Question about 1988 Pontiac Firebird

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Keeps draining the battery while running replaced the alternator and voltage regulator switch already and checked the negative ground from battery

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  • chris wheeler
    chris wheeler Dec 29, 2010

    besides the alternator and regulator switch , have you installed any other equipment to the car ?
    how old is the battery ? --- what brand of battery is it ?



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  • 22,326 Answers

Start engine then disconnect the neg terminal ,if engine stops a charging problem ,if engine keeps running its a battery problem

Posted on Dec 29, 2010


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My car keeps surging wanting to die after it starts up

Common Problems That Trigger the P052 Code
  • Defective Alternator
  • 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
  • Defective Voltage Regulator
  • Large Parasitic battery drain
  • Defective Battery and/or cables
Common Misdiagnoses
  • Battery
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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

Where To Find The ECM Module 3 0 Litre Saturn Vue

Apr 19, 2016 | 2003 Saturn VUE

1 Answer

Why does my alternators keep dying

One thing that occasionally happens is that the system ground gets messed up. There is usually a braided metal bonding strap from the engine to the firewall. This ensures that the engine block (where the alternator is grounded) is at the same ground potential as the vehicle body (which is where most all other electrical devices are grounded to). If that strap is loose or missing, then the ground path is interrupted and must find another route. The negative battery cable can come loose from the engine block, or can get rusty and corroded and cause high resistance. These problems induce resistance which reduces available voltage, increases current demand, and can overtax the alternator's voltage regulator over time, causing failure. Use a digital multimeter and, on the 1x ohms scale, check resistance between:

  1. Engine block and body metal (use clean, bare metal locations)
  2. Alternator case and engine block
  3. Alternator case and negative battery terminal
  4. Negative battery terminal and engine block
  5. Negative battery terminal and body metal.
All of these locations are technically "ground".. There should be very little resistance measured on any of these checks. Any readings that, on the 1x ohms scale, read as open circuits need to be checked and repaired.

Mar 19, 2015 | 2002 Nissan Altima

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89 dodge altanator. .new battery...truck will run till battery is drained seems like charging system is not working...all grounds are good, there is no external voltage regulator that I have...

The voltage regulator is mounted on the firewall of this truck. There should be a 2 wire plug that plugs into the alternator, one should be green, ground that wire to see if the alternator starts charging. If the voltage output increases then the regulator is bad.

Feb 24, 2015 | Dodge Cars & Trucks

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Alternater wont charge battery and fusable link on starter keeps burning

Bad voltage regulator. Usually built-into alternator.
Start car and unplug battery, if it dies your alternator is dead. Get new alternator. If car keeps running, get a voltmeter and check voltage coming through - should be higher than 12v but less than 18v. Any other number means your voltage regulator is dead, cheaper to get a new alternator.

Jan 11, 2013 | 2000 Dodge Neon

1 Answer

My battery keeps dieing while running. just changed the alternater three weeks ago.


Make sure that you also replaced the battery. Battery elements may be shorted inside. That will result in battery draining even if the alternator is working.

If you have already replaced the battery check power across battery terminals with engine on and revving above idle.You should read voltage in a range of 13.5/14.4 volts when engine is revving at about 2K rpm.

If the voltage is still wrong after replacing alternator and battery check the voltage regulator connected to the alternator. Here the part.

If battery, alternator and power regulator are OK, test wiring to find out if there is a short to ground that is draining the battery while you drive. This fault is quite unusual with your symptoms. Check battery, alternator and voltage regulator first.



Dec 15, 2011 | 1991 Pontiac Sunbird

2 Answers

Battery goes dead. disconnect the battery and jump the car and it is ok for about a month

Get a battery check first and have it charged. Then, switch off all lights, radio, ignition switch. Reconnect the charged battery negative ground first, then, the positive terminal. Find if there's a spark. if it does, then, you must check your electrical wiring since this is grounded. Do not connect the positive terminal. Clear the grounded connection first. If no spark, go ahead. Crank your engine, and let it run at neutral position. And check the voltage that goes out of the alternator, this must be more than 15 volts DC. Then check the voltage output of the regulator which must be 13
to 14 volts DC. However, if you cannot get the right voltage at the
alternator., you have to replace it. Then, you can check the regu-
lator output voltage, and get the right voltage. Get this done,. and
send your e-mail for the result.

Oct 04, 2009 | Cadillac DTS Cars & Trucks

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1991 Accord LX is not charging the battery properly

ITS definitely the alternator if the voltage with vehicle running is less than 14Volts+ therefore the alternator is NOT charging enough, that why the battery LIGHT came ON. Replace alternator and that will solve your problem. Sometimes when alternator goes BAd they will actually have a drain on the battery. Good Luck and Thanks for using FIX YA

Jan 23, 2009 | 1991 Honda Accord

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