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Hello when starting the car I am getting message on the dash display "Service Electrical System" then "Service Charging System" and Battery light is on 2003 CTS 105K.I checked the battery connections both are tight the battery is only 2 years old showing 14.3 volts on the dash display info I have owned the car since 48k so not sure but most likely original alternator.When I leave the house the battery light goes off and no sooner pulling out of my subdivision it goes back on for maybe 30 seconds then back off again not sure if I should pull the alternator and replace it or does anybody think it could be something else?I did install HID headlights about 2 years ago could that maybe be the problem never had any problems until these last couple days,I also had a problem with water leaking in the trunk bezel when you would lift the trunk up you could hear the water moving around so I removed the bezel and siliconed the bolts and all around the inside before installing it so maybe the water already done it's damage and I need to replace bulbs not sure hope somebody can help me trouble shoot this problem.Thank You
 

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If the alternators needed replacing as early as 104,000 miles we would have heard about it already. Mileage, not time decides the alternator life. Unless you idle alot. Its strictly dependant on the number of revolutions it has spun. I think everybody here still has their originals, and that's mileages up to over 200,000 miles.

The "VOLT CHECK" fuse is located in the underhood fuseblock. I don''t understand what it protects, its associated with the dash integration module. Its failing a test of some sort at start up. I'd check the connections to the alternator if that doesn't pan out.

The volts should be over 12 and over 14. The battery is nice and strong ? Then it is being charged. There was a massive solar flare last week. My disc changer started acting up afterwards. If your two volt readings are good, the battery strong, that fuse intact...did you look for any codes ? Hold down F1 and F6 simultaneously to access the OnBoard diagnostics. Resetting the system by disconnecting for 15 minutes might get rid of the message.

It might be a phantom warning, especially if you pull alot of codes out of the diagnostics. The ECM fails frequently, and then it generates random codes and warnings. Theft warning tops the list, followed by Stability system. This could be the earliest stage of ECM failure.
 

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X Rolls-Royce said:
If the alternators needed replacing as early as 104,000 miles we would have heard about it already. Mileage, not time decides the alternator life. Unless you idle alot. Its strictly dependant on the number of revolutions it has spun. I think everybody here still has their originals, and that's mileages up to over 200,000 miles.

The "VOLT CHECK" fuse is located in the underhood fuseblock. I'd check the connections to the alternator if that doesn't pan out.
Then you have those people who have a stereo system that draws a lot of amps. Happened to me.

KOT
 

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Mickey, try reading my post again. It took a while to compose and its changed substantially.
Key On motor off 12.0 Volts Ok, Stock Stereo.Thanks
If the alternators needed replacing as early as 104,000 miles we would have heard about it already. Mileage, not time decides the alternator life. Unless you idle alot. Its strictly dependant on the number of revolutions it has spun. I think everybody here still has their originals, and that's mileages up to over 200,000 miles.

The "VOLT CHECK" fuse is located in the underhood fuseblock. I don''t understand what it protects, its associated with the dash integration module. Its failing a test of some sort at start up. I'd check the connections to the alternator if that doesn't pan out.

The volts should be over 12 and over 14. The battery is nice and strong ? Then it is being charged. There was a massive solar flare last week. My disc changer started acting up afterwards. If your two volt readings are good, the battery strong, that fuse intact...did you look for any codes ? Hold down F1 and F6 simultaneously to access the OnBoard diagnostics. Resetting the system by disconnecting for 15 minutes might get rid of the message.

It might be a phantom warning, especially if you pull alot of codes out of the diagnostics. The ECM fails frequently, and then it generates random codes and warnings. Theft warning tops the list, followed by Stability system. This could be the earliest stage of ECM failure.
 

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I must disagree with X on this one! Alternator failure is purely random! 12.0 volts is a little low for a battery. I got to 11.6 when cleaning my car the other day and it totally would not start. 12.6 is required for a proper battery test at a parts store or you'll get a charge and retest
 

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Dave, has anyone had to change out the thing ? I haven't seen a single thread on the alternator.

12.0 is a little low, 12.4 and 14.4 seem ideal.
 

