Bad Battery or Alternator?
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2008-2013 Cadillac CTS General Discussion Discussion, Bad Battery or Alternator? in Cadillac CTS Second Generation Forum - 2008-2013; Having a electrical charging/battery issue and not sure which it is. Battery in my 08 CTS (95k miles) was replaced ...
  1. #1
    agreif is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 08 CTS DI AWD
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    Question Bad Battery or Alternator?

    Having a electrical charging/battery issue and not sure which it is.

    Battery in my 08 CTS (95k miles) was replaced about 4 months ago with an Advance Auto Gold batt.

    Saturday I was loading up the car with stuff to go on a road trip 2.5 hours up north on Sunday morning. Get in the car Sunday morning and car starts, but felt a little slower to start than usual. No problem, just chalked it up to having the doors and trunk open a lot the day before while loading up the car.

    Drive the 2.5 hours north no problem. Get there and stop at a gas station for a quick stop and then a 5 minute drive to my final destination. Unload the car and as I'm closing up I see the "battery saver active" message come on. Try to start it and it's a no go. Had stuff to do so would handle that when I got back. 8 hours later I come back and problem hasn't resolved itself, shocker. Get a jump from a buddy and go on my way. Voltage on the DIC reading pretty much 14.7 the whole time. Get home, shut the car off and immediately try to restart it and it starts back up. Ok, interesting.

    Monday morning I go to start the car, same problem as before. Jumped with my wife's car and went to Advance to have them check the battery/alternator. Turned the car off and again tried to immediately restart it and it restarted. Turned it back off so they could do the test, tested 430CCA out of 720, but was still "good". I'm honestly not sure how that classification is arrived, so don't put much weight on that. I was surprised the amps were so low after a 2 hour drive home and an overnight sitting. So in the 4 minutes it took them to test my battery, my car again won't start. Jumped again and off on my way. Drove 25 minutes to work at 50MPH and seeing the voltage reading 14.6/14.7 the whole time. This should be enough to charge a low battery. When I get to work I disconnect the negative from the battery to take a system drain out of the equation. 9 hours later, rehook up the battery and will not start again. Jumped and back to advance. they test it again and it shows 443CCA now (and still good) vs the 430CCA in the morning with the battery pretty much disconnected the whole time minus the 25 minutes it took me to drive there. They can't replace it under warranty until it fails their load test after a 35 min fast charge.

    They do a fast charge and voltage is back to 13V and 69X CCA and "good". So they can't do anything for now. So I said ok, I'll disconnect the battery when I get to my destinations and see if it drains itself again. Did that last night and reconnected this morning and started ok. Driving to work I notice the voltage drop down to 13.0 volts for most of the ride. This had me concerned until I read this link (http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums...-readings.html).

    I'm still leaning towards the battery because
    A) was putting out 14.7volts the whole way home on Sunday, indicating the batt voltage was low and the alternator was trying to charge it the whole time
    B) there was no appreciable charge on either of the 25 minute trips to or from work on Monday to charge up the battery, even though the system was reading 14.7 volts the whole time.
    C) even with the neg terminal disconnected after the drive from work Monday morning, there was still not enough juice to restart it after work or even within 4 minutes of stopping back at Advance that afternoon after that same 25 minute drive.

    I was hoping the battery would be dead again this morning to confirm it, but maybe that full charge on their machine was able to get it up to a point where it will fall off in Amps a little later. It is curious the fast charge was able to charge it but I'm not able to even though I'm showing 14.7V.

    Thoughts and opinions welcome. I'm about 60% sure on this one. Worse comes to worse I was going to buy a new replacement battery and if that works for a couple days I was going to return my old "new" battery (from 4 months ago).

    Thanks in advance,
    Andrew

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  3. #2
    C "T" ess's Avatar
    C "T" ess is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
    Automobile(s): 2012 CTS Coupe
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    Re: Bad Battery or Alternator?

    From what you are describing; to me it seems the alternator is the culprit,did Advance do a load test on the alternator? or you have a parasitic drain in your system somewhere. Unless you are willing to pay the dealer to find the source, you will have to try to locate it by pulling fuses one by one.

  4. #3
    next2pool is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
    Automobile(s): 2011 CTS Performance
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    Re: Bad Battery or Alternator?

    Quote Originally Posted by agreif View Post
    Having a electrical charging/battery issue and not sure which it is.

    Battery in my 08 CTS (95k miles) was replaced about 4 months ago with an Advance Auto Gold batt.

