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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-26-2011, 10:19 PM Thread Starter
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car has trouble starting..

not sure what the heck is going on now need some help tho.

so saturday my alternator went bad and i had to change it in the parking lot at work with a friend. since then its been fine -started up right away no problems- but today i went out to start the car and it wouldnt start. it would crank over, belts would turn and everything but wouldnt fully start.

so i checked fuses, vacuum lines, battery, coolant, etc then tried it again, this time giving it some gas and eventually flooring it and just barely got it started. let it warm up drove it to work, and when i got off i had the same problem had to give it some gas (but this time not as much trouble) and drove back to the dorms. when i parked i turned it off then started it again -it hesitated but started up without any help.

so im thinking its cold? once it warmed up it had less trouble but ive driven this car to chicago and STL and its been way colder before and no trouble.. im also thinking fuel pump but when i get it driving its responsive and feels like its putting full power down

-Patrick
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-26-2011, 10:50 PM
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Either the alternator going has also taken out the battery which is very very common or you need to charge the battery. Unless you cruise down the highway for a long drive or sit in place with your foot on the throttle for awhile the battery isn't going to get much of a charge during normal city driving. That's only the case after the battery has been depleted from a bad alternator.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-26-2011, 11:00 PM Thread Starter
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yeah when i changed the alternator the battery did die so i jumped it off and let it sit for 25 mins and it hasnt given me any problems. when i went out to try and start it the first time today we thought that might be the case so we hooked it up but it still didnt do anything until i came back to it and floored it.

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-27-2011, 12:37 AM
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Check your alternator ground. And every other ground for that matter. I assume/hope you unhooked the battery when you did the alternator so check the terminals and wires.

I love my V8, but I'd love it more if all 8 cylinders worked. (they do now)

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-27-2011, 09:56 AM Thread Starter
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ill double check the alternator i mean its brand new and its been working great just until yesterday. anything specifically i should look for on the alternator that might cause it to be/go bad?

-Patrick
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-27-2011, 10:15 AM
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So I'm no electrician, but let me throw something out there...

If it were a bad battery, why would his engine crank properly as he described in the original post, and require him to hit the gas to get it to start? That shouldn't be a problem with the battery in my mind, but a flow problem.

I understand wanting to chase the battery as the problem, but just hook up a trickle charger ($20 at sears) overnight, and take it to any auto parts store and have them test it.

My guess is that it's not the battery, since the motor cranks and you're not having to jump start the car, you're having to floor the gas to get it to start.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-27-2011, 12:55 PM
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I thought he was saying the engine cranks a little bit before not being able to start (crank turns over once or twice). When I got my car it was not starting and did that same thing because of a weak battery. Replaced the battery and it fired up.

I love my V8, but I'd love it more if all 8 cylinders worked. (they do now)

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-27-2011, 01:03 PM
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1. Best way to ruin a new alternator is to hook it to a dead battery.
2. With the battery disconnected, what is the voltage between the terminals?
3. With a low battery, the minute the starter draws current, many other things may shut down (or not run properly) due to low voltage. (i.e. the fuel pump, PCM, etc...)

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-27-2011, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 94 Daily Driven 4.6L View Post
1. Best way to ruin a new alternator is to hook it to a dead battery.
2. With the battery disconnected, what is the voltage between the terminals?
3. With a low battery, the minute the starter draws current, many other things may shut down (or not run properly) due to low voltage. (i.e. the fuel pump, PCM, etc...)
ah now were getting somewhere thank you for the reply.

when you say ruin the alternator when i hooked it up to the dead battery do you mean ruin it to the point it can be useless?
i hope its not there yet but if this is the case i can charge it up and it should go back to normal correct?

-Patrick
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-27-2011, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Tbird1997 View Post
ah now were getting somewhere thank you for the reply.

when you say ruin the alternator when i hooked it up to the dead battery do you mean ruin it to the point it can be useless?
i hope its not there yet but if this is the case i can charge it up and it should go back to normal correct?

Yes, that's right, it can kill the new alternator if you keep running it that way. Take your battery into a auto parts store and ask if they can test to make sure it's holding charge. They can also test your new alternator and see if it's still charging. If they are both okay, look for possible bad grounds.

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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-27-2011, 09:02 PM Thread Starter
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well battery has a 100% charge. service engine light came on the other day and got that checked too; a code for the coolant temp sensor in the aluminum cross over popped up and found that it was almost completely ripped off... so got that replaced.

doesnt seem that would be related to anything that makes the car start.. infact its not because the car has been fine since last night after work..

but i still have no idea what was causing it to not start yesterday before work..

-Patrick
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Last edited by Tbird1997; 01-28-2011 at 12:38 AM.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-27-2011, 10:21 PM
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if you wanna be absolutely sure on the battery, hook up a voltmeter to it, and watch the voltage while someone cranks it. If it falls below approx 11.5V while it's cranking, then the battery is wasted.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-28-2011, 12:39 AM Thread Starter
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thanks GM. dont have one here at TTU but maybe a buddy might have one i can borrow

-Patrick
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-28-2011, 12:53 AM
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Well, a bad ECT sensor could cause a hard start situation by not telling the ECU an accurate temperature to give the proper amount of fuel on start up. My friend's Mitsubishi Eclipse did this. He was having the exact same problems that you are having (having to give throttle to start). The only way we could keep it running was to let the engine warm up a little bit. The bad sensor was making the ECU think the engine was hot, thus not giving enough fuel at idle. This is a possibility. Definitely get that battery and alternator looked at though.

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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-28-2011, 01:24 PM Thread Starter
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mm good to know that does make since.. thanks for the reply

-Patrick
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post #16 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-31-2011, 01:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Tbird1997 View Post
so im thinking its cold? once it warmed up it had less trouble but ive driven this car to chicago and STL and its been way colder before and no trouble..
I've owned my Bird since new in 1994, and it has always started on the coldest of cold days, even below zero.

On the coldest day this winter, it cranked just fine, fired up a little and spewed black smoke out the exhaust, but would not run for more than a few seconds.

My mechanic got it running by cleaning the throttle body. Maybe cleaning the throttle body was just a coincidence, maybe not.
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