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I get the Service Electrical System message on the DIC when I use the remote start feature. The second wire for accessories was not installed to the ignition switch (goofy installer, pointless to install if you are not wiring it to turn on a/c or heater) so the message pops up but clears once the keys is inserted in the ignition and turned on. I assume my altenator is not charging while i use the remote start and causes the message to pop up. Could this be a bad ignition switch also? I've seen lots on post on here about faulty ignition switches.
 

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You say it only happens when you use the remote start, obvious aftermarket. It's believed to be because of the lack of the second accessory being tapped into. You also believe that you don't think the alternator is charging the system during this time, hence the message. Well how about if you put a volt meter on your battery while in remote start key out. Is the voltage the same as it were if the engine wasn't running? If it is, then insert they key and turn on. Does turning the key remove the message right away, or do you have to press the brake pedal to disable the remote starter feature?

KOT
 

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Yes, aftermarket as explained in other threads. I plan to check it the way you mentioned but I've been busy ( i haven't even had enough time to piss the old lady off). I'm positive that's what is going on. Yes, when the key is turned on the message immediately dissappears but the remote start system isn't disabled until the brake pedal or remote is used. Most of this is Common Sense stuff man. Don't mean to offend anyone but lots of people lack Common Sense, even the smartest people in the world can be the biggest dumbass because they lack Common Sense.
 

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Lmao I totally agree and understand. I loved it when I was waiting in line for court one time. Had this lawyer come in the first set of doors. But had a tough time opening the second set of doors. After the 4th or 5th time I said. "hey ivy league, it says Pull like it did on the first set." The entire line of 15 people laughed their asses off. Needless to say, my case was dropped. :)

Back to the issue, having the 2nd accessory not powered could be the problem. Mine had a remote starter installed as well, though the installer must of tapped into the 2nd accessory. Its been 3 years and I haven't checked yet. I've been wanting to install my own remote starter, because it's two-way and far longer distances.

KOT
 

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It happened to me twice last year. It was during a very hot and humid summer day. It only happens when the car was running for a long time, shut the engine off for approx 30 minutes, start the car, put it in drive and the message displayed the same thing as yours.

The problem was the alternator not able to generate enough power when the a/c, lights on and the transmission was engaging the first gear. I changed the alternator and no more problem since.

For the DIC voltage display, when the engine is running you should see 12.7 volts minimum to a maximum of 15.5 volts. When the engine is not running, you should see 11.5 volts and more. The reason you can see 11.5 volts is because the electrical system is in use so the voltage on the battery is lower. If you want to know the real voltage when the battery is resting, take voltmeter and test directly the battery. it should be higher than 12.2 volts.
 

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I changed mine in my 03 at around 70+k, right before the accident.
Check the connectors, plugs, etc. Clean it, and then replug everything back in... same issue, I'd change Alternator.
 

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I changed mine in my 03 at around 70+k, right before the accident.
Check the connectors, plugs, etc. Clean it, and then replug everything back in... same issue, I'd change Alternator.
Only 70,000 miles, good to know. I hadn't seen any threads so I assumed it wasn't common; that's why I went with phantom warning and beginning of ECM failure. I'll know better next time. Alternators are easy to repair. I ran an 81 Plymouth up to 193,000 and changed the brushes three times. About $6 each time. Open, sand the armature plate, wipe clean, install new brushes, tighten up and reinstall. About an hour.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Checked alternator connections and the volt check fuse all good then disconnected the battery for 15 minutes so far the message has not reappered nor has the battery light.
 

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Checked alternator connections and the volt check fuse all good then disconnected the battery for 15 minutes so far the message has not reappered nor has the battery light.
Well, that's good, and mysterious. If everything is smooth sailing on the battery front, I might be right about signs of ECM failure. Codes that pop up saying something is wrong and nothing actually being wrong...that's the ECM failing. Lets hope it was just the solar flare messing with you.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
AHH Yess doing it again now the volts are going crazy low when driving down to as low as 9 volts,drove home pulled into garage shut it off and restarted fine then shut it off pulled the key out and tested the battery with multimeter and reading 11.78 I then started the car again and did not get any warning lights or messages and volts were 14.2 without radio,heater,headlights on then only dropped to 13.4 with all on.Do you think it is the ECM going bad should I pull the alternator and have it tested? Thanks
 
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