Battery or alternator? - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 04-19-2013, 06:02 PM Thread Starter
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Battery or alternator?

I know, i probably look like a idiot. Haha
But heres the deal, my trucks been sitting for a week or so, went out to start it up after a tree branch decided to fall on it, real nice..and it clicks. Well alright get my car jump it, assume my batteries went dead. So i left it idle for a good 20 minutes. Drive it around town no problems, radio worked fine, lights and everything. So after probably 30 mimutes of driving and getting fuel i park it.
Went out the next morning, dead again, hook up the cables and jump it. Let it idle and it ran for another 20.
I do have one older battery in the truck. One new, i rarely drive the truck since i started my new job.
Everything ive experienced with alternators is that once its dead, its wont run long, let alone an hour on a battery that had to be jumped by a car. is dead its dead and it wont run or idle, which is leading me to replace my other battery.

Moneys been tight lately so i didnt wanna jump nd replace one thing and it not be it. My beater took a ****, 250, then the fiances car along with my truck the very next weekend, and still waitin for the bill for her car, stupid gm security ****.

Any help is greatly appreciated. Hopefully i was clear enough.

Trucks runs when jumped, but wont even turn over next morning..just odd to me.


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post #2 of 11 Old 04-19-2013, 06:34 PM
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Do you have a DC volt meter at home? Check between the negative battery terminal and the positive wire and see if its putting out voltage. Should be somewhere in the 13.5/14 volt range. If not, its your alternator.

Another option is fire it up, take it to auto zone, advance auto or the like and have the alt. tested there. Then you can remove the batteries and have them tested too.....

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post #3 of 11 Old 04-19-2013, 07:09 PM
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Well, running it should be what he said. When not running it should be ~12V. I am in agreement with the battery though. My reasoning:

1. It clicks when you try starting it (low voltage)
2. It runs and drives just fine after a jump.
3. When you try starting again, it just clicks.

That means your alternator is working like a champ, as it runs just fine. It won't start because you're batteries aren't holding a charge. If they were holding a charge, but the alternator wasn't charging, you would notice while you're driving. Lights dim, engine runs like crud and then dies, radio turns on and off... overall not running right.

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post #4 of 11 Old 04-19-2013, 08:07 PM
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If it were the alternator, it wouldn't run for very long after being jumped - had the alt in my '00 go out on a jobsite at 1am the other night. I charged the batteries for 4 hrs (thank god the rig had a 12v charger there) and made it to town on battery alone. I never got a warning light, or anything, but the lt just wasn't putting out the voltage when I had it tested.

That being said, I think its probably your batteries. They're not holding enough of a charge or aren't strong enough to provide enough Cold Cranking Amps to fire the truck up.

Where is your batter gauge at when its running? Should be approx 14v-ish and hold solid.

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post #5 of 11 Old 04-20-2013, 01:45 AM
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Definitely replace the older battery, and if you can replace both then do it!
It is not good to have an old and a new battery hooked up together because the old one will not have enough juice and cause the newer one to work harder which will cause it to go bad sooner than it should.

It is always best to replace both batteries together in order to get the best life out of them.

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post #6 of 11 Old 04-20-2013, 03:28 AM
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X2 on the both batteries thing. Replace them both, having one old one will kill the newer on very fast.

I'm going to say your newer one is likely toast as well because the temperatures your area is seeing ( I googled it quick) your truck should start on one battery. I accidentally started mine a +5 Celius so that's around 40F on one battery the other day after a ten hour sit. Turned over slow but fired okay. Just an example but I've seen many 7.3's start on one battery with relative ease.
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post #7 of 11 Old 04-20-2013, 03:58 AM Thread Starter
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Alright thanks guys! Ill plan on replacing the batterys. But im gonna try and get it down to an oreillys to have the alternator tested, completely forgot they do that

And i know i shoulda replaced both, live and learn.
Ill update when i know more on whats going on!

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post #8 of 11 Old 04-20-2013, 04:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Macon View Post
Well, running it should be what he said. When not running it should be ~12V. I am in agreement with the battery though. My reasoning:

1. It clicks when you try starting it (low voltage)
2. It runs and drives just fine after a jump.
3. When you try starting again, it just clicks.

That means your alternator is working like a champ, as it runs just fine. It won't start because you're batteries aren't holding a charge. If they were holding a charge, but the alternator wasn't charging, you would notice while you're driving. Lights dim, engine runs like crud and then dies, radio turns on and off... overall not running right.
My alternator went on my truck the other week and it never gave me a dash light. I got the truck to crank twice(slower than normal turnover of course) and when gee checked the alternator it was bad. Ran fine when truck was running. It was daytime but still....it wouldnt crank when I got it to Advance after I shut it off.


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post #9 of 11 Old 04-20-2013, 05:11 AM
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My vote is the batterys. Not what you want to hear but replace both at same time. Low voltage and bad batterys can kill your FICM. $200 can turn to $600 real quick. Best of luck. Also Oriely can load test the Batt for a dead cell.

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post #10 of 11 Old 04-20-2013, 06:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbaldbob View Post
My vote is the batterys. Not what you want to hear but replace both at same time. Low voltage and bad batterys can kill your FICM. $200 can turn to $600 real quick. Best of luck. Also Oriely can load test the Batt for a dead cell.
He's got a 7.3, no ficm to kill in our trucks......

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