Urgent Help Please (battery light) [Archive] - GrandAmGT.com Forum


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01-26-2005, 05:34 AM
Good Morning All
I feel totally desperate this chilly Toronto morning. I was warming the car up as I removed the snow and I heard the dreaded warning bell; it was my battery/charging indicator light.The owners manual says not to drive if possible until the car is checked out. I am so low on cash right now! Anyhow, to the point; what do I do now?! Any ideas and help will be greatly appreciated!
P.S. When I say, 'what do I do now?' I mean, is it likely a serious problem? Is it probably the alternator? Must I rush to the repair shop to be tricked and lied to? My extended warranty just expired! Thanks again.

01-26-2005, 11:07 AM
Go to an autoparts store that can check your alternator.... Drive with little accessories on as you can count on a charging issue... Check battery, Check for corrosion on the battery..

01-26-2005, 01:49 PM
Well, it's the alternator. This is my 1st repair not under warranty...so I'll count my belssings I suppose! I have just over 170,000kms (Canadian) on it.

Mike Jung
01-26-2005, 06:55 PM
Nice time for the electrical system to go bad :doh:

At least you didn't find out tomorrow morning when it is -22C/-8F outside air temperature.

IMO, I would NOT go to a GM dealer for this repair.
Because they will charge you like there is no tomorrow.
[I had an AC Delco re-built alternator put in under GM extended warrenty & the bill said it was NOT cheap for the part.]

You might also want to get a new rubber accessory drive belt & a new car battery while you are getting alternator changed.
Especially with your mileage, if it hasn't been done in awhile.

Side Note:
I just had a co-worker's girl friend go through the same thing this morning.
She called him at work; & he asked me what to do.
She/he took it to a local shop that a couple of guys take their cars to near our work place.
For a (I think-?) Ford Probe:
AVR Electrical Test,
Change the Alternator (it was not working properly),
new rubber accessory drive belt (it was almost shredded),
new car battery (the one in the car was 7-years old).
= $450Cdn cash deal.

(That amount would just cover the AC Delco re-built alternator part at a GM dealer)

01-27-2005, 04:00 AM
Thanks Mike! I called around a few shops for estimates and Crappy-Tire had a rebuilt alternator with 3 year warranty for just under $400 installed including tax. The couple of smaller shops I called were very similar prices but without that long warranty.
A couple years ago I got a Gatorback belt from PFYC...I hope it's still good! I got a new battery about 21/2 years ago..so I'm not going to spend on that right now. I just paid the car off...this would've been the 1st month with no payment!!!

01-27-2005, 12:17 PM
I'm not sure if you got it fixed yet. I had to buy a starter a few years ago for my last car, and i'm pretty sure this is the place where I got the part (can't remember for certain though).

At the time I knew someone who worked at a GM dealership, and said to give that place a call since they had pretty decent prices on rebuilt starters/alternators. As I mentioned, I *think* that's the same place, as this all happened a long while ago.

When they offer the warranty, find out if it's on the part and labor or just the part itself.

02-09-2005, 07:39 AM
After getting a rebuilt alternator installed a few weeks ago..the :crying: damn light has returned. My friend is using the car today and she called from the highway to tell me about the light. I told her to turn off all accessories and to drive in the slow lane.(my car has rarely been in that lane!) She arrived at her school but I am worried about her drive home. Is it likely a bad alternator-rebuild or something like battery? I replaced the factory battery about 2 years ago.

What are the chances of her being able to make it home tonight after school? (It's about 45 minute drive)

02-09-2005, 11:54 AM
Couple things. If you did not buy a new battery that could be part of your problem. If you had the original battery that came in the car it only lasts approx. 5 years.

Another problem would be if no one charged the battery back up before you replaced the alternator. If you put the alternator on and start up the car with a drained battery, you put extra stress on the alternator and will fry it. My brother went through 3 alternators in a week because he failed to recharge the battery.

02-09-2005, 03:12 PM
Yeah I DID buy a new battery about 2 years ago...from the dealer. As well, the place that installed my alternator charged me $25 to re-charge the battery after the install.
Any ideas based on the info?

02-09-2005, 03:17 PM
Just have them replace the alternator. It's re-built so you may have just gotten a bad one. It has a warranty so I'd use it.

02-09-2005, 03:27 PM
Will my friend be able to drive home? How long does the battery last with a bad alternator? That was my original question..and is my only real question! I know about warranties etc

02-09-2005, 03:29 PM
I did, you said you bought and had installed a REBUILT alternator. I said it was rebuilt, so it's possible you got a bad one. It's an electrical and mechanical item that do go bad. It's possible that the one you slipped through QC.

Edit to your edit: It all depends. My alternator was shot (or at least my battery light came on, so it's possible the alternator was putting out some juice) and I drove approx 20-30 miles to the dealership. I have an optima red top battery so that could possibly be the reason.

My ex-girlfriends alternator went out and I couldn't even go a block on a charged battery. It's hard to say, she may make it and she may not. It's best to have someone follow her there, or to have it towed somewhere.

02-09-2005, 03:38 PM
thanks very much :)

02-09-2005, 03:40 PM
Yup, it alternators/batteries can be tempermental sometimes. Generally it's a lose lose situation. I thinK i was just lucky.