Car Help - Won't Start

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by dukebound85, Oct 17, 2010.

  1. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Location:
    5045 feet above sea level
    #1
    I thought I would gather opinions on issues I am having with my car

    1) It won't start
    2) When key is in "on" posistion, nothing on dash lights up, no clicking/crank attempts when turning key for ignition either at this point
    3) If door in open, I can get a faint door open symbol but goes away after a while
    4) The car will start when jumped

    Now I was driving and it flat out died. The batt charge indicator on the dash when running was normal but just died

    I had replaced the alternator in late Feb this year and those symptoms of it being bad were that the batt charge would go way low as the batt was not recharging (not the case here) so I am fairly confident in the alternator working.

    The battery was last replaced in late May of 05 and has about 45k miles on the batt


    Would I be correct in thinking the batt is the main culprit? Or should I be looking at something else, like a bad starter? I figure the starter is fine as it starts when jump started,

    Also, the temps where this has happened was when it has been ~50deg at night so kind of cold compared to what it is during the day and I believe cold temps are hard on poor batts right?

    Thanks for any insight/opinions!
     
  2. -aggie- macrumors P6

    -aggie-

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Where bunnies are welcome.
    #2
    It’s your battery. Replace it and you’ll be fine.
     
  3. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #3
    Battery is dead or alternator is dying and not charging the battery correctly.
     
  4. brunetmj macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2010
    Location:
    Upstate, NY
    #4
    I concur that it is the battery . The alternator is relatively new so it is not likely it has gone bad this soon.
     
  5. maccompaq macrumors 65816

    maccompaq

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    #5
    Car batteries are only reliable for 4 years. Do not risk getting stranded with an old battery. Years ago, batteries were good for 7 or more years.
     
  6. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    #6
    have you repaired permissions? Wait, what?

    I concur, it's battery or alternator.
     
  7. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    Location:
    Always a day away
    #7
    Batteries pretty much don't know or care about miles, it's about how old they are - and if you get more than 3-4 years out of a car battery, you've more then gotten your money's worth.

    Buy a new battery. They eventually get to the point you can't charge them anymore, and at 5 1/2 years of age, this one is beyond ancient.
     
  8. lbro macrumors 6502a

    lbro

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    #8
    Its probably the battery. Replace it, even if the problem is still there afterwards, you need a new battery.
     
  9. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    #9
    I assume you have checked the posts and cables, for problems there??
     
  10. dukebound85 thread starter macrumors P6

    dukebound85

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Location:
    5045 feet above sea level
    #10
    I am going to go get a new one but this morning, my car had no issue starting up
     
  11. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #11
    Not always the case. I have replaced multiple alternators that were less than 1 year old.

    Plus i would like to point out that if a car just dies when running it points pretty strongly to an alternator.

    A bad battery can destroy a good alternator and a bad alternator can destroy a good battery. Also jump starting a car or being jump started can damage an alternator as it has to deal with a voltage spike going backwards threw the system. jump stars can damage the diodes or the voltage regulator.

    I would say have everything check. You can get your alternator and battery check for free at an Autozone.
     
  12. lbro macrumors 6502a

    lbro

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    #12
    He might as well replace the battery because it probably will die soon anyways if it hasn't already. No sense being stuck in the middle of nowhere because your battery is dead.
     
  13. RITZFit macrumors 65816

    RITZFit

    Joined:
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    Location:
    In my Corner
    #13
    This. If its not the batter or alternator then its possible that ab-normal current is being drawn from somewhere. you haven't installed any type of audio equip or messed w/ the electrical system in anyway recently (apart from the alternator)?
     
  14. dukebound85 thread starter macrumors P6

    dukebound85

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Location:
    5045 feet above sea level
    #14
    Nope, not recently. Last I did of that nature was in 04 with a new stereo

    I did have a new distributer put in about a year ago too

    I did take it to Walmart and my battery and alternator and cranking system all checked out to be in great shape

    I dunno what is going on, possibly just had a low charge last night from leaving door open a while?
     
  15. windowsblowsass macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2004
    Location:
    pa
    #15
    If you left the door open all night your battery probably drained, which is hey you needed a jump. the alternator charged the battery while driving. If the battery seems to be dying alot or the battery meter is always on charge that means your battery is probably going bad.
     
  16. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #16
    I would not always trust Walmart on the check. Did they just do a voltage check on the alternator or did they also check the diods.

    A lot of places will just hook a volt meter up to the battery to check it. Engine off it should put out about 12 volts. Engine on it will put out around 13-14volts.

    Either way all things point to electrical.
     
  17. dukebound85 thread starter macrumors P6

    dukebound85

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Location:
    5045 feet above sea level
    #17
    They had a handheld device that they connected to the batt terminals
    1) Checked batt when car off
    2) Checked batt when car on
    3) Checked alternator at idle
    4) Checked alternator at 3krpm with and without load (radio, ac, lights, etc)

    Printed out a diagnostic sheet and all specs were fine


    I only had the door open about 10 min is the thing though.
     
  18. notjustjay macrumors 603

    notjustjay

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Canada, eh?
    #18
    Was it warmer this morning (or last night) than it was the night before? Batteries have a harder time in the cold than when it's warmer, and if the battery is close to dead, the temperature can mean the difference between "just enough to get it going" and "pretty much dead".
     
  19. dukebound85 thread starter macrumors P6

    dukebound85

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Location:
    5045 feet above sea level
    #19
    Yea, it was about 20deg F cooler last night (~50deg) when I was having issues
     
  20. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    #20
    Recently drove to a gas station, shut off the engine, filled the tank. My next move was to call a tow truck. It didn't start, chime, beep, light up - nothing. The garage said there was zero juice in the battery. So, how'd I get it started at home and drive it 5 miles??
     
  21. Ttownbeast macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 10, 2009
    #21
    roddie makes a good point here, even if you replaced the battery and the alternator there may still be damage to the voltage regulator which isn't that uncommon of an occurrence I've seen cascading failures like this happen before and replacing one thing at a time and continuing to drive it does not solve the problem it tends to lead to the others pieces in the electrical system going bad in the process. I always have an alternator check and a VR check done before I replace my battery and usually wind up having to buy all 3 rather than having to keep making visits to the auto parts store. also look into replacing your ignition coil as well because that may get damaged in the process as well.
     
  22. RITZFit macrumors 65816

    RITZFit

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Location:
    In my Corner
    #22
    ^^ very true. It may be worth it to get a second test done somewhere else.

    lol, the EXACT same thing happened to me almost a month ago (except I was able to borrow a jump box). My battery was fine all morning until I went for gas in the late afternoon... it died of catastrophic failure in a span of 5min :rolleyes: . what type of battery did you have? I had a deep cycle gel battery which from what I learned, can fail w/ out any major warning...in this case, less than 2 yrs of light use :rolleyes:
     
  23. dukebound85 thread starter macrumors P6

    dukebound85

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Location:
    5045 feet above sea level
    #23
    whelp, didn't start this morning

    So I've noticed my car doesnt start when cold
     
  24. eawmp1 macrumors 601

    eawmp1

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    FL
    #24
    Neither do I, but then I live in FL.
     
  25. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #25

    Figure I would point out that the voltage regulators and diods are generally part of the Alternator. If you replace the Alternator those parts are replaced as well.
    There is only one part on a car that can produce AC power and anything over 12 volts and that is the alternator so it has those other parts on it.
     

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