: Dreaded SERVICE CHARGE SYS in DIC



hammerheadv
06-20-13, 12:26 AM
I tried the search button but there doesn't seem to be anything specific about the STS-V and the issues I'm having. Sorry in advance for the long post, just trying to be as descriptive as possible.

It started yesterday when I was driving to work (2006 STS-V, with 84k miles, new ACDelco battery in February) the A/C turned off, the radio went silent, and I got the warning on the DIC that the battery voltage was too high. After that warning the power steering went out, and I got the check AIBAG SYS, STABILITY SYS, CHECK BRAKE SYS, etc. I pulled over and thought that turning the ignition off and on might somehow reset the system... I was wrong. I put the car in park and off I went and the car would not shift through any of the gears, in automatic or manual, and then I got the message BATTERY NOT CHARGING, SERVICE CHARGING SYS, BATTERY LOW VOLTS, BATTERY SAVER ACTIVE, once I got to work (taking side roads since the car wouldn't shift and was in 3rd or 4th), I put the car in park and turned it off, I got the SHIFT TO P message. Fired it back up, turned it back off, same thing. So I disconnected the battery and started trying to find some info.

I went to Autozone after work and had them test my battery, it was at 66% and needed a charge. Once it was charged both the battery and alternator passed the test, however I still had the warnings: BATTERY NOT CHARGING, SERVICE CHARGING SYS, BATTERY LOW VOLTS, BATTERY SAVER ACTIVE. So I decided to call it a night and go to Cadillac the next morning. After a full diagnostic they said it was the alternator and wanted to charge me an arm and a leg to install it, without garauntee that it was the remedy. I purchased a remanucatured alternator from Pep Boys, and had it installed by a friend. When I started the car I got a volt reading of 14.5 and it seemed as if the problem was solved. Not a block down the road I get the same warnings: BATTERY NOT CHARGING, SERVICE CHARGING SYS, BATTERY LOW VOLTS, BATTERY SAVER ACTIVE. At this point I tried the old trick of turning the car on, and disconnecting the battery to see if it would contine to run. Once I disconnected the terminal it immediately shut off. Is this the alternator? Or is there an override in the system that cuts the motor when the battery is disconnected? My last resort was to replace the battery and even with the new battery I am still getting the same errors: BATTERY NOT CHARGING, SERVICE CHARGING SYS, BATTERY LOW VOLTS, BATTERY SAVER ACTIVE.

I know it was a book, but I tried to include everything in hopes that one of those details would stick out to someone and perhaps suggest a solution or past experience that solved this issue.

TimmyC
06-20-13, 01:25 AM
Hmm, I was going to suggest an alternator but it seems you already did that. Are there any codes showing when you scan it?

hammerheadv
06-20-13, 10:24 AM
I paid for the full diagnostic from Cadillac and they only came back with replacing the alternator... They did not mention what codes were present at the time.

boomys10
06-20-13, 12:44 PM
maybe a loose ground? or corrison somewhere. clean the connections. the one nice thing about voltage is its either there or not. if all the seperte peices are good, its something in the middle causing the issue.

hammerheadv
06-20-13, 02:44 PM
I had my battery tested today and it passed. The voltage coming from the alternator was only 11.4 volts. I am no electrician but this would lead me to believe that there is obviously current getting from the alternator to the battery. I read another forum about a similar problem and it turns out his issue was with the remanufactured alternator not communicating with the electronics system on his CTS. I am beginning to think I may have a similar issue and will be dropping the car off with Cadillac tonight. Fingers crossed

boomys10
06-20-13, 04:02 PM
thats not enough for the caddy. check the fuse panel in the engine bay and see if those connections are loose. the alt should put out around 14.4volts typically speaking. 11.4 is low. i had an issue where my car was getting 10volts but wouldnt do SHIT. doors wouldnt open, wouldnt start, NOTING after hours of checking the fuses it turned out to be a loose connection in the fuse panel in the engine compartment, the one that comes into it from the battery was loose and sending SOME current but not enough. i would jiggle that, if it moves, tighten up. take two seconds and doesnt hurt anything to make sure.

Cadillac Cust Svc
06-20-13, 05:39 PM
I had my battery tested today and it passed. The voltage coming from the alternator was only 11.4 volts. I am no electrician but this would lead me to believe that there is obviously current getting from the alternator to the battery. I read another forum about a similar problem and it turns out his issue was with the remanufactured alternator not communicating with the electronics system on his CTS. I am beginning to think I may have a similar issue and will be dropping the car off with Cadillac tonight. Fingers crossed

Thanks for the update hammerheadv. Let us know how your visit with the Cadillac dealer goes. If there are other questions or concerns you have, don't hesitate to reach out to us. We can be reached via private message and are here to assist any way we can.

Regards,

Laura M.
Cadillac Customer Service

hammerheadv
06-20-13, 05:57 PM
Thanks boomys10 for the recommendation. I will try that first before heading to the dealer.

zek4964
06-21-13, 03:30 PM
I do have some electrical education but not on cars. This sounds to me that the alternator may be shorted or have an alternate path to ground. This will pull the voltage down coming out of the alternator and not sufficiently charge your battery, and could pull the whole electrical system down. Which will give you the low system voltage alarm. I know in previous STS models 97, low voltage will kill these cars and most the time it is bad grounds (in previous models), The bad ground will put gremlins in these cars that you can chase for ever. CHECK ALL GROUNDS.

That being said if you do have a bad ground that is shorting voltage coming out of your alternator your original alternator may not be bad.
Look up N*caddy he is an electrical wiz on the sts 97 forum he may be some help very smart dude. Canadian

Carlosg
06-22-13, 01:33 PM
Low voltage light came on today reading 11.4 to 12.0 and I also have the problem shift to park when I turn off the vehicle. Man it been a good day, so I assuming I need a alternator and shifter but what if they are related.

