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  1. #1

    Question Battery not charging and '03 Suburban died

    My wife was driving home last night and the lights went dim then dark and my Chevy died - no electric - she was locked in on the road. I went over - toowed her off the road.

    Any suggestions on trouble shooting?
    Last edited by Snoburbun; 02-13-2010 at 07:22 AM.

  2. #2

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    hi well i would put aother battery in and start it up. once it is running unhook the battery. if it dies it the altinator. . then take it to auto zone and get it checked. hope this helps. you can run the truck without a battery once it starts. ralph

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  3. #3
    Legend s5belford's Avatar
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    X2 on what he said.

    Welcome to the club! and hope you find all your answers here!


    S.BELFORD

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  4. #4
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    Hi, and welcome to the site! X3! Hope you find the problem, and get it worked out.
    Eddie , 2000 Chevy Tahoe Z71 (old style)

  5. #5
    Legend tlperry68's Avatar
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    It's probably the alternator. That elplains the dying part. Show your wife how to manually unlock the doors if this ever happens again.
    Good luck.
    Trevor - Huntington Beach, CA
    2007 GMC 2500 4X4

  6. #6

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    2004 Chevy Suburban 5.3L

    Started getting the "Battery Not Charging" light, along with the battery service light, and the Voltmeter would drop below the usual 14v.

    At the oil change shop, they checked it and said the battery had a bad cell. Bought a new battery. The alternator checked out okay.

    Went back because the light was still on, they checked the alternator again and said it was bad. (They wanted over $300 to replace it!) At this point, I'm wondering if they are just selling me stuff, so I went home and pulled the alternator.

    Took it up to the local O'Reilly Auto Parts store and watched the guy test it 3 times. All passed.

    Put it back on the car and thought maybe it was some sensor error, and the battery just needed to charge.

    The next night, we drove it (BNC message still displaying) until the battery ran down and we had to jump it three times to get home.

    Pulled the alternator again, and took it to Fort Worth Starter & Generator company - they rebuild alternators. It passed that test as well.

    I'm talking to the tech and he said there's circuitry in the alternator, and the car has to "tell" the alternator (via an "exciter circuit" to actually send power to the batter. (Apparently, on the test bench the multipin cable is unplugged so the alternator always outputs voltage on the battery connector).

    He recommended that I put it back on the car, charge the battery, and drive it up there (according to him, an car should run about 10 hours on a fresh charge with a bad alternator).

    So I did.

    It turns out, the alternator was bad, but it was in the circuitry and was only evident when they tested the unit on the vehicle.

    So I bought a remfr. with a lifetime warranty ($149) at AutoZone and it's all fine now. By the way, they are extremely easy to replace for the DIYer.

  7. #7

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    So I'm guessing the parts shop testing the altenator while its installed is a better test than you pulling the alternator off of the truck because its under a load? Is that correct?

  8. #8

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    Welcome to the G M T C ! Good info' to know, too bad you had to go through so much to get it straightened out.


    2010 Z/71 Colorado C/C
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  9. #9
    Legend Bigbomber's Avatar
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    Welcome to the club!
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    Welcome to the club Burban
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