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Possible alternator porblem. Advice please?


Davidicus
03-27-2006, 12:11 PM
Hello everyone. I recently got an '89 Park Avenue (see my earlier post "need some advice on 89 Park Avenue (http://www.automotiveforums.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=536080)" link: http://www.automotiveforums.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=536080) and it runs pretty much fine except about a week after I got it my battery started running low and died shortly after. I tried to leave the car running for a bit to charge it up with the alternator but that didn't make it any better. First the battery light went on and my voltage meter started reading low and then it died on me. I got a new battery this morning and my battery light is still on. I didn't leave the lights on but when i fight got the car a 9 days ago I did sit in it for a while listening to the radio and messing with the seats while it was turned off. I don't know if that contributed to any of the problem since my car died last night and that was 7 or 8 days after I sat in it listening to music. Any advice or knowledge you guys have on the subject would be much appreciated. Any possible problems that you could see or predict? Thanks again everyone.

wrightz28
03-27-2006, 12:56 PM
Never try to recharge a battery from a low status with the alternator, the alternator is there merely to restore the charge used for starting and to maintain a constant voltage to the battery while the vehicle is in use.

Anytime a battery falls below the starting threshold (12.20 or less) it should be charged by a cycling system. The strain you put on the alternator may have burned it out. This would very well the case provided that the belt tension is good.

Davidicus
03-27-2006, 07:31 PM
When I tried to "recharge my battery" I just left it running in the driveway for about 10 minutes. So are you saying that I might have hurt my alternator by keeping it running for a while or for letting it run dead like that?

johnd89
03-27-2006, 09:47 PM
right after I got mine, I would park it on the side of the road where road is not level. for some reason instaed of readjusting only three times the rear suspension level, it would deplete the battery...
as a short time solution I would disconect the battery at night.
sure enough, one month later the alt died...
replaced it and wired under the dash a swich from the power wire of the air compressor. now I swich it on whenever I want.
as long as the park is parked level and it dosen't have a leak in the system it shouldn't go on. of course since then I put new rear shocks and I don't have any more leaks (the old rear robber boots tend to crack on the shocks and eventually break...)

my advice is to go to one of those places with both the alt and battery and check them up to see if they are still good. it should be free of charge.

battery/alt are hand in hand, if one dies, it takes the other one with it.

wrightz28
03-28-2006, 09:16 AM
So are you saying that I might have hurt my alternator by keeping it running for a while or for letting it run dead like that?

If I had to put a percentage value of likelyhood it would be well above 85%

Davidicus
03-28-2006, 09:44 AM
So is the alternator something that i could replace with help from friends or is it a must that I take it in to a shop?

wrightz28
03-28-2006, 11:17 AM
You absolutely can do it your self. Shouldn't take more than 10 minutes to do.

Davidicus
03-28-2006, 07:17 PM
Yeah i just disconnect the belt, unplug it and replace it right? Now I don't know much about this stuff but I dont even have to get under this thing to take it out right? Is there any possible complications i could run into by doing it myself? Should i just buy a new alternator or is there any way of fixing my old one? Do you own a Buick as well? I am positive it is the alternator because the battery only goes down when it's running. So what do you think it was that killed my alternator?

HotZ28
03-28-2006, 07:37 PM
Remember to disconnect the battery before removing the alt! The link below may help you with your problem.
http://www.automotiveforums.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=480871&highlight=130+amp+alternator

johnd89
03-28-2006, 09:10 PM
you may want to invest 17$ in a chilton's repair manual for your car.
you will save this amount with the first repair/maintenance work you will do on the car
good luck!

Davidicus
03-28-2006, 09:14 PM
Alright man thanks for the advice. If you have anything else you want to tell me about what might be wrong with it I would appreciate the knowledge. I read your advice about the delcon alt. and the high power battery. My car is an '89 PA and has kind of alot of features. Windows, locks, seats w/ tilt, ac, temp. guage. So do you think I need the 140 alt. with gel diodes and the high power battery? Any other problems you could see that might cause my alternator to burn out or my battery to drain? Thanks for the advice/knowledge/time. -David

Davidicus
03-28-2006, 09:17 PM
you may want to invest 17$ in a chilton's repair manual for your car.
you will save this amount with the first repair/maintenance work you will do on the car
good luck!

Chilton's much better than Hanes? Where is the best place to get one?

johnd89
03-29-2006, 12:07 AM
don't spend your $$$ on very expensive gel batteries, just get a decent one.

I have a no name rebuilded alt as well... maybe I was lucky, but it lasted some 60k miles and still going strong.

check al connections (ground strap, etc) for corrosion as well

as for the manual, I find the chilton's a little better

wrightz28
03-29-2006, 10:13 AM
Yeah i just disconnect the belt, unplug it and replace it right? Now I don't know much about this stuff but I dont even have to get under this thing to take it out right? Is there any possible complications i could run into by doing it myself? Should i just buy a new alternator or is there any way of fixing my old one? Do you own a Buick as well? I am positive it is the alternator because the battery only goes down when it's running. So what do you think it was that killed my alternator?

If you forget to disconnect the battery first, don't worry, you will be reminded :D

But yes, battery, remove belt, carefully disconnect the electrical connections of the alternator. 2 bolts removed and one dead alternotr out. Be careful not to mix the 2 bolts up in orientation. Replace by going backwards of what was said, NOTE, the batter feed connecotr on the back of the alternator is very delicate, there is no need to go nuts tightening it, snug is good.

Yes I own a Buick as well '87 PA almost the same as yours, and sold the wifes 89 Lesabre (same set up as yours) for my Camaro :smokin:

What killed your alternator? :slap: I told you, trying to charge a dead battery with it. Didn't you hear the voltage regulator screaming when the car started?

And yes, a basic manual is a wise investment by far.

Davidicus
03-29-2006, 09:45 PM
when I said I tried to charge my battery with the alternator all i did was leave it running in the driveway for 15 or so minutes. From what I have gathered from reading about this problem what I did was drain my battery by messing with the radio and seats for a while with out it running and all my trips in the car were short trips and quite a few of them. I think then when I left it running it wore on the alt. and then when I got to the pizza place where it died letting the battery run so low that i needed a jump fried the diodes (whatever those are) in my alt. Does that seem about right to you? Also, is there any way that I could mess somehting up when putting in my new alternator save from not removing the battery lol? what brand do you recomend?

wrightz28
03-30-2006, 10:52 AM
Well, take advantage of diconnecting the battery to change the alternator, and get it deep charged, so the same thing does not re-occur.

I keep telling you that is went wrong with the alternator.

Brand, Ac/Delco personally. But a quality knock-off with a good warrenty works as well.

Davidicus
03-31-2006, 12:47 AM
yeah man sorry about asking like ten times about that. I am just trying to make sure that it was the problem. I will change out the alt. and post back on what happened. When you said "get it deep charged" you meant the battery right?

wrightz28
04-03-2006, 10:06 AM
Yes, the battery.

DioGreer
04-11-2006, 09:40 AM
Be careful tightening the positive lead nut on the back of the alternator. I got a little crazy and sheared mine off. Expensive mistake.

wrightz28
04-11-2006, 09:44 AM
NOTE, the battery feed connecotr on the back of the alternator is very delicate, there is no need to go nuts tightening it, snug is good.



Expensive? They made you buy another alternator? I would have said the damn thing came out of the box like that. :thumbsup: Must have fallen off the shelf while in the stockroom :dunno:

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