TimmyC
06-22-13, 02:14 PM
Low voltage light came on today reading 11.4 to 12.0 and I also have the problem shift to park when I turn off the vehicle. Man it been a good day, so I assuming I need a alternator and shifter but what if they are related.

Have the battery tested, then change the alternator if the battery is good, then look into the shift to park message.

wake
06-22-13, 02:16 PM
I purchased a remanucatured alternator from Pep Boys, and had it installed by a friend. When I started the car I got a volt reading of 14.5 and it seemed as if the problem was solved. Not a block down the road I get the same warnings: BATTERY NOT CHARGING, SERVICE CHARGING SYS, BATTERY LOW VOLTS, BATTERY SAVER ACTIVE.

It could still be the alternator. I found out the hard way 10 years ago that Caddys generally don't like cheap branded alternators.

I had a 94 Eldorado that I changed the alternator out 4 times in 3 days (ever change an alternator on a sideways mounted V8 before?) before I finally got a deal from my friend at the Chevy dealer on his employee discount for an AC Delco alternator and that was the only thing that fixed it.

The reman junk at most chain stores is just that, junk. It seems our cars don't like anything out of spec in the charging system or they throw a fault and refuse to charge. Each one of the Pep Boys alternators I put in immediate had the "Service Chg System, Battery No Charge" message upon putting in the brand new alternator. The store checked out all three of the replacements and showed each of them as passing the tests. As soon as I put in the new AC Delco alternator though the charging system functioned and never had a problem again.

I have used some chain store parts since but only on items where they are easily replaceable. The alternator on my Escalade takes 10 minutes to change out so I took a chance on one from Advance Auto after finding out it was new and not a reman, and finding out that it was a re-labeled AC Delco (case stamped as such, again not a reman). If I ever have to change a hard to get to part it won't be anything other than an AC Delco.

Guy.Seminerio
06-22-13, 02:22 PM
2002 eldorado alternator went bad, replaced it, went bad not long after. Same deal as you. And yes you have to disassemble the damn car to get to it in those things. Pain.

Carlosg
06-22-13, 04:34 PM
Battery is good bought a new alternator , ac delco 374.00 will let yall know what happen.

Carlosg
06-23-13, 04:53 PM
Change the alternator no low voltage light yet but it's reading 12.5 and is climbing but have to drive it a little more. What should it be and was a pain to install.

torched10
06-24-13, 01:36 PM
output voltage should be at least low 14s--dont underdsatnd why its "climbing" its either over 14 or not--unless your battery is low--the battery should be 12volts and its parallel to the alterntor which should be 14 and charging the battery as you drive--if the battery is lower than 12, it might be using up the alternator output and battery is in charge mode--let it sit in driveway for an hour or so running and see what happens--dont leave ac on--too much load still sounds like you may have a ground issue

TimmyC
06-24-13, 01:42 PM
These don't work like that. They vary voltage to keep the battery topped off. It's not always over 14v. Check it out when you drive yours next time.

wake
06-24-13, 02:07 PM
These don't work like that. They vary voltage to keep the battery topped off. It's not always over 14v. Check it out when you drive yours next time.

My Escalade does the same thing. Supposedly it's to help increase fuel economy by varying the field on the alternator.

A few times the gauge has dropped below the 14v mark and I thought I had another problem with the alternator, found out it was normal though.

hammerheadv
06-24-13, 02:44 PM
Thanks everyone for the input and advice on this thread. Wake was right, the remanufactured alternator just did not cooperate with the car. I took it in on Friday, they replaced it with an AC Delco alternator and it's been running like a champ ever since. I thought I could cut some corners and get a remanufactured alternator and have a friend put it in for for half of what Cadillac would charge me... Well here's a list of my expenses. $125 from Cadillac to diagnose, $183 for Pep Boys alternator, $150 for friend to put it in, problem still existed so I bought a new battery $190, problem still existed so I took it back to Cadillac and had them install the AC Delco alternator $800. I can get the money back on the Pep Boys alternator, and perhaps the battery, but I wasted $125 having it diagnosed twice, and $150 for my friend to install it. Moral of the story, stick with the AC Delco alternator on these cars.

todrules
06-24-13, 04:32 PM
I used to drive BMW's and I learned the hard way as well to stick to OEM parts. Long story short, check engine light, scanner says camshaft position sensor, replaced with a reputible aftermarket replacement, reset light, comes back on. Failed emission test due to check engine light, off to dealer, they replaced the Camshaft position sensor with a BMW one and that was the culprit. I am now a firm believer that anything electrical related, go with OEM. Nowadays unless it's brake pads, suspension, or exhaust I stick with OEM. Fortunately OEM parts can be found much more reasonably priced online. The only downtime is waiting for them.

Carlosg
06-24-13, 08:37 PM
Its back up to 14.0 and my friend told me to buy a oem and glad I did it would sux to have to do iy again.

YoungBlood_STSV
06-26-13, 12:26 PM
... so I took it back to Cadillac and had them install the AC Delco alternator $800.

Out of curiosity, how much was the alternator and how much was labor?

todrules
06-26-13, 06:58 PM
I'll bet it cost less than the BMW liquid cooled ones. I almost crapped my pants when I was quoted $630 for a reman from Napa.

Guy.Seminerio
06-26-13, 07:00 PM
I think cadillac used to do liquid cooled alternators and then they stopped.

hammerheadv
06-27-13, 08:35 AM
It was 2 hours of labor, plus the $125 for diagnostic, and I believe the alternator was $390.