New alternator and new battery but still have problems. Help - Kia Forum
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#1 (permalink) Old 09-01-2010, 10:59 PM
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Question New alternator and new battery but still have problems. Help

I guess the problem really started in June. We get back to the van after watching a baseball game and it is dead. Get a friend to come give us a jump and we make it home. Use my battery charger to charge the battery and once charged I test the alternator with the charger and it says it is ok. I replace the battery and all seems fine till about a week ago.

Wife is out cleaning it out and listening to the radio. About 20 mins later she comes in and says the battery is dead. Charge up the battery and test the alternator. Test says it is bad. Spent last weekend changing it out along with both belts. Get it all back together and battery and parking brake light is on. Charge up the battery and lights are still on. Leave alone for a few hours and go to start and it just clicks. Put old battery from June back in (still had it) and it starts right up. Lights eventually go out and I think new battery is bad. Go back out to test a few hours later and lights are back on. Take for a drive and eventually lights go off. Check again a few hours later (around dusk) and this time the lights are back on again. Go out for a drive and it is dark enough out to notice the lights aren't turning off completely but they are just flickering.

Tonight I get a new battery and with fingers crossed install it. Lights are still on. Charge the battery to full but still, lights are on when you start it up. They will go off or fade in and out eventually like before when driving. I noticed around 45mph is when the lights will go out but as soon as you get off the gas or go to brake, the lights start fading and flickering. Along with this I have

1. Checked the belt tightness... can't see how it can get any tighter as the pulley gets out of alignment

2. Checked the ground on the alternator to make sure it was tight.

3. Check the Mass Meter fuse to see if blown

4. Checked with a meter to make sure battery was outputting correct volts.

I'm at a loss here. I am now kind of hopeing Hurricane Earl takes a little more of a turn to the west because I think there will just have to be some "storm" damage. I have googled and searched here and everything says bad battery or alternator. Please help with any ideas. Thanks
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#2 (permalink) Old 09-01-2010, 11:13 PM
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fill out profile - location, car...
have you checked what is current drain from battery while not in use?
Also, when the lights start to dim/flicker - what is the voltage reading?

plug the multimeter set to V into anything (cigarettes lighter or so) and keep monitoring voltage.

as for the flickering thing - external lights or all of them (instrument cluster too?)

Alternator may be OK, but the voltage regulator may be bad. Sometimes this is buried in BCM so alternator replacement will not fix it.

On the other hand - if a new freshly charged battery does not hold radio for more than 20 minutes - you have some extra drain (short circuit somewhere...)

www.kiatechinfo.com USA - free service, manuals www.kia.ca/kia-owners-manuals Canada www.kia-hotline.com Europe (paid service!) www.kia.ca/pages/owner/OwnersManual.aspx?lang=en manuals - must pick model, Canadian version - for free
PRINT IT and put on your car Do you talk/text and drive? Watch it: http://www.oprah.com/oprahshow/Watch...bsession-Video
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#3 (permalink) Old 09-02-2010, 02:58 AM
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Wish we could help....BUT.... without you filling out your CP section of your profile you could be anywhere on this globe with a multitude of different versions of this model car.
You said you checked the "alternator ground" but did you check the ground wire from the battery to the body frame and the ground wire from the engine to the body frame? Depending on yr and model of sedona you may also have an "enable" wire (line) going to the alternator "jacK" mounted on it. If the enable line does not have 12~13.4 volts on it or if the connections feeding the alternator are corroded you will have the "battery" light on and there will be NO charging system running while the engine is on.
Please fill out your profile with a "general" location, year, model, engine size, type fuel used (gas/diesel) then we can help you with specifics.
good luck from another
"David Mc" in Ohio USA
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#4 (permalink) Old 09-02-2010, 10:29 AM
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Sorry about that. It was late and I forget to give details. I will update my profile but its a 2003 Sedona EX with 3.5v6 location, South East Virginia, USA.

When I say the lights flicker I mean just the battery and parking brake idiot lights flicker and fade. Nothing else is affected. The van even drives better with the new alternator and belts (old belts) so this issue is just really getting to me. When I say new battery, it was new as of June of this year. So it had a few months to ride around with a failing alternator. The battery in there now is not even a day old. I will have to look into your other suggestions, thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PLP View Post
fill out profile - location, car...
have you checked what is current drain from battery while not in use?
Also, when the lights start to dim/flicker - what is the voltage reading?

plug the multimeter set to V into anything (cigarettes lighter or so) and keep monitoring voltage.

as for the flickering thing - external lights or all of them (instrument cluster too?)

