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86jax944
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Starting Confusion
Apr 7th, 2020 at 4:42pm
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So I’ve come across a new issue and I’m not sure what the answer is. Car died while running, got it towed back to my place. Wouldn’t jump, sounded like it wanted to turn over but just couldn’t do it. Took battery to get tested, battery is at 63% charged. Is this a bad alternator? Voltage reader? Or something completely different?? If it is alternator, does anyone know of a good tutorial for it? Do I have to go from below The car or can I go from up top?
  
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Dave W
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Re: Starting Confusion
Reply #1 - Apr 7th, 2020 at 8:56pm
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How old is the battery?  They usually die around 5 years old.

If you put a full recharge on it, how long before it won't start again?

Have you checked for unusual amperage draw when the car is off?

Does the car sit unused for long periods (3 or more weeks)?

Do you make lots of short trips (5 minutes or less each)?
  

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86jax944
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Re: Starting Confusion
Reply #2 - Apr 8th, 2020 at 1:35am
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Dave W wrote on Apr 7th, 2020 at 8:56pm:
How old is the battery?  They usually die around 5 years old.

If you put a full recharge on it, how long before it won't start again?

Have you checked for unusual amperage draw when the car is off?

Does the car sit unused for long periods (3 or more weeks)?

Do you make lots of short trips (5 minutes or less each)?


I have yet to check for amperage & im unsure of the battery age. I want to buy a new battery regardless and maybe that will solve the issue? Would that explain it being at 63% charger though ? Auto parts store guy told me it had to be the alternator, but he also didn’t seem like he knew very much lol.


Also; no it doesn’t sit usually, now it is because of this issue. And no, no short 5 minute trips.
  
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Dave W
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Re: Starting Confusion
Reply #3 - Apr 8th, 2020 at 10:53pm
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Check the battery voltage while the car is off.  A good battery is around 12.5 volts.  A bad battery is 10 volts or less.

Then check the voltage while the car is running.  A good alternator is 14.5 volts.  A bad alternator is the same as the battery when off.

A simple battery test is to borrow one from another car.
  

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Re: Starting Confusion
Reply #4 - Apr 9th, 2020 at 2:20am
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Dave W wrote on Apr 8th, 2020 at 10:53pm:
Check the battery voltage while the car is off.  A good battery is around 12.5 volts.  A bad battery is 10 volts or less.

Then check the voltage while the car is running.  A good alternator is 14.5 volts.  A bad alternator is the same as the battery when off.

A simple battery test is to borrow one from another car.


Update: I put some new bolts into my battery terminal. The old ones were rusted and so loose that you could pull them off by hand. Started the car, no issues. Battery when car was off read about 12.8 and when on read 13.87. Seems to me to be a bit low but it could also be because the battery was 63% charged. Not sure if this is all due to the fact the terminals were so loose? My thinking is as follows: Maybe the Alternator was trying to pull charge from the battery but it couldn't because the terminals were so loose from driving around, and maybe that cause the alternator to pull extra charge and deplete the battery life? The battery is only 3 years old and is in good condition. Not sure. European auto shop near me said it could also be a bad Fuel pump relay or crank position sensor. Electrical is not in my realm of knowledge so I'm not sure where to go next. Put battery on trickle charger, charge it up, test volts then? If still at 13.87, maybe bad alternator? Love this car but hate the mind game haha
  
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green mountain crusier
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Re: Starting Confusion
Reply #5 - Apr 9th, 2020 at 1:05pm
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Sounds like your on a good path. I would put some dielectric grease on the terminals to help prevent rusting. You can also scribe a line or marking across to give a visual aid to seeing if the bolts have loosened.
  
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Dave W
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Re: Starting Confusion
Reply #6 - Apr 9th, 2020 at 5:50pm
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A loose or corroded battery terminal could make it less effective for the alternator to charge the battery.  I hope you cleaned them before tightening.

You might also inspect the wire from the alternator.  It can get cooked over time and have some internal corrosion as well as cracks in the insulation.
  

