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Old 05-18-2008, 03:31 AM   #7
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 28953
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: San Mateo, CA
2003 WRX


So I bought the $5 hydrometer, and tested the acid/water. One of the six cells didn't even float the indicator, so I took that as bad cell.

Then I took it to a couple places and here are the different free test results:

battery is good, alternator is good.
battery is bad, alternator is good.
battery is good, alternator is bad.

wtf? I'm pretty sure the alternator is good because voltage is ok and even the shop that said the alt was bad said the diodes are ok (he insisted anything under 14v is bad). So I just decided to buy a new battery and keep an eye on it. If I have problems again in a couple weeks, I'll look to replace the alternator.... car has 120k on it so I can't complain too much about durability if that is the case. Thanks everyone for tips and explanations.
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