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Help!!! Charging system!!!

Discussion in 'General Chevy & GM Tech Questions' started by pmf608, Jan 7, 2009.

  1. pmf608

    pmf608 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    URGENT!!! I need the truck to move tomorrow.

    Tonight, my charging system display in my 2001 Silverado 1500, 4.8L would randomly come on for a few seconds, and I'm scared it could be a serious problem. If anyone could help, that would be great.

    Here's the rundown:
    - Message center would show charging system light
    - fuel gauge & temp. gauge would drop to 0
    - Automatic gear indicator would turn off (gears would show, but not that I was in drive)
    - Voltage gauge stayed constant (around 15ish - a little high, but it seemed ok)
    - NO electronics dimmed, failed, or malfunctioned, other than instrument cluster
    - power brakes and steering still worked
    - No changes in how the engine ran
    - only accessories on were heater, auto dim mirror, and HID headlights
    - at one point, the entire instrument cluster went into the startup test, with all lights on (airbag, brake, etc.)

    What I've figured out:
    - It shouldn't be my new HID's (first drive with them) because it happened with standard high beams on
    - Drive belt on alternator appears OK - its old but its in a good enough shape
    - Alternator seems to be spinning...
    - This DID NOT happen at all while at a stop or idleing.


    I REALLY NEED THE TRUCK TOMORROW, as I'm moving, so if anyone could help me out, it would be great. Thanks in advance.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2009
  2. jprimrose4292

    jprimrose4292 Member

    Sounds like the alternator is going. My alternator just went in my suburban and the gauges were going wacky. Probably just the regulator in the alternator but it will be easier to just replace the whole thing
  3. mrfixdit

    mrfixdit Rockstar 100 Posts

    I wouldn't dismiss the alternator altogether however you did state the voltage around "15 ish a little high",that may be showing that it's putting out the voltage but its not getting to the battery. I would start with the battery teminals. Are they clean and tight? Even if they look clean they still may have an oxidation on the connecting surfaces that can't be seen until you remove them.
  4. jprimrose4292

    jprimrose4292 Member

    Good point with the connections or even the battery could be not holding a full charge.
  5. pmf608

    pmf608 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    i hope its not the battery. its brand new a year ago. could be the alternator if that would cause gauge issues. idk - truck survived the move anyway. Thanks for the connections point. I had removed battery ground and positive junction to install my HID's, so I'll check those.
  6. mrfixdit

    mrfixdit Rockstar 100 Posts

    charging system

    Another possibility could be the accesory relay located in the fuse panel on the side of the dash at drivers door. There are two cubes there, one is power windows and the other accessory I believe this powers the instament cluster (you stated at one point the inst. cluster went into startup test) a poor connection there could cause this, the two cubes are interchangable except the window relay can handle 30A and the access. only 20A. try swapping them and see if your troubles go to the windows. ( Just don't try running all the windows at once as it would probably be more than the 20A rating for the relay)
  7. pmf608

    pmf608 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Thats a good suggestion. If only it would work for me. No power windows:frown: I might try replacing the relay though to see if that helps. Thanks

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