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1933beer
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Re: Starting Confusion
Reply #7 - Apr 10th, 2020 at 12:40am
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Good info has been given. You should clean connections and see how the car reacts. These cars do better with clean grounds. Dont rush to buy a new alternator. More info would belp what year, howmany miles?
  

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86jax944
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Re: Starting Confusion
Reply #8 - Apr 10th, 2020 at 4:30pm
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1933beer wrote on Apr 10th, 2020 at 12:40am:
Good info has been given. You should clean connections and see how the car reacts. These cars do better with clean grounds. Dont rush to buy a new alternator. More info would belp what year, howmany miles?


Contacts are clean, no corrosion on battery or terminals. Haven’t checked that back wire on the alternator yet but that’ll be up next.

As for year and such:

1986 N/A, roughly 186k miles. Seen multiple owners but is super clean besides this issue.
  
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86jax944
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Re: Starting Confusion
Reply #9 - Apr 10th, 2020 at 4:32pm
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Dave W wrote on Apr 9th, 2020 at 5:50pm:
A loose or corroded battery terminal could make it less effective for the alternator to charge the battery.  I hope you cleaned them before tightening.

You might also inspect the wire from the alternator.  It can get cooked over time and have some internal corrosion as well as cracks in the insulation.



Cleaned it all up. This wire you mentioned that goes from the alternator may also be a culprit. I haven’t actually checked it or located it yet but I did have a coolant leak not too long ago and the car would overheat so I wonder if that maybe caused the mentioned wire to cook as you mentioned. Interesting idea
  
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1933beer
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Re: Starting Confusion
Reply #10 - Apr 10th, 2020 at 8:37pm
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Where was the leak? Anything else lately.

So your saying you have cleaned and tighened connections, charged battery  and the car does not start?

Since you seem to. Be new to the forum. CLARKS GARAGE  is a good resource.
  

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1985 Toyota Celica GTS convertible
1987 Toyota Supra
1997 BMW Z3 convertible.               Council Bluffs, IA
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86jax944
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Re: Starting Confusion
Reply #11 - Apr 12th, 2020 at 12:52pm
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So update after a few days. Battery terminals are all clean, good readings on the multimeter when car is off and on. Car starts now, been driving it the past two days.

Called a few shops and the consensus I got was that I’m either having a fuel issue or a spark issue. I tried to see if they would maybe give me a lead as to where to check next, they then proceeded to say , “it’s either spark issue, fuel pump relay, or crank position sensor.” I haven’t had the time to really dive into any of these, was wondering what you guys thought would maybe be best to check next?

Car did die at idle this morning while warming up, but started right back up and was able to drive it to work. No issues while on the road.

So far I know the issue isn’t the alternator but I still am confused as to how my battery lost charge.

Maybe the fuel pump is going bad and pulling extra charge from the battery? Or spark plugs? Speed reference sensor?

Completely lost again
  
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green mountain crusier
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Re: Starting Confusion
Reply #12 - Apr 12th, 2020 at 8:31pm
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Quite possibly most of your  starting problems were the result of the battery terminal connections. Electrical systems hate loose wires etc. 63% charge could also be attributed to loose terminal connections as the alternator's circuit to the battery wasn't very complete.
  
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anchor
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Re: Starting Confusion
Reply #13 - Apr 13th, 2020 at 5:07am
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86jax944 wrote on Apr 7th, 2020 at 4:42pm:
Or something completely different?? If it is alternator, does anyone know of a good tutorial for it? Do I have to go from below The car or can I go from up top?


Clarks- Garage has a tutorial elect- 26.pdf you could look there.

Edit: at minimum the part I read was disconnect the positive battery. Put 1 lead on the volt meter to the lead terminator of the main red conductor and the other lead black to the positive on the battery that will give you your trended loss or leakage electrically in amps when set to a meter position. There is more at that .PDF where to set the meter scale to and other remedy for getting what you need.
My best guess there would be distributor power it could be dangerous voltage there depending on the alternator. Try putting in new voltage regulator for the alternator also.
« Last Edit: Apr 17th, 2020 at 5:07am by anchor »  

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