Truck will not start when cold - bad alternator? - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 12-12-2011, 05:40 AM
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Batteries Die overnight, new alternator, batteries test good, no parasitic draws.

I apologize in advanced for what will probably be a stupid question and the long winded way i ask it.

I have a 2006 F250 6.0L with next to no performance mods besides a suncoast transmission and SCT Livewire Tuner. Also i recently just had a Omega 2-way remote starter installed.

Saturday morning when i tried to start it with the remote starter it turned over very very slowly a couple times and then quit. I then got in the truck and tried to start it and it turned over very slow a couple of times and then just started to click. Well i left it and came back to it in the afternoon and tried to start it again and it turned over slower than normal but faster than it did in the morning and i was able to get it to start. Sunday morning when i came out to drive it, it did the same thing. I came back a couple hours later and tried again and it started so I took it to autozone to have the batteries, starter, and alternator tested. The batteries and starter all showed good but the guy said my alternator wasnt charging enough. After the short drive from my house to autozone (~8 minutes) the truck started up like a champ after being shut off. It seems to just be a problem when the truck is cold, after running for a littleO while the truck will start right back up but if its been sitting overnight it does not want to start. Also i have no new electronics so there wouldnt be any new power drains that didnt used to be there.

so i guess my question would be is it really the alternator? Also the guy at autozone said it might have dual alternators? if that is the case then which one do i change? Is there a way for me to test it myself to see if its bad? How hard are they to change? I have changed a couple of alternators in gas cars but never in a diesel truck. Also what brand should i go with?

Thanks!

Last edited by AveryDenney; 12-17-2011 at 11:59 AM.
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Old 12-12-2011, 07:27 AM
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First things first: did the guy at Autozone disconnect the batteries from each other before he tested them? That's the correct way of testing them.

If your truck has dual alternators, you can see both of them. If the guy at Autozone was under your hood testing your batteries and "thinks" it may have dual alternators, I'd again have to question his level of competence.

The cold weather will definitely impact the cranking ability of your batteries, and even one bad battery will cause problems. As a FYI, you should replace both batteries even if only one is found to be bad.

A good place to find an aftermarket alternator is High Output Alternator, 200-250-300-350 Amp Alternators, high output alternators, GM,Ford, Chrysler Dodge Alternators
These alternators deliver as advertised and are reasonably priced. I've lost count of how many people bought one bad alternator after another from Autozone or a similar place.
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Old 12-15-2011, 05:21 AM
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Update: So i since had the guy at advanced auto test my batteries and alternator and he agreed with the guy at autozone that the batteries were both good but he said the alternator was overcharging and pointed where acid had bubbled out of the batteries. I found this odd because the guy at autozone had told me the alternator had low output? Eitherway i bought a new 140amp alternator and installed it Tuesday night 12/13. Immediately after installation, i drove it back to advanced auto and had them test the new alternator in the truck and both the batteries and alternator showed good. I did make sure to unhook the batteries from each other during the battery test however they were connected during the alternator test if that matters? One other thing that i had noticed while i was looking around under the hood is that my 20 amp mini fuse for the trailer wiring had blown (i towed a jerry-rigged trailer over the weekend) Now i do not know if this is relevant or not but my problems started right around the time i towed that trailer (i cant remember if it was before or after). I have since replaced the fuse and it hasnt blown again. So all was well and good until this morning 12/15 when i went out to start my truck it barely turned over like the batteries were dead and wouldnt start, i then turned off my CD player, headlights, and blower motor and tried it again and i was able to get it started even though it was still turning over super slow like the batteries were dead. Like i had said before in my previous post there are no new electronics in the truck that would be causing a drain and the only thing i have done recently is switched from a bullydog tuner to a SCT tuner although again i do not see how that would make a difference as they both were unplugged at night. the only other relatively new thing is a 2-way remote starter that i had a local shop install. What should be my next step? What could be causing the batteries to die overnight (8 hours in this case). Oh and the temperature was around 50F this morning.

