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Old 12-31-2012, 08:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Car died...bad alternator?

Driving home this evening my Stealth seemed to start running out of power. Increasingly sluggish until I stopped at a light and noticed my dashboard lights and headlights were dimming out. Wipers were crawling across the windsheild. I managed to get it within a couple of blocks of home when it just stopped. I turned the key but it wouldn't turn over. Flipped on the hazard lights which came on fine. A couple of good samaritans stopped to help me push it off the street and one said it seemed like a bad alternator...

At first I was thinking "battery" but it's less than six months old and also, once the car had stopped running all the lights were fine. I'm not especially familiar with car electrics but I am wondering if not the alternator...what else?

Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 12-31-2012, 09:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Car died...bad alternator?

Did you still have power steering?
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Old 12-31-2012, 09:41 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Car died...bad alternator?

Yes, until it all shut down.
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Old 01-01-2013, 01:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Car died...bad alternator?

Alternator. BUT charge the battery for testing. Either or both could die at the same time.

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Old 01-01-2013, 02:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Car died...bad alternator?

I didn't get the chance to check under the hood, last night. It was dark and raining and I didn't have a flashlight. The serpentine belt was changed out less than a year ago and the battery is less than six months old. But, of course, that doesn't really mean anything...I've had new batteries (in other cars) that proved faulty within weeks. In any case, when I bought the car, five years ago, a mechanic told me that he thought the alternator pulley needed to be replaced but aside from some intermittent light chirping it's appeared to be functioning OK...

My fiancee and I are about to go and check on the Stealth and aside from checking the belts we'll see if we can't get it started. It's only a couple of blocks away but I'd rather get it off the street and in the driveway before seeing about getting it towed somewhere to get checked out.
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Old 01-01-2013, 04:38 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Car died...bad alternator?

OK, so, how's this for a follow up...?

We drive over to check on the Stealth and...it's gone! OK, so we live in the "burbs" and my first thought is not STOLEN, but that it was towed. We drive up and down the street and there are no signs, lines or any other indication of No Parking or Your Car Will Be Towed... Either way I had to call the police who informed me that yes, it had been towed and they gave me the wrecker's number. I called them and was informed that yes, indeed, they had my Stealth but there'd be no one there, until tomorrow morning, who I could deal with...

It sounds like my car's been kidnapped...so what'll the ransom be?
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Old 01-02-2013, 12:50 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Car died...bad alternator?

when you get it back take both the battery and alt to advance auto and they will bench test both of them
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Old 01-02-2013, 03:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Car died...bad alternator?

Ransom is usually ~$200. Storage may make it even higher. Make sure there isnt any police hold. Sometimes they neglect to tell you that until you show up at the counter.

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Old 01-05-2013, 12:13 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Car died...bad alternator?

OK, the outcome of it all:

The wrecker charged me $190 for towing and storage. No police hold or charge. A mechanic friend of mine picked it up and towed it to his shop where it turned out to be...a bad alternator which he swapped out for $150 (parts and labour).

Back on the road...
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Old 01-05-2013, 08:31 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Car died...bad alternator?

It got towed after only 1 night? I see cars sit on the roads around here for days and they do not get messed with.
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