everything tests fine around 13.4volts, which is not really using any battery power so the light should not come on. But if the alternator drops out or dips in voltage and the battery being used, the battery will not last that long along and trigger the battery light. What do you think?
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Tuesday, September 8th, 2009 AT 6:58 PM
Tiny
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Hello -

Wow. Lots of great troubleshooting there.

Okay. My thought is it may be your belt tensioner. The spring may be getting weak especially under load.

I would check to make sure you belt is really good and look at the tensioner. If the spring is weak then it will allow the belt to slip a little. Thus not a good pull on the alternator pulley thus less output.

Though you have a tester, please go to Auto Zone (AZ) or O'Reilly's (OR) and for FREE they can bring their tester out and check your battery and alternator. This way starting and running they can verify the output.
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Tuesday, September 8th, 2009 AT 9:21 PM
Tiny
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Belt is 2 months old. Replaced it in July. The tensioner seems tight. The belt is showing no sign's of glazing to indicate slipping. Chevy dealer and local repair shop both indicated that the belt tension was good when I had them look at the van after the alternator was replaced.

I will go to autozone tomorrow and have them test the alt/battery out.

I talked with the shop that replaced the alternator and explained it may be a possible interminant alternator issue and all the other testing I have done. The battery light issue all started with the alternator going out. They agreed to warranty out the alternator and put another one it. Getting this done on thursday but I will take to autozone tomorrow and have the test done as you suggested. I will post a update tomorrow, wednesday.
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Tuesday, September 8th, 2009 AT 11:42 PM
Tiny
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Hello -

I am not saying the tensioner isn't bad. If you would though - after the vehicle is warmed up. With the hood open watch the belt tensioner and have someone race the engine a little. Watch the belt at the tensioner and you will see it tighten when raced and then when the power is let off, see if the belt appears sloppy and doesn't stay tight, thus a weak spring. Just a thought.

Also let me know what you find out.
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Wednesday, September 9th, 2009 AT 7:18 PM
Tiny
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ImpalaSS: Thank you for your reply's so far. I took the van to autozone as you suggested. Before I went their, I hooked up my scanner to the van and monitord the battery voltage thru the scanner. Keyon 11.9V
Started: 13.7 volts
Engine running/Air cond full on: 11.9V
Driving with air cond on: 11.4-11.9V
Idle after driving 5 min's: 11.5V

Got to autozone and they tested battery first. Said voltage was a little low. Then the alternator test he said was all good. Alt peaked at 101amps, diode pattern was good, and regulator volts was 13.01v.

I inspected the belt tensioner as you suggested as well. When I rev'd up the enging, the tensioner tightened about 1/8". Then when engine idle, the tensioner moves back/forth a little. Seems to keep the tension.

At this point i'm not sure what the problem is yet with a lot of confidence. I think it's not right that as i'm driving the battery voltage drops down to 11.4v, I would think if the alternator is putting out 13v, it should not be drawing that much from the battery. Since the battery is a little low from autozone test and last week sears said the same thing, it's like it's not getting enough charge, or not holding the charge. This is a tough one to diag. I'm going to have the alternator swapped out tomorrow afternoon and see what happens. At least this way I should be able to rule out the alternator. Maybe replace the battery after that if the 2nd alternator does not fix the Intermittent battery light issue.

Are their any TSB's on headlight dimming or intermittent cluster/courtesy light? I've read a few issues chevy issued a tsb about running another wire out of the alt plug directly to the alt bat connection. Not sure if it applys to a 2002 venture or not. Kinda sketchy on the tsbs on the internet.
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Wednesday, September 9th, 2009 AT 11:21 PM
Tiny
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Hello -

Thanks for the info on the tensioner. Etc.

You might consider seeing if there is a higher amp alternator for your car.

Also, I would go over all of the ground wires in the engine and really clean them good and the connections at the battery and alternator.

Okay. Went through about 200 TSBsfound this one.

