No Charge

russgill

Member
Joined
May 12, 2008
Yesterday had a drop in the volt meter when turbo kicked on we fixed that and it ran great plenty of volts. This morning started it up and no charging at all and no volt light. I have read in other posts, no light no charge. I have the bezel out and cover off the bulbs. I also read the bulb can be pulled without removing the whole panel.

How do you remove the bulb, looks like a twist type socket? I have learned through screwing up things but would prefer not to do that this time.

Thanks
 
The dash bulbs push in/pull out(not bayonet types, or screw-in). I wrap a little duct tape around the ends of a pair of needle-nose pliers, and gently ease the bulbs straight out. The voltage that excites the alternator's field passes through the bulb, so- if the bulb's out: no charge.
 
Got it out, looked good, tried 2 other new ones and no light, guess I have other issues, we'll have to work down the line.

Thanks for the input.
 
If the problem is not the bulb, check the socket also,could also be the contacts in dash as they oxidize over time and can cause this problem. If thats the problem Caspers electronics sell an "alternator field fix kit" to bypass that and the car will charge, all"plug-n-play.
 
Changed out bulb, moved it around and it works elsewhere. I put a test light into both sides of the socket and got a light on both sides, not sure what that means as I am the most inept person to own one of these, I am sure. Wish I had taken auto shop in high school.

Thanks
 
More info, just before this all started we put in a new maf sensor and disconnected the stock alarm/deterrent system. The sensor solved a whole bunch of other issues. Could either of these cause this problem?
 
turn the key on and push the cluster in- i'd bet it's just a bad connection where the dash harness plugs into the cluster.
the way i fixed it on my car was to pull the cluster, clean all the contacts with a soft pencil eraser, and bend the tabs up a little bit.
it's been good for 4 years now.
 
I have seen dozens of the same problem repeated within the last year or so. There are a few weak spots in the system, the first being the copper flex board.
The circuit traces oxidize (sort of like an old penny) and add resistance to the circuit. You need to take all the lamps out from the back and use a pencil eraser to shine the copper traces up.

The other is the bulb socket itself; the brass terminals lose the spring tension and don't make good contact with the bulb. Generally, you can re-adjust the spring tension, clean the contact area with an eraser and you're good to go. The bulbs, however, tend to corrode at the contact wire. You can only replace the light bulbs to fix that.

The fuse that feeds the VOLTS lamp could be open which would cause the lack of charging. Check the fuse.

The sub-plane connector (the one that mates the flex board) could have popped out of position, causing a poor or non-existent connection. Again, oxidized copper is sometimes a culprit. If the dash is removed and not seated properly, you'll lose the connections between the "bow" terminals and the flex board.

Use the field-fix harness regardless. It will positively assure you of charging even though the connections thru the dash to the alternator may be a problem. But, be sure the "sol" fuse is not open, otherwise the field fix won't work.

Such a simple circuit, but it causes major headaches when it fails.

Look at:

http://www.installationinstructions.com/FYI/digitaldash.pdf

for some info.
 
Derrik,
Tried that and no go.

John,
Where is that fuse at, I don't see anything on the chart that says volts? Speaking of fuses when we had the dash out the other day to Graphite the noisey speedo cable we saw a fuse in the dash, by the security light. What is that for?

What and were is the "sol" fuse?

Your website shows 2 harnesses, they both have the same model number, so guess just get 102032?

With the car only putting out 9 volts, guess there is no to drive the car to my guys shop which is 25 miles away.

Sorry for so many questions as I will be a newbie all my life, by the way the tach I got from you folks is still working great.

Thanks
Russ Gill
 
The 20A gauge fuse(spelled "GAGES" in the GM manual) provides the voltage to the voltage indicator bulb and then the alternator field. That's the one to check(in the fuse block). If you fully charge the battery(with a charger), and don't use the lights or any other assessories- You could probably make it the 25mi to the shop. I'd take a spare(charged) battery with me though.
 
