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Service Airbag Flashes when plow moved

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by JCByrd24, Dec 29, 2009.

  1. JCByrd24

    JCByrd24 Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 232

    Hi guys, I have a 2006 Silverado 1500 with the snowplow prep package. I have a custom setup with a meyer e47 with 4awg wire right to the battery through the solenoid, no quick connects, it's always on the truck like a classic mount. I have upgraded the alternator charge wire (added a 4awg with a 175A fuseable link in addition to the stock) and added an extra ground as well (4awg battery neg to alternator bracket). Even with the wiring upgrade, every so often I get a "Service Airbag" message and ABS light flash when the plow is moved like full right to left. The voltmeter goes from 14 down to 10-12 maybe while the plow is moving and the lights do dim a little, but not an unacceptable amount. I'm running fisher oil and it does it doesn't necessarily do it when it's warm (it was 45 the other day and during some testing it didn't do it), today it's 8degrees out and was doing it just a little bit. I'm guessing the battery is stock, but still only 4 years old.

    I'm guessing this is just the computer flipping out because of the voltage flucuation but I don't really want to fry it or anything. The truck runs fine. I know I should do dual batteries but I don't really want to buy 2 batteries to replace a good one.

    I'm not sure how old the motor is, at least 4 years of my own driveway use, I bought it used off ebay. If it ever pukes I'll definitely upgrade to the E57 motor and pump but I don't want to do that if everything is ok.

    Just wondering if anyone has ever had the same thing and if it's something to worry too much about.
     
  2. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    Probably a weak battery as a 4 year old OEM Delco is about at the end of its life cycle. The OEM Delco's from '99 to about '07 were never known to last very long. Many never made it out of the original 3/36 bumper to bumper warranty before needing replaced.

    Where to you have your controller power connected?
     
  3. on my tahoe there is a connector under the right side of my driver seat that i knocked out when i stuffed my flashlight under it. The service airbag light cam on....plugged it back in and it went off. check to see if it is unplugged.
     
  4. JCByrd24

    JCByrd24 Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 232

    Thanks B&B, that is kind of a relief to hear about the battery. Might make me lean towards trying one "good" battery as opposed to a dual setup first, then if I really want more just adding another new one. I've been on the fence with the E57 upgrade as well, but all at once this would be expensive, and the E47 really runs pretty good now that I've got plow fluid in it.

    Controller power is currently (and temporarily) coming off of a cig plug, which I pull out whenever I'm on the road or the truck is off. Haven't had a chance to wire up an aux fuse/switch box with ignition tap yet.

    misanthrope, the light/message just flickers when the plow is running, it's not on constantly now.
     
  5. JCByrd24

    JCByrd24 Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 232

    B&B, if I was to go with a single battery, what you would recommend. I can get Orbital's locally, Optima in a couple of day's though Advance probably, or should I just go with an Interstate Megatron or something.
     
  6. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    When it comes to batteries run the largest (physically) that will fit in the tray with the highest cranking AMP and reserve capacity you can find. Brand isn't critical, just personal preference. But an Orbital would be a fine choice.
     
  7. JCByrd24

    JCByrd24 Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 232

    Picked up a Sears Diehard Platinum today, group 78, 880 CCA, 68 AH, 135minute reserve. I see that some others on plowsite had proclaimed this new best available. This battery has the best specs I could find to fit the space and in comparing to Odyssey (known best of the best) group 78, I found it interesting the specs were the same. Also interesting that the cases looked the same. Did a web search, sure enough, the Sears Diehard Platinums are made by EnerSys, the same company that makes Odyssey. Even some emails posted from an Enersys rep saying they are the same and rebadged, not similar but lesser... $200 with ME tax. Most money I've ever spent on a battery, but I'm quite optimistic. I will report back this tomorrow once I get it in.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2009
  8. JCByrd24

    JCByrd24 Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 232

    The Diehard is awesome, voltage gage dips to around 12v but slower and the light dimming is much less. It's not too cold here today, 25 or so, so the cold will be the real test. I'm not convinced the battery was really too weak, but the new one is definitely better.

    I have read a little (but can't find details) about Chevy's new voltage regulation system, which sounds pretty complex and I think is there to conserve energy/boast mileage. I believe this sytem is just lagging too much and with the smaller/older battery the voltage would get too low, causing the airbag light/service message.

    I didn't notice this before, but today I realized I can actually see the alternator kick on as the voltage gets to around 12v and I continue to keep the pump running. The voltmeter starts rising/recovering pretty fast right before the plow reaches the end of its travel.
     
  9. plowguy43

    plowguy43 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,269

    Get a marine battery next time, they are much more powerful than auto batteries.
     
  10. JCByrd24

    JCByrd24 Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 232

    My understanding is this battery basically is a marine battery, hydrid starting/deep cycle, absorb glass mat design, etc.
     
  11. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    All the late model stuff lags on the charging output...as they're basically "buffered" so to speak. The Fords are some of the worse but they're all pretty slow. Which is one reason you need all the battery reserve and alt output you can get t make them work well. As once it is charging you want as much as you can before it tapers off again when the load is reduced.