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#1 Old 12-23-2012, 11:21 AM
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Alternator problem??

Hey guys I had a weird issue with my car last night, it wouldn't start and with no crank either. I dont think it could be the starter since I replaced that not too long ago and from the same issue. It's been about 4 or 5 months since I replaced it and everything worked fine until last night.

I was driving home from the gym and it was at least 30 to 40 minutes of driving in like 40 degree weather with some rain. Not sure if cold weather or rain would have any affect but just a thought. So I stopped at a store real quick though and was in and out in about 10-12 minutes and jumped back in my car and when I turned the key to crank the engine there was no sound at all....

Totally random and hit me out of nowhere. I took the key out of the ignition and made sure to unplug any accessories and that all electrical related things were not powered on. And I just waited several minutes hoping that it would crank if I let the engine sit there a little bit more.

After a bit I crossed my fingers and she fired up and everything worked properly... I kind of looked at the battery terminals for a loose connection maybe but they felt pretty tight. I also had the battery tested for its charge and everything and they said it was perfect....

The guy who tested my battery said that it could be the alternator....

I thought the alternator was only used to supply electrical power once the car is running and also keeps the battery charged? But this guy said that it is also used to start the car.... I might try to do some tests if I have the equipment for it but do you guys think the alternator could cause a no-crank issue??

I have a custom sound system too and he asked me about it and said that it might be overworking my alternator. So that's something else I have to consider too I guess =\ and the amps that I have hooked up are a 700-watt 4 channel and a 1200-watt 2 channel.

He said that's a lot of power and could be an issue. What do you guys think though?
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#2 Old 12-26-2012, 08:27 PM
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The alternator does not help start the car. Only to keep it running. Take a multimeter to your battery connections and ground points as well as your starter connections.


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#3 Old 12-26-2012, 10:40 PM
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Qft........
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Originally Posted by stanzadescendant View Post
the alternator does not help start the car. Only to keep it running. Take a multimeter to your battery connections and ground points as well as your starter connections.





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#4 Old 12-27-2012, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1stGenSEaltima View Post
I dont think it could be the starter since I replaced that not too long ago and from the same issue.
It's been about 4 or 5 months since I replaced it and ...
What do you guys think though?
... it's a starting issue, and replacing the starter solved this same issue before? Suggests looking at the starter.


Recent starter replacement is not the comfort we think it should be.
Dealer or NAPA starters are good. Where did you get your current starter?


O'Reilly's and AutoZone - I don't use these anymore. When I turn key, I want car
to start this month and 3 years down the road.
If want details, PM me. not starting secondary argument about stores.

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144,000 miles.

Last edited by UhOh; 12-27-2012 at 12:43 PM.
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#5 Old 12-28-2012, 03:35 AM
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@ stanza - I thought so.... I'll try to test the starter connections. I actually tested the battery and alternator though a couple of days ago and when I did a voltage drop test I found that there was some resistance in the circuit. I'm guessing it's from a bad ground. One of my amps is actually not mounted properly at the moment and wouldnt that cause a bad ground?

@ uhoh - ya it only did it once the last time this happened and the guy who replaced my starter was saying that the starter seemed good (it was a different mechanic then the one who suggested replacing the starter) but I kind of wanted to have it replaced for that extra assurance lol I hear you though and I actually did go the "cheap" route when I bought my current starter from an online remanufacturer =\

Would a bad ground like exposed wire touching the metal body of the car cause a no-start?? I think my brother-in-law said it could.... Not sure if he was really listening to me though with the way he responded lol

Last edited by 1stGenSEaltima; 12-28-2012 at 03:40 AM.
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#6 Old 12-28-2012, 06:43 AM
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Another thing is that my car only did the no-start once so far with this "new" starter. =\
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#7 Old 12-29-2012, 02:43 AM
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The entire starting system consists a couple of components; battery, ignition key switch, inhibitor switch & relay, theft system, the starter, and cables. The starter is typically the component that fails most. But if you suspect a bad engine ground, then run a test, by connecting the black battery booster cable between the battery negative and a solid engine contact point. Also take the other red battery booster cable and run it from battery negative to chassis ground. That should cover the entire grounding for the starting system.



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#8 Old 01-04-2013, 02:06 AM
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@ jserrano - is there a way to test the ignition key switch?
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#9 Old 01-05-2013, 03:58 AM
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Originally Posted by 1stGenSEaltima View Post
@ jserrano - is there a way to test the ignition key switch?
Locate and remove the inhibitor relay from the engine bay relay box. One, and only one of the pins from the relay socket will receive battery power when the ignition key is placed and held in the START position. You would either need someone on the steering wheel while you probe for voltage or check the particular FSM for the exact pin.

Basically, if you get battery power to the inhibitor relay when the ignition key is set to START, then the ignition key is good.



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