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Amedee
Amedee, Saturn Technician
Category: Saturn
Satisfied Customers: 24413
Experience:  ASE certified Technician advanced level specialist. Wisconsin certified emissions state inspector
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I have a 2004 Vue. The battery was replaced earlier this

Customer Question

I have a 2004 Vue. The battery was replaced earlier this year and the alternator was replaced about 4 months ago. The problem I'm having the last couple of days is the car will start while making a noise similar to the starter sticking on. The dash flickers and then goes out along with all accessories. The battery starts boiling over almost immediately. Any ideas what could cause this. Incidentally it started doing this after the temperature dropped below 40 degrees.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Saturn
Expert:  Amedee replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I can assist you with your question. What is the battery voltage at when this happens?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have older voltmeter so it looks like about just under 13 before starting. This morning when it was cold I jumped to over 16v when I started it and it started boiling over. Late this afternoon after it warmed up outside, the car started just fine and it's showing around 14v
Expert:  Amedee replied 1 year ago.

Ok, the battery should not boil over, at all. If so, either the new battery is bad or there is something else going on (draw on the battery or an overcharging condition). So, we are going to need to start by checking the battery itself. Just because it is fairly new does not mean it is good. I have seen bad new batteries right off of the shelf.

Expert:  Amedee replied 1 year ago.

You can get it load tested at an auto parts store, auto garage or even at a battery store. They will likely do this for free for you.

Expert:  Amedee replied 1 year ago.

Replace it if it checks out bad or even marginal.

Expert:  Amedee replied 1 year ago.

If that checks out good, then we check the battery cables and connections as well as for draws on the battery and check the alternator output to ensure it is not overcharging the battery.

Expert:  Amedee replied 1 year ago.

I suspect either a battery issue or a bad connection at or after the battery. The reason is because this clicking you are talking about comes from low system voltage. Either the battery or a bad connection will cause this low system voltage.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Just to clarify I'm not getting a clicking from low voltage. It sounds more like the starter when you hold the key too long, or turn the key when the engines already running, but the sound isn't actually coming from the starter
Expert:  Amedee replied 1 year ago.

Ok, where is the sound coming from?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It almost sounds like it's coming from the top side of the engine. I'm not sure the part name but there is a black round electrical component about 2-1/2 inches round and 3 inched high that is connected to an electrical harness immediately to the right of the valve cover.
Expert:  Amedee replied 1 year ago.

Ok, electrical componets do this because they are low on voltage.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The voltage is not dropping when it's making the noise at start-up. Also, any idea why it would do this only when the temperature drops below 40-45 degrees. Since the battery has spewed out a lot of acid and it's under warranty I will change the battery and see what happens.
Expert:  Amedee replied 1 year ago.

Tempature is a huge factor in resistance. When things are week, it will start to act up or happen under "certain conditions". We see this all of the time at the shop. What is the battery voltage at when the engine is cranked over when the dash flickers and goes out?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It's about 12.5 before starting, drops to between 10.5 and 11 at crack and returns back above 14 immediately after. When it was cold this morning it did the same but jumped to 16v +
Expert:  Amedee replied 1 year ago.

Ok, good, this sounds like a good reading indicating the battery is good. I would still get it checked just to be sure. However, this brings us back to, what could be causing this. If in fact the rest of the vehicle is losing voltage, then we simply have a bad connection after the battery. You would need to verify that 1 there is low voltage and 2 where the bad connection is at.

Expert:  Amedee replied 1 year ago.

Or you could have a security issue going on or a bad module or another electrical issue (module malfunction), but that would not explain the battery boiling over like you are describing.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What do you mean by security issue?
Expert:  Amedee replied 1 year ago.

Anti theft preventing the engine from starting.

Expert:  Amedee replied 1 year ago.

Hello! It's Amedee from just answer. I am just checking in to see how things are going and to see if you need any further assistance?

Expert:  Amedee replied 1 year ago.

Hello!

It's Amedee from just answer. I am just checking in to see how things turned out and if you need further assistance. Please let me know.

Amedee

Expert:  Amedee replied 1 year ago.

Hello!

It's Amedee from just answer. I am just checking in to see how things turned out and if you need further assistance. Please let me know.

Amedee

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry. I have not had a chance to get back to work on it until today. Both the battery and alternator checked out good. Problem is still occurring only when below 45 degrees.
Expert:  Amedee replied 1 year ago.

Please accept my offer and call me now

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