replaced alternator on 2006 3.5l now having problems


Asked by Feb 04, 2015 at 06:07 PM about the 2006 Saturn VUE Base V6

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Replaced alternator on 2006 3.5l and now
headlights and dash lights gauges and radio
flash when cold. After warm no problems. Ive
had system checked all is good. What is going

21 Answers


Im having the same problem.replaced alt. New battery car starts lights go off or flicker and go off

5 people found this helpful.

We're have the exact same problem. Car is currently at Electric Specialty shop and they suggest it's one of two issues, Alternator or the VCM (computer). I told them the Alt was new but they said an after market alt might actually cause the problem. We're going to replace with OEM Alt and see what happens. If necessary we'll move on to the Computer.

4 people found this helpful.

Bought a used alternator off Ebay. Everything is normal now. Got my money back for the reman, only gave 10 for the core though. I still want to know what the problem is.

2 people found this helpful.

I have been fighting this issue for several months. I have a 2006 saturn 3.5 L awd. Here is the ISSUE and I hope this helps all that read it. DO NOT TAKE IT TO A GM DEALER. Will just cost you money and time and all dead ends. IT IS NOT A COMPUTER ISSUE AT ALL. There is a cold start regulator built into an OEM alternator that comes on the original car. It was nothing to do with the alternator at all but you either have to go to a junk yard and get one off a wrecked one, OR have it rebuilt at a rebuild place. YOU CAN NOT USE A REMAN ALTERNATOR FROM GM or AUTO PARTS STORE, simply for the fact it was not expecially built for that engine. I have spent hours, days and weeks of my time on this one issue and this is what I have found. Since these model and year use a HONDA MOTOR , and several years in between there too, I believe the 3.5 L from 05 - 07 the alternator that was used was made especially for that system, it's electrical components and the car. It happens only when it's cold outside or in colder climates, so if you live in Florida ie, you can put a normal reman after market alternator on the car BUT it will only last you a year or so, because it is not meant for that vehicle. So what's ends up happening is that it over works itself because of the voltage regulator and will make the battery wear out alot faster eventually usually causing a short in the battery and making it go bad, also making the reman alternator burn up eventually. SO IN CLOSING YOU HAVE TO FIND AN OEM ALTERNATOR OFF OF A SATURN OR YOU WILL NEVER TRULY FIX THE ISSUE. They are getting harder and harder to find and in my opinion get it checked out at rebuild place before you put it on so you don't have further issues. GOOD LUCK....

15 people found this helpful.
Best Answer Mark helpful

I am currently having this issue and I have no clue what alternator will work for my 2006 Saturn Vue 3.5L. The mechanic said that its the right alternator for the car. I am taking video every morning when I start my car to document whats happening but at this point i just need to know what alternator I need to buy to fix the problem. PLEASE HELP! I called GM and they don't even have the oem alternator. I have found several places online that states their alternator is a replacement for gm 12582024 which i believe is the original alternator but I really don't know.


Ok Desiree as I had said for fixing the issue has to an original from factory put in original vehicle (or one like it). I hope the admin does not pull off this post because people need to be educated and informed but ANYONE having this issue is more then welcome to call me anytime about this issue, 9133067888 and it's Justin, I'll help you as much as I can.

3 people found this helpful.

Justin, You have been so right. Today it is not as cold so i went and started my car around the same time in the morning and guess what.... it started just fine, no lights flashing, radio stayed on and power steering was fine so it really only happens when it's cold. I video today aswell and made sure I put the temperature from my mirror in every video. As of right now I just don't know what to do, should I try to find one from a junk yard. The the alternators that I am looking at states that they are compared to the oem. I am suppose to take my car back to the shop on monday for them to keep it a couple days to see if it happens to them but at this point I just want then to take their alternator out and my money back. If you know where I can find the correct alternator please let me know. Thanks again Desiree


You need a specific OEM alternator (a Denso alternator). Any aftermarket alternators or new alternators from the dealership will not work. All the other alternators are causing a voltage spike (up to 19V) after an the car sits in the cold for an extended period of time.

