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2006 gmc envoy_sle
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2006 GMC Envoy with 61,000 miles on it. I changed the battery a couple of weeks ago because the car would not start. That worked for a week and then the car once again would not start. So i replaced the ignition switch and now the battery light stays on. I originally replaced the ignition switch with an auto zone one and because the battery light stayed on I kinda of thought i had to reset the computer. Brought it somewhere for this to be done and he said cars after 2004 had to have parts by car manufacturer because it was so sophiscated. So i therefore ordered another switch from the GM dealer which took about two days to come in. So all total the battery light stayed on for 5 days. Being as i had a new battery he told me as long as i start and drive the car for as long as it took the part to come in I would be okay. Was not the case. Got in the car this afternoon and it was dead.
Proceded to put it the GM switch which was the same switch that i had purchased from autozone. Brought the battery to have it checked and it was dead and recharged. Started the car and drove home. The car is parked and off but the battery light is still on and the radio is playing. Have disconnected the battery until i can figure out what is wrong. Any suggestions. Thanks.
 

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The 1st thing to do, is have the alternator checked. Usually the "battery" light means the alternator is not charging the battery.

If it started after you replaced the ignition switch, you may have popped a fuse, or knocked a connection off, or it's loose.
A quick and cheap check, would be to check all fuses (there is a fuse panel under the hood and under the rear seat).

Edit:
I just re-read your post, the problem was there from day one. You replaced the battery because the truck wouldn't start and 5 days later, it wouldn't start. That, of course, was the length of time it took to kill the new battery. The alternator was not working at that time.
 

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Brought it somewhere for this to be done and he said cars after 2004 had to have parts by car manufacturer because it was so sophiscated.
Sorry for your problems. This is an interesting case. First off, that claim above is a big fat whopper. Especially for ignition switches. Your autozone one was perfectly fine.

It may have been installed with the gear slightly off, so when you remove the key, it's really leaving the contacts in the ACCY position. When you put in the GM switch, it's likely in the same gear position.

If the radio is on, and you press the off button, does it go off or stay on?

With the battery connected but the key out of the ignition, can you run the windshield wiper? That's the biggest clue that the switch isn't lined up properly. Wipers only run in ACCY or RUN modes.

Try reinstalling either switch with the gear moved one tooth over. I don't have a picture of the perfect way to install it, but I should really do that sometime.
 

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Oh, this is going to be interesting indeed. Subtle details or misobservations in the initial case history could support either diagnosis.

Let's see if my prediction is right, or if RayVoy is going to get a promotion and I have to re-edit this pic of the trailvoy diagnostics team. (TDT).

 

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Your funny :rotfl: , I think we both have a chance of winning. :excited:
After reading your diagnosis, I believe both items are at fault. :thumbsup:

Actually, I look more like the guy you attached your name to, than the one you picked for me (damn)
 

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I was about to use a picture of House's new team, and put your label on Dr. Taub, but I didn't know if you'd be offended. :tiphat
You, my friend, can not offend me........ but you do need to respect your elders :rotfl:

I hope aszivos doesn't mind that we hijacked his thread :raspberry
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
battery light stays on

Well so far i have changed the starter switch, new battery, and new alternator. Put in new alternator and that seemed to solve the problem with the battery light staying on. That has lasted for a total of five days. Got out of my vehicle this afternoon and low and behold the battery light is staying on. Any other suggestions as to what needs to be changed. Thought we had solved that problem. Have not told my husband yet. He won't be too happy. It seems like every weekend for the last three weekends he has been working on this car. Thanks for any info.
 

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The PCM (engine computer) is involved in activating the alternator, so if there is a bit of bad wiring between the two of them, it could be acting up. Or the PCM could be having a problem, but that's much more expensive to swap because you need the dealer to reprogram it. A dealer could also use their tech tool to talk to the PCM and troubleshoot it more precisely.

So do either of you know electronics or have a digital meter and know how to use it? Or a friend?

We need to know just what the voltage is right now (while the battery light is on) at the battery and also at the output terminal of the alternator. Also, what is the voltage on the small red wire on the small 4-pin connector on the alternator? There should be only two wires in that connector, a red and a gray.

On the issue with your husband - at least he's in the driveway and not out at the golf course or Hooters. Keep breaking the vehicle - your plan is working PERFECTLY! ;)
 

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Well, your collecting a lot of spare parts. I know, that's not funny.

Just to add to roadie's post, are any of the accessories on when the battery light is lite? Things that should not be working when the key is turned off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
battery light stays on

Well went back in the car about a half hour later, light was still on and nothing was on - no light, no radio, etc. Decided to start the car and see what would happen. Stopped the car and no battery light is on. Weird. So i guess my husband is safe for this weekend. No vehicle repairs thus far this weekend. Thanks:
 

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Alright. I'm having the same friggen problem... It's been going on for a while now, The battery light on mine is very dim, but it's there. When you first turn the key on, it comes on full-strength, as does all of the other indicator lights.

