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Battery problem, I think.

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by Machinegunrat, April 15, 2013.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. Machinegunrat

    Machinegunrat New Member

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    Ok here is what happend. My wife comes home from work and says the windshield and power windows were slow. I noticed that the battery gauge was low but we drove it anyways, i had somewhere i had to be. It ran fine, until driving home. It was dark and the lights started to dim, then it ran rough barely moving, then it died all together. I jumped it and it died within a few minutes. The truck has been ideling real rough for the last couple of weeks and she said it drug once while starting about a week back.

    Now i have been reading online. Everyone says altinator, but some people say a bad battery will also cause this because the car need both to run, the battery needs a certain amount of voltage in it to maintain. Here is what happend to my dads car once.

    He had a 99 taurus. Same thing was happing, the more he ran accesories the faster his battery went dead. We jumped it and took off the ground and it stalled, started it again took off the hot, and it stalled which everyone says means without a doubt bad altinator. Took my battery and ran it with everything running and it ran fine. So he replaced the battery and never had an issue.

    So I am wondering if my battery will not hold a charge or maintain a charge could it show symptoms that the battery is fried. I took it out and it is an 08 one side seems slightly swelled and while there is acid in the panals are covered in white corrosin. There is not loose wires, terminals are in great shape, the belt isnt slipping.

    I know some will say take it and have it tested. Last time I had a part tested by auto zone it was a starter. Passed with flying colors. They started talking about the batter and timing chain and motor being siezed and everything else. I put a new starter on and it fired right up, so I dont trust those tests.

    In my experence that when an altinator fails while driving then the vehicle will die altogether, not slowly.

    Any help would be apreciated, has anyone else have a bad battery show syomptoms of a bad altinator?
     
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  3. toypaseo

    toypaseo Flunked daycare Elite Explorer

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    When I had an alternator freeze on a 1981 Mazda GLC, the car did not die instantly. I was on an interstate road, crossed the median, and drove back into town to a service station. Not sure on how far I drove though.

    I do remember hearing the belt squeal getting louder, belt broke, lights dimmed, and dash warning lights came on.

    From your battery swelled description, and the year it was from, I would guess that the battery is on it's last leg.
     
  4. Machinegunrat

    Machinegunrat New Member

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    Its not frozen as I was driving everything went dim then shut off. And i got this strange beeping sound. Have been driving it 80 miles a day the past 2 days no problems.
     
  5. koda2000

    koda2000 Explorer Addict

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    your battery may very well be bad (charge it and get it tested) but you alternator is not charging. you should be seeing 14+ volts as measured at the battery and a fully charged battery should show 12.6 or more volts static. a bad battery can kill an alternator. do you have a battery light on? you should.
     
  6. Machinegunrat

    Machinegunrat New Member

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    Koda, same thing I read on every website. My dads car had the same problem and ran every check the net said to do. All screamed bad altinator, but it was a bad battery so I dont get it. Before I go spending my paycheck on things i dont need I want to make sure I get it right. If it is a bad altinator Im going to a junk yard to get one.
     
  7. sgt-etool

    sgt-etool New Member

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    Machinegun, I agree with Koda, it is possible that your alternator is not charging or putting out enough power to charge the battery, which is may be on its way out.

    I experienced the same issue years ago with Ford Tempo and Toyota Corolla, though not having a frozen alternator, but the car started running on battery while on idle and charge back up while driving it. The cars slowly dies as it goes, I turn off the accessories and it goes to normal. I get it checked, and was advised that the alternator was the culprit.

    I agree with you, you do not want to spend money unnecessarily until you are sure of the problem. But why not get the alternator and battery re-checked by a different auto store?
     
  8. my98nnj

    my98nnj Well-Known Member

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    Jump start the truck.
    Put a multi meter on the battery, it should read about 14 volts. If it doesn't, your alternator is not charging.
    If the battery in indeed an 08 (5 years) it's time is also limited or done.
     
  9. wbdavid

    wbdavid Member

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    A 4 ir 5 year old bulging battery and not charging could very well be the battery if it is not charging it will use all the alternator's out put and not operate the other electric items, cou;ld also be the alt if not working will not charge battery.
     
  10. Machinegunrat

    Machinegunrat New Member

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    I have never had a car run on just battery power whenever i have had an altinator fail it just wouldnt start when i shut it off. Thabks for the replies i guess ill keep looking for the problem. Cause i know it is not the altininator.
     
  11. Scanner85

    Scanner85 New Member

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    If you know it is not the alternator, then why not just replace the battery? From the age and the bulge on the battery, it sounds like you need a new one anyway. Put a new one in and if its still not working, then you know it's the alternator.

    A few months ago, my battery was just starting to go bad. Charging gauge was down a little and it was slow to start (turned over slow) after sitting for a few hours. If I had just driven it though, it would start right up. Went and got it tested twice, once at Firestone and once at Autozone. They both said it tested 100% (probably since I had just driven there) and said I must have some kind of electrical short somewhere else. I put a new battery in anyway and that solved the problem.
     
  12. radman

    radman Elite Explorer

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    Battery verses Alternator

    Your battery has one main function, to start your car. Once the car starts the alternator supplies all the electrical power for every thing else. The battery usually is maintained at or near full charge all the time.

    If the battery goes down then the alternator tries to supply all the power. The alternator must get a minimum voltage in order to produce 12+ volts, in other words it must have some power available from the battery to operate.

    When that minimum voltage gets too low the car can not start. Not only will you not have the power to crank the engine but the fuel pump will not work and there will not be enough voltage to power the computer so it can fire the ignition. Everything shuts down.

    You are trying to find out which came first the chicken or the egg. The battery is past its usefully life, that has been stated but if you want to try charging it up then see what it does after several hours. That would point to it being the problem if it loses that charge. If it is still fully charged and can crank the car robustly then I would blame the alternator.
     
  13. Machinegunrat

    Machinegunrat New Member

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    Radman in that post you said the altinator supplies all the piwer. That the battery is just for starting. Then you said that if the battery dies then the altinator has to supply all the power. Which one is it?

    I swear it just seems people are copy pasting from other websites i have gotten no useful information that i didnt already know. Is anyone actually reading the full post?
     
  14. Neil1750825

    Neil1750825 Active Member

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    Just replace both. If your battery is older than 3 yrs old its good practice anyway. Sounds like an alternator to me though.
     
  15. Machinegunrat

    Machinegunrat New Member

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    Solved put in a battery no problems. Even though autozone failed my altinator.
     
  16. swshawaii

    swshawaii Elite Explorer

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    :scratch:
     
  17. radman

    radman Elite Explorer

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    Mr. Machine gun,
    Please re-read the posting and you will see that it states that the alternator will Try to provide all the power. That means that if the battery is low or has inadequate voltage the alternator can run for a short time such as when your headlights were going dimmer and dimmer. Since you already knew from other web sites what was causing your problem, I miss understood I should not have respond with advice on how to check your car at home, you already knew before coming to this forum.

    I only have 34 years in my own shop to rely on and do not paste from other sites.
    Thank you for educating me
    Mike
     
  18. koda2000

    koda2000 Explorer Addict

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    if i were you i'd get your alternator retested. odds are it's got a diode out and not providing a full charge (14+ volts), and yes, i've read all your comments. the reason that people are stating the same advice is because it's the correct advice. you may limp along on a bad alternator, if it's weak, but sooner or later it's going to bite you. i'm always puzzled when people ask for advice but refuse to take it. you say you know your alternator is good, but how do you know without testing it. you've already recieved information telling you it's not up to snuff. if you don't trust the test, take it to someone you trust and get it retested. if it tests good your golden.
     

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