    Saturday I was loading up the car with stuff to go on a road trip 2.5 hours up north on Sunday morning. Get in the car Sunday morning and car starts, but felt a little slower to start than usual. No problem, just chalked it up to having the doors and trunk open a lot the day before while loading up the car.

    Drive the 2.5 hours north no problem. Get there and stop at a gas station for a quick stop and then a 5 minute drive to my final destination. Unload the car and as I'm closing up I see the "battery saver active" message come on. Try to start it and it's a no go. Had stuff to do so would handle that when I got back. 8 hours later I come back and problem hasn't resolved itself, shocker. Get a jump from a buddy and go on my way. Voltage on the DIC reading pretty much 14.7 the whole time. Get home, shut the car off and immediately try to restart it and it starts back up. Ok, interesting.

    Monday morning I go to start the car, same problem as before. Jumped with my wife's car and went to Advance to have them check the battery/alternator. Turned the car off and again tried to immediately restart it and it restarted. Turned it back off so they could do the test, tested 430CCA out of 720, but was still "good". I'm honestly not sure how that classification is arrived, so don't put much weight on that. I was surprised the amps were so low after a 2 hour drive home and an overnight sitting. So in the 4 minutes it took them to test my battery, my car again won't start. Jumped again and off on my way. Drove 25 minutes to work at 50MPH and seeing the voltage reading 14.6/14.7 the whole time. This should be enough to charge a low battery. When I get to work I disconnect the negative from the battery to take a system drain out of the equation. 9 hours later, rehook up the battery and will not start again. Jumped and back to advance. they test it again and it shows 443CCA now (and still good) vs the 430CCA in the morning with the battery pretty much disconnected the whole time minus the 25 minutes it took me to drive there. They can't replace it under warranty until it fails their load test after a 35 min fast charge.

    They do a fast charge and voltage is back to 13V and 69X CCA and "good". So they can't do anything for now. So I said ok, I'll disconnect the battery when I get to my destinations and see if it drains itself again. Did that last night and reconnected this morning and started ok. Driving to work I notice the voltage drop down to 13.0 volts for most of the ride. This had me concerned until I read this link (http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums...-readings.html).

    I'm still leaning towards the battery because
    A) was putting out 14.7volts the whole way home on Sunday, indicating the batt voltage was low and the alternator was trying to charge it the whole time
    B) there was no appreciable charge on either of the 25 minute trips to or from work on Monday to charge up the battery, even though the system was reading 14.7 volts the whole time.
    C) even with the neg terminal disconnected after the drive from work Monday morning, there was still not enough juice to restart it after work or even within 4 minutes of stopping back at Advance that afternoon after that same 25 minute drive.

    I was hoping the battery would be dead again this morning to confirm it, but maybe that full charge on their machine was able to get it up to a point where it will fall off in Amps a little later. It is curious the fast charge was able to charge it but I'm not able to even though I'm showing 14.7V.

    Thoughts and opinions welcome. I'm about 60% sure on this one. Worse comes to worse I was going to buy a new replacement battery and if that works for a couple days I was going to return my old "new" battery (from 4 months ago).

    Thanks in advance,
    Andrew
    If you are seeing voltage in the 14 range you are definitely charging. At rest, a fully charged battery should be 12.6 V. You may want to check the DIC without the car running and see what the voltage is after sitting for a while or overnight--it should be close to 12.6. I suspect your battery is the problem, or a bad ground but if you've had the battery in and out that's probably not it.

  5. #4
    tinman's Avatar
    tinman is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
    Automobile(s): 2014 CTS Vagon 6MT; 2010 CTS Shooting Brake 3.6 DI
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    Re: Bad Battery or Alternator?

    Good advice from both posters. Advance should have run an alternator test. Shame on them. My money is on the battery to win and the alternator to place.

  6. #5
    agreif is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 08 CTS DI AWD
    Join Date
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    Thread Starter

    Re: Bad Battery or Alternator?

    Just an update. Looks to have been the battery. Replaced the battery and then went out of town for 4 days with the car in the garage and fired right up when we got home and has been good for a week of driving to and from work. Guy at Advance said he hadn't seen an AGM battery some back because of this before.

  7. #6
    tinman's Avatar
    tinman is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
    Automobile(s): 2014 CTS Vagon 6MT; 2010 CTS Shooting Brake 3.6 DI
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    Re: Bad Battery or Alternator?

    They sure do go bad. This guy must not have worked there long. I know Optima had some issues for a while.

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