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Premium Member
2002 chevy trailblazer_ltz
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99 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
'02 with 129K. Have had four batteries (two under warranty no less).
Last battery (current) was an Interstate.
Yesterday wife said car had been 'starting hard' last two days. I checked water levels and 4 cells were low. Added to bottom of fill hole, distilled water... then we went for a drive.
Voltage gauge (I know that gauges are not real accurate but...) was up from what I recalled... posting about 15 for at least the first hour or so of drive, then to 14 and finished just to the left of 14. Car started and restarted fine during the drive. All gauges, radio, etc worked fine... BUT we did note ONE apparent RESET as the CLOCK went to 12:00 and some of the dash lights flashed. No CEL at all.

This AM TB would not start. We have lights, we can turn key, remove key... radio is there but time is NOON again. There is a 'clicking' noise that years ago I'd thought was a solenoid but not so sure on the new vehicles. And there is the old 'dead battery' sound of 'click, click'.

Doesn't sound like a starter switch, can pull the key in and out without issue and put the car in gear, etc..

I'm contemplating just putting in a new battery to see (Duralast Gold, 8yr, 800 crank, etc) but wanted to post and receive any thoughts.

Thanks!
(PS not sure if this is the best section for battery, mod can move if desired)
 

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2004 gmc
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26,181 Posts
Batteries typically don't need water unless they've been boiled off by overcharging. Over 14.3V or so is evidence of overcharging by a bad alternator. 15V is a BIG RED FLAG!

Tighten the alternator, battery and ground wiring to the fender and engine and see if that voltage comes down. If you can put a meter on the battery instead of trusting the gauge, even better. If it doesn't then the alternator has a bad voltage regulator. Parts stores can test it for confirmation.
 

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Premium Member
2002 chevy trailblazer_ltz
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99 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Perhaps I caused some confusion.
The voltage gauge was reading a bit over 14 while it was charging the 'dead' battery with the added water. The battery tested at 10v on the voltmeter across the terminals... so it was definitely low.

Interestingly my mechanic mentioned that he thought the Interstate was still under warranty, it was... so we've got a new battery in there and it did start the car.

We will check the alternator 'output' tomorrow. We've had really HOT weather in S. Cal these past few months... perhaps that contributed to the boiling off of the water or perhaps I had a bad cell?

Thanks
 

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2004 chevy trailblazer_lt
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997 Posts
Hot weather does not 'boil off' a battery; overcharging it does.

Also, if your clock is resetting, it is very likely the fault of the cables.

Are you CERTAIN the cables are on properly? It is a bit tricky to get them on, especially with the battery cover, and they may seem to be tight but they're not.

It is possible the voltage regulator in your alternator is bad and that is why you are going through batteries. It is NOT normal to need to add water to a battery in normal use. But it is always best to check the easiest and cheapest items first, and in your case, I would suggest you check each battery cable at both ends. A loose cable can give the same symptoms of overcharging because the battery doesn't give proper feedback on its state of voltage.
 
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