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10/20/2017 1:01:18 AM
9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 8/3/2005 6:58:03 PM EDT
The vehicle: 93 Lexus GS300


Last Saturday:

Wife started car, it sounded like the battery was dying, only thing is, I replaced it a month ago. We went on to the store, when we were done with our shopping, it turned slowly but failed to start.

We had someone jump us off and it started just fine, so the starter is good.

The batt is only a month old, so its not a bad battery i think.

So my dumbass deduces that it is the altrenator and procede to buy and replace the altrenator myself on Sunday. The problem is seemingly cured as the battery charges right up and the car can once again start on its own.

problem
today, wednesday, it is again having a hard time cranking, looks like I wasted $140 on the altrenator,

what do you guys think might be the problem? keep in mind, we are poor college folk and need the car and cant spend a lot of money, thanks for your help.

Link Posted: 8/3/2005 7:00:08 PM EDT
Battery cable?
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 7:01:33 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/3/2005 7:03:40 PM EDT by Freakzilla]
yeah, that crossed my mind

could it be anything else?
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 7:03:00 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 7:05:15 PM EDT
Before you do anything you need to do a load test on the battery and a test on alt output. You also might have a drain somewhere, a light being left on,[under hood?] or a intermittant short. A going bad starter can also exibit some of these signs.
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 7:06:49 PM EDT
thank you for your help, keep 'em coming
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 7:10:13 PM EDT
Test that battery! New ones can be bad.
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 7:10:17 PM EDT
I had a problem like that once, bad brake switch left the brake lights on and the battery would die.
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 7:12:36 PM EDT
Have the battery load tested at a local Autozone or Advanced auto parts. My first thoughts where either a starter going or too much resistance in your battery cables causeing the starter to drag. One way to check and you wont get shocked doing it. Grab each battery cable in your hand, holding onto the insulation. Have wife crank the car and see if and how fast the cables heat up. if the heat up rapidly there is likely corrosion inside the cables causeing too much resistance for the current to get to the starter.

Starter motors also exhibit this same behavior. When the windings in them begin to go bad they tend to draw more power to turn over. Autozone has a tester called an ARBST tester which with a trained employeee can test the Altornator, regulator, starter and battery. Ask them to do a starter test and they can determin the amp draw of the starter. If its outa spec, replace it.
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 7:18:40 PM EDT
thank you viper, damn good advice.

the only probem is the local autozone might as well be ran by monkeys
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 8:16:29 PM EDT
If you used an aftermarket alternator, don't be

surprised if it goes bad again and again. I've

had them last miles or years. Luck of the draw.
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 8:21:04 PM EDT
bad battery.
if you don't like autozone try about any big chain.they can test it.
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 8:22:12 PM EDT
Your battery was bad. Why you changed the alternator is beyond me. Always start with the cheapest part and eliminate from there.

Get her an Optima red top battery and forget about it for about 10 years. They can be found pretty much at any auto parts store for around $100. Worth every penny.

Mine is going on 6 years. Been drained and recharged about a dozen times. Try that with a normal battery.

HS1

Link Posted: 8/3/2005 8:22:44 PM EDT
Is your voltage regulator built into the alternator, or mounted seperately - if it is faulty, it could be dumping the juice from the alternator before it ever gets to the battery.
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 8:25:06 PM EDT




HS1
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 8:28:34 PM EDT
check the condition of your battery cables. If they are not grounding out, then your battery is toast.
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 8:30:32 PM EDT
bad ground... that will be $149.99. Thank you for youe business.
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 8:32:44 PM EDT
Do you have the factory radio or did you install an aftermarket radio, or speakers? Has the outside temp been very hot the past couple of days? Anything out of the norm. that has just started besides the problem?

An example would be: it became summer and I started runnning the A/C.
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 9:13:08 PM EDT
The voltage regulator should always be replaced at the time the alternator is replaced if it is not one unit.

Next time it is low, take a tool and lightly tap the battery connections, then crank it again. If it makes a difference, you have found the problem.

Inspect the battery cables and flex them around a little bit. Sometimes the corrosion can progress under the insulation where it is hidden.
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 9:24:37 PM EDT

Originally Posted By blackta6:
Do you have the factory radio or did you install an aftermarket radio, or speakers? Has the outside temp been very hot the past couple of days? Anything out of the norm. that has just started besides the problem?

An example would be: it became summer and I started runnning the A/C.



everything is factory

so, where is the ground usually located, on the frame somewhere?

thanks and sorry for being so green
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 9:26:02 PM EDT
Optimas go bad too... the one in my wrangler lasted less than a year. Optima says it cant be their battery....and denies warranty claim.............

Check and see if the lexus has a seprate voltage regulator -- it may be overcharging the battery and cooking it. Or the battery was bad due to an alternator problem or age, you changed the battery and still had the alternator problem in the meantime it damaged te new battery and you swaped out the alternator but by now the new battery was having issues -- have it and the alternator/charging system load tested to see if something is still faullty.
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 9:28:27 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Freakzilla: so, where is the ground usually located, on the frame somewhere? thanks and sorry for being so green


Follow the negative (-) cable on the battery to where ever it goes. Is there any visible corrosion on the cables at the battery?
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 9:33:04 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Freakzilla:

Originally Posted By blackta6:
Do you have the factory radio or did you install an aftermarket radio, or speakers? Has the outside temp been very hot the past couple of days? Anything out of the norm. that has just started besides the problem?