Rod,
Does the fact that I get the test light on when I contact either side of the bulb socket, with the key on, indicate that the fuse is good, or not?

Thanks
 
Rod,
Does the fact that I get the test light on when I contact either side of the bulb socket, with the key on, indicate that the fuse is good, or not?

Thanks

Are you saying that the test light lights up when you put both leads on both of the bulb socket contacts? If so, your fuse is good, your bulb is bad (or combination of the socket and bulb).

I have repaired hundreds of digital dash clusters over the years. My experience is corroded sockets are the usual suspect. Oddly, I have seen very few burned out bulbs. It's usually corrosion on the wire terminal leads on the bulb itself that prevents a good connection.

You will need to remove the cluster to get at the sockets.
 
John,
That is exactly what I am saying. I have a light when I prob either side of the connector with the bulb in place and the key on. I pulled the bulb and put it in the turn signal socket and it worked there. I tired 2 more bulbs right out of the pack with the same results.

It would seem that if I have a light that the bulb would be on, or am I wrong?

One more piece of info I just remembered, when I was having the voltage drop just on boost, we took the brown wire that goes to waste gate solenoid and wired it to the pink wire. Then we had volts of 13.5 to 14 no matter, if under boost or not, drove it 25 miles home and no issue. Come out the next morning and 10 volts or less just sitting in the garage.

Does that do anything for the mystery?

Thanks
Russ
 
Rod,
Does the fact that I get the test light on when I contact either side of the bulb socket, with the key on, indicate that the fuse is good, or not?

Thanks
Like John said: The fuse would appear to be good, if you've got voltage at the bulb socket. BUT- Check that with a DC voltmeter, and be certain you've got 12V between the fuse side of the socket and ground. If you've got that: Find the small wire(brown) that plugs into the Alternator and see if you've got 12V between that and ground(with the key on). That's the other end of the wire from the fuse and bulb. If you've got voltage there, but insufficient output from the ALT with the car running, you need an alternator(assuming all your connections, cables and grounds are good/tight).
 
Pulled the connector with the brown wire and put the test lamp to it and no light. Alternator is brand new, put that on Thursday too, as the old one was only 3 months old and under warranty. We thought maybe we had a bad diode.

Does this lead us back to a connection beyond the bulb and the brown wire?
 
I just remembered, when I was having the voltage drop just on boost, we took the brown wire that goes to waste gate solenoid and wired it to the pink wire. Then we had volts of 13.5 to 14 no matter, if under boost or not, drove it 25 miles home and no issue. Come out the next morning and 10 volts or less just sitting in the garage.

Does that do anything for the mystery?

Thanks
Russ

You shouldn't have done that. You put full 12 volts to the brown wire. Doing that will kill the regulator in the alternator. Replace your alternator and your bulb socket for the VOLTS lamp, and you're good to go.
 
Pulled the connector with the brown wire and put the test lamp to it and no light. Alternator is brand new, put that on Thursday too, as the old one was only 3 months old and under warranty. We thought maybe we had a bad diode.

Does this lead us back to a connection beyond the bulb and the brown wire?
By all means- find a voltmeter. With a fully charged battery, key on: Check for 12V from the GAGE fuse socket to ground. If you've got it there: Be certain that there's 12V from the bulb socket to ground(with the wire detached from the alternator). Have you checked the connections at the starter for tightness?
 
You shouldn't have done that. You put full 12 volts to the brown wire. Doing that will kill the regulator in the alternator. Replace your alternator and your bulb socket for the VOLTS lamp, and you're good to go.
Yep- cooked the regulator, but what caused the problem to start with?
 
Did have a voltmeter, battery is reading about 10.9 and fuse side is reading 10.9 too. No volts on brown wire. We didn't have any "excitement" the other day which is what led us to the connection we made, which appaently was a bad idea.

So put the wires back and put on a new alternator and I am back where I started.

Is the field fix going to solve no power to the brown wire? Is the reason for no light the fact that we don't have a complete circuit to the alternator?

Thanks
 
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