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Car died... Possibly alternator?

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Old 06-20-2010, 03:47 AM   #1
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Car died... Possibly alternator?

I'm not exactly sure if it's my alternator but here's what happened. A couple days ago, a whining noise was coming from the passenger side of the engine. It would kinda come on and off. Today when I was at a stop sign, the lights started to dim on me and the ABS light came on. Not long after my Airbag and Seatbelt light both started blinking. I pulled over and parked and the car died. I tried to jump start the car but it wouldn't crank at all. No clicking noise no nothing and the lights would dim out even more when I tried to turn the key to crank it. Please help
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Old 06-20-2010, 07:35 AM   #2
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If you couldn't jump start the car it could be one of three things:

1) Alternator was/is weak causing the battery to drain down and die.

2) Battery is old and not holding a charge causing the alternator to work over time, then battery finally just dieing completely and/or causing the alternator to die.

3) Starter needs to be replaced. If the starter has been on its way out for a while, then during cranking it has been drawing extra amps, which could in-turn cause either your alternator or the battery to die, or even both.
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Old 06-20-2010, 08:12 AM   #3
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Sadly, all of the three mentioned above were all replaced not too long ago with OE replacement. If it's the starter, then is it possible for my car to die when parked due to what it seemed to be very low battery. I want to say it's the alternator but I hear no clicking at all when I tried to jump the car.
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Old 06-20-2010, 01:47 PM   #4
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i say alternator especially with all the lights, that happened to me on the freeway (405) unimportant things 1st then slowly one by one things turned off, and finally headlights turned off then engine, and I pushed her in the drive way. I had to change my alternator, then battery a few days after

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Old 06-21-2010, 05:10 AM   #5
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Yeah, this does sound like your alternator going out. The whining noise from the front pass side of the engine could have been your alternator bearing going out prematurely.

Quote:
I tried to jump start the car but it wouldn't crank at all.
It's very possible you just didn't get a good connection with the cables or booster box, whatever you were using. If the boost doesn't get to your battery, then sure, nothing would happen when you hit the key.
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Old 06-21-2010, 05:20 AM   #6
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take the car to autozone...they can test the battery and alternator
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Old 06-21-2010, 03:23 PM   #7
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If only I could move the car to a local Autozone... I probably have to get it towed.
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Old 06-21-2010, 04:12 PM   #8
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It's most likely the alternator that got messed up and couldn't charge the battery anymore. If your starter would have been the faulty one, your car would at least give some cranks. Like stated before give it a jump start and if its starts right away then its most likely your alternator. ( Check both. Battery and Alternator)
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Old 06-21-2010, 04:15 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by IHAVEA2KMAXIMA View Post
If only I could move the car to a local Autozone... I probably have to get it towed.
No need to waste extra money to tow it. search up info on how to remove the alternator. once you take it out you take it along with the battery to have them checked out.
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Old 06-21-2010, 05:50 PM   #10
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It does sound like a bearing failed in the alternator causing it to ground out. Likely when your car stalled it was because your battery completely discharged. Once you completely discharge a battery you have about a 50/50 chance of being able to get it back. As the battery ages those chances get lower. The only exception to the rule is if you have a deepcycle battery like an Optima Yellow.

Let me take a wild guess on your jumper cables? Cheapo Chinese cables that wouldn't even pass for speaker wire? Likely they couldn't push enough current through to get the car to start, either that or you had a really bad connection.

Where in So. Cal are ya?
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Old 06-21-2010, 08:26 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Froggmann View Post
It does sound like a bearing failed in the alternator causing it to ground out. Likely when your car stalled it was because your battery completely discharged. Once you completely discharge a battery you have about a 50/50 chance of being able to get it back. As the battery ages those chances get lower. The only exception to the rule is if you have a deepcycle battery like an Optima Yellow.

Let me take a wild guess on your jumper cables? Cheapo Chinese cables that wouldn't even pass for speaker wire? Likely they couldn't push enough current through to get the car to start, either that or you had a really bad connection.

Where in So. Cal are ya?
I think the cable was 8gauge. I got the Duralast Gold with 8yr warranty so if the battery craps out at bench test then I can just exchange for a new one at Autozone. I'm in LA btw.
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Old 06-21-2010, 09:52 PM   #12
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Yea I wouldn't use anything smaller than 4 gauge for jumper cables. Anything smaller and you really don't have the conductivity to actually "jump" a vehicle all you are doing is just charging the battery.

Let me know if you need any help doing the alternator.
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Old 06-21-2010, 11:58 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IHAVEA2KMAXIMA View Post
If only I could move the car to a local Autozone... I probably have to get it towed.
remove battery...take it to autozone
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