Try an auto parts store, sometimes they will check your alternator and battery for free.
The alternator is probably over-charging the battery. Replace the alternator if the voltage at the battery terminals is over 15V when the engine is running.
form_title=Replace Car Alternator form_header=If you're having trouble with the alternator, you might notice problems starting the car or charging the battery. How old is the battery?=_ Has the car been making weird noises when you try to start it?= () Yes () No Is there a brand or aftermarket alternator you would prefer to buy for your car?= () Yes () No
Insufficient voltage from the alternator would be typical. If you have a DMM or voltage meter, test the alternator. You should be looking at between 13.6 - 14.6 volts from the alternator... if you're getting less than that, your alternator's on its way out, and needs to be rebuilt or replaced. In a nutshell, your alternator isn't sufficiently recharging your battery, and running your car is draining the battery. It'll continue to run until the battery goes dead. In a newer car, you'll notice nonessential systems start to shut off (e.g., radio, power windows and seats, etc.) as the LVD (low voltage disconnect) kicks in for the sake of maximizing battery life to run essential systems. This is something you really don't want to wait on. If you don't have the aforementioned tools, any auto parts store (NAPA, Advanced, O'Reilly, Auto Zone, et. al) will have the equipment to test your alternator, and can also help you with removal and installation.
Did you notice the lights dimming and loss of power before it died?, if you did, it might be an alternator problem, or a loose or corroded battery terminal, or the battery itself., Check the voltage on the dash board, with the the key on, if its under 12v, the battery charge is low,remove and clean the battery terminals, give it a boost, if it starts and dies as soon as you remove the jumper cable, it´s definitely the alternator.
When an alternator goes bad on any vehicle, it drains the battery of power. If lights are on, it will drain even faster and you will notice the lights go dim until eventually the car dies. You can not drive long without a properly functioning alternator. It is though, a standard replaceable part much like water pumps, tuneup items etc.
Assuming that you are only seeing the battery light when the engine is turned off, and that you notice the battery light does not come on during the normal starting procedure with the car. You will want to check your alternator plugs. Following the plugs out of your alternator, you should locate another connection plug, although it may be covered over with plastic. These are known for corrosion, and using electrical contact cleaner is useful in saving it if you do not wish to buy a replacement part. Hope that this solves your dilemma. Rocky_B - See my entry here for more things you might want to check: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_could_be_wrong_if_the_battery_light_stays_on_and_the_battery_still_runs_down_on_a_1996_windstar_after_installing_a_new_battery_and_alternator
First, get a volt meter. Test the voltage of the battery before starting the car, then start it and see if the voltage increased. You should see a jump of about 3-4 volts. Alternatively, if the car has a manual transmission, you could tow the car in gear (very slowly, about ten MPH in first) with the engine off and the battery removed and test to see if the alternator is generating power. Without the battery it should only make about one or two volts, but you will be able to notice it on a voltmeter.
It doesn't. The alternator is driven by a belt that goes around a pulley on the engine. The alternator makes electric by using the engines power. Maybe what you notice is fuel pump or blower fan.
That is a curious problem and I'm not sure I know the answer, but here's a guess.I think the issue is with your alternator. If it's on the verge of failure, it will have a difficult time maintaining a charge. However, it's not weak enough to notice alone. When you kick your A/C compressor on, it's consuming load from the engine and taking away from the power the alternator is able to draw. This may be exposing the weakness of the alternator and not allowing it to do it's job. If true, you would be operating on battery power (as if you had no alternator at all), which would cause the engine to shut down after a few minutes, after the battery was drained.Again, just a guess on my part. If you're having to charge the battery everytime this is happening, I think my guess would probably have more validity. If not, then I may be wrong. Good luck!
Very possibly. If the alternator is locked up (shot) it will burn the belt off of it in seconds. If the alternator has no belt on it chances are this is why. I hope this helps you. Mark
There are a few reasons why a car battery might not hold a charge. One is that the battery has gone bad, and needs to be replaced. If you have any basic skills, you can buy a car battery at an auto supply store, and install it yourself (being careful to get the positive and negative wires hooked up correctly). Second is that the wires leading from the Alternator to the battery or the battery posts and clamps could be corroded, and not making good electrical contact. If you notice corrosion, you can remove the clamps, clean them and the posts with a wire brush and wipe clean with a dry cloth, then replace them. If the battery is dead, it might require a charge from a charging device, or a boost from jumper cables to another vehicle to get the car started. Then you can let the car run and see if the battery holds the charge after that. The third reason, and most likely is that the Alternator is bad, and is not sending a charge to the battery. You can have a mechanic at a reputable auto repair shop or dealership test the alternator, and if it is bad, you can usually buy a new alternator, or a rebuilt one at a lower price. [Also: if your car is not starting, be sure it is because of the battery. It could be that the starter or starter solenoid has gone bad. Other electrical or fuel problems might be the cause as well.]
An alternator has fast moving parts surrounded by air, so it will make a noise in operation, in much the same way a desk fan makes a noise. (The fan blades spinning in air.)Under heavy load (battery fully flat) this noise often becomes very slightly louder, due to increased tension in the drive belt causing increased loading on the bearings and the belt, but it would not normally be enough to notice unless tryingto notice it.If the noise is very noticeable it is probably because one of the items the belt runs on has a bearing in the early stages of failure.