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My battery is not holding it's charge and keeps dying. The battery died on me today. What's the problem?
 

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disconnect the battery from the car.

Check the water level; Charge it for 10 hours.

Let it sit for ~12 hours, and measure the voltage on the battery and post it; I can tell you if the battery is bad.
 

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If the battery is rather old then it just needs to be replaced. If the battery is less than 2 years old than you may have a charging issue. I believe that a bad ground wire caused my battery to go out after only 9 months. Then again if the alternator isn't charging it fully then it would also kill the battery. I'm still having a few problems since upgrading my charging and ground wires so I may have a bad alt too. Unfortunately bench testing your alt may not really tell you if the alt. is bad. If the alt. has never been replaced, like mine, it'll be worth replacing it now not when you are out in the middle of nowhere.
 

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I think it's the alternator as well, or it may be a loose connection of some sort. It sucked running out of battery and have the car die on me ~2-3 miles away from my house. I couldn't push it either because of a steep hill.

I got lucky because a taxi pulled over and gave me a jump. It had just enough juice to get home. Usually if it was just a weak battery, the alternator should charge it, but the batter just can't seem to keep charged.

Is changing the alternator a hard job? Where's the best place to purchase one? Advance auto? Pep boys?
 

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If you have a battery charger try to charge up your battery. Or you can take it in and get it checked at an autoparts store. They can also check your alternator. While the battery in unhooked check your cable connections and the main tap on the alternator.

But yes if the car is running the alternator should carry it. If you have a volt meter you can check to see if the alternator is putting out. You should have 13.5-14 volts with the car running.

A good battery should have 12.7-12.8 without the car running. If you recently charged it up you will get a false reading, that is while Grog6 said wait 10 hours after charging it up.

I just replaced my 5 yr old battery in my RX-7, it was cranking slow but would start. It read 12.2 volts after sitting overnight. I turned on the parking lights and it dropped to 11.9 so I replaced it.

The alternators are not hard to replace. I have not had good luck with autoparts store alternators as they seem to die in a couple of years, but being lifetime guaranteed you can bring it in an get a free new one.

When my Tbird alternator seemed to be going out at 125k, I got a new Ford alternator - they are expensive, but being the originals seem to last a long time I figured why not.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I changed the alternator today, and everything is working fine.

Man this sucks, as I just got the car a week ago, and has only 35k miles. Hope there aren't that many other problems with the car.

Anyone know how long these alternators last? I got a re manufactured one if that matters.
 

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Hopefully it is lifetime guaranteed. From my experience with remans give it a couple of years.

35K on a 94? Talk about driven to church on Sunday's.
 

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Let me tell, the worst thing you can do to ANY car is let it sit for any length of time. Things will dry out, rust and freeze up. The best thing to prolong the life of a car is to drive the darn thing. :rolleyes:
 

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I changed the alternator today, and everything is working fine.

Man this sucks, as I just got the car a week ago, and has only 35k miles. Hope there aren't that many other problems with the car.

Anyone know how long these alternators last? I got a re manufactured one if that matters.
Even though it says 35k on the odometer it could mean that the odometer was replaced 35K miles ago. I'm not sure but I beleive that the computer actually keeps track of the miles and a really good reader could bring it up. You could also get a Carfax and that could give you a better idea of what's going on. If a shop had installed it I believe they should have spun it to show the proper mileage but either they were lazy, the owner didn't insist on it, or the owner replaced it himself.
 

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Even though it says 35k on the odometer it could mean that the odometer was replaced 35K miles ago. I'm not sure but I beleive that the computer actually keeps track of the miles and a really good reader could bring it up. You could also get a Carfax and that could give you a better idea of what's going on. If a shop had installed it I believe they should have spun it to show the proper mileage but either they were lazy, the owner didn't insist on it, or the owner replaced it himself.
Well if if my car isn't actually 35k, I ran a carfax and the car was carfax certified, so I just have to prove it was rolled back.
But from the looks of it, the car is in good shape for it's age. The leather interior is VERY clean.
 

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Well whenever you have a car that isnt used all that much, problems come up. My car sat for about 2 years(started every week or 2 till last winter). I got the car started again, and the alternator went out on me a couple weeks ago. Mine has almost 150K on it now. Being that your car is a 94 with that low milage, I would be concerned about those valve seals leaking.


It's like looking at these dealers selling "almost brand new" cars with 10-20K miles on them. I wouldnt touch them with a 10ft. pole because I KNOW that there are going to be issues just from non-use.
 

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I don't mean to jack the thread but...

Are these volt gauge readings normal? I was sitting in traffic today and thought they seemed kind of low. This is after driving from school for about a good 30 minutes. I have OEM pulleys, OEM replacement Alternator (replaced a few years ago), and no electrical modifications. Starts and runs just fine.

1st pic is with the A/C on and in gear
2nd pic is with A/C off and in gear
3rd pic is with the A/C on and in Neutral and engine at a steady RPM sufficient for charging
4th pic is with the A/C off, in neutral, engine revved.

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The last pic is what my volts were at before the alternator went on me, the others .... well....... not good. HOWEVER............


NEVER TRUST A GAUGE! Get a volt meter and test the output on the alternator. Mine(new, not reman) cold puts out 14.41v.
 

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old school trick disconnect the battery while the car is on...if it dies alternator may be dead as it should easily be able to run the car. battery really should only be used to turn the starter motor after that the alternator is whats really powering the engine, unless you run 9 giga watts of stereo equipment.
 

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The last pic is what my volts were at before the alternator went on me, the others .... well....... not good. HOWEVER............


NEVER TRUST A GAUGE! Get a volt meter and test the output on the alternator. Mine(new, not reman) cold puts out 14.41v.
I did that. I forget what readings I got, I should have written them down. I only get these readings after driving for at least 10-15 minutes. I'll measure the volts after I get home today while it is hot. I plan on taking the car to my local dealership to get everything checked out before I go on a long road trip in the next few weeks.
 

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Based on the factory gauge it looks quite low but hopefully it's just the gauge. If your volts are low you may need to at least check the wires of the charging system or replace them wire higher ga. wire. I'd suspect a bad ground first.
 

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Based on the factory gauge it looks quite low but hopefully it's just the gauge. If your volts are low you may need to at least check the wires of the charging system or replace them wire higher ga. wire. I'd suspect a bad ground first.
When I start the engine while cold, the needle is on the "R" in "NORMAL" section of the gauge. Even if I put the A/C and lights on, the pointer will go down to the "O" at the most. The alternator was replaced about 6 years ago. Since then, only about 30,000 miles have been put on it.
 

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Okay, I took measurements of the voltage in the system. Idle in drive was about 550 RPM. Battery voltage was 12.8v.

In park and at idle - 13.6v
Same with the A/C on low blower 13.5v
Same except high blower 13.4v
same as above with the headlights on 12.9v

In drive at idle 13.6v
Same with A/C on low blower 13.1 to 13.3v
same as above with high blower 12.5v
same as above with headlights on 12.1v

I wish I had a way to measure the amperage output. That would tell me a lot. The multimeters can only go up to about 200 mA. I'm going to leave things alone til I get the car into the dealership and let their techs determine if the alternator is on it's way out. My curiosity just has the best of me at the moment.
 

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You alternator is bad; take it off, and have it tested.

In rare cases, the wire to the battery goes bad; this will make it read low under load.

Test the voltage at the alternator terminal with the lights on to be sure.

If it reads the same at the alternator, it's bad.

I'm assuming you have already checked the grounds on the engine and around the battery...
 

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The grounds look kosher as do the positive cables. For a DD, my engine bay is very clean. Very little corrosion at all.
 
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