Oh and the truck does NOT have dual alternators
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Old 12-15-2011, 10:07 PM
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There could possibly be something with the install of the remote starter that is drawing battery power. I would check all wiring and make sure all grounds are good.
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Old 12-16-2011, 06:09 PM
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UPDATE:

So i did some research on the site as to how to test to see if i had a parasitic battery drain and the post said to disconnect the positive and the negative from one battery and just the negative from the other battery. Then take a multimeter and set it to DC amperage and connect the positive lead of the MM to the negative lead that was previously connected to the battery. Then connect the negative lead of the MM to the positive terminal of the battery. It said if there was a parasitic drain it would show amperage and then go through one by one and remove fuses until you find it. Well i inadvertently did this backwards and i got a reading of -6 Amps. I then proceeded to pull every fuse one by one looking for a change, well after pulling and checking every fuse i found no change so i went back and realized that i had it backwards, after hooking the MM up the proper way i showed no amperage which would mean i have no draws when the truck is off. Oh and as a side note i found another blown fuse (one related to trailer wiring - i dont remember which one off the top of my head).

AND THIS IS WHERE MY REALLY BIG EFFING PROBLEM BEGINS!

so i figured at this point i would take it back to advanced auto and have them load test the batteries again considering that the new alternator was putting out the correct voltage. Well when i went to back the truck out of the garage i could not get the transmission out of park (big effing problem considering the truck only fits halfway into the garage and it is one of those storage garages). Along with this problem i noticed that the dash panel (mileage, trip, ect.) and the climate control panel (like where you adjust the temp and blower and what not) were not lit up or working either. I tried turning the truck off and back on at which point the dash panel (excuse my lack of technical terms) started working again, however it still would not shift out of park and the climate control panel still did not work. I tried turning it off and on a few times and no luck with the climate control panel or getting it out of park. One other thing that may or may not be relevant but the ABS light has been on since i got the truck (~4 months). With the truck off and the key turned forward i am able to move the transmission smoothly through the gears, so i started the truck in neutral and then put it into reverse backed it out of the garage and put it into park, with the truck running i am unable to get it back out of park however if i shut it off and turn the key back i can put it back into neutral and start it again. Also i was thinking it might be the brake pedal sensor however when i push the brake pedal in my brake lights work and i can hear the relay click. I am really at a loss for what to do now.... any and all help would be greatly appreciated.

Edit:
Also my SCT Tuner does not show any codes.

Last edited by AveryDenney; 12-16-2011 at 06:35 PM.
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Old 12-16-2011, 06:19 PM
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I would start with double checking all your fuses. Sounds like you must have misplaced one somewhere or put it back in the wrong slot.

If it's cranking slow it sounds like your batteries might not be in the best of health. Any idea how old they are? It's possible for a battery to have a shorted cell and drain down over a short period of time, like after sitting overnight. I would guess this might be going on, especially if your alternator was overcharging the batteries.
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Old 12-16-2011, 06:24 PM
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Ya that might be the problem for the batteries but the transmission thing is what is worrying me the most at the moment. I went all back through the fuses and made sure that i didnt mess up and put one in the wrong spot - I doubled checked with the manual. Any ideas on the transmission issue?
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Old 12-16-2011, 06:36 PM
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Well if it was working before you pulled all the fuses, and now it's not, I would have to say something has got to be whacky there. Could be a total coincidence but I'm still thinking you either blew a fuse, put one in the wrong slot, or one isn't pushed in all the way. I'd take a test light, turn the key on, and check for voltage on both sides of all the fuses.
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Old 12-17-2011, 07:34 AM
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I've gone back through all the fuses twice and everything is right. A couple times when I would try to start it when it had next to no battery left it would turn over very slow and run rough for a bit once it would finally catch, when this would happen, sometimes either the dash panel or the climate control panel wouldn't work, but after driving it to work and then shutting it off and turning it back on it would all work fine... The only new thing is that the transmission won't go out of park while the truck is running anymore... Could it be a bad fuse or relay? If so which ones should I specifically look at? I have visually inspected all of the fuses (engine bay and under the dash) and everything looks right and I checked the manual to make sure I put them all back right... I am really at a loss here.... Are there more than 2 fuse panels?
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Old 12-17-2011, 11:21 AM
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Will it come out of park with the engine off? Make sure you depress the brake pedal/ could also be the switch for the pedal or linkage for the trans. Just a couple of more things you can check.
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