2001 Chevy Venture Replacement Battery Installed
- October 14, 2009
It looks like the original battery in my Venture finally gave up! For the last couple of months, the van has had some strange electrical symptoms, such as slow cranking and electrical system malfunctions. I believe it was about 4 or 5 months ago that the first event happened. I went to start the van it just did not function at all (no crank or anything). I checked under the hood, wiggled the main power cable to the positive terminal of the battery, and it came alive again. So I was thinking it was a loose connection. I check the terminal screw (mounted on the side) a little later that day and everything was fine.
Then about 3 or 4 weeks ago, my son and I were about to take a little drive one evening, and the power door locks seemed to behave a little strange and the inside lights were pretty dim when they came on. I tried to start it and of course - no start. All that happened was the started tried to turn over and the interior lights went all the way out. They did come back on very dimly after opening the door (to check under the hood again), but wiggling the main power cable did not fix it this time.
When I measured the voltage at the power post, which is on the side of the underhood electrical center (fuse box), I was getting very erratic readings - anywhere between 0.8 and about 11 volts. But I think this was because it was dark and I was having trouble connecting to a good ground point. I connected my relatively slow 4-6 amp battery charger to the van and let it charge overnight. In the morning I measure about 13.5 volts and the van started up just fine.
Everything was fine until this morning (Oct. 14, 2009), when I was planning on taking another short road trip. When I went to unlock the van using the remote control, I noticed that I didn't hear the "normal" unlocking sound after the second push of the unlock button, and I didn't see the lights flash either. Sure enough, VERY dim interior lights and no starting working when I tried to start it. This time I did find a good ground connection and measured about 10 volts when I checked for power. Once again I connected the slow charger while I called around to find out if a replacement battery was available locally.
After about 90 minutes of charging, it was still only up to about 11.8
volts, and of course it did not start. After another 45 minutes I saw
13.45 volts and it did start, but just barely. I let it run for about
10 minutes, and saw over 14.5 volts while it was running (generator
working). Since I have limited tools, and some of them are "misplaced"
right now, I decided to have a local shop do the job. A summary of the
cost is below, and some taxes brought the total to about $166. I asked
the guy who did the work if he checked the date on the battery, and he said
it was the original battery that came in the van (2001), so I feel pretty
lucky that I got as much time out of it as I did (8 years total - 5 years
while I have owned the van).
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