99 Cavalier + Battery Light

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Hey all.

I hope you can help me. While out driving today in my 99 Cavalier the battery light came on and remained on. After stopping for a little while there was a little trouble restarting the engine, but the car drove and handled fine once running. To the best of my knowledge the battery has never been replaced in the car. Any ideas on what this could be?

posted by  soniclife

Don't consider this to be a diagnosis, rather pointing you in the right direction. Seeing as the battery is six years old that could very well be the problem, but... Your car also has a history of alternators only lasting 100k or so miles. The main thing you need to know at this point is that running your car with a crapped out battery can quickly kill a good alternator because it's working extra hard trying to charge the bad battery.

This is a job that your local Advance, AutoZone, Pep Boy's, etc can normally handle. Take it to them and request a starting/charging/battery test. This SHOULD tell you what's wrong if properly done. The bonus is that if you need a battery they'll also install it for free.

posted by  vwhobo

Thanks for the quick response! If it is the alternator, do you have any idea what that would run me?

posted by  soniclife

Too many variables. It depends on which engine you have (2.2 or 2.4), quality of the replacement part, new, remanufactured or used, labor rates where you live, etc. Suffice it to say the low end will probably $150 and the high end $400. Just keep in mind the lowest price is seldom the best deal in the long run.

posted by  vwhobo

my 97 malibu used a bosch alt cost me 450.00 cdn with a 5yr warranty installed myself

posted by  osborste

Well as usual we're having to work with alot of assumptions. A reman alternator for a Cav shouldn't cost more than $150 over the counter, somewhat more at a shop.

$450 for an alternator on your car is absolutely ludicrous, even with your funny money. I can get a new one from the dealer for half that, one third in the aftermarket.

posted by  vwhobo

got it after hours parts stores closed had to buy it at canadian tire and it was the right one and the only one on the weekend perfect timing to breakdown

posted by  osborste

Well I guess the only thing I can say to that is, OUCH. Lucky for me I own a parts store... But I don't have a key. :oops:

posted by  vwhobo

all the parts no way to get to them thats very funny

posted by  osborste

And I pay full pop (no discount) on everything. My only break is they trust me on the core. I think that's only because I sign (figuratively speaking) their paychecks.

posted by  vwhobo

during hours my part's store give's me the net price so i have to be thankful for that. it doesn't cost me a fortune to keep my car and van on the road

posted by  osborste

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