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2011 2500HD Alternator issues while plowing

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by sagent, Jan 9, 2014.

  1. sagent

    sagent Junior Member
    Messages: 23

    So I was plowing the road to the family cabin last weekend and about halfway through my blower motor started to die out and noticed the voltmeter was at the lower hash mark just above 9 volts. a few seconds later I would here a screech from the engine compartment and voltage would slowly go back up. Anyone else have this happen ? Only thing I can think of is snow getting in the engine compartment and getting the alternator wet ?
     
  2. PlowMan03

    PlowMan03 Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 472

    I had the same thing happen to me in my 2010 Chevrolet last weekend with the light snow. Been fine ever since now the belt squeaks a little bit more now.
     
  3. sagent

    sagent Junior Member
    Messages: 23

    I always have the belt squeak when plowing the road but this is the first time I have lost power. These charging systems are getting so complicated and are tied into many other systems on the vehicle so I have no idea where to start.
     
  4. Jakedaawg

    Jakedaawg Senior Member
    from N. Mi
    Messages: 134

    That is normal for the newer chevys. The computer now excites the alternator. It takes a couple of minutes for the puter to sense the need for charge and then tells the alternator to produce it. If, there is a great demand, the computer ask for full field immediately instead of ramping it up instantly as in the old systems. This intense immediate demand is what causes the belt squeal. Unfortunately, once the squeal starts happening it will only get worse with time. A new premium quaolity belt, new tensioner assembly and new idler and alternator pulleys will help but only for a while. This squealing may also be more noticeable on very cold dry days with very light, fine snow.
     
  5. sagent

    sagent Junior Member
    Messages: 23

    Plowed the road yesterday and was horrible. Alternatior quit about every 500 feet and could not see anything as defroster performance next to nothing

    Had to stop every time and let the truck sit for a minute for the alternator / defroster to kick back on.

    Could the snow getting on the alternator be causing this ? I have power washed engine compartments without any alternator issues so I can't see how a little snow would cause this .

    Surely this problem would be the same for any new GM truck with gas engine unless your plowing the wet heavy stuff .
     
  6. Jakedaawg

    Jakedaawg Senior Member
    from N. Mi
    Messages: 134

    new belt, new tensioner and idler pulley. really. not kidding.
     
  7. HDPOWER

    HDPOWER Junior Member
    Messages: 14

    I noticed the same thing on my last plow job except I don't have the belt noise. All of my lights dim when using the plow and the blower motor goes to low speed. I actually get flickering headlights even when the plow is off like when I roll down the window or traction control kicks in. Just seems like there is something we could do to fix this.
     
  8. sagent

    sagent Junior Member
    Messages: 23

    I popped the hood and checked the alternator eveytime I stopped the truck and the alternator was spinning

    What I may try this afternoon is secure a piece of cardboard in front of the radiator and see what happens
     
  9. Whiffyspark

    Whiffyspark 2000 Club Member
    from SOMD
    Messages: 2,402

    Dude seriously.

    You either have a bad tensioner, bad at, bad battery, or a combination of all

    Check your tensioner. You shouldn't be able to move the belt more than an inch or two when pushing on it.

    If that checks out have your battery tested. Bad battery will bring down alt test results.

    Last check alt output
     
  10. sagent

    sagent Junior Member
    Messages: 23

    Well, blocking off the radiator did nothing but did not cover entire grill area. Will try new tensioner next. Have noticed on other forums GM is having a lot of problems with their batteries in the newer trucks but it just started fine a few weeks ago with low temps
    -30 F.

    Have noticed also seems like voltage is not recovering very fast when raising the blade. If I am driving down the road with plow fully raised and double tap the controller, the voltage will drop to about 1/4 inch below the 14 volt mark and will not go back up to the 14 volt mark for at least a minute
     
  11. chevboy167

    chevboy167 Member
    Messages: 96

    There is a way around this computer controlled alt. problem. My mechanic, (certified genius), says there is a way to disable this feature in the software. Requires sifting thru lines of code then modifying it. Then it allows the alt. to function like older models= charge full output all the time. I have no idea how to do it but have seen it work. Amazing what he can do with the proper equipment. Others have asked if they can self excite the alt. with relay or manual switched 12v+ but i don't know if that would set a trouble code or not. Does anyone know if GM has reflash update to help with this problem??? Call me curious.....
     
  12. tlrlc

    tlrlc Member
    Messages: 37

    2012 2500hd 6.0 western wideout… i found this thread today because i had the same problem last night plowing
    have never had the controller shut off before on this truck. yesterday the voltage would not recover like it would in the past. (only 21K on truck and maybe half dozen plow events)
    i had to shut off climate control, wipers, radio… just to get voltage to catch up… i was cycling pretty heavy but i got the snow plow prep with hi output alternator. i checked wire to alternator and seems like a decent gauge considering my 1999 k3500 had a joke for a charging wire.. any help?
     
  13. Whiffyspark

    Whiffyspark 2000 Club Member
    from SOMD
    Messages: 2,402

    Before you do anything

    Get the battery tested. And then the alternator
     
  14. leolkfrm

    leolkfrm PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,425

    battery poers the plow...alt replaces the power...a squel is a belt slip if all else is good, change the belt...buy a new battery with more cca, if you look a lot of oem are 600 cca
     
  15. rswojo

    rswojo Member
    Messages: 50

    2013 Silverado 1500 with snowplow package 1400 miles

    I have the same problem everybody else has been talking about. Voltmeter dipped down to about 9 volts the other day so I stopped plowing and revved it up to make it charge. The voltmeter slowly recovered to above 14V and I charged for awhile and parked the truck. Yesterday the truck would not start and I had to put it on the charger for an hour to get it to start. I took it for a cruise to charge the battery, did my plowing and parked it. I then put the battery charger on it and since it was drawing 10 amps I left it on overnight.

    If this is what Chevy calls a snowplow package featuring a high output alternator I am not impressed. Time for a talk with the dealer it seems.

    I am beginning to think I should have kept my '78 F-150. I never had any issues like this with that old Ford and my old Meyer plow. The alternator on the old Ford didn't put out nowhere near what this Chevy alternator is rated at although maybe the old Meyer didn't draw the current required by a newer plow.
     
  16. Whiffyspark

    Whiffyspark 2000 Club Member
    from SOMD
    Messages: 2,402

    Sounds like you have a draw going on and it's screwed up your battery
     
  17. rswojo

    rswojo Member
    Messages: 50

    Yeah the draw is the plow and the high output alternator is "supposed" to handle it, but apparently isn't.
     
  18. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,382

    I say this every year when guys look to replace batteries. ITS THE RESERVE CAPACITY NOT THE COLD CRANKING AMPS. Buy the battery with the highest reserve capacity you can find. Deka makes some with really high reserve capacity. And yes, check alt. out put (should be putting out somewhere around 14.4V) and the battery should be around 13.8. The squealing could be a few things, bad belt, a tensioner pulley failing or simply snow mist getting into the belt. My Fords do that when the snow is really powdery but they don't start to shut down, just squeal for a few seconds.
     
  19. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,382

    Also, your heater probably uses as much draw as your plow does when its running on a higher setting. Not sure how you run but I know guys (like one of mine) who plow with the windows pretty much all the way down but the heater on high the entire night and hate when the plow lights dim all the time. Well get the cab to a comfortable temp and regulate it with the windows being up or down.
     
  20. Whiffyspark

    Whiffyspark 2000 Club Member
    from SOMD
    Messages: 2,402

    No a draw when truck is off.