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Bad Battery or Alt on my 2001 Chevy ?

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by flykelley, Feb 12, 2005.

  1. flykelley

    flykelley 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,127

    Ok Guys
    My 2001 Chevy HD, went to go to the store this am and the battery light stayed on. Amp meter in truck shows alt putting out about 15-16 amps with very light load. Checked the battery's both have the little green dot still. Restarted the truck battery light is now off. Any idea's? The truck is still under warranty if the battery's are bad do we have to replace both? Any idea what GM cover's as far as pro rating the battery's?

    Thanks Mike
  2. Northman

    Northman Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 201

  3. alittle1

    alittle1 Member
    Messages: 35

    I would say ONE of the batteries has 'shorted' out and the alternator is trying to compensate for it. Have a load test done on BOTH batteries and check the charging system.
  4. ksland

    ksland Senior Member
    from ma
    Messages: 419

    15-16 volts not amps.

    The battery light came on because the voltage went too high. The regulator inside the alternator regulates voltage to maintain 14 volts.
  5. snow7899

    snow7899 Senior Member
    Messages: 234

    I would agree with you, the alt is trying to recharge the shorted batt. that's why the voltage is so high. after checking batt. verify alt is charging at 14.5 volts
  6. TLS

    TLS PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,425

    Could be the alternator or the battery(s).

    Gas or Diesel?

    Original factory batteries....right?

    Both the batteries and the alternator are past their expected lifespan. If you got this far on the "green dot specials" consider yourself lucky. Replace them with something with a good 2-3 year free replacement THEN pro rated for 72months or so. Stay with a major chain (walmart, Pepboys, etc) just in case they go while your out of town. Keep your receipts.

    Let us know how you make out.
  7. flykelley

    flykelley 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,127

    A little more history for you guys. I bought the truck from a coworker. His father in-law owned the truck and bought it new in 2001. Shortly after buying the truck he got sick and passed away the next winter. The truck sat for about 6 months only was driven when my coworker stop by his mother in laws and started the truck.
    When I bought the truck Dec 2003 the truck only had 1600 mikes on it. Yes its not a typo one thousand six hundred miles. Maybe it sitting did not help the truck. Also last storm we had I notice the amp meter in the truck showing a large draw and I was not running the plow or a heavy load. Thanks for the help will test the battery's and alt on Monday and let you guys know the outcome.

    Thanks Mike
  8. SnowMatt13

    SnowMatt13 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,559

    Two things....One have your alt. load tested. Two, the little green light in the battery will only tell you if the cell it is attached to is still good. The rest of the cells in the battery caould be bad. It happened to me last month. Green dot was there but battery failed it's test.
  9. twodan

    twodan Member
    Messages: 41


    mike, i have a 99 sierra, bot new, never plowed. original side post battery went bad; developed a leak and drained out, which i was unaware of. took it to dealer after jump started. when i went to pick it up, they had replaced the battery with an oem 7 year battery to the tune of $125.00. needless to say the price nearly gave me a heart attack. oh well, i was good for at least 5 years i thought. wrong. two months ago, after 2 years, jump in to truck leaving work to go home. nothing, dead. next day took it back to the dealer. they called. battery side term leaked again, also took out positive cable. not to worry says dealer. all covered buy warranty since they installed replacement. battery, cable & labor FREE.
    while i don't plow now, i'm considering getting my feet wet. this board is very educational.
  10. TLS

    TLS PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,425


    You basically paid once for TWO batteries and a cable, they threw in the labor for free!

    Problem with GM/Delco is....

    Say your oem factory batteries die or leak under your 3/36K vehicle warranty. No problem...right? They replace it/them with another Delco battery. ONLY, this/these new batterie(s) carry NO warranty once you then cross your 3/36K vehicle warranty. You don't get the 7 year or whatever pro-rated battery warranty. This happened to my Father on his Diesel Suburban. This put the icing on the cake for our family with Delco batteries.

    I'm still working on my dual Battery pictorial/write-up for newer GM trucks. I have a few loose ends to tie up.
  11. twodan

    twodan Member
    Messages: 41

    battery warranty

    tls, i believe you are incorrect. at this dealership, if they do a "job", it has a lifetime warranty. the truck was way over the warranty period initially. the replacement battery that i over paid for is & will be covered for the 7 years. naturally it will be pro-rated. in other words, if the newest replacement fails in 3 years, and again takes out the cable, replacement would be free, less pro-rated amount. it would appear gm's batteries have a weak spot, the side posts.
    i'm still reading, learning, and contimplating replacing the 99 1500 with a 2500 next year with the addition of a plow. great site & info.
  12. TLS

    TLS PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,425

    Believe how you may.

    But what I was describing was the truth, and correct to my knowledge. Perhaps A different scenario than yours, but true.

    You paid a GM dealer $125 for one Delco battery. Other than there being better batteries out there, you overpaid. That was my whole point. You could have easily went to Wal-Mart and bought a better battery for half that price.

    Just wanted to clear this up a bit for you.
  13. flykelley

    flykelley 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,127

    Ok Guys
    Got my truck back today, Dealer replaced the Alt,still under warranty. The dealer claims the battery's are ok. The system is still charging at 15-16 volts though. I think maybe the battery's are fried. We have snow coming tonight so I will have to keep a eye on it. I may have to buy two new battery's. Will keep you posted. Thanks for all the input.
  14. PremierLand

    PremierLand PlowSite.com Addict
    from detroit
    Messages: 1,572

    glad you got it worked out mike. As some of you may know, im working on buying a 05' 2500hd as we speak ls 8ft bed, not sure if I want an ext cab or reg cab though...

    Anyway, my question is how long do batt's and alternators last for plow trucks. I put on between 20-30k a year. I dont plan to hang a plow on it until november of 05'. However I will be landscaping with it, and might be putting a insert dump in it. So ya, how long for batts and alternators and will the dealer warantee it as long as I have the plow prep? thanks fellas!
  15. ratlover

    ratlover PlowSite.com Addict
    from IL
    Messages: 1,325

    got 40k on my original stuff. the delco batteries seem to have quality control issues as of late though. if yours die IMO get some optimas. Even if its on the generals $$$
  16. flykelley

    flykelley 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,127

    Thats what I was thinking about doing. I hate having break downs. I like to fix things before they break and leave me dead in the water.

  17. ratlover

    ratlover PlowSite.com Addict
    from IL
    Messages: 1,325

    the problem that seems to appear with the delco batteries is that they leak. still seem to work but puking acid under your hood aint good on stuff. Check em regularly for leaks. my .02$
  18. Willie

    Willie Member
    Messages: 32

    Guys I ran a Montgomery Wards Auto center for 7 years. Never ever for any reason ever buy a Exide Battery simply put they suck. When you buy a battery for your truck make sure your buying a battery that has the lead cell panels molded into the bottom of the battery. The main thing that kills a battery is vibration. One of the lead panels will fall over and short circuit the battery. That's the number one failure for batteries.
    The best battery you can buy for your truck besides a gel battery... big bucks... is a Diehard truck or off road battery the cells are molded into the bottom of the battery so they can't fall over. Sure you pay more. But by far worth it. Take it from a guy who's sold well over 500 batteries a month for 10 years and adjusted more batteries then I care to bring up......So many it made me sick.
    Interstate also makes a good battery and any Interstate dealer has to adjust a Interstate battery even without a receipt nation wide. Don't let them ******** yeah.
    Now Hot cranking amps Vs Cold Cranking amps there's another story.