Some nights it's off completely, some nights it's dim, and some it's a little brighter, but never fully on.

Checked the alternator, checked the battery. ~14.1v while running. No accessories work while the ignition is in the off position.

The light even stays on sometimes when the key is out of the ignition, and all other lights are off....

:confused:

I even took two crappy pics:

 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
battery light stays on

Mine is just the battery light that stays on. Nothing else. Yours looks like everything stays on. Happened to me today several times. Would stop the vehicle and turn the car off and battery light would stay on. Restart and stop and light would go off. Puzzling.
 

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While as complex as our vehiles are, they are basically the same as older ones and thus work on the same basic principles. Things to keep in mind with the charging system ..

Make sure battery is good .. most car / truck batteries are not deep cycle .. which means they can only drain so much and then wont be brought back to to life .. if they do come back it wont be for long. Plus the battery could have a collapsed cell in it .. which causes the battery to suck more power from the alternator rather than let it be used for the other aspects .. the only way to know is to have it load tested .. Happned to me ..

Alternators have voltage regulators and dridge/rectifiers/diodes associated with them .. If I remember correctly GMs are internal to the units .. could you have gotten and bad alternator .. yes .. anythign is possible since everything is massed produced a bad one could slip by. THe only way to tell is to have it tested .. happned to me as well another time ..

I would not just toss more parts at it unless you can verify a bad part .. which would involve removing them and having them tested, but the should be under warranty.

But befor eyou do that, check the voltage .. and all the connections to make sure they are clean and tight ..

:m2:
 

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Same dim light

I had the same battery light problem...dim all the time, but worked bright when it was supposed to.
The issue here is the instrument panel. The PCM controls and monitors the alternator directly, and issues a "turn on the battery light" command to the instrument panel when appropriate, over the digital communication "Class 2" network. The instrument panel will then respond and turn the light on. It's either ON or OFF..no other command possible. The electronic swiching for the light is part of the panel, a big electronic chip, so replacement is necessary. I certainly didn't want to do that, and since everything else was working, I just left it and fretted. Over a period of a couple of weeks it started flickering slightly when driving, got dimmer, and eventually went off and worked like it was supposed to. Been fine ever since! (Knock on wood!!)
Glad to here other have the problem. The switching electronics for that light must be "weak."
 

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The switching electronics for that light must be "weak."
I totally agree, the instrument cluster in these conditions must have a fault. It could be an electronic issue, or conductive contamination (I worked on systems where a 1/8" dust ball could drive them out of specifications). But these gauges are definitely not the "old school" design where the source is directly connected to the indicator. To save wiring, they're connected to the nearest smart module like the PCM or BCM, which makes the measurement and sends a data bus message to the display.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Battery light

Well i am back. Having the same battery light problem. If i am very careful when turning off the ignition switch to make sure the battery light is off everything is fine. If not the light stays on and runs down the battery and we have to recharge to start the car. Brought it somewhere today to check and he said it could be the pcs module or instrument cluster. He does not work on vehicle after 2005. Any recommendations. Is this problem one i have to bring in to GMC and any idea of the cost involved. Remember i already installed a new battery, new alternation and new ignition switch. Thanks Aleda
 

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aszivos, I have not gone back and re-read, to any degree, the details and solutions provided. I know, some of the causes were a bit far out (but certainly might be the correct assumption.

Personally, I like to take the simple approach. I am going to address your 1st and the last post.

The battery light stays on when the key is turned off.

The battery light will/may go out if your careful turning off the key.

Your mechanic will not work on vehicles newer than 05.

First, get a new mechanic. You are wasting your money.

Second, on any truck, if the truck is running and then stalls, the ignition is still on. Under this condition, the battery light stays on (so will a whole lot of other things that work from switched 12volts).

The battery light under the above scenario, is telling you that the ignition is still on.

I think the roadie suggested the ignition switch might be faulty. I would test the circuity and prove to myself where the problem is, in your case, you might want to spend $20 and buy a new ignition switch. There is a change the ignition switch how-to thread.Should be easy to find.

Third, re-read my first recommendation.

Fourth: buy me reading glasses. Sorry, I see that you have already changed the ignition switch. Sorry for the rant.

Let me think about it and I'll be back
 

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I've never changed or even seen an ignition switch. But from reading the posts, if you can get the battery light to go off if you are careful with the key, is it possible the switch is still off a tooth or two?:m2:
 
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