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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all, my 2003 Silverado recently sat for one week while I was away. Returned home and found that the battery was dead. Discovered a pretty badly corroded and loose side terminal stud { negative side }, just replaced the terminal stud and drove for 45 minutes so the computer can relearn the idle codes { yes, it was stalling a lot at stops lights, etc} Idle is a bit better now but during the drive time I noticed the battery gauge needle fluctuating up and down. When the truck idles low, the needle drops, lights dim, heater fan slows down, etc. When going faster it stabilizes at around 14.5 volts. Come to a stop again and she drops once again. Tested battery with a voltmeter immediately after shutting engine off, it reads 12.57. Truck ran just fine before I went away for a week. Now, will the battery needle fluctuate during this idle relearning stage??
 

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Im not sure what year it started but some trucks don't charge constantly... I know my 05 doesn't charge constantly but my 01 does.

Secondly it doesnt matter how many volts your battery has really.. its how many amps. How old is the battery?

sent from my Verizon Wireless Galaxy SIII
 

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Make sure your ground cable is not corroded on the inside. Some times the corrosion will also travel into the cable . That will cause all kinds of electrical gremlins due to a bad ground . If it's still the original ground cable might be time for a new one. There not expensive.
 

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Sounds like new battery time to me. For the money a battery cost, it's money well spent. For piece of mind. And yes your battery could have went bad in the week it sat. Most likely a cell went bad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Battery is about 3 to 4 years old. It started acting up after the truck sat for one week, the colder nights also settled in lately. Checked alternator, getting 14.7 while running. Alternator also checked out good when I tested it with a Vector 1092a charger. Smelled battery acid when I removed the corroded negative terminal stud bolt, not sure if that is normal or not .Will a weak battery cause these kinds of issues while driving? Also, this idle relearning stage is a major pain in the neck. Stalling out just before a red light, stop sign, etc or even going slow around a sharp corner and loosing power steering and brakes = not good!!!
 

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A battery with a bad cell can cause so many problems that would seem unrelated it's hard to say.. so could a bad ground cable... hard to say... electricity is funny.

sent from my Verizon Wireless Galaxy SIII
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Going for a new battery today, will see what happens. These side terminals are for the birds. The positive side you can barely get your hand in there to get the stud started, as the fuse block is right smack in the way. Connecting jumper cables to these tiny stud heads is also a pain in the neck. Wondering if I can somehow convert back to the regular top terminal type battery.
 

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+1 on checking the cables. If the stud was corroded, there is a good chance the cable has corrosion that is unseen in it as well. It might be worth it to change them while you are at it.
 

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PMGNUT said:
Wondering if I can somehow convert back to the regular top terminal type battery.
The only ones I have ever seen involve top terminal posts that screw into the side terminal sockets. I think that would leave you with even less space than you had before.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I bought a dual terminal battery today. Has two top post terminals and 2 side terminals. When I have a little more time I can snip the ends off the leads and install regular connectors. That aside, got the new battery in and the battery needle is still fluctuating a bit with high / low idle. I don't recall ever seeing the needle move around like that. Nothing drastic, jumping from just over 14 to slightly about 13.5
 

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+1 I had some tool-less terminals in one of my s10s... they sucked...

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Check the cables like others suggested and have the battery load tested. Auto parts stores will do it for free.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
After the new battery install, the needle gauge danced for about 30 seconds and now moves very very slightly from around 13.9 to 14.2, hardly noticeable but still, I don't think this is normal. Can someone describe to me what ground wires I could check and where they are located?
 

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13.9-14.2 is sufficient charge... it will move based on usage and since you don't have the regulator the fluctuation can also be related to throttle

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I had a battery problem on my son's S10 last weekend. Ended up with an internal short in the battery and it went off like a bomb. When I was replacing the battery I found the bolt heads on the side post cables were stripped. I removed them and replaced them with 3/8" x 1 1/4" bolts and double nuts. Run the bolt into the battery , tighten the first nut using a wrench on the bolt head and one on the nut, and then tighten the second nut against the first as a jam nut.

I have done this on several trucks I have owned, and it works great. Gives you a good tight connection, and leaves enough bolt exposed so it's easy to connect jumper cables or a booster box up.
 

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I don't know if there's even a full inch of space there... its super tight. My optima has top and side posts though ;)

sent from my Verizon Wireless Galaxy SIII
 
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