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Old 12-13-2007, 04:02 AM   #1
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Default What's happening to my car???!

So 2 days ago, while driving on the freeway, I noticed my headlights getting dimmer and dimmer and the "CHARGE" light came on. ****. Anticipating a dead battery/alternator, I pulled over to the shoulder and coasted down, miraculously, the engine started to chug and come back to life. I managed to drive no faster then 60mph before the engine started to limp again. Once on surface streets, the problem went away!! But I noticed that if I revved past 5k, the charge light would come on for a split second. I pulled into a Vatazone turned the car off, and it wouldn't start up, didnt even crank over.

I bought a battery, hooked it up, and it started up, no problems. I thought it was solved.

Nope.

Coming home from work tonight, the same thing happened. Except this time, i would pull over to the shoulder and car would sputter and sputter, not taking input from the throttle, but then after a few seconds, it would kick back to life. This would happen every mile or so, so i had to pull over everytime it started to lose power. Scary with cars zooming by at 80+mph. Once again, as soon i hit surface streets, it ******* went away. Pulled into the house, and it wouldn't start up. The new battery is now being charged with my portable charger.

Alternator was replaced over a year ago. But when the alternator went out last time, I couldn't even kick-start it, it the car just died. So I'm not sure if its the alternator....

Thoughts??
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Old 12-13-2007, 04:07 AM   #2
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Tighten your alternator belt. My money is on it being loose.
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Old 12-13-2007, 04:08 AM   #3
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Alternator, same thing happened to me. I replaced mine twice in one year. Could also be worn belts.

Last edited by JDMAflac; 12-13-2007 at 04:23 AM.
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Old 12-13-2007, 04:33 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neogenesis2004 View Post
Tighten your alternator belt. My money is on it being loose.
+1

Had the exact same problem on my beater. The high the rev the more the belt slips. At idle, it charges. Never heard any squeling at all from the belt either, so it took a little time to figure out. As you can imaging, the belts wear pretty fast from all the slipping so you probably need a new one.
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Old 12-13-2007, 04:35 AM   #5
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Last case of this I heard of it was the alternator belt. They tightened the belt so much that they ran out of tension adjustment.
You'd be better off replacing the belt entirely, they're cheap. The one you have is most likely stretched pretty good.
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Old 12-13-2007, 05:04 AM   #6
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Well, belt seems tight, but it HAS been slipping during startup the last few months.

Belt it is then. Thanks guys, I was worried my alternator was acting up.
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Old 12-13-2007, 09:57 AM   #7
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the intermittent thing makes me thing you may have a loose engine ground. without the engine ground you'd sputter at random times and the alternator wouldn't do it's job.

if the belt doesn't fix it take a look around for your grounds and for loose alternator plug.
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Old 12-13-2007, 10:11 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exhondaman View Post
Well, belt seems tight, but it HAS been slipping during startup the last few months.

Your belt has been slipping for months, and you wonder why the alternator doesn't charge?
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Old 12-14-2007, 02:25 AM   #9
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Story on that old belt, it was replaced with a Vatozone one and I noticed the shape was different then the one on the engine (OEM). I didn't think anything of it. Yes, it would slip on start-up on cold,cold mornings, but I tightened it all the way. I just went with OEM now and just for ***** and giggles, I check the output on the alternator, 14.2 volts of fury!
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Old 12-14-2007, 09:29 AM   #10
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worthless me too: I recently changed my belts with new OEM units too. the startup blood-curtling scream went away much to the joy of everyone in my neighborhood and office. old belt had 80k on it. too bad the battery died from the car sitting two weeks in cold weather.

how did you tighten yours? just by guess/feeling the deflection? that's what I did...
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Old 12-14-2007, 04:03 PM   #11
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make sure you retighten it in a couple weeks as the new belt will stretch a bit.
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