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2003 Blazer Battery Problems

I just bought a blazer last week on Tuesday, prior to buying it I test drove it, at that time the battery was dead they jumped it, it ran fine. They replaced the battery prior to me buying it. I got it home and drove it Wed. it ran fine no problems. Thursday morning, no go. Friday I jumped it, had it tested it looked to be the alternator. Replaced the alternator and it ran fine both Friday and Saturday morning. Coming out of work Sat. night, it acted as though the battery was dead, turned the key twice and nothing on the third try, it turned over. Sunday morning, DEAD yet again. I did buy a new battery, it is 720 amps and the old one was 660. My question is, could it have been the amps or am I maybe looking at a new starter or something more serious? Today will be the true test to know whether or not this battery will work.

Comments

  • jlflemmonsjlflemmons Posts: 2,240
    Okay, lets start with some basics. Do you have, or have access to a volt meter? Doesn't need to be anything fancy. Check the voltage of the battery with the car NOT running. If it is a new battery in good condition, should measure about 12.6VDC. Then start the car, jump it if you have to. Measure the voltage at the battery again. Should be more than 13.8VDC, but no more than about 14.8VDC. This will tell you if the new alternator is good (don't think for a moment that all off the shelf alternators are good) and if the battery is good. I have personally seen three brand new Autozone batteries go bad in the first 60 days, all within the last couple of months. Autozone does not make batteries, but only relables batteries made by other companies.

    Now, if everything above is good, try this:

    Turn on the head lights. Are they nice a bright? Should be if the battery is reading the 12.6VDC indicated above. Now, try to start the car. The lights should dim slightly when the engine is cranking. If the lights do not dim at all, and the engine doesn't crank, the problem is in the starter circuit. That could be anywhere from the ignition switch to the starter itself, and all power and ground connections in between.

    If the lights dim significantly, and do not brighten right back up when you release the key, you either have a bad battery (check the voltage again, should still be above 12VDC) or a bad power or ground connection. The main ground for the battery to engine is on the front drivers side of the block, down by the oil pan. If this ground is not clean and tight, you can get the symptoms you describe. Just follow the big negative ground wire down from the battery and you will see where it connects to the engine.

    The big positive wire goes from the battery down to the starter. GM uses an integrated starter solenoid at the starter. You can measure the voltage at the starter and should be the same as at the battery. There will also be a couple of small wires down on the starter. These come from the ignition switch circuit and activate the starter solenoid when you turn the ignition switch to start. With the car securely supported, measure the voltage at these terminals when the ignition switch is turned to start. The voltage should go from zero to something above 11 volts and you should here a distinctive "click" in the starter. Now, if everything decides to work at this moment, that sucker is going to start so make sure you have your hands and other important bodily parts clear!

    If you do not get a voltage on the solenoid, there is a problem upstream in the circuit. Could be in the ignition switch itself. If you do get voltage, and nothing happens, the starter needs to be tested. If you hear the loud click, but the starter doesn't do anything else, probably the starter motor. If you get voltage, but nothing clicks, probably the solenoid. Either way, pull the starter and have it tested.

    How many miles are on the car?
  • Well the battery that the dealer states was new, which looks new was some no name battery, it was like Ameristart or something, I also wish I would have known about the Autozone battery, that is where I bought the new one yesterday. It is a Duralast. The miles on the truck are 130,XXX. So not too bad. Like I said I will know today if it is good to go or not. I will definately keep you informed as for the voltimeter, I can borrow one from my dad and I will definately look into that.
  • jlflemmonsjlflemmons Posts: 2,240
    At a 130K miles, a worn out starter wouldn't be too unusual. I would run the simple tests listed above before pulling it out for a bench test. As you will find out, things are a bit tight under there!
  • duntovduntov Posts: 133
    First, replace your "No Name" battery with a AC Delco 75-60 (60 mo.) Replace the positive and negative battery cables with OEM AC Delco side terminal battery cables while you are at it. The positive cable from the battery to the starter is difficult to replace but it is a good time to do it if you are going to remove your starter anyway. Second, don't pull the starter just to have it tested. If you go to all the trouble to remove the starter, go ahead and replace it with a NAPA rebuilt starter and new solenoid, after all, you starter has 130,000 miles on it. I feel sure your alternator is OK. However, you should check the internal regulator connector on the side of the alternator and make sure it is still attached and tight. Those GM weather-pack connectors can be damaged when removed with a screwdriver and vibration and air flow can blow the connector off the alternator especailly at higher speed. When that happens, your engine and accessories are running on just the battery alone and the alternator is not recharging it..