Low Voltage Display on IP Gauge, Lights Dim at Stop Lights, Battery Discharged, No Start, Slow Cranking, Dim Lights at Idle, Low Generator Output
TECHNICAL SERVICE BULLETIN
Reference Number(s): 02-06-03-008D, Date of Issue: July 21, 2008
Affected Model(s): 1990-2009 GM Passenger Cars and Light Duty Trucks (including Saturn); 2003-2009 HUMMER H2, H3; 2005-2009 Saab 9-7X
Supercedes: This bulletin is being revised to add the 2009 model year. Please discard Corporate Bulletin Number 02-06-03-008C (Section 06 - Engine).
Related Ref Number(s): 02-06-03-008, 02-06-03-008A, 02-06-03-008B, 02-06-03-008C, 02-06-03-008D, 43-64-07A
ARTICLE BEGINNING
SERVICE INFORMATION
Any vehicle may have a low voltage display (if equipped with gauges), lights that dim at stop lights, slow cranking, no start, low generator output at idle or dim lights at idle when electrical loads are heavy at idle or under slow driving or infrequent usage conditions. These characteristics may be more noticeable with customer added electrical accessories, or with a discharged battery. These are normal operating characteristics of a vehicle electrical system and no repairs should be attempted unless a proven fault has been diagnosed.
During normal driving conditions, when engine speed is above 1000 RPM, the generator is designed to do two things:
" Supply the current necessary to operate the vehicle's originally equipped electrical devices (loads).
" Recharge/maintain the battery's state of charge.
The following factors may affect generator and battery performance:
" Non-usage of the vehicle for extended periods of time. The vehicle's computers, clocks and the like will cause the battery state of charge to drop (For example; 30 days in a parking lot and the vehicle may not start because of a dead battery or a vehicle which is driven only a short distance once a week may end up with a discharged battery to the point where the vehicle may not start). This would be considered abnormal usage of the vehicle and the normally expected result for the vehicle battery, generator and electrical systems.
" At idle, vehicle electrical loads may exceed the low speed current (amperage) output of the generator and when this happens the shortfall comes from the battery. This will result in a drop in the electrical system voltage as the battery delivers the additional electrical current to meet the demand. This is equivalent to the brown outs experienced by homes and businesses when the electrical demand is more than the supply. See Fig. 1.
" Extended periods of engine idling, with high electrical loads, may result in a discharged battery. Attempting to recharge a battery by letting the engine run at idle may not be beneficial unless all electrical loads are turned "OFF".
" Increased internal generator temperatures from extended idling can also contribute to lower electrical system voltage. As the generator's internal temperature rises, the generator's output capability is reduced due to increased electrical resistance.
Depending on the vehicle application, generator current (amperage) output at engine idle speeds of 600-700 RPM can be as low as 35 percent of the full rated output. With enough electrical loads "ON", it is easy to exceed the generator current (amperage) output when the engine is at an idle of 600-700 RPM. This is a normal condition. The battery supplements for short periods of time. Items that affect the vehicle's electrical system current and voltage at idle are the number of electrical loads being used, including add-on accessories, and extended idle times. When the vehicle speed is above approximately 24 km/h (15 mph), the engine/generator RPM is high enough and the generator current (amperage) output is sufficient to supply the current (amperage) requirements of the vehicle as originally equipped and recharge the battery.
Dimming lights at idle may be considered normal for two reasons:
1. As the engine/generator speed changes, so will the current (amperage) output of the generator. As a vehicle slows, engine/generator RPM slows and the current (amperage) output of the generator may not be sufficient to supply the loads, the vehicle system voltage will drop and the lights will dim. Dimming of the lights is an indication that current is being pulled from the battery. If the battery is in a low state-of-charge (discharged condition), the driver will notice a more pronounced dimming than a vehicle with a fully charged battery.
2. When high current loads (blower, rear defogger, headlamps, cooling fan, heated seats, power seats, electric "AIR" pump, or power windows) are operating or cycled "ON", the generator's voltage regulator can delay the rise in output. This effect, usually at lower engine speeds, can take up to ten seconds to ramp up the generator output. This is done to avoid loading the engine severely. To increase current (amperage) output, additional torque is consumed by the generator. The engine computer (ECM/PCM) will ramp up engine/generator speed in small steps so engine speed variations are not noticeable to the driver.

Hope this helps.
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Thursday, September 10th, 2009 AT 9:24 PM
Tiny
IMPALASS
  • EXPERT
Hello -

Thanks for the info on the tensioner. Etc.

You might consider seeing if there is a higher amp alternator for your car.

Also, I would go over all of the ground wires in the engine and really clean them good and the connections at the battery and alternator.

Okay. Went through about 200 TSBsfound this one.

