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Battery or Alternator

Discussion in 'General Tech and Maintenance' started by import_racer, Oct 23, 2002.

  1. import_racer

    import_racer Member

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    I forgot, how can you tell if the battery needs to be replaced or if its the alternator that needs to be replaced? Thanks.
     
  2. E_SolSi

    E_SolSi Member of the 20 nut club Moderator VIP

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    if the car starts then dies after youve been driving it its the alternator ... if it wont start but once you jump it it runs fine its the battery
     
  3. CRX-YEM

    CRX-YEM Super Moderator Moderator VIP

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    if it's the battery the car will prolly start hard after a long night or it might even bee dead in the morning. but onve you get it started the car will run off the alternator.
    if it's the alternator if you're drivin short ditances you will prolly be able to make it places and think just your battery is low won't notice it that much, but if your takin a long ride , well you're gonna find youself stranded soon the alternator will not be able to charge the battery and the car will just die . that's the hard way to find out

    but I believe if you've got the car running and you disconnect the battery and the car just dies. it's the alternator. if you do the dame thing and the car kinda runs on a bit after the battery has been diconnected, it's the battery. don't quote me on this I could be wrong
     
  4. paragus

    paragus Senior Member

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    what happening to your car?
     
  5. import_racer

    import_racer Member

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    actually, its my winter beater (dont drive my civic in winter), it doesnt start, but when I jump it, it is fine, but once you turn off the engine and try start it again, it wont start and it needs to be boosted.
     
  6. CRX-YEM

    CRX-YEM Super Moderator Moderator VIP

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    I'd try the battery first, since they are cheaper to replace.
    if the problem still persist get a new/rebuilt alternator.
     
  7. djextremity

    djextremity Senior Member

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    in your rearview mirror..wait..
    just take the car down to autozone/misc. street corner parts store. they have a machine that tests the system and tells you what the problem is. if you have a voltmeter and want to do it yourself, then you can go outside with it and test the voltage at the battery. should be 12-14 volts. then turn the car on and test the voltage at the battery positive terminal and a chassis ground. should be 14-18 volts. have someone (or you can) turn on the lights, the radio, and the AC and test it again. should drop a little bit. if the voltage is less than 12-14 with the car off it is your battery. if it does not pick up a couple of volts when you turn the car on, it is your alternator. if it drops out a lot when you turn on accessories, you may have a short or a bad ground somewhere.
     
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