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Thread: How to: Identify if your Alternator going Bad

  1. #1 How to: Identify if your Alternator going Bad 
    Subaru Lover
    CF Senior Member Mario777's Avatar
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    This is just from personal experience as my car eats alternators every summer. Living in Vegas with 110+ degree heat in the summer kills my car. Here's what happened when my alternator went bad:

    Mid Summer time 100+ degree weather and I am driving home from school. My stereo turns off, followed by my AC, then my clock turns off, lastly my RMP gauge dropped down to zero while I was going 45 MPH (so it was just the gauge not my actual RPMs) Later that night after I am freaking out that I broke my car it got harder and harder to start. My battery kept dying and when I would try to start the car when I turned the key there was like a million clicking sounds. I took it into the dealer and sure enough it was my alternator.

    Signs to look for:
    • Stereo Turns off
    • RPM gauge drops down low or all the way to zero while driving or idling
    • Electronics in the car turn off
    • Clicking noise when you turn the key
    • The car wont start and jumping it doesn't work

    If you notice any of these signs or symptoms call your dealer immediately and schedule an appointment so hopefully you are still able to drive the car there and not have to pay to get it towed in. If you are close to the dealer I would recommend driving straight there if they are open just in case the car wont start again if you turn it off.
    Sarah UNCORK THE TORQUE 2002 Subaru WRX - 2009 Toyota Prius
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  2. #2  
    Under 5% CF Senior Member
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    A 4 year old car is eating alternators? Sounds like more of a problem then just heat. How many have you gone through?

    But yeah those are signs to look for.
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    Pinko Commie Ricer CF Moderator blah's Avatar
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    you got a pimped out stereo?
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  4. #4  
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    CF Senior Member Mario777's Avatar
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    lol no but I think the stock alternators are too small for the car. lots of people put grounding wire kits and stuff on them because they dont have enough output.
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  5. #5  
    Driveit-likeyou-stoleiT CF Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mario777
    lol no but I think the stock alternators are too small for the car. lots of people put grounding wire kits and stuff on them because they dont have enough output.
    Possibly go with a aftermarket higher output alternator if that's the problem.
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    End your problems quickly with one of these.....http://www.mean-green.com/products/alternator.html.
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  7. #7  
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    This is what you need to do. Start your car let it run for a few mintues. Then unplug one of your (BATTERY CABLES) while the car is running. If the car shuts off you need a higher output alternator. This is a good trick to test your alternator. Another cause it might be is:

    you may have a little fluid leak that is leaking onto the alternator and slowly killing it that's why you are going thru so many each summer.

    Try what I talked about and update me on how it went.

    Thanks
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  8. #8  
    JEEP CF Senior Member
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    If it was a fluid leak it would kill the alternator more rapidly then once a year and he would have noticed other signs than dead alternators
    Quote Originally Posted by MR. BBQ
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  9. #9  
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    o no i think my audi has a blown alternator =(. all the signs except for the stereo( mine got jacked) are true. I cant jump it wont start tried to charge the battery. Should i replace that first or keep looking for other problem?
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  10. #10  
    deltaolds
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtechgraphics
    This is what you need to do. Start your car let it run for a few mintues. Then unplug one of your (BATTERY CABLES) while the car is running. If the car shuts off you need a higher output alternator. This is a good trick to test your alternator. Another cause it might be is:

    you may have a little fluid leak that is leaking onto the alternator and slowly killing it that's why you are going thru so many each summer.

    Try what I talked about and update me on how it went.

    Thanks
    dude all electrics run on battery, even when engine is on, take cables off, any car will shut off. old cars might keep runing, new 15 or so years old and up will not. the best way to see alt. going bad is your charge indicator, if you have one on your car. if not than you have a signal light. those sighns mentioned above also will tell you that.
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