4 people found this helpful.

This is awesome and PERFECT timing!!! I have put 2 alternators on my 2005 Satrun Vue and was about to LOSE MY MIND!!! I googled the question and it brought me straight here! I have just sent my husband back to the auto place to get back my old alt!!! HOPE HE ISNT TOO LATE! Thank you so much for this info


I didnt have the time to spare to wait on my broken one to get rebuilt because my auto is MY PAYCHECK so my husband went to a junk yard called LKQ Pick Your Part and he scored one that is exact to the one that was on my auto when purchased... It is on and so far so good.. to be continued......

2 people found this helpful.

This has been so helpful my 07 is doing same thing, now it has quit completely and battery is dead I'm on my 4th alternator in few years, I need to know exactly what I need please??

1 people found this helpful.

2006 Saturn vue same problem. A year ago replaced 2 alternators in Nov lights etc flashed got a used OEM one and the problem went away. I'm back again it only lasted a year due to it had 130000 miles on it . I'm getting one today with 60000 miles on it hope it will last. I love my vue. You think GM could help out here!!!!!!!!? Thanks to all the people the have put this info on line it sure helped me

Have a 2007 Saturn Vue doing the something after replacing with an aftermarket version. What is the oem alternator that I need to get? Thank you all

yea i need the OEM alt as well but not sure what to look for online. can some one share a part number and website please


O'Reillly auto parts is where I purchased a new one to replace the used one that failed shortly after it was installed. There is an online used used auto parts store called Chuck and Eddie's that I have purchased an engine from.


Our 2004 Saturn Vue finally works. Got reman. om alternator Denso, part #210-0546 from Parts Geek LLC online. They ask for vin number and date of manufacture on doorframe.Check with them to get right alternator for Honda engine in Saturns 2004-2007. Starts in cold weathernow!!!

3 people found this helpful.

I too had this problem. The alternator amperage was too high (135 amps) and the computer in the Vue shut down everything electrical to protect the components. I even had my headlights blow up. I replaced the 135 amp alternator with an 110 amp alternator and that solved the flashing. The computer accepted the lower amperage alternator and did not need to shut down the power to the vehicles components protect them.

Replaced alternator on my 06 Vue twice and it seems to need a new one today. Replaced the battery and it won't charge until 2500 rpms. ?


So I had the exact same problems with a Vue 2004 3.5 V6 with Honda motor. This morning I took a multimeter after a cold night (-2 celsius) only to find out exactly what others said here: it was peaking at 19V when cold, and slowly came back to 12V as the car was heating. Check in hand I went to the autoparts store and got to talk to the rebuilder which we ordered 2 faulty alternators from. He got what I was saying, and was 100% sure he had the right one this time. He said it has the right electronics with the right cold start regulator. It will arrive on friday so I'll let you guys know how it went, but man how optimistic am I after 2 faulty alternators, a BCM swap, a new ground built, all cables checked.... Hurray! Thanks to you for the infos!

1 people found this helpful.

