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  #1  
Old 05-26-2012, 08:21 AM
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Default Alternator or Battery dead?

The other day I blew a terminal off my battery. The zero gauge running from the alternator to the terminal must have shorted out somewhere. I was driving the car with the battery still in because it had two terminals for the positive, then my RPM gauge just drops to zero and my radio is cutting on and off and about 3 mins later it cut off. So I figured the alternator was bad but I took it up to advance auto and it tested good. So I'm lost on what's wrong. Because I also had them test the battery the day before and they said it was good just needed a little charge so I charged it before going out. Any ideas on what's wrong?
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Old 05-26-2012, 08:36 AM
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whats the battery resting voltage at idle? whats it resting at with car off?

Dustan sent me the pics of the terminal btw. very surprsed you didnt blow something up.
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Old 05-26-2012, 08:44 AM
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Yeah I got pretty lucky. And the car is about 45 mins away. But if the alternator was bad how would I have drove 45 mins and then it died. I had a marine battery in it but I think it's unlikely it kept the car going that long. I mean the alternator could have been trying to charge it and a cell in it was bad
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Old 05-26-2012, 09:01 AM
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Gotta be alt.......try running car with nothing on....than turn headlights on and see if car dies or acts up
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Old 05-26-2012, 09:04 AM
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Should I just buy a new alternator even though it tested good? And I got to drive back up there and put it on to test it
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Old 05-26-2012, 09:42 AM
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Even if the alt dies the vehicle will still run for a period of time off the battery alone. Which is not good on the battery but can be done. And since it was a deep cycle marine battery that is most likely why it went as long as it did. But in the process you probably killed the battery.
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Old 05-26-2012, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by garygross7 View Post
Should I just buy a new alternator even though it tested good? And I got to drive back up there and put it on to test it
Most of the guys at advance auto,auto zone, W/e don't know WTF they are doing in the first place so i wouldn't trust their diagnosis. You might have a elecrtical shop around you that could test it right.
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Old 05-26-2012, 10:03 AM
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Yea sounds like u killed the alt. and possibly battery in the process
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Old 05-26-2012, 10:11 AM
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was the stereo bumping until it died? you should have turned the stereo off and the car would have kept running. the alt cannot handle the demands of the system by itself.the stereo caused the voltage to drop too low and the car died.
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Old 05-26-2012, 11:46 AM
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well blacks is the local shop I bought it from. But they are closed for the 3 day weekend. I think one of the cells went bad in the battery and it wouldn't fully charge cause the battery light was on and when I accelerated the light when off so I figured the alt gave it more juice. And no system was hooked up yet.

Last edited by garygross7; 05-26-2012 at 11:50 AM. Reason: Misread commets
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