Battery or Alternator???


Old 12-11-05, 03:32 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 15
Battery or Alternator???

For a 91 Integar
The engine warning light came on and the car stalled,however,when I gave it time to cool down,it would start again.I wasn't going to take a chance so I took it to the dealer and they replaced the ignitor coil.Well,the car didn't stall on me again,however,the battery light and the antilock brake warning lights then came "on" and "off" and I noticed when the battery light was "on",all things that were powered by the battery would drop drammatically;and yesterday was the worst,it died on me in the middle of the road.
So I had the battery hooked up to the battery charger late last night,the car started up (no warning lights appeared)this morning but after drove it for a while,off and restart,the same thing would happen again.
Is the alternator at fault or it's just the battery itself that doesn't take the charge?How can I test either one of them just for diagnosis?thanks.
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Old 12-11-05, 03:43 PM
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: North Texas
Posts: 2,345
you will need this

You will need to go to radio shack and buy a cheap multimeter digital is best.
Put it on the DC scale start car and hook up the red wire to the positive battery poast and black wire to the other.You should see at least 13.5 volts this is for alt charging the battery.
you can use your multimeter for a lot of things around the house and car you can check light bulbs fuses,all kinds of stuff.
Old 12-11-05, 04:18 PM
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I had this same problem th0ough the vehicle wouldnt die on us. We would charge the battery, and all is fine, my charge light never even came on. Yet after charging our battery, all was good, for a while then it wouldnt start again. Thinking battery since the light never came on i had the alternator tested, and turns out it wasnt producing enough juice to recharge the battery. Just a thought, good luck:-) You can also have the charging system checked at an autozone, in case you might have some type of short in the charge system
Old 12-11-05, 09:16 PM
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Location: SW Fla USA
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Alternator prime suspect. I would question the dealer on the necessity for changing the coil and not finding the bad alternator (if it turns out that is the problem). Talk to the Service Manager, not the service writers.
Old 12-13-05, 04:35 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 15
Battery or Alternator???

Thank You guys!
I don't know what to tell you.Like I had the car parked overnight and I tested the battery and the alternator before and after I cranked up the engine.The voltage would go up from 12.6 volt to 14.3 volt and that's when the battery warning light remained "off";mind you the warning would never come on for a first start in the morning,however,if you put it on the road for a short little while,shut the engine off and restart again,the warning light would immediately come on.As I tested it again(WHEN THE WARNING LIGHT IS ON)the voltage would drop if not the same and that's how you tell the alternator is not functioning like it should be.
I just want to know whether the dealer knew what the exact problem was when I took it in the first time with engine light came on and the car stalled or could they have screwed up something when replacing the ignitor coil.
Thanks again.
Old 12-13-05, 08:08 PM
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: North Texas
Posts: 2,345
how it works

The battery is nothing more then a storage for high demand use such as starting,lights,heater motors,fuel pumps and things like that.The alternator will charge battery as long as it sees it is low then it will taper off as not to overcharge it.If the car dies it is more then likley the battery as the alternator does not have enough power to run lights,and fuel pump at same time.
Start the car turn on lights and see what you get for should not drop off much from 13.5 volts maybe 13.2 volts but never just 12 volts.
How old is the battery?Any battery over 3-4 years is on borrowed time and if you continue to drive with a weak battery say one with a dead cell your alternator will suffer because it will have to work ALL the time at full load to try to keep battery charged.

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