: Alternator

03-13-06, 08:33 AM
I am having a problem with my 2000 catera. Its not the sport model but it has the privacy shade in the rear window, I guess every option available. I took my car in because I noticed the batery guage dropping. I got the battery and the alternater replaced. The new alternater wasn't charging the battery so they put another one in. It lasted about a week and I got in my car after work this morning and my battery light came on and the guage was in the red. I took it to the shop after work to find out that the 2nd alternater he put in wasn't charging the battery anymore. Long story short, has anyone ever heard of this problem? my mechanic checked all the wires and cleaned all connections. I am getting the 3rd alternater put in it now. Could AC Delco have flukes with 2 alternaters in a row. they are rebuilt but the only thing on a rebuilt alternater has that is rebuilt is the casing, the insides are new correct? any help or expertise on this issue would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

03-13-06, 11:50 PM
Have them replace or at least check the battery cable that runs from the alternator to the battery. I have a 97 Catera, and they put 2 alternators in before they closely inspected the battery cable and noticed that it was burned on the inside. It wasn't until they actually removed the cable that they noticed it. I saw it myself. I would ask your tech if he actually took out that battery cable to inspect it closely and not just perform a visual inspection. Once my tech replaced the battery cable, my charging problem was gone. That is until I had to replace the starter.

That battery cable is not cheap, but check around eBay for one, or car-parts.com for a used one.
Hope this helps

04-05-06, 12:28 AM
My cat is doing something similar to that now. Like, it never drops in the red, and i noticed it only fluctuates when I have the headlights on. I dunno, If anyone knows the alternator maintenace schedule, i would greatly appreciate it!

04-05-06, 02:42 PM
it is a known problem with this engine actually. this engine concept has been used in different cars here and in the US as well. saturn L, Opel calibra, opel vectra etc. i myself have car with the 2.5litre version of this engine.
the problem is that the cable from the alternator to the battery is underdimensioned! in the technical information it says that an additional cable should be put in between alternat. and bat.
that is basically it. put in an additional cable.

04-05-06, 07:00 PM
I am thinking that it has something to do with the engine generating so much heat, heating up the cables causing the lowering of the voltage that goes to the battery. I had the same problem a while back and i just replaced the battery cable with a new one and it solved my problem. I would suggest that you go for the thickest that you can get, bigger than a 4g is better. That is why my project now is to add an external oil cooler to cool the engine and eliminate all these after effect of the engine getting too hot.

04-05-06, 10:36 PM
An undersized battery cable may explain the battery dying, but does not explain how the alternators keep going bad.

I had the alternator changed twice under warranty and four times additional in the past two years. These are no-good alternators floating around in the "rebuilt" market. They claim they are "rebuilt", but I think they just re-cycle old alternators that just barely work and hope they can get you past the 3 month replacement period.

'97 Dark Green Catera 82 K, owned since Nov 96.