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Old August 16th, 2011, 09:39 PM   #1
Yota Bill
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Default Who knows Saturn charging systems?

My girlfriend has an 02 Saturn L200, and there's a problem with the charging system I'm having a hard time with. The charging system quit working, so I replaced the battery and took the alternator in to The Alternator and Starter shop in Charlotte. He tested the alternator and replaced the voltage regulator.
I reinstalled the alternator, and now I have 12.4 volts at the battery, engine off, and 14.3 volts at both the battery and alternator with the engine running, but the battery light is still lit on the dash. From the schematics on MeL, both the "L" and "F" terminals go to the ECM, and the dash light (LED) comes from the ECM. I am getting a code for "generator L terminal circuit" (don't remember the exact code number right now), but I am only reading ~2.4 volts at the "F" terminal at the alternator.
Can anyone tell me what voltages I should have at each terminal? Is this is setup like an older system that isn't run through the computer (batt voltage at both terminals) or does it run something completely different, like using a 5v ref signal to control the voltage regulator?

I'm starting to question if the right regulator was put on it, since I am getting a good charge voltage while basically getting no voltage at the field, which could also explain the "L" circuit code.
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Old August 17th, 2011, 08:36 PM   #2
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anybody? even if someone with AllData or something similar could look up a few specs for me, like the voltages on the "L" and "F" terminals...I can find the problem if i know how the system is suposed to work
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Old August 17th, 2011, 08:39 PM   #3
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Old August 17th, 2011, 08:51 PM   #4
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1. Backprobe the small Red wire at the alternator and measure the voltage with the engine running. The should be at least 5 volts.

2. If the voltage is low, disconnect the alternator and retest.

3. If the voltage is now 5 volts, check the small Red wire for corrosion and high resistance. It goes to Powertrain Control Module (PCM) terminal 50 in the J2 connector.

4. If ok, the alternator is defective.
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Old August 17th, 2011, 10:25 PM   #5
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thank you pigfat, thats what I have been trying to find...did you find that info on the net somewhere?
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Old August 18th, 2011, 06:50 AM   #6
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Is all connectors CLEAN?

My 00 F350 had same issues it will flick battery light on dashboard.

What I found was connectors on Alternator melt with plastic and Starter solenoid were dirtiest.

I use dremel with sandpaper to clean connectors now battery light go away.

Why I did because Alternator case were extremely HOT in short time.

I poke my multi tester in Alternator's wire it was only 13 volt but batteries only get 12.18. After fix all connectors now I get 14.90 at alternator and 14.84 at batteries.
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Old August 18th, 2011, 12:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MilwaukeeF350 View Post
Is all connectors CLEAN?

My 00 F350 had same issues it will flick battery light on dashboard.

What I found was connectors on Alternator melt with plastic and Starter solenoid were dirtiest.

I use dremel with sandpaper to clean connectors now battery light go away.

Why I did because Alternator case were extremely HOT in short time.

I poke my multi tester in Alternator's wire it was only 13 volt but batteries only get 12.18. After fix all connectors now I get 14.90 at alternator and 14.84 at batteries.
I covered all the basics, but thank you. As you can see in my first post, I have 14.3 volts at both the battery and alternator, so little if any voltage drop there. All I really needed to know is the correct voltage at the field terminal.
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Old August 18th, 2011, 01:01 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yota Bill View Post
thank you pigfat, thats what I have been trying to find...did you find that info on the net somewhere?
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Old August 20th, 2011, 07:36 PM   #9
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1. Backprobe the small Red wire at the alternator and measure the voltage with the engine running. The should be at least 5 volts.

2. If the voltage is low, disconnect the alternator and retest.

3. If the voltage is now 5 volts, check the small Red wire for corrosion and high resistance. It goes to Powertrain Control Module (PCM) terminal 50 in the J2 connector.

4. If ok, the alternator is defective.
the red wire is for the "L" terminal, not the "F" terminal...anyway, following your post, I did find a big voltage drop in the red wire. At that point, with a pin backprobed into the red wire at the alternator and at the PCM, I connected a jumper wire to bypass the apparently faulty "L" terminal connections. When I did, the charge indicator light went out, but it also put a big load on the engine and started lugging it down, and the voltage at the battery dropped to approx. 11 volts.

If this were just me driving this car, I would probably put in a volt guage and ignore the idiot light, but since its my girlfriends car, and she often has our 2 month old son with her, I need to have this done right. I'm going to take the alternator off and have it tested at a different place (just a parts store, but maybe the guy at the Starter and Alternator shop installed the wrong volage regulator?) but it still makes no sense why it would be charging with the light on, but fix the problem with the light and it becomes a load on the engine while not charging...any advice would be extremely appreciated.

I'm no newb to electrical problems by a long shot, but this is a system I'm completly unfamiliar with.
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