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Re: 1996 chevy cavalier
1- If the battery is old, some of the cells are dead then it can never be fully charged.
2- There is possible current leakage when the key ignition is out. Here is a check.
3- Take off the wire connection to the alternator. Take off the car key. Use a Multimeter set to current measurement To measure in series from the positive terminal of the battery to the positive cable. ( of course you have to take off the positive cable from the battery.)
Your measurement should be less than 15mA, Higher than that you have shortage some where. Starting take off all fuses. one at a time to see the leakage measurement reduce to locate which path is leaking.
4- Keep the measurement set up like this, connect the Alternator wire inis place, look at the muleteer to how is the leakage current measurement. Sometimes the diode in Alternator circuitry leak allow the battery current flow back to the alternator causing battery current drainage.
5- Due to some work involved in testing to find out leakage current, You better be sure your battery fully charged to stay with statement the battery is really good but draining current because of some leakage.
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You probably have something draining the battery, such as a glove box or trunk light that is not turning off, or something else that is drawing current.
To test for a current draw, you can install a test light or current meter in series with the positive battery cable then remove fuses one at a time to see which circuit causes the current draw to decrease noticeably.
Has the battery been tested? Have you run a battery draw test with a multimeter set to milli amps? If so what is the reading? Also check and make sure no lights are on in the car, check the visor vanity lights, glove box, console if equipped, trunk all of them, do it at night.
Even the people you said that the alternator is good and you still loosing battery,why don't you ask them to do a power leak test,`like any circuit on radio,lights body contacts leak. Probably you might have somewhere something killing your battery. If what I said is already done,just do a final test by changing the alternator and see the outcome.
sounds like your alternator could be going bad, most major autoparts stores will do a free battery, starter and alternator test, and tell you what your problem is. just make sure you ask for a full charging system test otherwise they will probably just check the battery (if the battery tests bad you wont get an accurate test on your alternator, so replace the battery then have them run the test again right away) If it is the alternator, dont let it go too long, a bad alternator can kill your battery, a bad battery can kill your alternator and starter, and a bad starter can kill a battery.
no promises that this is your problem but it is where I would start, there are other possibilites as well, such as a weak feul pump or clogged fuel filter, if your engine isn't getting enough gas it will dog down and stall. But like I said above I would start with the battery/alternator/starter test.
REPLACE BATTERY CABLES SEE WHAT HAPPENS.YOUR BATTERY CABLES IS OLD HAVE A LOTS OF RESISTANCE IN THEM.MAKE SURE YOUR GETTING THE RIGHT AMP ALTERNATOR.BECAUSE A LOWER AMP ALTERNATOR WILL OVER WORK TRYING TO KEEP BATTERY CHARGE THAT WILL SHORTING ITS LIFE.CALL CHEVROLET DEALERSHIP PARTS DEPARTMENT ASK THEM LOOK UP WHAT AMP ALTERNATOR YOUR VAN USES MORE LIKELY 105 AMPS.
The battery life is near its end too. It can be the alternator, jump start your car, and remove the jumper cables, if the engine cuts out it is the alternator. If it keeps goind for a while and the battery indicator light is off, it is the battery.
Yes you need it,it controls lighting and such.What you were told,and what is tested,and diagnosed,is another thing,so ,do this,Unplug the alternator plug in on the alternator,and see if it goes down during the night,if it does not,replace the alternator.The regulator in the alternator could be open.Or a diode in the alternator could be blown.Have the alternator checked on the vehicle at the battery also,the auto parts store will do this for free.