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06 Vue battery not charging

  #1  
Old 10-23-2017, 01:22 PM
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Default 06 Vue battery not charging

Recently acquired an 06 Vue with the 3.5 Honda engine with low mileage. Runs and drives fine, but battery is not charging. No warning light is displayed on cluster. ECM changed and programmed by Chevy dealer. Did not cure problem. Alternator changed. Still not charging. I have a good identical running wrecked parts car so other than dealer fee to flash the ECM, not much spent yet. The ECM regulates the battery charging system on this car, but since two ECM's did the same thing, reasonable to conclude it is not the ECM. Since new alternator installed, that is not the problem. The battery warning light not displaying indicates something else is going on. Only warning lights displayed are the ABS and the TCM. Scanner indicates it has a wheel sensor failure but should have nothing to do with the battery not charging. The battery is brand new also. Has anyone had this issue or any suggestion, other than take it to the dealer, which is not cost effective and also they are basically not any better than me.
 
  #2  
Old 10-25-2017, 03:09 AM
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What are the actual symptoms your vehicle is displaying?

I'm not being a smart ***.
How have you concluded that the battery is not charging?
1) Does it run until it drains and the vehicle stops?
2) Is it dead every morning?

The battery's purpose is to start the car. The alternator output takes over from there, supplying all current needed to operate the vehicle.
The vehicle runs fine only because the alternator IS supplying sufficient current at sufficient voltage to the Underhood Junction Box (UHJB). This explains why the charging light never comes on on the dash -- the alternator is functioning fine.

Two things come to mind:

1) Neg battery cable damaged/poor connection at battery/poor connection of OTHER end of neg battery cable to ground (corrosion between end of lead and where it attaches to the frame of the vehicle. Without this ground firmly attached, it is an open electrical circuit.
2) On some vehicles, the alternator output cable (+) "splits", with one run going to the battery and the other going to the UHJB. So the + cable connection at the battery must be corrosion free AND the Y split in the cables must be intact such that there is actually current running through the lead to the battery.

Safely remove battery cables at terminals and clean the connection points where the + cable splits coming from the alternator
--------------
Put a voltmeter across the battery terminals when the car is off. Should read 12.6 ish V DC.
Put a voltmeter across the + terminal and the other lead to an unpainted spot under the hood -- chassis, engine ground, whatever.
Should still read 12.6 ish V IF your negative terminal coming off the battery going to chassis ground is solid (good contact, no corrosion). If NOT, you've likely found your problem

Do exactly the same with the vehicle running. You should see the same results except the V should be about 14.4V DC.


Please report back.
 
  #3  
Old 10-25-2017, 08:43 AM
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Default No offense, but I am a very experienced mechanic

Car runs and drives fine until the battery runs down. No increase of voltage reading with meter when car is running. I have checked all the connections and they are clean. Other parts of the car are getting correct voltage, so ground seems good unless there is one hidden that is necessary for the ECM to do its job correctly. The alternator is a bear to reach. It has a multi wire plug in addition to the single larger wire connection. The alternator has to be removed to reach these plugs. I am wondering if this car has a fuse link hidden or some device that I am not familiar with that is causing this problem. Remember I have an identical wrecked parts car I can rob parts from. The battery does not drain when it is not running. I also have a running identical Vue that is my daily driver. I compared the constant amp drain that powers the radio memory and the security system to my daily driver and it is the same. I have a code scanner. It is reading no trouble codes. Scanner also has ABS ability and the ABS light is on as well as the traction control light. My scanner is now not reading any ABS codes which is strange. The scanner is new and I checked it on my other cars. I think this car has already stumped some people and was the reason I was able to buy it really cheaply.
 
  #4  
Old 10-25-2017, 11:52 PM
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No offense taken. But anything "new" to anyone usually gets learned, solved, or understood faster when others take a fresh objective look.
Have you checked the battery neg to chassis ground cable itself for continuity and super low resistance?

Your recent info would indicate that there is indeed no charging current getting to the battery. ( I asked the extra questions because I wanted to be thorough and also because it is impossible to assess knowledge level from a single post. You didn't list all the info I needed to rule out r, g, and w, so I had to ask the questions.) You've provided a wealth more info in your last post. Thank you. No harm no foul.

Did you measure across terminals or + term to chassis ground when you saw no change. Based on what you've said, it sounds like it wouldn't matter. Just wanted to confirm the batt to chassis ground was good.

I considered bringing up fusable links in my first response, but 9.8 times out of 10 people posting w charging issues have bad cables, dirty contacts, or poor chassis grounds. Start simple.
---------------------------------
As you know, most vehicles do have an inline fusable link to protect against current overloads taking out things, particularly overcharging the battery at a rate too fast for the battery to dissipate the heat, causing the contents to heat up, swell, and burst.
I would check for

1) continuity between the output terminal of the alt and the + post of the battery.
2) V at alt output terminal relative to chassis ground.. Of course, we know that current flows when a difference in potential (V) exists, but without a difference in potential there is no current flow. but if there is a V at the alt output, at least there is non zero current being produced by the alt..

