: Think I have a bad alternator, gauge cluster doesn't work either



bstrang6
02-26-13, 10:24 AM
Alright, so I bought a 2003 Escalade a few days ago, with a lot of aftermarket stereo and video stuff installed ( was installed in 2003 when truck was brand new, have records ) Such as a flip out alpine dash monitor, head rest monitors, dvd player in the rear cargo area cubby, ect. The bose amp is also bypassed. Viper remote start and alarm as well.

Beyond that, the truck drove great the first day and night I had it, the second day I removed all of the aftermarket stuff I could find, and installed my own Kenwood Double Din head unit with a new GMOS-04 harness to replace the old sound gate one that was in the truck. I also ran 0 gauge wire from the battery to the rear drivers side captian chair and installed an after market subwoofer amp, and grounded it to the seat bolt. Everything was fine at first, but now I am experiencing some weird stuff..

So, first off I noticed a few times for the first few seconds the truck was running I would get a battery not charging light, and the volt meter would read ~12 volt, after driving a few blocks the gauge would shoot up to 14 volts and stay there. Even with the stereo all the way off

Then one time the gauges didnt move when I started the car, just stayed all at zero, and the DIC and Gear Selector were not lit up either. They started to act as normal a few blocks down the road

now since last night on my way home, and today on the way to work, the gauges didnt ever come on.

I have read about a service bulletin on the IPC (gauge cluster I believe ) that says due to low voltage conditions such as cold start, the gauge cluster will not see the voltage necessary to kick on. This is remedied by a IPC reflash that changes the required voltage to a lower threshold.

So the most odd thing is, the truck starts RIGHT UP, cracks off like a new motor, headlights are strong, interior lights all work as should. remote start works, keyless entry works, everything seems to be working fine.

I am thinking ( read, HOPING ) that the alternator is the cause of this issue. Does it make sense that the alternator went out slowly? First not generating enough power at start up then eventually generating perfect power as the truck was driven, then not even producing enough power to wake up the gauge cluster?

I bought a new 145amp alternator at Orielly's this morning, around noon time I am going to try to get out of work early and go put it in... If this doesn't solve my issue where should I look next? Would doing my big three help this out?

the cadillac man
02-26-13, 11:31 AM
Alright, so I bought a 2003 Escalade a few days ago, with a lot of aftermarket stereo and video stuff installed ( was installed in 2003 when truck was brand new, have records ) Such as a flip out alpine dash monitor, head rest monitors, dvd player in the rear cargo area cubby, ect. The bose amp is also bypassed. Viper remote start and alarm as well.

Beyond that, the truck drove great the first day and night I had it, the second day I removed all of the aftermarket stuff I could find, and installed my own Kenwood Double Din head unit with a new GMOS-04 harness to replace the old sound gate one that was in the truck. I also ran 0 gauge wire from the battery to the rear drivers side captian chair and installed an after market subwoofer amp, and grounded it to the seat bolt. Everything was fine at first, but now I am experiencing some weird stuff..

So, first off I noticed a few times for the first few seconds the truck was running I would get a battery not charging light, and the volt meter would read ~12 volt, after driving a few blocks the gauge would shoot up to 14 volts and stay there. Even with the stereo all the way off

Then one time the gauges didnt move when I started the car, just stayed all at zero, and the DIC and Gear Selector were not lit up either. They started to act as normal a few blocks down the road

now since last night on my way home, and today on the way to work, the gauges didnt ever come on.

I have read about a service bulletin on the IPC (gauge cluster I believe ) that says due to low voltage conditions such as cold start, the gauge cluster will not see the voltage necessary to kick on. This is remedied by a IPC reflash that changes the required voltage to a lower threshold.

So the most odd thing is, the truck starts RIGHT UP, cracks off like a new motor, headlights are strong, interior lights all work as should. remote start works, keyless entry works, everything seems to be working fine.

I am thinking ( read, HOPING ) that the alternator is the cause of this issue. Does it make sense that the alternator went out slowly? First not generating enough power at start up then eventually generating perfect power as the truck was driven, then not even producing enough power to wake up the gauge cluster?

I bought a new 145amp alternator at Orielly's this morning, around noon time I am going to try to get out of work early and go put it in... If this doesn't solve my issue where should I look next? Would doing my big three help this out?

The alternator charge is controlled by the PCM it sounds kinda like a ground issue hence the cluster not seeing the proper voltage reading if it was me I would have the charging system tested BEFORE I threw money into it

One way to tell is with the high beams if they get brighter(and stay bright) after the truck is started then the alternator may not be the cause but like I said it is best to test this before throwing money into it.

bstrang6
02-26-13, 11:51 AM
I have had them tested by autozone, only saw 11.9 volts while the truck was running, battery tested good but low, dude said alternator was probably bad.

wesyder
02-26-13, 01:05 PM
I have had them tested by autozone, only saw 11.9 volts while the truck was running, battery tested good but low, dude said alternator was probably bad.

Yeah anything south of 12.6v is a problem for electronics the alternator should be load tested for performance

bstrang6
02-26-13, 05:45 PM
I replaced the alternator, everything is working now, voltage at charge lead ( off the alternator down to a little red box ) and ground of battery, 13.7 running now, drove the truck for two hours no problem

wesyder
02-26-13, 07:34 PM
I replaced the alternator, everything is working now, voltage at charge lead ( off the alternator down to a little red box ) and ground of battery, 13.7 running now, drove the truck for two hours no problem

Sweet

the cadillac man
02-26-13, 07:54 PM
I replaced the alternator, everything is working now, voltage at charge lead ( off the alternator down to a little red box ) and ground of battery, 13.7 running now, drove the truck for two hours no problem

Great glad to hear you got it fixed

Brandi126
02-26-13, 09:06 PM
I will tell you first hand that your Cluster will eventually go out completely. I know because I JUST had to have mine replaced after it continued to not work and then would "re register" itself, they run about $400. I have a 2003 as well. There was even a time when the speedometer worked but others didn't such as my gas gauge--which would show 1/4-1/2 tank until it decided to kick on................and then I ran out of gas! LOL!

bstrang6
02-27-13, 10:10 AM
I will probably be upgrading the dash cluster anyways, as this is the most boring cadillac cluster I have ever seen, looks like on ebay you can order rebuilt ones with LED lights an new overlays for the mid 200's to low 300's.... But I have read that is a common issue with the 2003 trucks....

the cadillac man
02-27-13, 10:39 AM
I will probably be upgrading the dash cluster anyways, as this is the most boring cadillac cluster I have ever seen, looks like on ebay you can order rebuilt ones with LED lights an new overlays for the mid 200's to low 300's.... But I have read that is a common issue with the 2003 trucks....

Yes it is a common failure on the 03's mine has been replaced and I don't like the looks of the replacement cluster(it looks more for a Chevy then a caddy)