An example would be: it became summer and I started runnning the A/C.



everything is factory

so, where is the ground usually located, on the frame somewhere?

thanks and sorry for being so green

The ground they are talking sbout is your ground cable. They could be suspect. Did you replace the belt that operates your alternator? Even if it looks good, You should still replace it when you replace your alternator.
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 9:40:39 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/3/2005 9:40:56 PM EDT by Defcon]
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 10:19:07 PM EDT
Back in 1998, I picked up a mint 92 Ford Escort for $300. It had 60k on it and was like new, the fabled "grandma owned and only driver twice a week" deal. I had it for a couple months, and started having the same issue you are. Battery went dead. Jumped it, it was fine. Next day, dead. Replaced battery. Started fine. A couple days later, dead. Alternator was fine. Cables fine. I gave up and sold it to my brother in law.................who after a couple WEEKS of searching, found that the little switch in the glove box door that turns the glove box lamp on when the door opens was stuck! The glovebox light was on continuously! He replaced it and hasn't had a problem since!
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 10:38:47 PM EDT

Originally Posted By TheKill:
Back in 1998, I picked up a mint 92 Ford Escort for $300. It had 60k on it and was like new, the fabled "grandma owned and only driver twice a week" deal. I had it for a couple months, and started having the same issue you are. Battery went dead. Jumped it, it was fine. Next day, dead. Replaced battery. Started fine. A couple days later, dead. Alternator was fine. Cables fine. I gave up and sold it to my brother in law.................who after a couple WEEKS of searching, found that the little switch in the glove box door that turns the glove box lamp on when the door opens was stuck! The glovebox light was on continuously! He replaced it and hasn't had a problem since!



The exact same thing happen to me. I got a 91 Chevy S10 with only 68k miles for a fantastic price. (Free is pretty fantastic, right? ) I went to leave the house one morning and it was dead as hell. I charged it up and it started fine. When I got home that night, I noticed the glove box light was on. Removed the bulb and haven't had anymore problems.



Vulcan94



(My Dad gave it to me. I got a really Cool Dad. )
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 11:33:42 PM EDT
When an alternator goes bad, the headlites will be dim when driving at night.

To test whether the starting sys or the battery is bad, turn on the headlites and hit the starter.

Lights go dim => Bad battery
Stay bright => Starting circuit/motor problem.

A car that old probably has a bad connection in the cables. Just crimp everyone of the sombitches connectors with a vise grip where it crimps/connects to the cable. I've seen simple connector problems keep good mechanics busy for days....

A thin film of metallic salts (corrosion) will totally stop electicity. Use a coffee can with baking soda/water to soak it off it you see ANY.
Link Posted: 8/4/2005 2:30:35 AM EDT
It is time to diagnose, not throw parts.

Have you got a good digital voltage/ohm/ammeter?

You need to check for parasitic draw. We can also check your battery cables/terminals in short order by doing a voltage drop while cranking.

If this means nothing to you, IM me and I'll tell you how to do it.

As far as "you always need to replace this with this", those fellows wouldn't last 20 minutes trying to fix cars for a living. That's what gives the whole industry a bad name.

Link Posted: 8/4/2005 5:49:26 AM EDT
load test battery
verify alt output
check and identify parasitic drain.

see a pattern with a few posters here.
Link Posted: 8/4/2005 5:49:46 AM EDT
this should be in the cars section
Link Posted: 8/4/2005 6:16:30 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TheKill:
Back in 1998, I picked up a mint 92 Ford Escort for $300. It had 60k on it and was like new, the fabled "grandma owned and only driver twice a week" deal. I had it for a couple months, and started having the same issue you are. Battery went dead. Jumped it, it was fine. Next day, dead. Replaced battery. Started fine. A couple days later, dead. Alternator was fine. Cables fine. I gave up and sold it to my brother in law.................who after a couple WEEKS of searching, found that the little switch in the glove box door that turns the glove box lamp on when the door opens was stuck! The glovebox light was on continuously! He replaced it and hasn't had a problem since!



yeah battery drain can happen too, but shouldn't take a couple weeks searching, put on a voltmeter to read the current draw on the battery and remove fuses one by one, replacing them each time before removing the next one, until the current stops flowing, then bingo? there's a short or something in circuit that that fuse protects. There'll always be some current drain for the clock and maybe radio though
Link Posted: 8/4/2005 6:16:39 AM EDT

Originally Posted By bfarrin1:
It is time to diagnose, not throw parts.

Have you got a good digital voltage/ohm/ammeter?





BINGO!

Never try to fix an elect problem without first checking it out with a meter. If you just want to spend some money on it, just send the bux to me. The car will be just as fixed as it would by bolting on non needed parts, and you won't even get your hands dirty.
Link Posted: 8/4/2005 7:36:23 AM EDT
Bad battery, bad cables, bad starter, bad voltage regulator are all places to start.

Check both battery cables for corrosion and loose connections - I had an intermittent problem similar to yours and it was a loose positive cable on the starter.

Take a serious look at the voltage regulator also, make sure the battery is not over or under charging.
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