Car question

Discussion in 'The Thunderdome' started by WM, Dec 13, 2011.

  1. WM

    WM Active Member

    My knowledge of car repair and diagnosis is quite lacking. With that being said, my gf's car was becoming hard to start last Friday to the point where the radio shut off and then the motor went dead to where it wouldn't crank at all.
    I assumed it was the battery. Took it to Auto Zone, got a new battery and it cranked right up.
    Fast forward to tonight, i drove it to work and i noticed that it seemed to barely start, had me worried. Stop at the grocery store and get out and crank it back up and it barely turned over. This is when shit gets weird. Radio goes out, headlights get dim, random warning lights start blinking on and off. The gauge sticks on the dashboard start frantically going up and down, i turn on my blinker and my [uck fay]ing windshield wipers come on. I was sure this was the start of an alien abduction. Somehow make it home and shut the car off. The headlights and brake lights stay on and start to blink on and off like some possessed car. I tried to start it again, nothing.

    I'm assuming this is an alternator issue? Or is this something more serious? It's [uck fay]ing cold and staring at my motor isn't seeming to fix the issue.My gf has to be at work at 7, granted she can take my truck but i need to start figuring this shit out.. Thanks in advance..
  2. fl0at_

    fl0at_ Humorless, asinine, joyless pr*ck

    Alternator recharges the battery. If your gauges are dicked, it won't be much help, but turn the ignition to "On" (not start, just on) and read the battery level. Anything below, 12, maybe 14? Hell, I can't remember, and it might be an alternator issue.

    How old is the car? What make/model?
  3. WM

    WM Active Member

    It's a 02 Mitz Galant. Haven't had many problems with it since she bought it in 07. I will add the belts are making a high pitched sqeaking noise which one of my friends said was from the cold, which started when the temps started dipping below freezing. This is a Florida car.
  4. fl0at_

    fl0at_ Humorless, asinine, joyless pr*ck

    When you took it up to AutoZone, did you just buy a new battery or did you have them run a diagnostic on it?
  5. WM

    WM Active Member

    They did. He said it wasn't even registering and it would take 45 minutes on the machine to know for sure. Didnt feel like waiting so went ahead and bought a new one. Was three years old and assumed with all the harsh elements and cold cranking that it was simply a bad battery. Obviously I could have been mistaken.
  6. fl0at_

    fl0at_ Humorless, asinine, joyless pr*ck

    Meh, bad alternator will ruin a battery, so probably not a bad idea to just get a new one. Could always take the battery out of your car, pop it in hers, see if it starts normally, and put her battery in your car, and see if it doesn't.

    If the alternator isn't recharging the battery, when you swap it out, the battery will read low on your car too.

    Also, make sure the wires didn't come lose and are touching, and make sure you don't cross them up too.
  7. Tenacious D

    Tenacious D The law is of supreme importance, or no importance

    Agree with Float.

    Sounds like classic alternator problem.
  8. hallowed_hill

    hallowed_hill Active Member

    You couldn't hear a dump truck driving through a nitroglycerin plant.

    Seriously, though, I've had similar demons with one of my cars, and I have a hard time diagnosing battery/starter/alternator kind of issues. I'm inept at car repairs and usually have to leave it to the experts.
  9. NYY

    NYY Super Moderator

    Sounds to me it's an alternator issue. Could be either the alternator is going kaput, or a belt issue preventing it from working properly.

    You can try removing the positive cable while trying to get it running. If after removal the car dies, it's almost certainly a shoddy alternator.
  10. volfanjo

    volfanjo Chieftain

    One other consideration as someone who has owned 4 different Mitsubishi cars.

    There is a short or wiring problem somewhere that is draining your battery. Mitsubishis have fairly reliable motors, but around 127-130,000 miles the electric and computer components go to the dogs. This happened to my car on two occasions.

    Once again, it may be a simple alternator issue, but it is also something that has plagued Mitsu products ever since I have owned them.
  11. BearCat204

    BearCat204 Chieftain

    This will give you a 100% indication that it is indeed the alternator. Jump it off and remove the battery cables and if it dies, it is 100000% the alternator.
  12. WM

    WM Active Member

    Thanks for the tips guys. Jump started it and removed the cables. It's an alternator issue for sure.
  13. BearCat204

    BearCat204 Chieftain

    Depending on what model you have, alternators can be pricey.........I have pulled one off of a car in a salvage yard before though, not sure if they are all over up there like they are in Philly, but it might save you 50-150 bucks if you could find one.
  14. WM

    WM Active Member

    Priced one on an online discount auto part site for 76 bucks. Considering that's cheaper than my battery I can't complain.
  15. Might as well replace the serpentine belt while you have the alternator off.
  16. MacReady

    MacReady New Member

    low on muffler fluid
  17. volinbham

    volinbham Member

    Alternator sounds bad as you found out. The other issues sound like you are low on blinker fluid

    Blinker Fluid [BF-01] - $8.99 : KaleCoAuto, Hard to find automotive items!

    you might also need this engine oil bypass kit

    Engine Oil Bypass Kit - $49.95 : KaleCoAuto, Hard to find automotive items!

  18. WM

    WM Active Member

    Dammit, they are sold out.
  19. justingroves

    justingroves supermod

    This is true WM.

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