alternator or battery issue???? - Chevy Traverse Forum: Chevrolet Traverse Forum
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-27-2012, 03:50 PM Thread Starter
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alternator or battery issue????

I have a 2010 Traverse; while driving to work yesterday, the car went into "battery saving mode", or something like that and the air conditioner went off. While driving home, the same thing happened. I drove about 3 or 4 miles, then got a "service battery charging system" message (I think that was the wording). After about 20 more miles, the ABS light went on, the battery light went on, then one by one, just about every possible warning message was displayed. I stopped at a stop light and the entire car simply shut down. I coasted to the shoulder and called a tow truck. Took about 40 minutes for the tow truck to arrived; whe the truck arrived, the driver tried to turn my car on and nothing happened. After the 30 minute drive to my home, when we were taking the car off the flat bed, the car turned on, but the battery light stayed on. Has this issue been reported before? Is this a battery issue? an alternator issue? a computer issue? something that would be covered by the 100,000 mile/5 year warranty?
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-27-2012, 04:17 PM
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Re: alternator or battery issue????

sounds like the car was telling you to essentially get 'help'.

What happened is
battery failed
alternator failed

but from the messages you describe--- sounds like

the alternator failed--- and the vehicles battery continued to supply power to the vehicle for a while..
At this point the computer notifed you that it went into battery saver mode-- shut off items that were sucking alot of power...
and continued to run your vehicle.
At this poing the battery is running all the computers and actually firing all the spark plugs etc...
It reached a point where the battery was 'exhausted' and vehicle simply shut off.

Battery being drained- it could no longer restart the car.

After sitting for a while- the battery had enough power to restart the car-


Im actually not sure if this is covered under the powertrain (alternator)-

Theyll have to test both the alternator and battery

2010 FWD LT1-Gold Mist Metallic- seats 8.<br />Build Date- July 31, 2009-2nd day of Spring Hill 2010 production.<br />2013 Equinox 3.6L -&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp; 55,000<br />2010 Traverse 3.6L-&nbsp;&nbsp; 123,000<br />2003 Trailblazer 4.2L- 180,000
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-27-2012, 04:20 PM
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Re: alternator or battery issue????

alternator failures are failry rare on the lambdas...
its not something that comes up much,

2010 FWD LT1-Gold Mist Metallic- seats 8.<br />Build Date- July 31, 2009-2nd day of Spring Hill 2010 production.<br />2013 Equinox 3.6L -&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp; 55,000<br />2010 Traverse 3.6L-&nbsp;&nbsp; 123,000<br />2003 Trailblazer 4.2L- 180,000
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-27-2012, 04:30 PM
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Re: alternator or battery issue????

Pay attention to the behavior of the Voltage gage. How is it behaving?

Typically, after a cold start, the gage will read around 14.5 Volts. After the engine has been running awhile, the Volt gage with drop to just over 13 Volts. It may or may not cycle back up to 14.5 Volts, depending on what the operating conditions (prolonged idling vs. highway driving) and electrical demands are at the time.

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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-27-2012, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
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Re: alternator or battery issue????

the voltage didn't stabilize for any length of time...hovered about 11 or 12 for most of the 57 mile drive. It would jump over 14 but drop immediately. Before everything died, it was pretty steady at just above 9, which is when I knew I was in trouble and just needed a place to pull over. I'm hoping it's not the alternator, but not sure what else it could be...
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-27-2012, 09:56 PM
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Re: alternator or battery issue????

Not matter how good an alternator is, a alternator isn't going to be able to charge a bad battery.

I don't remember seeing anybody with a bad alternator on a lambda, but there are many reports of batteries going bad. Either way, both can be checked to determine if they are bad. The battery is easiest to remove and get tested. I think AutoZone will do it for free.
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-28-2012, 07:41 AM
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Re: alternator or battery issue????

Since you ran with error messages I say this is a classic bad alternator scenario. If the battery failed it would have left you stranded on the side of the road instantly.
Alternator covered by warranty unless you have too many miles!
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-30-2012, 03:40 PM
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Re: alternator or battery issue????

Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2jabiel
I have a 2010 Traverse; while driving to work yesterday, the car went into "battery saving mode", or something like that and the air conditioner went off. While driving home, the same thing happened. I drove about 3 or 4 miles, then got a "service battery charging system" message (I think that was the wording). After about 20 more miles, the ABS light went on, the battery light went on, then one by one, just about every possible warning message was displayed. I stopped at a stop light and the entire car simply shut down. I coasted to the shoulder and called a tow truck. Took about 40 minutes for the tow truck to arrived; whe the truck arrived, the driver tried to turn my car on and nothing happened. After the 30 minute drive to my home, when we were taking the car off the flat bed, the car turned on, but the battery light stayed on. Has this issue been reported before? Is this a battery issue? an alternator issue? a computer issue? something that would be covered by the 100,000 mile/5 year warranty?
With your vehicle being a 2010, this should be something that is covered under warranty. However, you will need to get the Traverse into the dealership to have it diagnosed. Once diagnosed, they will be able to provide you with warranty information.

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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-31-2012, 09:38 AM
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Re: alternator or battery issue????

Ps GM alternators are know to fail. I've become an expert over the years at replacing them. Still way easier that dealing with the ever hung starters from another brand I will not say. I know what time every morning my neighbor leaves for work though as his starter is hung as he drives away. He has put 7 in that thing already. uggg.. I think he gave up on it and just lives with it now..

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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-31-2012, 11:49 AM
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Re: alternator or battery issue????

Im going to say that alternators have become pretty good. You just dont see posts on failed alternators much.
They do fail... but its not common to see such a post.
The last time I changed out an alternator- was back in 1997 probably-- and that was a 1 wire alternator that went into my 1964 Chevy Truck.

(and this is on GM vehicles-- I dont know about other brands).

I have not replaced an alternator in a 96 and up GM daily driver.
1996 saturn- 150,000 miles- sold with factory alternator.
2003 Trailblazer- 171,000- still running factory alternator.
2007 Impala- 60,000- factory alternator.
2010 Traverse-48,000 factory alternator.



2010 FWD LT1-Gold Mist Metallic- seats 8.<br />Build Date- July 31, 2009-2nd day of Spring Hill 2010 production.<br />2013 Equinox 3.6L -&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp; 55,000<br />2010 Traverse 3.6L-&nbsp;&nbsp; 123,000<br />2003 Trailblazer 4.2L- 180,000
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