Alternator may be OK, but the voltage regulator may be bad. Sometimes this is buried in BCM so alternator replacement will not fix it.

On the other hand - if a new freshly charged battery does not hold radio for more than 20 minutes - you have some extra drain (short circuit somewhere...)
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#5 (permalink) Old 09-02-2010, 10:34 AM
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Hurricane Earl comment should sort of give me away but I will get that filled out. I did check to make sure the ground from the negative batt cable was tight and free of corrosion. I looked at and tightened the ground on the post of the alternator but it was 11:00 pm and I had a hard enough time seeing with just the LED work light I had. Sounds like I will be at it again this weekend after the rain and wind blow throw.

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Originally Posted by DavesSpectra View Post
Wish we could help....BUT.... without you filling out your CP section of your profile you could be anywhere on this globe with a multitude of different versions of this model car.
You said you checked the "alternator ground" but did you check the ground wire from the battery to the body frame and the ground wire from the engine to the body frame? Depending on yr and model of sedona you may also have an "enable" wire (line) going to the alternator "jacK" mounted on it. If the enable line does not have 12~13.4 volts on it or if the connections feeding the alternator are corroded you will have the "battery" light on and there will be NO charging system running while the engine is on.
Please fill out your profile with a "general" location, year, model, engine size, type fuel used (gas/diesel) then we can help you with specifics.
good luck from another
"David Mc" in Ohio USA
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#6 (permalink) Old 09-04-2010, 11:09 AM
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Just pulled out the multimeter again and checked numbers again. connected to the battery with engine not running it reads 12.8 Volts roughly. Start the engine and it reads about 14.8-14.6 Volts. Put a load (AC, Radio, Lights) and it drops to 14.3-.2. All of these numbers seem to be in range and like I said, the battery light eventually turns off.

To me it looks like the alternator is charging the battery no matter what the dummy lights say. Last night I went out to start it and the van cranked right up with no battery dummy light on. The air was pretty humid and warm so I don't know if that could of had anything to do with it.

Any other thoughts are appreciated.
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#7 (permalink) Old 09-04-2010, 01:01 PM
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You need an alternator and if your not good with working on cars this is not a job for a novice
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#8 (permalink) Old 09-04-2010, 01:59 PM
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Thanks but per the first post this is after installing a brand new alternator and battery last weekend.
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#9 (permalink) Old 09-04-2010, 02:06 PM
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mrafrost...
If you read his earlier posts he did replace the alternator.
DavidMc...
I know that newer cars have a higher charging voltage but 14.6~14.8 volts seems a little high. I would think for your year car 13.4~13.8 volts should be more in the proper range... BUT... I may be wrong. Too high a voltage will cook the new battery and shorten it's life dramatically. We need others to chip in with their average charging voltages for this model and year.
I have read about crystallized solder connections on the Printed circuit board that all the dash lights and meters/gauges are soldered to. You might want to look for broken connections on this board. Also look for a bad ground return from the dash gauges to the inside firewall.
I know I sound like I'm beating a dead horse BUT ground problems have caused many problems on this forum.
ps.... a bad ground return from the alternator to the car's body WILL cause some voltage drop at the alternator's voltage regulator (internal) and the output voltage will climb by that amount.
Dave
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#10 (permalink) Old 09-04-2010, 03:05 PM
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Thanks again. Everything that I can see looks good and I can confirm the ground from the alternator is doing its job as I had a major brain fart and brushed the socket extension against the manifold while trying to make sure the nut for the ground was tight. The lights were before that incident. Everything that I know to look for looks ok. I peeked under the dash but I didn't see anything that looked loose. I can do jobs like alternator swaps or starter and such but other then that, I am a noob. I am totally lost as this is not how a vehicle is supposed to work after you swap in a new alternator. But this van has been the biggest POS since we got it. This was the 3rd alternator, 4th battery, and this is the second motor. Thats just the tip of the iceberg on this lemon crate that we bought. But its paid for and that is the only positive so far. Sorry for the rant but I'm just frustrated with this thing. Thanks for the advice but it maybe time to take it in someplace.
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