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Old 12-31-2013, 10:52 AM
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Truck won't start after battery light came on

A few days before Christmas, my battery light came on after I started the truck. After driving for a few miles, the light went out. This happened a couple more times that day and then I didn't drive it for about a week.

This morning, the battery light came on like before, but it stayed on (for about 30 minutes until I got home). The truck ran fine. This afternoon, the truck won't start. It doesn't crank at all. The first time it sounded like it was going to try to crank, but the engine didn't turn at all.

My first suspect is the alternator but it seems kind of surprising to me that I would go from starting it three times this morning to now where it won't even crank. Is there an easy way to isolate the problem to a battery or the alternator (or any other suspects)?

I'm stuck at home now with no wheels. I put an alternator on hold at Autozone and I should be able to get a ride to pick it up tonight but I'd like to avoid that if I can rule out the alternator beforehand.

Truck is a 2002 F-350 with 7.3 and single alternator.

Thanks in advance for any pointers,
Shane
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Old 12-31-2013, 10:58 AM
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When that light was on you were running solely on battery reserve. If you had lights, heat, radio, etc. on then that dramatically reduces the time the batteries will keep charged. What you have done is complety deplete the reserve capacity of the batteries because the alternator is junk. You need to pull both batteries and have each one charged and load tested at minimum and have the alternator checked. My suggestion would be replace both batteries and install a new alternator
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Old 12-31-2013, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhanna6powerstroke View Post
When that light was on you were running solely on battery reserve.
Thanks for the reply. I have one followup question... when the light first came on, it stayed on for a while, but then turned off before I finished my trip. Today is the first time it stayed on for the entire drive (again, this is only the second "driving" day, I haven't been driving around like this for weeks). The few times I did drive it, the light started out on, but then went out after 10 minutes or so. Does that make any difference to the diagnosis? Could the alternator have been on its way out or maybe only work when it heated up?

Thanks again,
Shane
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Old 12-31-2013, 11:12 AM
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It was probably charging just enough to keep the light off but not putting full charge into the batteries. Now it has completely quit charging and that is why the light is on constantly.
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