Is It My Battery Or Alternator Or Starter

A dead battery is your initial sign that something could be wrong with the alternator. It just clicks a bunch when i turn the key. However, battery tests at 13. 3 volts it closes the contacts on the. The alternator can drain a battery over time and shorten its lifespan, and you don’t want to unnecessarily run through batteries on account of a bad alternator. Whether the battery, starter, or alternator is the source of your vehicle's electrical system woes, the solution is the same—replace the malfunctioning part. If your starter switch gets hot when you press it, consider replacing it too. This is a multi-location business. It helps kick-start the alternator into working at idle speeds when you first start the car, and it tells you if the alternator is putting out less voltage than the battery has in it, indicating a problem. You can take your starter, battery and alternator to a local advance auto parts and they will test the charge. Car Battery or Alternator: How to Tell Where the Problem Lies January 27, 2012 Almost all of us have experienced the problem where either your car battery or alternator just conks out, and you can't make out which one to replace. How does this affect a alternator? My old battery was six years old and junk, so we replaced it and boom all of a sudden now the car will not start. The next day it cranked but very sluggishly. "How to Know if the Starter Is Bad on My Lawnmower. then when you start the engine use multimeter tester to test voltage at the battery again it should be over 13. The car would not start after the new battery was put in and the starter was put on. Texas Battery in Lubbock Tx. Once the engine is turned on, the alternator continuously recharges the battery. Power flows from the ignition switch, through a fuse, to the voltage regulator. If the battery is weak or dead, the alternator cannot bring it back to life. It is impossible for the battery to be accidentally removed with the alternator connected, other than a battery terminal or battery failure. 5V, this will tell you if alternator is charging. A low or uncharged battery will not be able to keep up with the load required to start an engine multiple times, and will result in a dead battery. The voltage drop reduces current carrying capability that displays the same symptoms as a weak alternator or starter and causes premature battery failure. If the engine does not turn over, either your battery is completely drained or your starter is bad. ) eliminating the fear of having a dead battery when trying to start the engine. ) a first priority before pulling the starter. I work in the oil and gas industry and I'm currently setting up my truck shell as a camper. If you experience flickering headlights, stalling or strange noises when driving, your car isn't haunted; chances are it's just a failing alternator. Do you have the original-equipment external voltage regulator type of alternator, or do you have a later internally regulated alternator?. There are two parts to a starter that can fail. failure symptoms are - battery goes flat even though engine is running, battery voltage is low & decreasing with the engine running. The schumacher battery charger I have has a test/charge meter but it is a complete joke. There is a reason the 8 volt battery was installed in the tractor. (The starter will only engage while the key is turned all the way on. New Alternator purchased and fitted but my mechanic is still having problems. The battery probably ran dry due to the constant discharge and irregular recharge rate Don't know what sort of Alternator you have, the reg may be easy to replace, with the 'Troll I simply bought a new alternator, as the reg is inside mine, and also that way I have a warranty and a brand new unit, rather than an old one with a new part. Having an idea of whether the battery or alternator is the source of the problem will save your money, time, and headaches. With a little bit of time and some patience, you can tell which one is the problem. If it does turn over it's either one of three things: battery, alternator, or starter. Step #9 Make sure the battery is connected negative to ground and the positive to the starter or starter solenoid (Figure 2). 7 350 v-8so i went to and got a brand new battery and installed it. You can always add another alternative power source later. If you are sure your battery is fully charged there are a few more items that you can check. If you have a failing alternator, your car will show symptoms like dim lights, strange sounds, and even strange smells in some cases. 2004 Pontiac Vibe Starter or Alternator Problem? So my 2004 Pontiac Vibe (not the GT) has been having problems starting in the morning. If you suspect a problem replace it. If it does, this means you have a bad battery. The charge wire can be run to the starter solenoid, providing it's connected to a large gauge wire that runs to the battery. took starter off and oreillys tested it 4x, good each time. Would supply "just enough" power to start cranking but that was all. Note: A faulty alternator can be the cause of a dead battery. My car is clicks repeatedly when I turn the key, but it doesn't start. That is very easy to do with a voltmeter. In other words, a bad alternator can get your attention by killing your car's battery, even if the battery wasn't the problem to begin with. with a fully charged reading of under 12v the battery is bad. Place neg lead of dvom on neg battery terminal and positive on ground of starter or alternator. The alternator is only going to be sending a couple of amps to the battery when the engine is running so it won't need a huge wire. Just had my alternator bench tested again by a third person and the alternator is good, so I have to rule that out. If this sounds a lot like "the neckbone is connected to the shoulder bone which is connected to the elbow bone", don't worry!. Often, the problem is not the starter but a low battery or a loose or corroded battery cable connection. the battery is one year old. It started almost a week ago when I went to crank it up and all I heard was click click click and nothing. The next day it cranked but very sluggishly. 