: Another battery problem thread

03-02-09, 02:22 PM
Been reading through all the battery problem threads, but not getting quite the answer that fits my problem. I've gone through 3 batteries in the last 2 years on my 01 Catera. During that time, I replaced the multi-function relay because the gas tank door, trunk latch, and radio were not operating properly (solved the problem). I also had several of the side marker bulbs out at one point or another and replaced them.

Battery died again last week and took it to a trusted local shop who checked the system. Found no parasitic drain and the alternator checked good. They told me the battery checked bad and needed replacing. Took the battery out and took it to Advance who tested it and told me it checked good.

One other data point, I bought a new Titanium battery at Advance last Sept. So when I got the news from the shop, I figured I'd just take the battery back under warranty and get it replaced. When I took it out to take it, it wasn't the battery I installed in Sept. Now the car has been to Lindsay, Fitzgerald in Annapolis, and this local shop who I trust very much. The car has not been in my possession the whole time, so it is possible that somebody else may have swapped the battery out, but if that's the case, then it means it has gone through 4 batteries in the last 2 years. Not sure why anybody would swap it without telling me, but that is the case regardless.

The positive battery cable seems a little discolored, so that is one posibility, but I can't seem to find the right link to the part number or source for an upgraded cable.

Anyway, this one has me stumped and I'm hoping for some help. Thanks!


03-02-09, 09:26 PM
I had a similar problem. I replaced the positive cable connector (what goes over the battery post) with a new one. About $2 to fix. There isn't much cable to work with, so cut off the least amount of cable.

03-02-09, 09:53 PM
Just wondering, do you still have that insulated jacket that came with the Catera around your battery? I was in the battery-of-the-month club for a long time myself, and just by chance, Sears threw away the jacket. I was pissed at first, but I have had no battery troubles since. My theory is that the jacket retains heat (rather than insulate the battery from engine heat) and causes poblems. Just a theory, I don't have enough data to prove it.

03-03-09, 07:16 PM
Nope, no jacket. I looked in the FSM and it looks like the positive cable runs to the starter and the alternator. Based on the posts I read, it looks like I need a better than OEM cable. Anybody have a source?

04-26-09, 03:51 PM
Took it in to the shop after posting this thread and they couldn't find anything wrong, no drain or anything. Well today it won't crank and it's been starting up just fine. Just got a P0442 code and reset it. Also had the refrigerant recharged last week cause it wasn't getting cold. Other than that, only thing that's been done is new tires yesterday, but I noticed it cranking a little slow before I took it in. Anybody have recurring, intermittent dead battery issues?

04-26-09, 08:13 PM
I have had battery problems since I picked my Catera up last year. I have replaced the battery with a new one from Costco. Kirkland batteries are rated high by consumers reports. They did not have the right one for my Cat but was going to the next size anyway. It fits easily into the battery compartment. It has 800 cranking amps and my Cat is running fine now. I have always had a parasitic drain due to door switches not working, etc. I purchased a Battery Brain which monitors the batterys usage and will cut power (still maintains enough to run your theft guard and maintain your radio settings) if it is draining too much. Their website is batterybrain.com I purchased mine on ebay for a much lower price. Pretty easy to set up and did not require any additional cables. Hopefully no more problems for me!

04-27-09, 11:08 AM
Good info, thanks very much!

04-27-09, 03:43 PM
I had the same problem. Replaced 2 batteries in 6 months. Alternator tested fine everytime. I decided to bite the bullet and swap out the alternator anyway and that fixed the problem. When I took the old alt. in for a core change, I had em test it and it tested fine. So I think it was intermittently working. Been a month now with no battery problems. And I'm still using the battery that was previously dead with the last alternator and it stays charged now. I paid $170-ish at Checker/Craigen/Schuck's/O'Rielly

04-27-09, 03:50 PM
I've also had some issues with my battery. Replaced alternator when car was bought. Still have an issue every now and again. What I do is leave the key in position II for a little while and you can see the battery "comming back to life" after about 3-5 mins car will start again...Just one of those weird Catera things....lol

04-27-09, 04:06 PM
I also had battery problems. I don't use the car often so I had a charger/booster at the ready. On a trip back from visiting the folks my alternator light went on and the temp began to soar. Power steering died too.

Luckily I was 50 yards from a Goodyear service shop. An idler pulley had seized and the serpentine belt broke. I believe that while the idler bearing was dying the belt was slipping and the alternator revs were down. It wasn't making enough juice to fully charge the battery.

Haven't had a problem since. Check your belt for tension and wear.