--------------------------------------------------------
3) Seems you are down to 4 situations

A) Blown fusable link betw alt and battery
B) Alt "functions" BUT No current getting from alt output to battery due to output stage damage
C) Bad alt to battery cable
D) Problems with ECM to alt "control wiring"

C) I would think you've checked this already
D) Should be easy enough to confirm continuity betw ECM and Alt pigtail
A) Need to trace the leads to find the fusable link
B) The alternator itself may be generating energy but the output stage diodes are toasted so there is no output current

B is a possibility because

1) the battery is not charging
2) The vehicle runs fine until the battery V gets too low.
3) The output stage diodes that usually backdrain the battery when the car is off are NOT doing so in this case. Which means either the output stage is completely fried, leaving the alt no way to generate current at the desired V (Vreg prob inside
OR
4) The diode stage is shorted or partially shorted to ground -- however, that is at odds with 0 battery drain overnight. Just throwing this out there for completeness.

At the risk of being absurd:

a) If you remove the control cable from the alt, then start the vehicle, does anything change? I would think the alt would run at default full output since it is not being told to do otherwise
b) if a yields no change, take the vehicle and let the wannabes at autozone do a load test on the entire system. I believe it can detect bad alt diodes. Also, if it is a cable issue, the tester may just see the alt as "bad" because it is literally not in the circuit if the lead to the batt is bad. If it IS outputting current, you'll find out how much. Testing it in the car should give you knowledge you can use as the data was collected in the actual use configuration. You can always pull it later and have it tested solo.

For the record: This is about the ONLY thing I ever recommend anyone to do at Autozone -- this and get codes read..
 
  #5  
Old 10-27-2017, 06:41 PM
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Default Car is repaired and charging normally

Technically you are strong and I appreciate your efforts, but I am also technically strong and had already considered the issues you recommended, but I have learned from this experience and I want to share what the problem was and how it was resolved. Normally alternators are pretty much all alike and if it bolts up and plugs up, you are good. Not the case with the Honda 3.5 set up in the Saturn. An aftermarket alternator often causes problems and the reason is it puts out too much voltage and the ECM resents it. This is especially true in cold weather. My car had a new looking Car Quest aftermarket probably re-man alternator on it. My research found many examples where people were having problems with non OEM alternators. Since I have an identical parts car with a OEM Denso alternator, I took it off and took it to the alternator shop, a friend owns, and had it checked out. It was good. I installed on the Vue and the problem was solved. It is now charging properly and putting out 14.5 volts when the car is running with lights on. The ECM on these cars are apparently sensitive to the alternators. If anyone has a problem, I suggest you have your OEM rebuilt and DO NOT go to the auto parts store and get one that fits. You are looking for trouble. By the way, it is a bear of a job to install an alternator on a Saturn Vue V6 Honda. You have to unbolt the motor mounts right side and front and jack up the motor to get enough clearance to get the darn thing out. I hope the starter never goes bad, as it looks impossible. Thanks for your help and feel free to share this experience.
 
  #6  
Old 10-27-2017, 09:22 PM
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Now I am kicking myself in the head. I had a friend with a Ford Explorer with the same load shedding adjustable output stuff. He had his OEM alt rebuilt and all worked out well. It was only afterward when I did some internet digging that I found similar claims of issues with non Motorcraft alts.. That was to be my next suggestion -- to swap your good one in and see if the same holds true for the later Sarturns.

Guess it does.
I'm sorry I did not post that tidbit -- I have a habit of getting too far out ahead of a problem and running down wrong paths, so I was taking this one step at a time. Which cost you time.

Thank you for taking the time to come back and post
 
  #7  
Old 10-29-2017, 08:26 AM
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That's all right, derf. Your detailed explanations have definitely helped a lot of people here. Sometimes we ALL overlook the real solution because it seems to simple to be that easy!
 
  #8  
Old 11-17-2017, 04:01 PM
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Default 06 Vue 3.5 ABS and TCM problems

My 06 Vue 3.5 with 126K miles has the ABS and Traction Control warning lights displayed. I have an OBD 11 scanner with ABS ability. I ran a scan and it does not even detect the ABS system. I found three fuses under the hood that were marked ABS. I checked all with an OHM meter and they are good. The car is showing no other trouble codes. It runs and drives normal. I am wondering why the scanner is not detecting the ABS system as it surely has one and is showing warning lights. Not much of a problem as we seldom have snow and I drove cars with no ABS or Traction Control for decades with no problems, but I need to resolve as I am giving this SUV to my son.
 
  #9  
Old 11-18-2017, 12:34 AM
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Check nhtsa.gov for your vehicle using your vin, then look under manufacturer communications. I think there is one on this.

In general, these lights often go on in tandem when there is an issue with one of the speed sensors.
The ABS may have 3 sensors reading the same speed and 1 dead or erratic speed sensor.
This pops the ABS and as a result disables the ABS.
Trac cntrl is directly dependent on the ABS wheel speed sensors, so no ABS, no TRAC.

What diag tool are you using? Is it set to CANBUS?
 
  #10  
Old 11-21-2017, 11:20 AM
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Default Scanner not reading ABS codes

Actually I have a new scanner, my dog peed on my old one and killed it, and I know how to use a scanner. Just in case I bought a lemon scanner, I took the car to two locations and had them try to scan the ABS and their scanner showed nothing as well. I fully realize that most of the time a ABS problem is a wheel sensor or a broken wire, but it would really be nice to know which one. Since the ABS is lighted, scanners should be reading it and it would be nice to know why they are not reading it.From my re-search Saturn had a problem with the ABS braking system that was stumping dealers and making customers very mad and very broke. At least mine is not applying the brakes by itself.
 

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