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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi. My 88 legend die out on me last night, before it died the headlights and all the lights inside started to get real dimm, the abs light came on, then the oil light came on followed by the check engine light, the car was barley moving i couldn't go faster than like 20-30, and when i stopped at the left turn lane it died on me, the hazard lights wouldn't even come on, everything was just dead. I pulled the battery out today and took it to the mech that replaced it and the alt about 14 months ago, and he was able to charge the battery back up, i put it back in the car and it started and everything seems to be fine right now. What I would like to know is why the battery drained like that after only 14 months, and if the battery will just get drained again and I'll be assed out in the middle of the street again. Do you guys know what might be happening? I just don't want it to die on me on the freeway. Any help would be cool. Thanks!!
 

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When you have a charging system failure it can be one or more of three things (alternator, battery, cables). Sounds like your alternator or cables to me...a car will run fine for a while on a fresh battery if the alternator is dead, but it will soon drain the battery and die because the alternatr is not putting out enough power to run the car. It'll drain till the point where you get a low power situation (dimming headlights, low RPMs). Granted somebody could say that your battery is not holding a charge, but that shouldn't matter once the car is going if you have a good alternator as the alternator should provide enough power to run the motor and hedadlights...etc.

First thing you should do is have the alternator tested to see if it is putting out enough power. It's a pretty easy test for any mechanic, but you can do it yourself if you have a multimeter or if you feel like removing the alternator and taking it to a major autoparts store where the will test it for free. Chances are you're in for a new alternator or a rebuild of you current one. Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi. Thanks for the replys guys, I'm going to have my alt checked out tommorow, gonna suck if its it.

The battery light does not remain on once the engine is running, whats the next step blacklegendcoupe89?

Thanks!!
 

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If the battery light lits up when you turn the key in the ignition (to make sure the bulb is fine), but goes off once the engine is running, then that means that the alternator is actually working. It may not however, be generating enough power to charge the battery. The next step would be to use a multimeter/tester to check the voltage at the battery terminals. You should get at least 12V with the engine off, and at least 14V with the engine on. If you get these (or better/higher) values when testing, then the alternator is fine and either your battery is not being able to hold charge or you might have a short circuit somewhere. If on the other hand you get lower voltage values (particulary when testing with the engine on) then the alternator is most probably the problem.
 

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Actually, if your testing shows the battery is receiving more than 14 volts from the alternator, that could be a problem too. Too much charge will overheat and eventually kill the battery, too. Overcharging could mean bad electronics in the alternator.
 

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i think my problem is similar. when i am idling, my lights get pretty dim, and sometimes me idle surges, it never dies, but it surges like it wants to die. i have a full tank of gas,a nd it still does that. when i rev the engine though, all is fine, thus i believe the alt is fine, but the battery might be getting low, although it is a new battery. i think my real problem is my 1000 w amp in the trunk, but even with the radio off, it does it sometimes. any ideas? its a brand new battery.
 

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It's your 1000watt amp in the trunk that's at the root of the problem. No way the OEM alternator and battery can keep up with that level of drain ..even if it not always continuous. Check the audio forum for info.
 

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digger89L said:
It's your 1000watt amp in the trunk that's at the root of the problem. No way the OEM alternator and battery can keep up with that level of drain ..even if it not always continuous. Check the audio forum for info.
bingo, i just got a new optima yellow top because my system killed my old battery. the old battery was only like 16 months old too.. big amps kill wimpy batteries
 

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Digger,
You are absolutely right (I was not very clear), in my post, by "higher voltage" I meant just slightly higher (not reaching 15V). As you said, an excesive high voltage is actually dangerous since it can ruin the batter, and also damage the electrical / blow fuses.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the responses guys. It was a bad alternator, but also there was a short coming from my left front speaker, but i fix that as well. Thanks for the info. Late!!!
 
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