Bad alternator? Help


#1

I drive a 2004 Hyundai Tiburon and one day I tried to start my car and all the electronics all came on like normal but when I went to start it clicked and everything died. I naturally bought a new battery and everything was well for 2 days. And then the same thing happened. I’ll leave it for a few seconds then all the electronics come back on but then I try to start and click everything died again. Won’t even crank one time. Would I be right to think it’s the alternator?


#2

Yes. The alternator recharges the battery. If it doesn’t, the car runs on the battery alone and will drain it until it no longer runs or won’t start. The battery voltage when the car is running should be 13.5 to about 14.6 volts. Car off, the battery should show 12.5 or so volts. This new battery has likely been discharged and needs to be recharged but otherwise it is likely OK.


#3

So if I replace the alternator would I then be able to just jump the car and allow the alternator to recharge the battery on it’s own or would I need a legitimate recharge?


#4

No, the alternator is not meant to recharge a dead battery. It is designed to keep a battery in good condition. Use a battery charger to recharge the battery and if you remove the alternator most parts houses can test it for you.


#5

Before you replace the alternator see if you can get everything tested. If you can get a jump and make it to an auto parts store they will frequently test your electrical system. If you have a volt meter and you can get the car running check the voltage at the battery terminals, at high idle the voltage should be 13+ volts. If the voltage is below 12 volts you have a problem either with the alternator or the cables from the battery to the alternator. I would hate to have you replace parts until you know what part is the culprit.


#6

Yes I definitely planned on testing everything before dropping almost 200 dollars. Thank you though!


#7

Does your vehicle have an alt or battery light on dash?