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car died while going down highway, any ideas?

Discussion in 'Truck & Equipment Repair' started by merrimacmill, Feb 18, 2008.

  1. merrimacmill

    merrimacmill PlowSite.com Addict
    from MA
    Messages: 1,822

    hey, a friend of mines car died while going down the highway. It just shut down and then would not start again. They had it towed back to their house and asked for my help. When you go to start it, it will just click. So I'm almost completely sure that its a bad alternator. Cause if it was a bad battery, the car would not have just died like that. But I just wanted to get a second opinion to confirm this before I head over there and pull the alternator off. I though about charging it and testing to see if it was charging at below 12 volts, but I don't have the time to wait for it to charge. Opinions?
  2. Flipper

    Flipper PlowSite.com Addict
    from CT
    Messages: 1,180

    Surely something in that giant tool box will give you the answer right?

    It would sound like an alternator. Modern EFI systems really start to shut down though around 9-10 volts which should still crank the motor over. Charge the battery up to see if it starts then you can test the charging system correctly. Check all the connections to the battery and alternator, check the belt etc. Just throwing an alternator into it without checking everything could be costly.
  3. merrimacmill

    merrimacmill PlowSite.com Addict
    from MA
    Messages: 1,822

    ya, the belt is pretty old, worn, and cracked. So I'll check for slippage on there as well. Thanks for the help. I'm heading over there now, so I'll post the results.
  4. Burkartsplow

    Burkartsplow PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,248

    alternator. happened to me in my frineds car. Driving down the highway and everything just started to shut down and made it back to her house and she was done for. New alternator and back on the road..ussmileyflag
  5. AbsoluteH&L

    AbsoluteH&L Senior Member
    Messages: 573

    It's a car leave it on the side of the road prsport and get a truck. Ha ha. Sounds like the alternator to me. My buddy just lost his a few weeks ago too. Exact same thing. I jumped it for him and he didn't get a 1/4 mile, died again. Towed to dealer (warranty) and got a new one installed.
  6. sechracer

    sechracer Senior Member
    Messages: 478

    Is it a newer car or older? If it was a bad alternator, it should have kicked the battery light on before it stalled. Plus it should have ran a little ways before the battery died, unless they had something to really draw on it like a stereo system with a amp......

    Odds are it is the alternator, but if the car died that fast, I would have the battery tested too, just to make sure that the hard discharge didnt fry it....
  7. merrimacmill

    merrimacmill PlowSite.com Addict
    from MA
    Messages: 1,822

    Well I went over to take a look at it and its definitally the alternator. So I went to take it off and its one of those situations where you have to pull apart the whole darn engine compartment just to get at the bolts to take off the alternator. (its a front wheel drive sebring) So in the interest of my time I just told her to call a garage and have them do it, I didn't feel like spending my whole day laying on the cold ground to fix it.