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battery again


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9 replies to this topic

#1 92 loyale

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Posted 03 May 2004 - 07:09 AM

unfortunately i spoke too soon last night when i said that my battery troubles were gone. :(
i got my battery charged, it started twice since then, but when i went to start it this morning, it made the same rapid clicking noise that it made before i got the battery charged.
i am guessing that the battery can't hold a charge cause it is too old?
i heard i can get my alternator checked at napa. should i do that before getting a new battery?
cables look o.k.
any suggestions?
thanks

#2 MilesFox

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Posted 03 May 2004 - 07:18 AM

jump start the car. pull the pos cable and see if it still runs. if it does, the alt is good and the bettery is shot.

if it dies, the alt is bad and the battery is shot because of it.

i would get the battery first

#3 edrach

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Posted 03 May 2004 - 09:02 AM

Pulling the battery cable when the car is running may fry the alternator; I have seen at least a half dozen posts over the years to that effect. I've also experienced that with two successive alternators when I had a battery with an intermittant internal open circuit (same as dis-connecting the battery while the car was running) until I found the cause. Best way to check the alternator output is to put a voltmeter on the battery terminals and see the voltage increase with rpm. Best way to check the battery is with a load tester; if you haven't got one, most auto parts places will be glad to check your battery for you since they'd like to sell you a new one. If your battery is original, replace it--it doesn't owe you anything; most batteries die within 5 or 6 years if you're lucky. You might also have someone check to see if something in your car is drawing current when everything is shut down; more than 100 milli-amps drain would be suspicious.

i heard i can get my alternator checked at napa

Just re-read your post. Have NAPA do a thorough check; this is the easiest way to get your battery evaluated.

#4 Cougar

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Posted 03 May 2004 - 09:25 AM

There are several possibilities for the problem you are having.

1. The battery is weak and won't hold a charge as you are saying. If the battery is over five years old you should think about replacing it even if the problem is not the battery. The best thing to do would be to recharge the battery and have it load tested. This will tell you what the battery condition is.

2. The alternator is defective and not charging the battery as it should. When you charged the battery you may have been just running on the charge. To see if the alternator is working check the voltage of the battery while running the engine at around 2,000 rpm. You should see at least 14 volts at the battery with a low load on it. You can also feel the case of the alternator to get an indication if it is working after it has run for a bit. The case will be very warm if it is working. If the case is only slightly warm then something is wrong.

3. Another possibility is the electrical system has a current draw on the battery while the car is parked. If there is more than 80 milliamps of draw on the battery with the engine off then you need to check for a problem.

#5 edrach

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Posted 03 May 2004 - 10:07 AM

Glen, that's one of the best posts I've ever seen on the Board. Concise, straight to the point, and accurate. Thanks.

And to boot.....no mis-spellings!

#6 92 loyale

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Posted 03 May 2004 - 10:45 AM

thanks...one other question.
say i go for the new battery and put it in.
will a messed up alternator hurt a new battery? drain it?
thanks

#7 edrach

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Posted 03 May 2004 - 11:16 AM

If the alternator is damaged, that could happen. However, if NAPA checks the battery, they can check the alternator at the same time. After that, someone needs to check to see that something else is not draining the charge from the battery. Something to remember, a dis-charged battery will deteriorate rapidly; a fully charged one will not. Until you are sure the problem is solved, consider investing in a battery charger to be sure the battery is kept charged when not in use. A small trickle charger will usually do the trick.

#8 Cougar

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Posted 03 May 2004 - 01:02 PM

To Edrach:

Thanks for the very nice compliment. I try to keep the spelling in line but I do mess up at times along with some of my advice on problems. It's fun to learn and help with problems here. We have some sharp folks on this site to help with problems and you are one of them.

Best regards.

To 92 Loyale:

If you do change out the alternator it is usually best the replace the battery at the same time also. This hurts the pocket book some but it can save you time and money in the long run.

#9 Guest_taprackready_*

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Posted 03 May 2004 - 01:18 PM

cables look o.k.
any suggestions?
thanks


Cables like batterys can be deceptive. Corrosion can be rampant under the plastic covering and you won't know it. I would get the charging system checked at any auto parts store. I've know several that carry load testers and can tell you fairly accuratley if the battery or alt is the problem.

Bill

#10 Cougar

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Posted 03 May 2004 - 01:29 PM

Good point about the cables possibily being internally corrodid, Bill. That needs to be checked also.




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