Battery Issues - 2002 Chevy Tracker

Well, I thought I knew a thing about cars but, this has me stumped…

2002 Chevy Tracker with the original battery.

Ok, when the car is running, especially at night when the headlights are on, the lights flicker, ALOT, & the internal lights flicker on the dash. It will do this for 5 minutes or so, then stop. Another 5 minutes later, it will do it all over again. Bad alternator?? Well, I had the alternator tested and they said it is working fine…

So, I also got the battery tested and here is where it gets WEIRD. The test said the battery had 1400 Cold Cranking Amps. The battery is rated at 500. Is this even possible? Has anyone heard of this type of problem before? A battery with too many CCA??

Any advice would be greatly appreciated! I can always replace the battery but, I guess I would feel better if the battery were just plain dead, rather than being told TOO many CCA’s… The car starts everyday also by the way. It does take a second or too longer than it should though…


Here is the weird part. We

I haven’t heard of a piece of test equipment that tests for cold cranking amps. The test equipment was probably used in a funny way or the wrong scale was being read. Your battery may be too old regardless of the test. If the battery registers 12.3 or even 12.4 after sitting for ten minutes, you should consider replacing it. Or do this. before starting the car, turn thre headlights on for a minute and if the battery goes below twelve volts after you turn the lights off, replace it. If it even gets near twelve it may be bad.

Never heard of a battery causing your symptoms. more like a short or other electical problem then an alternator or battery

I agree. A battery isn’t going to cause this problem.

A alternator that isn’t charging will. If the alternator isn’t charging the electrical system will run off the battery until it is dead. When the battery voltage gets low that’s when all the weird electrical things start to happen.

Willey, logged off again

I would start with removing both ends of the battery cables (both of them) and cleaning both the cable and where it goes very well and reattaching making sure they are secure.

After than I would look at the alternator as it is far more likely than the battery. There could be an internal issue inside the battery causing a intermittent issue, but I think that is not likely.

I suspect the intermittent light flickering is being caused by a problem with the voltage regulator circuit for the alternator. I assume the regulator is internal to the alternator on your vehicle but I don’t know for sure. Since the problem is intermittent doing a brief test may not show up any trouble.

I’m not sure what to say about the high CCA numbers except that there may have been a problem with the testing equipment. You just don’t get that kind of added power from a normal car battery. If the battery is about 5 years old then it may be time to consider a new one even if it seems ok. If you live in a area that gets real cold in the winter it would be good insurance against a failure later on.

A quick way to check this is with an analog volt meter. with the car running, lights on, etc. check the voltage at the battery terminals. If there are fluctuations in the voltage then the regulator in the alternaor, or the alternator itself is probably bad.

Well, I’m gonna take this thing into a good shop and see what they say. Yall are having the same issue as me though…

Bad Battery - Then why is the car starting, and the battery couldnt cause the issue with the lights flickering when the car is running… Battery >should< be fine.

Bad Alternator - Makes a little more sense since the lights are flickering when the car is running but, Autozone tested it and said its working fine. AND, the lights dont ALWAYS flicker so, if the alternator is bad how is it working 5 minutes and then not working the next!?

I feel like I’m going around in circles on this!!

Anyway, my fault for buying american. lol. I’ll let yall know what I find out from a shop because, I dont want to replace anything unless I am >SURE<.

Thanks to everyone for your advice!

I would check for the following:

  1. A bad alternator rectifier.

  2. A bad regulator.

  3. An intermittent short circuit somewhere in the electrical system.

  4. A loose connection

  5. A damaged spark plug (it happened to me)

Yeah your bad for buying American. Where the hell do you think that alternator came from! I will give you a couple guesses.


FYI- Biff at Autozone unplugged my battery while my car was running to prove to me my alternator was working fine. Well, the car kept running and the lights seemed fine…

Against my better judgement, I’m going to replace the battery and see if it fixes my problem. I’m still confused but, maybe a bad battery is messing up “the system”.

Also, he said he could not test the CCA’s but, he did show me that my battery was running at a good 8 to 10 volts which I know, is horrible so… No matter what the problem is, the battery has to be replaced anyway so, we’ll see what happens… Only get paid once a month so, I’ll post what hapends when I put the new battery in next payday. :slight_smile:

Thanks again to everyone…

Stranger things have happened, but I feel sure there has never been a battery made with 1400ccas.

My 2000 Olds Silhouette had the all lights flickering fault too.

It turned out there was a TSB about the alternators in GM vehicles on this subject.

What the alternator needed was a shorter bolt in the back of the casing.
Replaced the bolt and no more light flickering.

Apparently the end of the long bolt interfered with the electrical field inside.
I suppose that may have been the problem, I’ve never rebuilt an alternator to find out.

How hard is it to borrow a battery, install it, and drive the car at night? If the problem goes away, your battery is bad. If not, wiring connections are loose, somewhere, or it’s something inside the alternator. Maybe you could borrow an alternator for test purposes, also? +++++ Durn format! I’m me_art12.