6 with the engine off and 13. I put my 1 amp trickle charger on it for several hours and when I reconnected the battery, the horn sounded right, interior lights looked good…until I tried the starter. If the alternator is bad, the battery will most likely be dead as well. At Auto Barn we carry USA Alternators and Bosch Alternators for most cars, trucks or SUV's, domestic or import. Before I answer the question to "what does a bad starter sound like?" it is important to discern the difference between a dead battery and a bad starter. The alternator can drain a battery over time and shorten its lifespan, and you don’t want to unnecessarily run through batteries on account of a bad alternator. Two things that are a stark possibility here; 1) the alternator is defective. "How to Know if the Starter Is Bad on My Lawnmower. The ideal alternator and starter battery ground path is through a heavy block-to-battery cable connection. The first is the motor, and the second is the solenoid. A car battery will not last forever and has a finite life. I have the same exact problem on my 1995 Tsi but I can't find where the alternator relay is on my car, can you please point me in the right direction. We can check total voltage drop in the starter circuit by connecting our postive meter lead to the positive battery post and the negative lead to the battery terminal stud on the starter and read the voltage while cranking the engine. Re: good alternator, good battery car wont starthelp I havent had to deal with a starter/battery problem on my car yet so it may not have one but a problem that I use to have with my explorer is the starter relay. The two charge controllers that you recommend are really just replacements for the battery isolator that I was going to install, but your alternatives are definitely worth considering. At first my alternator had an 8 gauge wire going straight to the battery and no ground wire (thought the alt grounded itself). The alternator also keeps the battery fully charged, providing the power it needs to start the car. Obviously. Could it be possible to eliminate the starter battery altogether. This is why I suggest starting with a simple alternator battery connection. Does my car have a fuse or relay for the alternator? Reply 1: Good morning, Yes, there is a fusible link down at the starter that feeds power to. But it will take longer start maybe by 1-2 seconds but when it does start all of the needles on the guages kind of flicker for up to 10-seconds. At Sun Auto Service, we understand that you lead a busy life and having the start-up or battery issues never come at a convenient time. 19 reviews of Battery Alternator Starter "Joe is the best. This happens to be exactly what they said the last time. 46v while off. Aside from a dead car battery, there are other signs of a bad alternator that aren’t as, well, extreme. Protects battery box from exhaust & engine heat. If the battery is weak or dead, the alternator cannot bring it back to life. We got it tested and the battery and alternator tested fine. • S is used by the regulator to monitor charging voltage at the battery. If with a fully charged battery with clean terminals the starter still turns over slowly, or if both battery cables get hot on their entire length (not just at the terminals), you probably have a starter problem. For one, a bad alternator can kill a battery, even if it was not the battery that was the issue to start with. (The starter will only engage while the key is turned all the way on. Can you tell whether it's the alternator or the battery based on these details, or others you could ask me? 1. Typically with a low battery, you turn the key and the starter lets out a bit of a growl or sound, the lights go very dim as long as you are in the start position on the key. 5 reviews of American Alternator Starter & Battery "they just rebuilt my alternator in 3 hours, painted it so it looks like new, and i didnt even have to wait overnight! half the price of a new one too $119". This is why I suggest starting with a simple alternator battery connection. Preferred method is with the battery out of the vehicle. 2 - Battery Problems. Thats a good thing because i can replace either of those myself. The #2 battery is also not a direct connection to the power buss feeding the starter. Or something else - it's not possible to conclude with the information given. Looking at the charging system diagram, I don't see a connection with the internal voltage regulator to you issues. The easy way to know if you have a BAD BATTERY or BAD ALTERNATOR. It started with a jump. It may also be a faulty alternator. The battery probably ran dry due to the constant discharge and irregular recharge rate Don't know what sort of Alternator you have, the reg may be easy to replace, with the 'Troll I simply bought a new alternator, as the reg is inside mine, and also that way I have a warranty and a brand new unit, rather than an old one with a new part. To diagnose a faulty alternator, you will need to do the headlight test. When I removed them I was absolutely shocked and pleased at the same time because I believe I've found my voltage issues problem. Then it just cranked up on its own. If the battery warning light is on, and it never gets to 14v, then it is either alternator, or the connections to it. 4v at 1500 RPM). 