Darn power Source! Any Advice?
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This is a discussion on Darn power Source! Any Advice? within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Lately my car has been being very cruel to me whenever I wish to start. I have to jump start ...

  1. #1
    Registered User EtherealWRX's Avatar
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    Darn power Source! Any Advice?

    Lately my car has been being very cruel to me whenever I wish to start. I have to jump start my car now whenever I want to start the car. I look at the situation in three was. Either my battery is toast, my alternator is toast, or there is a short between my battery and my alternator. I can jump start my car drive it, but the battery wont hold power, so I have to jump start it over and over again.

    I have 72k miles on it and my car is only 3 years old. 3 years is a pretty young battery so unless something strange happened I would imagine that it isnt the battery. I don't even want to think that my alternator is friend cause it'll be so expensive to replace and lastly I do hope it's a short cause it'll be the easiest problem to fix.

    I have to jump start the car, the battery wont hold power OR my battery holds power, but a short between the battery and alternator is causing start up problems.
    Have a Greddy Evo 2 cat-back Exhaust system, willing to trade for: Greddy Ti, Apex'I N1, or Apex;I GT cat-backs. California only! PM if interested!

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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    OK, what comes up on the dash? Do you get a bunch of warning lights, a charge warning light, or what?

    Installed anything lately? Your area has no winter so you should not be losing voltage at startup regardless. Any radio stuff or gauges or anything?

    Check the belt tension first (unlikely but free and easy).

    With the car off CAREFULLY (did I mention BE CAREFUL) measure the voltage across the battery terminals with a voltmeter.

    Repeat with the car on.

    What are your readings?
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    Registered User EtherealWRX's Avatar
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    No recent modifications whatsoever, and I do not have any electronic additions to my car that would cause any problems in regards to tapping the battery for power. How do I check the belt tension? I am unexperience and not familiar with checking the voltage across on my battery.

    No warning lights whatsoever.

    Thanks in advance, i really appreciate it
    Last edited by EtherealWRX; 12-14-2004 at 03:02 PM.
    Have a Greddy Evo 2 cat-back Exhaust system, willing to trade for: Greddy Ti, Apex'I N1, or Apex;I GT cat-backs. California only! PM if interested!

  5. #4
    Moderator aussieinstlouis's Avatar
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    the stock Subaru battery is mediocre at best. That is not a bad life for one of them - it is probably just dead!

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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    I see. If there are no warning lights the system is most likely charging or at least thinks it's charging (even if it's not, let's assume for the sake of argument that it is, since I think checking out the cheap stuff first is a decent way to begin).

    Never touch two battery terminals at once. FYI the way to check voltage across the terminals is to get a voltmeter, set it at its DC setting that'll accomodate up to 20V DC, and touch each terminal on the battery with the corresponding probe from the meter (+ to +, - to -). Many dead batteries read 12V when the car is off, but when the car is on some fail to read something "normal" like 14V or so. To check the belt tension, with the car OFF see how much you can deflet the belt at its midpoint between two pulleys with your finger (again, car off!). A manual will tell you the right amount, but a decent guess to go by is that the belt should deflect no more than the value of its width. A slipping belt usually makes wild animal noises on startup or when it gets wet anyway, so that's not your problem either probably. In any case this is all just academic at this point, I'd recommend skipping all this if there's no warning lights on the dash.

    Do this instead:

    Check that the battery terminals are on tight and free from corrosion (white flaky stuff). Also check the electrolyte level in the cells (there are caps up top and the battery has warnings on how to do this, but it's also translucent so you can check the level from the front of the car by looking at the batter from the side). My guess is that the batter might be faulty; if you agree just drive to a local auto parts store and have them test the battery for you. This ought to be free and all you have to do is remove the battery and drag it into the store.
    WRX Info Links, Courtesy TheJ
    Man is a brute.... If you're cruel to him, he respects and fears you. If you're kind to him, he plucks your eyes out. Alexis Zorbas
    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
    DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are the author's alone and are inherently worthless.

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    Registered User EtherealWRX's Avatar
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    If the battery turns out to be alright, then I should safely assume there is something wrong wiht the alternator or there is the possibility of a short between my battery and alternator. Thanks
    Have a Greddy Evo 2 cat-back Exhaust system, willing to trade for: Greddy Ti, Apex'I N1, or Apex;I GT cat-backs. California only! PM if interested!

  8. #7
    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    If the battery is OK, it could be a cabling issue or an alternator issue. On a stock car in this mild climate it's more likely the battery failed due to heat, age, or something else like Aussieinstlouis says too.

    My guess is the alternator is fine (and this is also wishful thinking as the battery is simpler and cheaper to replace). No warning lights is promising for the alternator being OK.

    Disconnect the negative terminal first and put it aside so it doesn't get in the way, then the positive terminal and lift out the battery to take to be tested. Take care not to short anything. Installation is the reverse. Some places might actually do this for you, but if so don't let anyone press down on your hood to shut it as it might bend the aluminum.
    WRX Info Links, Courtesy TheJ
    Man is a brute.... If you're cruel to him, he respects and fears you. If you're kind to him, he plucks your eyes out. Alexis Zorbas
    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
    DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are the author's alone and are inherently worthless.

  9. #8
    Registered User Quack's Avatar
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    since you can jump it and run i say battery. if the alternator was going (or gone) it should die on him while he's driving.

    best thing is take it to a parts store and have them test it.

  10. #9
    Registered User EtherealWRX's Avatar
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    Thanks guys, your input is really appreciated. I will have the battery tested.
    Have a Greddy Evo 2 cat-back Exhaust system, willing to trade for: Greddy Ti, Apex'I N1, or Apex;I GT cat-backs. California only! PM if interested!

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