Low Voltage Display on IP Gauge, Lights Dim at Stop Lights, Battery Discharged, No Start, Slow Cranking, Dim Lights at Idle, Low Generator Output
TECHNICAL SERVICE BULLETIN
Reference Number(s): 02-06-03-008D, Date of Issue: July 21, 2008
Affected Model(s): 1990-2009 GM Passenger Cars and Light Duty Trucks (including Saturn); 2003-2009 HUMMER H2, H3; 2005-2009 Saab 9-7X
Supercedes: This bulletin is being revised to add the 2009 model year. Please discard Corporate Bulletin Number 02-06-03-008C (Section 06 - Engine).
Related Ref Number(s): 02-06-03-008, 02-06-03-008A, 02-06-03-008B, 02-06-03-008C, 02-06-03-008D, 43-64-07A
ARTICLE BEGINNING
SERVICE INFORMATION
Any vehicle may have a low voltage display (if equipped with gauges), lights that dim at stop lights, slow cranking, no start, low generator output at idle or dim lights at idle when electrical loads are heavy at idle or under slow driving or infrequent usage conditions. These characteristics may be more noticeable with customer added electrical accessories, or with a discharged battery. These are normal operating characteristics of a vehicle electrical system and no repairs should be attempted unless a proven fault has been diagnosed.
During normal driving conditions, when engine speed is above 1000 RPM, the generator is designed to do two things:
" Supply the current necessary to operate the vehicle's originally equipped electrical devices (loads).
" Recharge/maintain the battery's state of charge.
The following factors may affect generator and battery performance:
" Non-usage of the vehicle for extended periods of time. The vehicle's computers, clocks and the like will cause the battery state of charge to drop (For example; 30 days in a parking lot and the vehicle may not start because of a dead battery or a vehicle which is driven only a short distance once a week may end up with a discharged battery to the point where the vehicle may not start). This would be considered abnormal usage of the vehicle and the normally expected result for the vehicle battery, generator and electrical systems.
" At idle, vehicle electrical loads may exceed the low speed current (amperage) output of the generator and when this happens the shortfall comes from the battery. This will result in a drop in the electrical system voltage as the battery delivers the additional electrical current to meet the demand. This is equivalent to the brown outs experienced by homes and businesses when the electrical demand is more than the supply. See Fig. 1.
" Extended periods of engine idling, with high electrical loads, may result in a discharged battery. Attempting to recharge a battery by letting the engine run at idle may not be beneficial unless all electrical loads are turned "OFF".
" Increased internal generator temperatures from extended idling can also contribute to lower electrical system voltage. As the generator's internal temperature rises, the generator's output capability is reduced due to increased electrical resistance.
Depending on the vehicle application, generator current (amperage) output at engine idle speeds of 600-700 RPM can be as low as 35 percent of the full rated output. With enough electrical loads "ON", it is easy to exceed the generator current (amperage) output when the engine is at an idle of 600-700 RPM. This is a normal condition. The battery supplements for short periods of time. Items that affect the vehicle's electrical system current and voltage at idle are the number of electrical loads being used, including add-on accessories, and extended idle times. When the vehicle speed is above approximately 24 km/h (15 mph), the engine/generator RPM is high enough and the generator current (amperage) output is sufficient to supply the current (amperage) requirements of the vehicle as originally equipped and recharge the battery.
Dimming lights at idle may be considered normal for two reasons:
1. As the engine/generator speed changes, so will the current (amperage) output of the generator. As a vehicle slows, engine/generator RPM slows and the current (amperage) output of the generator may not be sufficient to supply the loads, the vehicle system voltage will drop and the lights will dim. Dimming of the lights is an indication that current is being pulled from the battery. If the battery is in a low state-of-charge (discharged condition), the driver will notice a more pronounced dimming than a vehicle with a fully charged battery.
2. When high current loads (blower, rear defogger, headlamps, cooling fan, heated seats, power seats, electric "AIR" pump, or power windows) are operating or cycled "ON", the generator's voltage regulator can delay the rise in output. This effect, usually at lower engine speeds, can take up to ten seconds to ramp up the generator output. This is done to avoid loading the engine severely. To increase current (amperage) output, additional torque is consumed by the generator. The engine computer (ECM/PCM) will ramp up engine/generator speed in small steps so engine speed variations are not noticeable to the driver.

Hope this helps.

Thank you very much for the donation

Please let us know if what the final fix was for your car so we can better assist others. Thanks!

Find a car repair manual for your car repair questions.
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Thursday, September 10th, 2009 AT 9:24 PM
Tiny
DMHOOT
  • MEMBER
Thank you for taking the time going thru the TSB's.

Alternaor replaced today. Initial drive from the shop show's improvement. I monitored the voltage thru my scanner while driving and battery voltage reading was 13.5. Driving with A/C full on and light's on high, voltage did not drop below 13.0. A/C is not slowing down either like before. Accelerating van and voltage still stays above 13. Turned on everything the van came with and still voltage above 13. I'm thinking problem is solved, but have to wait and see. I'll post an update in a week or 2.
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Thursday, September 10th, 2009 AT 10:47 PM
Tiny
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Hello -

Great - sounds good so far. Keep us posted
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Thursday, September 10th, 2009 AT 11:08 PM
Tiny
IMPALASS
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Hello -

Hey one other thing.

Also, it looks like you may have some recalls on your vehicle. The dealer may fix these for free. Please contact the dealer service department, give them the VIN number of your car and have them check on these to see if they apply to you.


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/248015_Venure_Recall_1.jpg


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Thursday, September 10th, 2009 AT 11:11 PM
Tiny
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Looks like the issue is gone. Light has not come back on since the alternator was replaced. Thanks for the help
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Monday, September 21st, 2009 AT 1:19 PM
Tiny
IMPALASS
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Hello -

That is fantastic.I am glad it is working for you now.

Have a great day
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Monday, September 21st, 2009 AT 8:25 PM

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