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I lose all electrical power and then it's fine???


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16 replies to this topic

#1 ofairlane

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Posted 03 March 2006 - 07:08 PM

I will be driving along in my 99 Legacy, when I will lose all electrical power, no radio, signals, lights, horns, tranny won't shift, then after a bit, it all comes back!!!

This happened 3 times today finally leaving me stranded. Car finally died and will not crank over. Earlier in the day,the same thing happened, I got a jump and it worked for awhile, then it died completely again.
I am pretty good with cars, but this seems to be more than just a bad alternater or a bad battery.
I think a bad alternater would not be good then bad then good and then bad again.
Also, in the past few days my check engine lite was lit for awhile, it may be just a coincidence, but I think it may be connected. I do not know if my code reader will read with a dead battery.
If anyone else has had this same problem, please chime in with a remedy.
Dan

#2 ShawnW

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Posted 03 March 2006 - 07:27 PM

Your code reader wont work with the battery dead.

If you have a bunch of keys on your keyring try removing all but the ignition key and driving that way. Your ignition switch may be getting wiggled internally to off momentarily and when you touch the key and return it to on it works for a while again.

BTW if that fixes the problem replace the ign switch. It will get worse and return eventually.

#3 daehttub2000

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Posted 03 March 2006 - 08:22 PM

The same thing happened to my brand new 95 Legacy. I went to a store and when I came back to the car, it was completely dead.

I opened up the hood and opened the fuse box (right behind the battery on the right-hand side when you face the front of the car). I made sure all the fuses were pushed in. Some were loose. That fixed it.

If that fixes it, it means that some moron in the Indiana Subaru plant is still screwing up Subaru's.

Good Luck

#4 mwatt

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Posted 03 March 2006 - 08:55 PM

I will be driving along in my 99 Legacy, when I will lose all electrical power, no radio, signals, lights, horns, tranny won't shift, then after a bit, it all comes back!!!


This happened 3 times today finally leaving me stranded. Car finally died and will not crank over. Earlier in the day,the same thing happened, I got a jump and it worked for awhile, then it died completely again.
I am pretty good with cars, but this seems to be more than just a bad alternater or a bad battery.
I think a bad alternater would not be good then bad then good and then bad again.
Also, in the past few days my check engine lite was lit for awhile, it may be just a coincidence, but I think it may be connected. I do not know if my code reader will read with a dead battery.
If anyone else has had this same problem, please chime in with a remedy.
Dan


Replace the alternator, it's failing.

#5 ofairlane

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Posted 03 March 2006 - 09:25 PM

how is it the alternater is failing, will it work perfectly fine one minute and not at all the next?? any alternaters I have replaced in the past slowly failed or failed completely, never had one that would work perfectly then not at all then perfectly again.

#6 stevecd

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Posted 03 March 2006 - 10:05 PM

maybe a bad connection to the battery, or bad connection to something else that carries alot of power.

#7 nipper

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Posted 04 March 2006 - 12:35 AM

This sounds like corrosion.
Inspect and clean the battery cables. Cables do get brittle and old.
Remove inspect and install the alternator cables. Make sure they are tight
Inspect the grounds on the eingine and chasis. A bad ground is the only thing i can think of that would cause this sympton, and that would be on the engine.
Inspect the main fuse box, remove it, look underneath it (with the battery disconnected) and look for corrosion.
Remove and reinstall all the fuses, just this simple thing will clean the corrosion off.

thats a start

nipper

#8 Tiny Clark

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Posted 04 March 2006 - 04:43 AM

And if you still have the original battery, replace it.

#9 gbrand

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Posted 04 March 2006 - 09:02 AM

Same EXACT thing happened to me on my legacy when alternator went out. Brushes get worn so barely contact slip rings on stator. the alt quits charging and your battery runs soown. By the time you get a jump things cool down enough the brushes make contact so appears as if is working. On Legacy the alt light did nt come on to indicate a problem, just before dying ALL dash lights came on.

