On 2007 and up GM vehicles, using conventional battery and charging systems tests can prove inconclusive. This is because of GM’s Electrical Power Management (EPM) system designed to monitor and control the charging systems and send diagnostic messages to alert the driver of possible problems. The EPM system primarily utilizes existing on-board computer capabilities to maximize the effectiveness of the charging systems, manage the load, improve battery state-of-charge and life, and minimize the system’s impact on fuel economy.
One Test Is Not Enough If only battery voltage is present at the battery on a running engine, does this mean the alternator is “bad?” No, it does not. That only means that the alternator is not charging, but does not reveal why. Therefore, it does not prove a faulty alternator. All too often the
Some original equipment alternators made in recent years feature a “floating stator” that is more sensitive to proper handling than previous designs. Previously, the stator — the set of windings that surround the rotor — in most alternator designs, is press-fitted or in a tight tolerance. In recent years, however, some manufacturers have chosen to
If the charging voltage is low, or the alternator isn’t putting out enough current to keep up with the electrical loads that are placed upon it, don’t automatically assume the starter or alternator is bad and needs to be replaced (unless you’re bench testing the unit out of the vehicle). Many times an alternator is
Chances are if the battery is not under the hood, it is an absorbent glass mat (AGM) or gel cell battery. These batteries pack a lot of power for their size and weight, which allows manufacturers to shave off a few pounds from the vehicle. That’s a big reason why they are being found more and more on late-model vehicles. Here are three AGM/gel cell myths.
The cold snap that hit most of the country in early January was the onset of one of the coldest winters most states have seen in years. And since cold weather can have adverse effects on vehicle systems, you probably experienced an influx of customers whose vehicles were towed in with dead batteries, or ones that were flooded due to ignition systems that could not fire the fuel. Let’s look at some VW and Audi maintenance schedules and see what we may have been missing that could help our customers avoid costly tows and generate some additional revenue for our efforts.
AVI’s ASE Test Prep product line includes G1 Test Prep Program, which covers preventive maintenance and light repair services. AVI’s series of ASE Test Prep curriculum is developed by ASE Master Technicians and centers around focused task lists that detail the knowledge and skills required to complete each specific level of certification.
Cold weather affects batteries more than any other engine component. This winter, Interstate Batteries encourages motorists to protect and care for that part of the vehicle a driver depends on most every day.
Some 2006 BMW vehicle owners may complain that their BMW has an intermittent no-start problem and the battery has gone dead. This may be the result of an incorrect battery or the comfort access module.
Recently, an old customer called to tell me his 1988 Nissan Pathfinder “fishing wagon” wouldn’t crank. The Pathfinder’s battery was less than one year old and passed a preliminary conductance test with flying colors. The Pathfinder’s starter activation system is typical for many import vehicles of this vintage. In the manual transmission version, the ignition switch supplies power to the clutch switch relay windings when in the crank position.
In addition to checking the strength of the antifreeze, a cold-weather starting inspection should also include testing and visually inspecting the battery and cables, starter, alternator and changing to the auto manufacturer’s recommended engine oil. Because cold weather slows down the chemical reaction between its electrolyte and its battery plates, the average battery can lose more than 50% of its cranking amperage at 0 degree F. For that reason, cold-weather starting quickly separates OE-specification from non-OE-specification batteries.
The starter “solenoid” is actually a combination of an electric relay and solenoid. The relay portion electrically connects the starter armature to the battery. The solenoid portion mechanically engages the starter’s drive pinion with the engine’s flywheel gear.