Battery, starter or alternator? [Archive] - Forum


View Full Version : Battery, starter or alternator?

09-12-2007, 04:22 PM
96 Grand Am 2.4, cranks very slow like battery is dead. Fires after third or fourth grunt. Charged battery for 3 hours today on heavy duty battery charger and it cranked over fine and started easy. I stopped for gas after driving 15 miles and it was back to the slow cranking. There are no codes, battery light does not come on, From this I am assuming the battery is shot. I have no idea how old the battery is, it was in there when I bought it.
What do you guys think on this? I have no money (no paycheck for a year) so I can't throw money at it until I hit the right thing.
Would a bad starter or alternator throw a code?
I searched the forum but could not find anything on this slow crank. If it has already been covered, I apologize.

09-12-2007, 04:25 PM
Go to auto zone, They will test you battery for free.

Sounds like Alt. It will just keep draining the batt. If you can take the alt out, and then get to Autozone, they will test your Alt for free to

09-12-2007, 04:30 PM
Voltage test with my instruments showed alternator was within spec, about 14 volt output sounds right to me. So alternator could be draining the battery?

09-12-2007, 04:34 PM
did you put you tester on the batt or the alt ?

09-12-2007, 04:42 PM
On battery, engine off- 12.5 Volts; on battery, engine running- 14 volts. Is there another place I should be taking this reading?

09-12-2007, 04:45 PM
Nope thats it.

09-12-2007, 04:50 PM
So you think it's the alternator?

09-12-2007, 04:52 PM
Its hard to say, I was thinking about my truck when I ended up replacing both. If at all possible the cheapest way is taking the Alt off, go to Autozone, they will put it through a real good test. If it passes, I'd think it would be the batt.

09-12-2007, 05:17 PM
Thanks for everything, I really appreciate it. I'll see what I can do tomorrow. I am half afraid to pull the Alternator and let the car sit in this town, they have a"junk" car ordinance that is very strict. You can't even change your oil at home (the car is not driveable with no oil) so they have authority to tow it.

09-12-2007, 05:19 PM
Ya no problem, take it out, and close the hood, no one will know. :)

09-12-2007, 05:21 PM
Except for stupid nosy neighbor.

09-12-2007, 05:52 PM
ever check what shape your battery connection is in? like is there a bunch of crap on the terminals?

09-12-2007, 05:55 PM
Terminal connections were all cleaned, 3 ends each cable when I bought it 3 months ago.

09-12-2007, 08:11 PM
Except for stupid nosy neighbor.

Well just cuz you don't have your alternator on don't mean you can't start the car...granted I wouldn't do it more than once cuz it'll kill your batt in no time (not to mention with no belt on the water pump and power steering won't work either)...but still...its not junk if you can move it right?

09-12-2007, 08:46 PM
You are right, Lone Wolf- I was thinking if I took both battery and Alternator out to have them checked, then the car would be considered junk. With this ordinance, if you have a flat tire, your car is junk and subject to towing. If they question your car, you must be able to start it and drive it legally at their demand.

09-12-2007, 08:49 PM
Yea I see your point. If you were really worried about it I'd swing by a shop that you have some good rapor with and ask them if they have time for a charging system test. That way they can test both the batt and alternator while still in the car. Come to think of it does autozone even REQUIRE the batt or alt be out of the car to test?

09-13-2007, 10:56 AM
now a days the device can check all electrical components and no disassemble is required. can be done on car

09-13-2007, 12:13 PM
Update: Took battery around this morning for testing, tested good at three places. Double checked all battery cable connections and output of alternator. Still sluggish starter. Took car to local shop that would give estimate over the phone, tested starter and it apparently has shorted windings. Having starter replaced today. Thanks for all the input and ideas! Thanks All!

Just brought car home. Starts better now than it has since I bought it. Now to get another 230,000 out of it.