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Car Battery Problem

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#1
Nogert

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So I'd just driven to bowling, and spent two hours there, I came out and drove for about 5 minutes, I had my lights, radio and fan on because I was steaming up, anyway after the 5 minutes of driving, my power steering suddenly stopped working and it was very difficult to turn the car, but even though the steering was hard, it was turning, but it only seemed to turn about 5-10 degrees either way, rather than what it would usually.

Anyway, I stopped the car and it seemed to die, then I turned on the engine a few times and each time it would start perfectly, but become jumpy within seconds or either cut out, or continue to be jumpy, I noticed the red battery symbol pop up at this point, but after an engine restart it disappeared. I decided to turn all electric off apart from engine and just wait, there seemed to be no problems, I drove around a car park I'd turned into, and still no problems, I left the engine running for 10 minutes and then drove home with lights on, without problems.

I can't really afford to get my car checked, so I wanted to know if anyone knows what could have happened here? because surely if the battery died, the engine would just die. and not turn back on. I'm also certain I didn't have the radio, lights or the fan on whilst bowling, so nothing could have depleted the battery.

#2
way2lazy2care

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QUOTE (Nogert @ Jul 30 2010, 07:50 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
So I'd just driven to bowling, and spent two hours there, I came out and drove for about 5 minutes, I had my lights, radio and fan on because I was steaming up, anyway after the 5 minutes of driving, my power steering suddenly stopped working and it was very difficult to turn the car, but even though the steering was hard, it was turning, but it only seemed to turn about 5-10 degrees either way, rather than what it would usually.

Anyway, I stopped the car and it seemed to die, then I turned on the engine a few times and each time it would start perfectly, but become jumpy within seconds or either cut out, or continue to be jumpy, I noticed the red battery symbol pop up at this point, but after an engine restart it disappeared. I decided to turn all electric off apart from engine and just wait, there seemed to be no problems, I drove around a car park I'd turned into, and still no problems, I left the engine running for 10 minutes and then drove home with lights on, without problems.

I can't really afford to get my car checked, so I wanted to know if anyone knows what could have happened here? because surely if the battery died, the engine would just die. and not turn back on. I'm also certain I didn't have the radio, lights or the fan on whilst bowling, so nothing could have depleted the battery.

any number of electrical problems could be it. I'd guess alternator.
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#3
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I thought if the car started up then the battery defos has power? It helps if you say what car you have, like fords are well known for having fucked up electrics. Your problem could be really simple mate, like my mates car cut out and we couldnt get it working but the next day we realised that a circuit box had just gotten loose.

#4
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QUOTE (Cure @ Jul 30 2010, 11:40 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I thought if the car started up then the battery defos has power? It helps if you say what car you have, like fords are well known for having fucked up electrics. Your problem could be really simple mate, like my mates car cut out and we couldnt get it working but the next day we realised that a circuit box had just gotten loose.

what leads me to think it's alternator related is that it has trouble after the car starts, which kind of tells me that the battery isn't giving enough power. After the car is started, the alternator should be making up the difference, but it sounds like that's just not happening.

You should definitely get it looked at before you drive it somewhere and find out your battery is dead and you can't get home. If it is the alternator a simple jump start may not do the trick for you either once that happens.
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QUOTE (Virus52 @ Mar 3 2008, 09:44 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
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#5
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QUOTE (way2lazy2care @ Jul 31 2010, 03:01 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
what leads me to think it's alternator related is that it has trouble after the car starts, which kind of tells me that the battery isn't giving enough power. After the car is started, the alternator should be making up the difference, but it sounds like that's just not happening.

You should definitely get it looked at before you drive it somewhere and find out your battery is dead and you can't get home. If it is the alternator a simple jump start may not do the trick for you either once that happens.


Yeah I'm going to give it a test today to see if there are any problems, also the car is a ford fiesta 1996 I think, and I've had it for 2 years with no problems.

#6
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prime suspect. alternator. sounds like it's not supplying a steady source of current.

#7
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Tested the alternator, and there was no problems it was giving out about 14.2 volts even with the lights, radio and fan on. Confuzzaling.

#8
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QUOTE (Nogert @ Jul 31 2010, 04:43 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Tested the alternator, and there was no problems it was giving out about 14.2 volts even with the lights, radio and fan on. Confuzzaling.


Like I said check the electrics (and W2L2C said), fords have a major reputation for having shit electrics. Seriously it could me something as small as a fuse box has slipped out of place and needs pushing back in (I used to work for ford).

#9
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QUOTE (Nogert @ Jul 31 2010, 10:43 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Tested the alternator, and there was no problems it was giving out about 14.2 volts even with the lights, radio and fan on. Confuzzaling.

Voltage =/= power. You need to know the current and the voltage.

edit: of course if the current is bad, it could still be any number of problems <_< >_>. This is why everyone should make friends with at least one car mechanic. Have you tried posting this on a car forum rather than a gaming forum?

