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Your Auto Inspector
Your Auto Inspector, Assistant Service Manager
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 874
Experience:  Tires Plus
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2004 Pontiac Grand Prix: wouldnt be the alternator

Customer Question

I have a 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix. Yesterday i went to go start my car and it wouldnt start and on the dash it read "FAILURE SYSTEM CHARGING" so i got it jump started and it started then i went and got the battery read an it was under 10 volts so i was wondering is it just the batery or could it be the alternator?
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Your Auto Inspector replied 9 years ago.

The charging system failure warning on the dash comes on if the alternator is overcharging or undercharging. Because the vehicle would not start, I would assume that the alternator output is low and is not recharging the battery. I would suggest having the alternator tested, it is probably faulty.

The IPC illuminates the charge indicator when the following occurs:

  • The PCM detects that the generator output is less than 11 volts or greater than 16 volts . The IPC receives a discrete input from the PCM requesting illumination.
  • The IPC performs the displays test at the start of each ignition cycle. The IPC illuminates the charge indicator.
  • The ignition is on, with the engine off.

Note: If the alternator is not charging, it will pull power from the battery until it is drained. This means that the battery may need to be replaced as well.

Please let me know if there is anything else I can do to assist you.

Your Auto Inspector and 8 other Car Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
So if i was to get a new battery until i get the alternator checked would the car work
Expert:  Your Auto Inspector replied 9 years ago.
The battery will keep the vehicle running until the power inside it runs out. The battery holds a certain amount of power. Once that power is used, the vehicle will die and not restart. This could be 10-30 miles worth of total driving on a new battery.