    NAPA parts are among the best rebuilt parts you can buy, They have the highest quality control standards in the industry and their contract rebuilders must follow them. If you will notice, NAPA does not have "discount auto supply" in with their name or advertisements and that is why their prices are slightly higher than the parts from the "discount" auto suppliers" like Autozone, Pep Boys, etc. No, I have no financial interest in NAPA.

    You can find the NAPA parts you need on-line (http://www.napaonline.com ). Print and take a copy of the web-page to the NAPA dealer and present it to the counterman. That will help eliminate any ordering mistakes. "Never trust a counterman." .AC Delco replacement parts can be purchased on-line from Rock Auto ( http://www.rockauto.com ) and are about 30% cheaper than the MSRP of AC Delco parts.

    The batteries on all computer controlled vehicles have a constant parasitic battery drain due to the radio, digital clock, relays, sensors, ECM, etc., even when the engine. is not running.. With a 50 - 100 ma parasitic battery drain, a weak battery can be dead as a door nail in 24 hours. Example, my so-called " 36 month" Autolite battery was only 13 months old and was dead in two days because of a shorted power door lock relay. I did not fall for the hook by getting a battery adjustment and therefore get another Autolite battery It took me four years to get off the "battery adjustment" merry-go-round from Sears Die Hard batteries. I replaced the power door lock relay and replaced the Autolite battery with a AC Delco 75-60 (60 month) battery. I expect the AC Delco battery to need replacment in about 40 months. Normally a battery will last about 3/4 as long as the warranty. That scam keeps customers coming back for the same brand.

    NAPA......"GET THE GOOD STUFF"
  • Well like I said, I did replace the alternator Friday and battery yesterday. I am hoping to know by tomorrow whether or not this has worked. I will be sure to update and let you know how it goes. I am hoping to not have to replace the starter as I have not even had this vehicle a week and I am already at 200+ dollars in repairs. Thanks for all the help!!! ;)
  • duntovduntov Posts: 133
    The alternator and battery are the easiest and cheapest things to replace and those are the first things to consider, if you are going to keep the vehicle for a few more years. If those do not help your starting problems, the starter is likely the culprit.

    Don't be too concerned about fixing a problem by the process of elimination on a vehicle with high milage. Professional auto mechanics sometimes do the same thing.......at your expense.
  • I changed my battery and then the heat stopped working, I put some additional coolant in,just in case this was it--it wasn't and it's not the fuses either, any ideas?
  • jlflemmonsjlflemmons Posts: 2,240
    With the engine warmed up, carefully feel the two hoses going to and from the heater core. These will go through the firewall on the passenger side of the engine bay. Both hoses should be warm/hot, and the same temperature.

    If one hose is hot, and the other noticeably cooler, the heater core is plugged up. Not an uncommon problem on the S series. Assuming there is no leaking from the heater core (check the carpet on the passengers side footwell) you can disconnect the two hoses from the heater core at the firewall, attach a length of heater hose to each side and use a pair of water hose repair ends (female side) to attach to a water hose. GENTLY run water through the core in the reverse direction and you should be able to flush the blocking sediment out of the core. Assuming the two hoses were of different temperature as described above, the hotter of the two hoses is the input side, the cooler is the return side. So, try flushing with the hose putting water into the return, and catch the water coming from the input side in a large bucket.

    Sort of a shade-tree power backflush. Worked for me. :)
  • my batterie was running down . and after all the checks batterie was good alternater was good , then i discovered the door chime would t cut off. there is a module under the dash below the ash trey that has multiple wires to it .. I also pulled every fuse in the block one at a time, the chime never quit??? 2 questions is there another fuse block or can this module be disconected???
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