Edited by way2lazy2care, 31 July 2010 - 01:09 PM.

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QUOTE (Virus52 @ Mar 3 2008, 09:44 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
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#10
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QUOTE (Nogert @ Jul 31 2010, 11:43 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Tested the alternator, and there was no problems it was giving out about 14.2 volts even with the lights, radio and fan on. Confuzzaling.


Retard..

Volts does not mean that it is making Amps.

You can have 14 Volts and Zero Amps which means ZERO POWER.

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#11
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QUOTE (TheNOOBIFIER @ Jul 31 2010, 02:24 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Retard..

Volts does not mean that it is making Amps.

You can have 14 Volts and Zero Amps which means ZERO POWER.


Lol, ignorant on the subject or car mechanics, yes, but not a retard.

I'll test this tomorrow, it's late now, but surely if there is 'ZERO POWER' the car wouldn't have started and been able to drive home.

#12
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The loss of power steering should have nothing to do with your electrical problems since that whole system is mechanical. Check the power steering belt. I'm not sure what the other stuff is yet.

Did you have decreased engine power after all of this went down?

Left your windows down in the rain recently?

And for the hell of it check all your fuses, it could be a simple $2 fix.


#13
way2lazy2care

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QUOTE (PTrain @ Jul 31 2010, 11:43 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The loss of power steering should have nothing to do with your electrical problems since that whole system is mechanical. Check the power steering belt. I'm not sure what the other stuff is yet.

depends on the car. Some have electric power steering.

One thing you could try is checking coups you get in the mail. You might find one for a free inspection from a local mechanic. Or try googling and emailing some mechanics. I wouldn't be surprised if one of them said they'd look at it for $20-30, which might make it worth it for you. They'll charge an arm and a leg to fix it, but you'll at least know what the problem is.
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QUOTE (Virus52 @ Mar 3 2008, 09:44 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
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QUOTE (SN3S @ May 6 2008, 08:27 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
No sensuality; this is all for fitness.

#14
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QUOTE (PTrain @ Jul 31 2010, 11:43 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The loss of power steering should have nothing to do with your electrical problems since that whole system is mechanical. Check the power steering belt. I'm not sure what the other stuff is yet.

Did you have decreased engine power after all of this went down?

Left your windows down in the rain recently?

And for the hell of it check all your fuses, it could be a simple $2 fix.


The engine seemed fine, although I was going slow because the steering was extremely stiff.

Also yes rain had gone in a little bit earlier.

The belt seemed fine btw.


#15
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QUOTE (Nogert @ Aug 1 2010, 11:04 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The engine seemed fine, although I was going slow because the steering was extremely stiff.

Also yes rain had gone in a little bit earlier.

The belt seemed fine btw.

my power steering has been crap since I've owned my car. It's actually easier to steer if you go faster than slower. not safer. Easier.
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QUOTE (Virus52 @ Mar 3 2008, 09:44 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
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No sensuality; this is all for fitness.

#16
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QUOTE (way2lazy2care @ Aug 1 2010, 07:27 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
my power steering has been crap since I've owned my car. It's actually easier to steer if you go faster than slower. not safer. Easier.


Would make sense, seeing as how there's less traction on the tires the faster you go which would make it easier to turn them by yourself.

#17
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#18
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QUOTE (Dirge @ Aug 1 2010, 09:48 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Chuck Norris can jump start a car by plugging it into his nipples.

Chuck Norris doesn't need to jump start cars. They are started by the time he gets there.
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QUOTE (Virus52 @ Mar 3 2008, 09:44 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
ALL HAIL THE GREAT AND MIGHTY MOTH!

QUOTE (SN3S @ May 6 2008, 08:27 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
No sensuality; this is all for fitness.

#19
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QUOTE (TheNOOBIFIER @ Jul 31 2010, 02:24 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Retard..

Volts does not mean that it is making Amps.

You can have 14 Volts and Zero Amps which means ZERO POWER.


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#20
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QUOTE (TheNOOBIFIER @ Jul 31 2010, 02:24 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Retard..

Volts does not mean that it is making Amps.

You can have 14 Volts and Zero Amps which means ZERO POWER.



Not very nice to rail on people when you have no idead what YOU are talking about.


OP, if you test out the alternator, and it's chargning to 14.2 volts, the alternator is fine. You have 2 more things to look at afterwards. 1) Your battery. Take it to an auto parts store and have it load tested. They usually do this for free. 2) you could have a bad voltage regulator. It may or may not be part of the alternator, depending on your car. Chances are it is, but you may be able to swap it out without buying a new alt.


Btw, Noobifier, before you go cocking off, I'm an ASE certified Master Tech, MECP Certified Master Installer (car audio), I'm certified by numerous manufacturers, and I own my own shop specializing in European cars.




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