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2007 Sorento LX 4x4 & Base
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This morning my wife's 2007 Sorento LX wouldn't start. Checked battery voltage and it was 9.9v, I jumped it, and got it running. Was going to follow her into town on the way to work to swap out the battery. Almost as soon as she left the driveway she pulled off onto the shoulder. "it lurched and the dash lite up" according to her. I got behind the wheel and that's exactly what happened. Loss of power and the check engine, ABS, Brake, ESC off & ESC light come on. They go off almost immediately and power picks back up. Happens a few more times as I limp it back home. Check the voltage with it running and it's only about 12.5. It's the Alternator I think, so the closest one in stock is a reman'd one. Pick it up and tackle replacing it after work. That 2 prong plug on the back is a bear to disconnect. Get everything back together and jump it again to get it running. Check voltage and it's 14.5. Hook up my ODBII reader and load Torque on my phone. Watching the voltage in Torque I go for a test drive and it's doing the exact same thing as before. Loss of power and all the same lights. When that happens the voltage is dropping to 9 volts. I'm done for the day so I'm looking for advice. I plan on checking for loose grounds tomorrow and getting the battery checked at the local parts store. I may have them check the removed alternator while I'm at it. Did I get a bad reman'd alternator, or is it something much worse?

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2011 Forte SX 2.4L (thankfully MPI) A/T 144K miles
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1,155 Posts
.... I plan on checking for loose grounds tomorrow and getting the battery checked at the local parts store. ....
It's nothing but guesswork until you do this, and maybe other diagnosis as well.

I will say that IMO it's more likely to be the battery, and highly unlikely that a second alt is doing the exact same thing as the original. As I said, just guesswork.
 

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2007 Sorento LX 4x4 & Base
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3 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Update and it seems to be fixed

Jumped it again this morning and drove into town watching volts in Torque the whole time fluctuate from 9.9 to 15.9. Went to the parts store where the battery was still under warranty. Turn it off and had them come out and check it, it was so low the meter wouldn't work, tried to jump start it again and not enough juice in my pack or the stores pack. With 3 months left on the warranty they replaced it free of charge. New battery installed and now the voltage is stable at 13.8-14 while driving. I'm going to chalk this one up to a teaching moment for myself and anyone else who's read this. Thanks everyone for their suggestions and help.
 

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2008 SpectraSX, 2014 Optima LX,2006 Jeep Liberty, Linux Mint Mate
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You may believe it's fixed but I will say you haven't solved the problem yet... Once the car has been started it runs off of the alternator not the battery.... Once the "new" battery becomes discharged from not being charged you will be back to square one with the same problem... The voltage changing is indicating that the charging system is not putting current back into the battery intermittently... Sounds like a ground problem to me... I had this same problem with my 2008 KIA Spectra SX ... Found the ground wire from the body of the car to the engine block was corroded at the body allowing a voltage drop of 3 volts between the alternator frame and the negative terminal on the battery...

The internal voltage regulator within the alternator uses the alternator frame as a "ground reference" ...With it being 3v and not ground (0v)... The regulator adjusts the output to a lower voltage (13.7volts - 3volts = 10.7volts) and this is too low to charge the battery... The car runs until the battery is depleted and the electronics (car computers) no longer can function at this low of a voltage... The "replacement" alternator would also have this problem as it's frame would also be referencing a voltage above ground (0volts)...

Your original alternator was not at fault and was fine... I hope the replacement was not "rebuilt" in Mexico (look on the box) as most of these are poorly repaired and you getting a good one is a throw of the dice... That's why you get a "lifetime replacement warranty" as many fail right out of the box... and you get to replace another one over and over...

Bad/loose connections should be your charging problems...
Dave
 
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