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Error Code "Charge Sytem Fault"

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Old 12-01-2010, 04:57 PM   #1
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Default Error Code "Charge Sytem Fault"

Hi All,

Over the past 2-3 years on an inconsistent basis I have been receiving a message on the display "Charge System Fault." Volt meter has always read 14 volts. However, nothing has happened until about a 30 days ago.

It was (C5 '01) was completed dead one morning. Started car with jumper box. While hooking up the cable the positive connector arched or sparked more than expected. Car started fine and ran with no issue until yesterday.

Yesterday morning the car was completely dead again. Charged battery for 1.5 hours, started and driving it today with no issue. Took to Auto Zone for free test. They are telling me battery and alternator are perfectly fine and I could possibly have a short.

Has anyone else had this issue?

Your help is greatly appreciated!:

Houston, TX
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Old 12-01-2010, 07:25 PM   #2
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check all your cables for tightness and corrosion
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Old 12-01-2010, 08:32 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by CARRJET View Post
check all your cables for tightness and corrosion

Just go triple check your cables and make sure they are good and tight. 11 ft lbs is factory spec I believe.

I had the same issue and felt like a dummy when I went out and wiggled my positive cable just a LITTLE bit...snugged it issues since.
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Old 12-01-2010, 08:59 PM   #4
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From the GM service manual.

The IPC illuminates the CHARGE SYSTEM FAULT indicator in the message center when the following occurs:

The PCM detects that there is a problem with the electrical charging system. The IPC receives a class 2 message from the PCM.
If the tachometer is less than 500 RPM and the power mode state is in the crank mode then this message will not be displayed. Instead the CHECK GAGES indicator will illuminate.

The generator F terminal is connected internally to the voltage regulator and externally to the PCM. When the voltage regulator detects a charging system problem, it grounds this circuit to signal the PCM that a problem exists.
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Old 12-02-2010, 09:52 AM   #5
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good luck with this issue! I had code P1637 and Charge System Fault for a pretty good while then I changed the battery. No code since. Tell us your DTC codes so we know whats going on. I would do like everone else is saying. Check all your wire connections, especially at the starter solenoid. Read this post as it may help you out depending on your codes!
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Old 12-19-2010, 08:07 PM   #6
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Any updates on this? Curious to see how you end up!
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Old 12-20-2010, 10:22 AM   #7
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Charging System Fault during initial start up and then it goes off is not an issue. If it stays on, YES, its an issue. Read the battery VOLTAGE directly at the battery terminals for an accurate reading. The meter on the IPC and DIC is not a true battery voltage reading. It can be a volt or more different (lower) than the actual battery voltage.

The auto parts store guy telling you that you have a SHORT is WRONG!!!
When you see the word SHORT in an electrical setting, you should invision SMOKE, FIRE, and LOTS of heat.

You most likely have something that is staying ON when you shut down the car. To properly check for this, you need to do a current draw test. Disconnect the NEGATIVE battery terminal. Insert a DC Current Meter capable of reading up to 10 AMPS between the terminal and the battery cable. Ive done this on numerous C5 and the I normaly see approx 7-8 amps at initial connection. It rapidly drops down to 1-2 amps and with in several minutes, the BCM should enter the SLEEP/Security mode and you should see very close to 20 milliamps. Any reading much more than 25 ma, indicates that something did not shut down properly and is drawing excessive current.

A couple of the offenders are:

- Sunvisor lamps
- Seat Multifunction or Lumbar switch did not return to the center (neutral) position and continue to cause the seat motor to run.
- Interior light left ON. (check in the dark)
- Head light control module malfunction and does not shut down
-Alternator diodes
- Bose relay staying energized

Read the battery current draw and see what it is. REMEMBER, you could have an INTERMITTANT issue and may not show a problem each and every time.

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Old 12-20-2010, 12:20 PM   #8
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I was getting this message from time to time. I changed the battery and no problem since. It was the original battery in my 2003.
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Old 12-20-2010, 12:34 PM   #9
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The only time I saw this on my C-5 it was in the summer and minutes before the positive battery post fell off the battery. Usually, the causes are bad connections at the battery. However, know that the electrical center is actually at the solenoid where the battery, starter, alternator and fuse boxes all come together. You could have a bad crimp on a battery cable at either location, dirty or contaminated connections or lose connections. Certainly the alternator or battery could be bad too but if the load tests work, you "might" be able to rule those out...they are not an absolute, just a good indication of their status.
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