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My car freaked out


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5 replies to this topic

#1 Spazz698

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Posted 17 March 2005 - 02:28 AM

Earlier I went to get gas and when I tried to start it it acted like the starter solenoid was shot (like the battery was dying, getting slower and slower to crank) Second time i tried it started to do the same but started up. Went to a store, came back to the car knowing there was a 50-50 chance I may be stuck there for a while and the ************er wouldnt start. OK fine its just the solenoid I can deal with that, not a huge prob. Now I messed with it for a while got it to start up again only after it started up my interior lights were dim, my radio kept turning off (its aftermarket so if I lost complete power to it it wouldve reset-it didnt) my damn heater kept shutting off. I had to keep the car above 1k rpms to keep everyone on, which made me think well maybe its not the solenoid, maybe a short somewhere, the battery seemed like it was getting drained but it never actually died and since the car was running with lights and all and nothing getting dim (as long as I wasnt stopped at least) it shouldnt be the alt. I got home, turned the car off, and turned it back on just fine tho it did sound like it was gonna start the dying battery sound the first second. Between my dad and I we've thought up these possibilities:
1) Starter Solenoid
2)Short in the interior wiring somewhere (my guess would be radio since nothing else has been touched...ever)
3)fuel filter

no lights coming on/flashing at me either. Also this only affects the interior, the outside lights and everything else were doing fine. I need my car tomorrow so Im hoping this is gonna be an easy fix, I just dont wanna spend hours upon hours trying to find something that might not even be there, or fix something that doesnt need to be fixed.

#2 FlyFlicker

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Posted 17 March 2005 - 12:22 PM

Lets start with the simple stuff first. Are your terminals clean? I've seen subs act this way when there was a poor connection to the battery. Then the next step is to have the battery tested. If these two check out OK, then you can start messin' round with wiring/hardware.

#3 Smpol19

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Posted 17 March 2005 - 12:37 PM

1) Starter Solenoid
2)Short in the interior wiring somewhere (my guess would be radio since nothing else has been touched...ever)
3)fuel filter


It really seems like the battery or maybe the alt. I really don't think any of these things seem likley at all. Go to any decent parts store and get them tested.

Edit: What happends if you hook up jumper cables when this is happing?
How old is the battery? got water in it?

#4 Cougar

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Posted 17 March 2005 - 01:05 PM

First thing to do is clean the the battery connections. If the battery is more than four years old I would replace it. You also need to check the alternator and fusible links for a bad connection, particularly the alternator output connection. If you don't have a voltmeter to see what the voltage is at the battery then I would get one. You should have at least 12.4 volts at the battery terminals while the engine is idling. You may also want to check for a drain on the system while the car is parked. There may be something causing the battery voltage level to drop.

#5 Tiny Clark

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Posted 17 March 2005 - 01:38 PM

When the alternator in my 96 went bad, it would charge at certain RPM's only.

Don't forget, the drain on a battery is huge on newer cars with just the engine running, i.e. fuel pump, injectors, ECU, ignition, abs, etc...

Autozone, Advanced, or some other parts store may check the alt output for free.

If there is any drain on the battery with the key off, you can check that with a stop/turn/parking lamp. Just pull off one of the battery leads, put the metal casing of the lamp on the battery terminal, and touch the battery lead to the lamp connection bead. If you get a decent glow, you may have a problem.

Forget the fuel filter, it isn't causing this problem.

#6 Spazz698

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Posted 18 March 2005 - 12:51 AM

I drove the car today to get a feel as to what exactly its doing and I KNOW its the alt now. I cant sit idling for more than 5-10 min or my battery starts dying, it seems like it cuts off whatever itsnt needed to actually drive the car (heating, radio, interior and dash lights, etc) when it starts to die. Its only charging at 2k and up (so for mostly freeway driving, in theory, I should be fine for now) So anyways since I havent really looked does Subie have a battery light I should look for when the alt does go? Im broke til tomorrow night and I need my car since the backup is doing some weird stuff too, and I still cant figure out why theres 2 lights on that car turning on (damn fords!)




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