Question about Saturn Vue Green Line

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I have a 2004 Saturn Vue Redline. The alternator is not charging. The connector to the alternator reads 10.5v to field generator. The battery voltage is at alternator terminal. When driving (after charging up), the voltage will gradually drop until it reaches 10.5v (still has daytime running lights). Dealer replaced E.C.M. and put about 32 hours and numerous communications to Tech Line to no avail. The alternatior has been replace twice. The dealer mechanic is baffled.

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  • mcelf7080 May 06, 2010

    The alternator has been replaced 3 times in the last 3 weeks so not the alternator.

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3 Answers

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  • Master
  • 1,297 Answers

Well lets see if I can help
I would assume that the dealer would have this solved so I'm not sure I can help more without the vehicle

lets start with some theory...
The generator provides voltage to operate the vehicle's electrical system and to charge its battery. A magnetic field is created when current flows through the rotor. This field rotates as the rotor is driven by the engine, creating an AC voltage in the stator windings. The AC voltage is converted to DC by the rectifier bridge and is supplied to the electrical system at the battery terminal.
When the engine is running, the generator turn-on signal is sent to the generator from the PCM, turning on the regulator. The generator's voltage regulator controls current to the rotor, thereby controlling the output voltage. The rotor current is proportional to the electrical pulse width supplied by the regulator. When the engine is started, the regulator senses generator rotation by detecting AC voltage at the stator through an internal wire. Once the engine is running, the regulator varies the field current by controlling the pulse width. This regulates the generator output voltage for proper battery charging and electrical system operation. The generator F terminal is connected internally to the voltage regulator and externally to the PCM. When the voltage regulator detects a charging system problem, it grounds this circuit to signal the PCM that a problem exists. The PCM monitors the generator field duty cycle signal circuit. The system voltage sense circuit receives B+ voltage that is Hot At All Times through the GEN BAT fuse in the underhood junction block. This voltage is used by the regulator as the reference for system voltage control.

With this theory under my belt and assuming that you had the alternator replaced with an OEM part then we can rule out bad parts...

Therefore we have to look at why the ECM is not commanding the alternator to charge

My first suspect would be incorrect voltage to the ECM

PERSONALLY at this point I would be calling GM directly and be asking for a refund for money spent so far, plus request the assistant of a FSE (Field Service Engineer) and/or threatening GM with lemon law issues...depending on where you live this may or may not be possible even on a vehicle 6 years old

Posted on May 06, 2010

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  • Master
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The rectifier or voltage regular built into the altenator is likely shot. A rebuild of the altenator or replacement of altenator should be done.

When you disconnect the main wire on the altenator, start the engine, then place a voltmeter between the connection on the altenator and ground. If you have low or now reading from altenator, it is surely bad.

Posted on May 06, 2010

  • Nate Stansfield
    Nate Stansfield May 06, 2010

    If altenator is good, then it would be bad relay or fuse or battery.

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  • Saturn Master
  • 17,970 Answers

I dotn sure if your alternator have voltage regulator; if have it, this can be bypass at the ECM. We working same problem in a Jeep; maybe this will help...

I have a 2004 Saturn - 8d15987.gif

...to install your regulator, splice into your source wire, and cut your field wire. These can be hooked to an old Chrysler external voltage regulator. That was a picture of a existing system, if you bypass this it will all work okay except your "engine" light will be on. Try to applied this way to your system.

Good luck.

Posted on May 06, 2010

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1 Answer

My car keeps surging wanting to die after it starts up


Common Problems That Trigger the P052 Code
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  • Defective Alternator wiring or connector(s)
  • Defective B+ battery cable from Alternator to battery
  • Poor Charging System ground(s)
  • Defective PCM wiring/connection to Alternator
  • Defective PCM
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Common Misdiagnoses
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Check the condition of your battery cables - are they corroded/have broken wire strands? Also check where the negative battery lead attaches to the engine/bodywork.

Check all the wiring for breaks and tightness - a small earth wire can be loosened and retightened to create a better earth. Corroded power wires can struggle to supply the correct voltage - remove and clean whatever you can find.

It's unlikely to be your alternator as you say it has been checked - the voltage regulator is built into the alternator so it must be okay.

A parasitic drain can be difficult to find. Try switching off everything - radio, heater ... the next time you start the car. If you know somebody who has a voltmeter and knows how to check for a power drain .. ask them.

The link below shows a Saturn PCM (it may not be your actual model..). Check all wiring around the PCM

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CHARGING SYSTEM
The charging system is an integral part of the battery and starter systems. Since all of these systems work together, any diagnosis and testing should be done in conjunction.

The charging system is protected by a 12 gauge fusible link located in the A11 circuit. This fusible link is between the generator and the starter.

The generator ground is provided through a case ground in the generator to its attaching bracket. This generator uses a voltage regulator internal to the Powertrain Control Module (PCM)

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HELPFUL INFORMATION
Inspect for a blown fusible link in the A11 circuit between the generator and the starter motor.

other Fusible link goes from the starter to the alternator. Thanks. Keep updated for any more query. You can rate this solution and show your appreciation.

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I don''t have 1993, but here is 96:

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