Saturn Coupes/Sedans/Wagons 1991-1998 Repair Guide

Alternator

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TESTING



Whenever troubleshooting the charging system, always check for obvious problems before proceeding, such as loose belts, bad electrical or battery connections, blown fuses, broken wires, etc. The battery must be in good condition and in the proper state of charge.

When performing the following tests, inspect the serpentine accessory drive belt to make sure it is properly tensioned. Also, make sure the ignition is OFF before connecting or disconnecting test equipment.

System Function Test
  1. Turn the ignition key to the OFF position and verify that the charge lamp (which looks like a battery and is located in the left lamp grouping of the instrument cluster) is not illuminated.
  2.  
  3. Turn the ignition key to the ON position and verify that the charge lamp illuminates. If the lamp does not illuminate, check that the battery contains the proper voltage (and charge if necessary), then make sure the alternator and battery connections are clean and tight.
  4.  
  5. Start the engine and verify that the charge lamp extinguishes and remains unlit as long as the engine is running.
  6.  

Carbon Pile Load Alternator Test

See Figure 1

  1. Make sure the battery is properly charged (on original type batteries, a green eye should be visible through the built-in hydrometer) and that all battery and alternator connections are clean and tight.
  2.  
  3. Install the red tester cable to the positive battery terminal and the black cable to the negative battery terminal.
  4.  
  5. Clamp the ammeter connection to one of the battery terminals.
  6.  
  7. Start the engine, then run at 2000 rpm and observe the voltmeter; if the voltage is uncontrolled or exceeds 16 volts, the alternator is bad.
  8.  
  9. If the voltage is below 16 volts, turn the carbon pile load tester ON and, while maintaining 2000 rpm, adjust the tester to obtain a maximum current reading on the ammeter. Do not allow the voltage to fall below 13 volts.
  10.  
  11. If the output current is greater than 60 amps or within 15 amps of the rated alternator voltage, the alternator is good.
  12.  



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Fig. Fig. 1: Typical carbon pile load tester

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



See Figures 2 through 11

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Remove the serpentine drive belt.
  4.  
  5. Raise and support the vehicle safely.
  6.  
  7. Remove the right front wheel from the vehicle.
  8.  
  9. Remove the right wheel inner fender splash shield.
  10.  
  11. If equipped, remove the alternator dust shield attaching bolt and unclip the shield from the alternator. When removing the dust shield, be careful not to damage the rubber boot over the battery's positive terminal.
  12.  
  13. Disengage the alternator field wire connector.
  14.  
  15. Remove the retaining nut and wire from the positive (B+) terminal on the back of the alternator, using alternator output stud wrench SA9401C or equivalent, as a back-up wrench to prevent the stud from rotating. If the positive terminal stud rotates, the plastic insulator will crack or break, causing alternator failure.
  16.  
  17. Remove the upper and lower alternator attaching bolts.
  18.  
  19. Remove the alternator from the vehicle through the wheel well opening.
  20.  

To install:
  1. Position the alternator in the vehicle and install the lower attaching bolt.
  2.  
  3. Install the upper attaching bolt and tighten both bolts to 24 ft. lbs. (32 Nm).
  4.  
  5. Engage the alternator field wire connector.
  6.  
  7. Install the B+ terminal wire. The battery terminal wire should be placed on the back of the alternator between a 10 and 11 o'clock position.
  8.  
  9. Be sure to use the alternator output stud wrench SA9401C to prevent the terminal stud from rotating, then tighten the alternator positive terminal nut to 89 inch lbs. (10 Nm).
  10.  
  11. Install the alternator dust shield and tighten the fastener bolt to 89 inch lbs. (10 Nm).
  12.  
  13. Install the serpentine drive belt.
  14.  
  15. Install the wheel well splash shield and right front wheel. Tighten the wheel lugs in a criss-cross pattern to 103 ft. lbs. (140 Nm).
  16.  
  17. Remove the supports and lower the vehicle.
  18.  
  19. Connect the negative battery cable.
  20.  



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Fig. Fig. 2: Compress the belt tensioner and disengage the serpentine belt, then remove it from the top of the engine compartment



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Fig. Fig. 3: After removing the front wheel, remove the inner fender splash shield



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Fig. Fig. 4: View of the alternator location with the inner fender splash shield removed



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Fig. Fig. 5: Loosen the alternator dust shield retaining fastener (1), being careful not to damage the dust boot over the positive battery terminal (2)



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Fig. Fig. 6: Remove the alternator dust shield from beneath the vehicle



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Fig. Fig. 7: Disengage the alternator field wire connector



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Fig. Fig. 8: Keep the alternator output stud from rotating by holding it secure with a wrench



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Fig. Fig. 9: If it is more accessible, remove the upper alternator attaching bolt from the top of the engine compartment



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Fig. Fig. 10: Remove the lower alternator attaching bolt from beneath the vehicle



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Fig. Fig. 11: Remove the alternator through the wheel well opening

 
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