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Old 02-02-2011, 11:44 AM   #1
downtown
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Default Electrical problem ??!! 2002 2.5TS

Well here goes : When the car was running- the dash lights
seemed dimmer but no warning lights. Then, while driving all
electrical 'stuff' got slow, then the abs light came on, and the
tach and speedo stopped reading. Thinking my alt belt was gone
I drove until I felt I had to stop. Wouldn't restart. Waited for the wife
to come get me. Decided to get it off the road better than I had
and it started with all things working. Made it 12 kms. Happened again.
The battery is a few months old tests at 12v( 14.8 with car running)
I took it to Gemini Motors in Kitchener,ON. They said my battery wouldn't
hold a charge and that was the problem. I was stranded this morning.
They'll get another chance, but I could use some insight .
Help ??
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Old 02-02-2011, 11:57 AM   #2
Samirr76
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: Fl33tw00d, PA
Vehicle:
2003 Baja 5MT
Yellow w/ 220,000 miles

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Once the vehicle is running, it no longer depends on the battery to run. The battery will serve as a backup if something like the alternator fails. A bad battery would not explain why your vehicle is dying while driving. Did they test the alternator?
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Old 02-02-2011, 12:11 PM   #3
renyo
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Even if the alt belt breaks, the speedo and tach will keep working as long as the car has power (which if the engine is still running, it does).
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Old 02-02-2011, 12:14 PM   #4
downtown
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Default

Yes. After they replaced my 4 month old battery. Both are good, they say.
They are looking into 'the problem' today. I am hoping for an edge on info.
I explained the problem, they said it was fixed by replacing the battery.
I say the problem caused the battery to die.
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Old 02-02-2011, 12:19 PM   #5
Samirr76
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Location: Fl33tw00d, PA
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2003 Baja 5MT
Yellow w/ 220,000 miles

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How many miles are on it? Do you notice any unusual corrosion on any of the wiring and contacts for the battery, alternator, fusebox, etc?
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Old 02-02-2011, 12:20 PM   #6
yarrgh
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Location: Aurora, CO
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2001 2.5RS
Black Diamond Pearl

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This probably belongs in electrical...

The battery is not just for starting, it also helps "cushion", or damp the voltage from the alternator. It sounds like he got nervous and shut the car off, it didn't die. OP, is that correct? That means what the repair shop told him is correct. Also, once a car battery is drained, it has a harder time holding a charge (depends on depth of discharge and length of time it was in that state, but you get the idea).

Maybe there's a loose wire somewhere and during the drive, the alternator was only semi-running the car, which killed the battery.
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Old 02-02-2011, 12:28 PM   #7
Samirr76
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Yellow w/ 220,000 miles

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yarrgh is correct.
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Old 02-02-2011, 12:41 PM   #8
downtown
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Default

The OP didn't type the problem out well. He doesn't type much.
Thanks, but .... the car was dying, I got it off the main road and it stopped running.
Yes, it started again because of the 'rebound' of the battery charge. This dying
of the engine has happened a few times. I have condensed the issue for the forum.
Start with the battery , work outward , I get it. Now, my battery light did not come on
through any of the incidents. The light that came on was the ABS light. As the
tach and speedo stopped reading. Car still running but electrical things weakening.
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Old 02-02-2011, 12:46 PM   #9
downtown
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Default

Thanks Samirr76, insightfull. I put a multimeter on the battery terminals and got
12 volts with the car off. Then I started it and got 14.8. Then, after a while
the car works again. This recurs, each time the car runs for a shorter period, then
dimm lights , abs light , no tach, rough idle cough, cough. Op doesn't let it stop
itself, but rather, turns the key himself.
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Old 02-02-2011, 12:49 PM   #10
downtown
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The repair shop said they fixed it yesterday and this morning I'm stuck in a snow storm
with no power to my symetrical all-wheel drive. Same symptoms/ problem/ description.
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Old 02-02-2011, 01:08 PM   #11
ibanez24_7
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Id call the garage that said they fixed it and tell the mto come get your ass. So as your driving everything will be normal then all of a sudden your dash lights go dim and warning lights all pop on at the same time then the car eventually dies? Could have a bad or loose ground wire.
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Old 02-02-2011, 01:35 PM   #12
downtown
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Default

Thanks group. I suspected the loose wire, bad ground from the point I
figured out that I had 12v/14.8. Thought that some collected history could help.
I will hold off on unloading on anyone, as it only inspires others to respond
in kind. I am hopeful they find the issue, that it doesn't cost much, and that
I am not stranded again, with the same problem. Loose /broken wire on the alt makes the most sense but alas, the same repair shop (Subaru dealer) fixed that a month ago.
Huh? They redid my alt as an early Christmas present to myself.
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Old 02-02-2011, 09:47 PM   #13
davewilson
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Once you get the car back, start the car and while it is running disconnect the negative battery terminal. If the car dies immediately it means your alternator is not providing power to the car. The warning lights, combined with the lost speedo and tach readings then eventually chugging to a stop (as the fuel system doesn't have enough power to maintain pressure) has all signs pointing to alternator for me.
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Old 02-02-2011, 11:37 PM   #14
yarrgh
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Black Diamond Pearl

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Quote:
Originally Posted by davewilson View Post
Once you get the car back, start the car and while it is running disconnect the negative battery terminal. If the car dies immediately it means your alternator is not providing power to the car. The warning lights, combined with the lost speedo and tach readings then eventually chugging to a stop (as the fuel system doesn't have enough power to maintain pressure) has all signs pointing to alternator for me.
Do your research before this, modern computer controlled engines may not like it too much. Plus, he's already said that it's at 14.8V at idle, that means the alternator is working.
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