Coming back with results. The alternator I ordered is from Armature G Roy ( part number #11062. Since last summer, I forgot how a drag it is to remove the old alternator from this car... Had to loosen two motor supports and carefully lift the motor from the oil pan to have enough space to remove it from the top. That is when you already have two pairs of hands to bend the tensioner and remove the "master bolt" holding the alternator to the block. Good news: while it's pretty hot today compared to the last week (it's +16 celsius now), the car started normally! The alternatord charged 14V instead of 19V with the old one. No cluster flashing, power steering working, and most of all the Service Soon and Check Engine lights disappeared! So now I'll have to get a new battery since oddly, at the same time I found this page my battery would just not hold a good charge. Funny detail: last week I saw some smoke coming from the steering column. It was my wipers module who burned from the 19V peak at every start. Got another one at Kenny- U-Pull for $17. Also, when my battery went out last week, I wanted to open the hood to charge it and my hood latch cable broke. We spent 3 days trying to figure out how to open it, since in the shop manual it says to break off the radio antenna, bend it at 25 degrees and use it to push the latch from under the hood. We tried all sorts of tools, until I tried with a butter knife and finally hit the latch... It's been a hell of a week but at least this problem has been solved. Also, the auto parts just swapped alternators without any fee, even if the new one was selling for like $40 more. I must say that I'm no mechanics. This repair CAN be done even if you're not really good, but you absolutely have to be two to do this. Cranking the tensioner and holding it in place while unscrewing the bolt holding the alternator simply cannot be done on your own, or at least not by someone with basic tools in a garage. Make sure to find a piece of pipe large enough that you can put your 15mm key in to pry the tensioner more easily before starting anything. Steps I followed are: - UNPLUG BATTERY - Remove the air tube conduct (sorry I'm french, may not be the right terminology) thing at the top - Remove the air bowl assembly - Use 15mm key on the tensioner with your piece of pipe, pry it forward - Remove the belt - LEAVE YOUR KEY AND PIECE OF PIPE IN PLACE, YOU'LL NEED IT IN 5 MINUTES - Unplug the battery negative connector on the right of the alternator - Unscrew the other wire at the front, might be a ground, I don't know, I'm no mechanics. - Unscrew the bolt holding the alternator at the top left (looking from the front of vehicule) - Pry the tensioner again, ask another person to unscrew the last bolt at the bottom of the alternator which is hidden by the tensioner. - Unscrew the timing belt cover 5 bolts, it will make some space to pull out the alternator - At this point if you find a way to pull it out, then good for you! If not, keep reading, but work carefully - Put a small piece of wood on your jack, and make it touch the oil pan, without actually lifting it for now. - Unscrew ABOUT 3/4" the two bolts at the top of the motor support at the left of the vehicule (looking from the front). We don't want the motor to fall down here, we just want to give a little play. - Now do the same, about 3/4" with the motor support at the front. It's right down behind the fan at the center of the vehicule. - Once the three bolts are unscrewed a bit, lift the motor SLOWLY about 3/4"-1". You should now have more than enough space to pull out the alternator. When it's done, release the jack SLOWLY so the motor comes back in place. Don't leave your motor jacked up, you may rip your oil pan and cause more damage. I hope it helps some fellow Saturn owners, good luck to you all!

1 people found this helpful.

Day 2: So I woke up this morning after a colder night (about 3 Celsius) and a 2A slow charge since yesterday night. I started the engine, took the multimeter and had a 14V read at the battery! Yay! So I unplugged the charger, and took another read, still at 14V. Just to make sure everything was fine I turned off the engine, waited 5 minutes and....nothing. The battery was just totally dead. 3 consecutive nights of slow charge wouldn't wake it up. So I went to Canadian Tire and got a new one. Took another read juuuuuust so I could finally close this case and of course everything was still fine. Trying to find my receipt for the battery I just bought last summer, I found the receipt for the first alternator I bought. It was the exact same model I have installed now. Which is why I came back to tell you. I first had to change my alternator following a 10-months period when the car hasn't moved at all. At the auto parts store, they gave me this model #11062, and it was charging at around 8-9V. When we called the auto parts store, the guy find out in his catalog that it may not be the right model for the Honda motor, and orderer another one (model #11151 IIRC). This one was supposed to fit the Vue 3.5L V6, but to also fit a bunch of Honda and Acura cars from 2004 through 2007. Then they gave me the #13918, which was made for the Odyssey... This was the alternator that didn't have the cold start regulator and gave me the exact same symptoms you can read in earlier posts in this thread, but strangely, it was bolt-on at installation. So to say: the first alternator was the right one, but was most definitely defective. The two following were just not made for the Vue, and I finally got the first one in operating state. Unbelievable.

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