What part of my electrical system is bad?
My car battery is currently dead. When I jump the car, the engine will run for a few minuites, and the electricial system will start to die. The battery is only 2 years old, and I jumped a tractor trailor truck with it just a month ago no problem. The problem gets even worse when I turn on the headlights, and the engine will die if I let off the throttle. When all the lights (including clock) dim down to off, the engine will sputter, then quit even with the throttle down. I am thinking it is the alternator not chargeing, but the problem just started all of a sudden, and I would like some input before I go buy the new alternator.
Nice to meet another Shane!
If you replaced the battery to years ago, I would be inclined to say the battery is probably not the issue in this case. Though, I would definately have it checked before getting into an alternator.
More than likely it is the alternator in this particular case.
While you are under the hood it would also be a good idea at this point to replace any drive belts when you do the alternator. Its just good cheap insurance that the old belt is not going to start slipping when the new alternator places a load against the belt.
Don't forget to make sure all of your connections are clean and free of corrosion. This includes all of the battery terminals and cables leading to the battery, frame, starter, and alternator.
When the connections are re-assemled at the battery be sure to use a corrosion inhibitor spray, (available from Permatex), which will seal the terminals from the elements and keep the "Green and White Fuzz" from growing!
After you have done the alternator installation, be sure to check the charging system to make sure that you got all of your issues addressed.
For the record, alternators can and do just suddenly fail. Remember the electronics within them are subjected to temprature extremes. The constant heating and cooling of the engine compartment will eventually cause these parts to fail.
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