Question about 1999 Pontiac Grand Am GT

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Charging system I have a 1999 Grand AM se 2.4 dohc. The battery light came on and replaced the alternator and thought I cured the problem but after about 5 miles the battery light came back on and then 5 miles later shut off again. Next I am going to try replacing the solenoid switch but before I do so I am trying to figure out if I am just wasting my time and have a totally different problem. Also the old alternator was bad

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Before replacing the solenoid, ( solenoid of what btw ?), check with a meter if the alternator is charging.check the battery voltage while idling. check the belt if it is not loose. then you may want to observe first what is happening to the alternator before doing anything again.

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Posted on Oct 14, 2008

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A little confusing how you wrote this but I am assuming that you replaced or charged the battery and after driving for a short while it dies. If this is correct then you are looking at an alternator that has gone bad. Battery is most likely still good but will have to be fully charged after you replace the alternator,

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First, you state "the battery is only getting 11.58". This implies the alternator IS charging albeit too low. I would connect the voltmeter to the main terminal on the alternator and take a reading before starting the motor, then again with the motor running at around 1500 RPM (fast idle). This will indicate whether the alternator is working or not.

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There is a diode inside the alternator that controls the charge light. It is possible for this diode to go bad even thought the alternator is charging like it is supposed to. Only way to really tell is to replace alternator.
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1 Answer

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Have your battery charged and load tested to make sure it's OK. Then check the charging system and alternator drive belt for tension and condition. If car won't staqrt after charge, you may need to remove alternator to have it tested on a bench. Otherwise, put a volt meter across both terminals. With engine off, volts should be 12 or higher. Running should be 13,5-14V running with all lights, heater and A?C on should not drop lower than 12.8v.Low readings running indicate a bad alternator. If everything in charging system checks out OK, problem is likely in the starter or starter relay.

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