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Alternator/electrical issues?

1548 Views 9 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Chris6
I have sitting my car because of college, so this weekend i started her up no problem but soon realized that it runs like crap. Random lights go on when i brake (rear+batt charge). Oh and my gauge lights dim. Then i got home and 2 hours later i tried starting her up and it didn't. It just sounded like my starter was turning or something slow at first then if held it would pick up. I got it jumped to another car and it started up after 2 minutes.

I went out in my friends car for about 4 hours and got right in an started my car and it was money.

My battery looks like crap but it could be causing any problems when i am driving?
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alternator is dead. (or disconnected)

check the belt for it too.
i thought so, i did put in a new battery. It was a 50 month battery that lasted well over 100. everything seems to be back to normal.

Can an alternator just not charge as well? Or would it just be dead?
Could just be because the car sat for so long that the battery lost charge.

Even with a car parked there is usually a small current draw from things like immobilisers.
When parking your car for a long time it is best to disconnect the battery, clean the terminals and put some electrical contact grease on them.

You might have gotten away with just putting it on a battery charger for a day but it sound like it was getting old anyway.
i now realize some of it had to do with the battery. but just the random lights going on and off and poor overall performance threw me off.
REAR and CHARGE lights are not a random combination; they will usually come on together. This is because, CHARGE light means alternator is not putting out any voltage (i.e. you're running completely off the battery). REAR light means there is not the expected amount of power (voltage/current) going back to the taillights. When both lights are on, they are both indicating that your alternator is not currently workin.

I agree that alt is on the way out. My old 1G would once in a while start up with those two lights on, then the alt would finally kick in. Eventually it got bad enough to where the alternator failed altogether.
Good info, crappy thread title. Changing to "Alternator/electrical issues?" for better search functionality.

on 4ws cars it will also trigger the 4ws light way before the rear/alt light. thought id throw that in for searchers.
For some reason the first generation cars seem to be sensitive to sitting for even short periods of time. They often don't start and usually run rough and make alot of noise until they have been driven awhile and then they seem to come back to life.
Thanks all for the info, it does seem to be true about the 1st gen sitting. I drove my car around all that weekend and seemed to be fine.
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