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Car Alternator Problem?

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Car Alternator Problem?

Old 08-26-06, 08:31 PM
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Car Alternator Problem?

Hey all,

Ok, I was at a stop light and I was putting the fuse back in the inline fuse setup for my PA -- I have done this many times with no problem. However, this time when I did it, there was a little pop noise, and the car shut off. It wouldn't start after that. The battery seems to be fine (the radio, instrument panel, etc work fine) but when I crank it, there's nothing -- not even clicking or anything, completely dead. It's weird -- when The vehicle (98 buick century) is in park, the instrument panel is off, but when it's in reverse, the panel lights up. But when I try to start the car, anything electrical runnign shuts off when I try to start it -- and no cranking!

It sounds like it may be the alternator -- but is there a fuse tha protects it? I am hoping that it is blown, instead of the alternator being bad...

Thanks ,


Matt
Old 08-26-06, 08:37 PM
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Sounds like you shorted another fuse. Did you check all of them out?

I'm no expert but, I believe, your alternator doesn't come into play until after the car is started.
Old 08-27-06, 09:01 AM
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yeah, check under the hood sometimes there's some heavy duty fuses under there.

good luck.
Old 08-27-06, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by KillerQ
Hey all,

(1) Ok, I was at a stop light and I was putting the fuse back in the inline fuse setup for my PA -- I have done this many times with no problem. However, this time when I did it, there was a little pop noise, and the car shut off. It wouldn't start after that.

(2) The battery seems to be fine (the radio, instrument panel, etc work fine) but when I crank it, there's nothing -- not even clicking or anything, completely dead. It's weird -- when The vehicle (98 buick century) is in park, the instrument panel is off, but when it's in reverse, the panel lights up.

(3) But when I try to start the car, anything electrical runnign shuts off when I try to start it -- and no cranking!

It sounds like it may be the alternator -- but is there a fuse tha protects it? I am hoping that it is blown, instead of the alternator being bad...

Thanks ,


Matt
Didn't this thread have more useful responses last night? I inserted some numbers so I could talk about your points by number. Your alternator is important, but only to recharge the battery when low. Your car will run without the alternator until the battery goes dead.

From (1), after the "pop" the car stalled? That can only happen if something important like the engine control module, ignition module, or fuel pump is not working. It could be a fuse or the transient could have fried one of those. Your point (2) confirms sufficient power was available to run those items if the power gets to them and they are still functioning.

On point (3), most electronics not related to the engine are depowered in the "crank" position of the ignition switch. The voltage drops, they don't work right, and it's "all power to the starter." (Other things that are powered with ignition off, like lights, still work). I wouldn't make too much of that.

On points (2) and (3), when you crank, the starter motor doesn't turn, or it turns but doesn't start? The ignition key only activates the starter solenoid (it can't handle full starter current), which then activates the starter. If the starter doesn't crank, it may be a fuse, wiring, or the starter solenoid. (Also, if battery connections are dirty, there may be too much resistance and the starter motor can't get enough current to crank, but that wouldn't just suddenly pop up.)

If you are lucky, the transient from your PA has blown one or more fuses, and I'd check them first. If you are unlucky, it has fried one or more critical electronic modules and that's $$$. No point worrying about the alternator until you get the car to start (have you tried jumping it?)
Old 08-27-06, 10:06 AM
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Hello,

Thanks for the responses so far. OldDude, when the key is turned, there is no cranking, no clicking, no anything. It's as if there isn't even a battery in the car at that point. I will try jumping it with a portable jumper later. I will also fiddle with the alarm incase there was some kind of safety switch that was enabled that i am not aware of.....


Thanks so far,


Matt!

Last edited by KillerQ; 08-27-06 at 10:10 AM.
Old 08-27-06, 01:20 PM
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****FIXED IT*******

Hey all,

Ok, after going through all of the fuses in the fuse relay center under the hood, i noticed that one of the 30A maxifuses was blown -- i cross-referenced it on the chart and it was the IGN 1 fuse. So, I swapped that fuse with another 30A fuse (Cool Fan 2) real quick to see if it made a difference. Sure enough, the car started perfectly! Now I just have to go buy another 30A fuse. Wow, I just saved a TON of the company's money.

A few quick questions though...

I also replaced a 7.5A fuse labeled r/cmpt rel. Now, is that a trunk release fuse or something?


Thanks,

Matt!

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