#10 Cougar

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Posted 04 March 2006 - 01:26 PM

As previous posters have stated, I also think you have a connection problem in the main power buss, ignition switch, or a internal connection problem inside the battery itself. I would suspect the battery as the problem last. I would check the main fusible link connection first off and the small wire connection that runs to the positive battery terminal. This is the power wire to all the accessories in the car.

Having a test light handy in the car to check for power while this problem is occuring will be real helpfull in tracking this problem down. You may be able to find the problem by tapping on suspected trouble areas with a screwdiver handle.

#11 ofairlane

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Posted 09 March 2006 - 08:45 PM

First, thanks to all members who have replied, i appreciate it. I have checked the obvious connections for corrosion, i checked and cleaned the battery connections, the chassis connection, except to the block and to the starter. I had a new alternater installed yesterday and it has failed today! I am wondering if something would cause two ALT's to fail or maybe it is the battery.
I will keep informing all to the solution to help some other poor sap in the future.
DanO

#12 ballitch

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Posted 09 March 2006 - 08:58 PM

if your connections are good, new alternator, theres only a couple things it could be, like battery or grounds or fusible links, did you check both fuse panels? the second one is under the dash near the place you rest your left foot.



~Josh~

#13 danz75

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Posted 09 March 2006 - 09:01 PM

how is it the alternater is failing, will it work perfectly fine one minute and not at all the next?? any alternaters I have replaced in the past slowly failed or failed completely, never had one that would work perfectly then not at all then perfectly again.


Your symptoms are somewhat similar to an incident that happened to me sometime last year. The car would start fine sometimes and some other times, it clicks but won't start.
Thinking it was the battery, I replaced it and it worked fine for a day. The next day when I went out to start the car, it wouldn't start. Finally, traced it to a partially broken ground stud in the alternator. I would never have thought about to look there but when I took it out, the ground stud felt somewhat loose so I took it into autozone to be tested and it fired up fine for them.
Anyway, I went ahead replaced it and it was fine after that. Check the ground cable as well cause if it's broken internally or somehow not having a good connection, I don't think it it would fully charge the battery.

#14 nipper

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Posted 09 March 2006 - 09:30 PM

First, thanks to all members who have replied, i appreciate it. I have checked the obvious connections for corrosion, i checked and cleaned the battery connections, the chassis connection, except to the block and to the starter. I had a new alternater installed yesterday and it has failed today! I am wondering if something would cause two ALT's to fail or maybe it is the battery.
I will keep informing all to the solution to help some other poor sap in the future.
DanO


do the block and to the starter. Have the battery load tested and make sure its not internally shorted. If it is it can act like a giant short and kill an alternator.
Where did you get the alternator from.

nipper

#15 ofairlane

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Posted 09 March 2006 - 09:55 PM

I have the car in a shop and he replaced the alternater, i think napa might be the supplier. I think the battery shorting may be the problem and I am going to have him check the fusible link connections. the link looke dOK to the eye and when I pulled it , the car died so I know it was doing it's job, but after awhile under the hood, heat may be causing the connection of the link to fail and I will have him check the ground to the block also.
By the way, I would usually be doing this at night in my woodstove heated garage with my dog by my side, but due to a divorce, those perks are gone for now, so I just want all to know. I am good at the car repair thing, just nowhere to work on it in New England these days, just temporary inconvience.
DanO

#16 ofairlane

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Posted 15 March 2006 - 04:11 PM

problem is fixed, with mempers info passed on to me, I wired a wire from an ignition switched fuse to the alternator providing 12v to excite the diodes, which was lacking due to a circuit wiring problem somewhere. The system is now charging correctly and although this is a temporary fix till I find the real problem, it works!!
Thanks to all!!
DanO

#17 Cougar

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Posted 17 March 2006 - 08:15 PM

The problem is most likely due to a faulty warning light. Did you ever check that?




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