2004 Pontiac Vibe Starter or Alternator Problem? So my 2004 Pontiac Vibe (not the GT) has been having problems starting in the morning. The alternator recharges your battery when the car is in motion. My car is clicks repeatedly when I turn the key, but it doesn't start. It output about 14. The wire from the large terminal (usually labelled "B+") to the battery can have high resistance, usually caused by a bad connection at either the starter or battery "+" terminal. If you're not comfortable testing an alternator or testing a starter, it's a simple job that your local mechanic can do, or you can have the check performed at many auto parts stores. Typically with a low battery, you turn the key and the starter lets out a bit of a growl or sound, the lights go very dim as long as you are in the start position on the key. If the battery dies while the car is still running, that means the alternator isn’t doing its job properly, and needs to be repaired or replaced. The way it works is your mechanic can remove the alternator and send it to the nearest alternator/starter rebuilding shop. Hi all, I currently have my alternator (on a Volvo Penta D2-55D) wired directly to my leisure battery bank. Why there - it's on the same cable loop as the alternator and the starter. If the alternator is not working , the battery will continue to drop in voltage as the current is drawn from it. is it the battery alternator or starter??? 1 Answer My 92 chevy pickup sat for about 2 months due to a broken radiator and me being gone to fix it. The length of cable from the battery to the starter terminal has a small amount of inductance, and when the starter solenoid interrupts several hundred amps of current this inductance of the battery cable will make a gigantic voltage spike right at the starter terminal. Alternator and/or Battery Problem - Flashing dash lights So my girlfriend rear-ended a pile up on the freeway a little over a month ago and I got it repaired by a recommended shop in my area. The battery is not designed to be a long-term power source. If the alternator is beginning to have problems or has failed, it will not be able to meet the vehicle’s electrical needs, including keeping the battery fully charged. today my alternator light come back on…. step two - car off - check battery voltage - DC volts on meter - end to battery cables if you can. Adema Alternator and Starter Service is an alternator repair and installation shop in Coopersville, MI. also clean all battery terminals, and main engine ground terminal on the engine. I know from previous experience that the car is about to completely shut down. I upgraded my battery cables to the starter with 2 gauge in the process. I have checked my connections at the alternator and battery and everything seems fine. with a fully charged reading of under 12v the battery is bad. (Your battery should have a minimum of 12. Simply run a charge wire from the battery terminal on the alternator to the positive terminal on the battery. Discount Battery Starter and Alternator Battery Rebuild. the hot wire from the alternator should go on the opposite side of the solenoid that the starter is hooked too. back of the alternator. The alternator is a key component in running the electrical systems in your car. My choice is to buy the least expensive automotive starting battery I can find, from a large-volume retailer. Just had my alternator bench tested again by a third person and the alternator is good, so I have to rule that out. It helps kick-start the alternator into working at idle speeds when you first start the car, and it tells you if the alternator is putting out less voltage than the battery has in it, indicating a problem. They use the starter solenoid post as a connector for the battery to Alternator. When the alternator is going bad, the battery picks up the slack of providing electricity to the car’s electrical system. Find a location. Assuming the starter has a good connection to the battery you will bypass any relais, loose wires, ignition switches (My dad did this with a large screwdriver or other metal tool. Turn the headlights on and then try to start the car. Alternator & Starter Testing - Free Alternator : To maintain the battery and keep up with the electrical system demands of your vehicle, the alternator has to put out between 13. I never experienced a starter failure like that before, they usually either work or don't, or maybe weak in turning the engine over slowly so it baffled me a little bit. 12v battery, starter motor and alternator tester all in 1, this amazing piece of kit is a must have for any roadside technician, mobile mechanic or busy workshop. If you have an older 10-SI model (2 flat connectors in the plug) then there are 3 wires you need to hook up. Drive or run your car for about an hour or so, turn it off, and then restart it. So, let’s take a look how the battery, alternator, and starter function and how to tell which one is causing the problem with your car. New alternator and starts every time and can run all accessories without problem. If you are hearing a stuttering when your car is trying to crank over, you may have an issue with your starter. Im having some trouble with my benz. Also, the truck doesn't even crank when I try to start it, and I have maybe only given one person a jump over the tenure of my truck. Although the alternator could be the culprit, don't overlook a worn or slipping accessory drive belt. The sound of the starter motor - that slower sound, is a result of a different problem, not the battery. A bad alternator will not properly charge the battery. Our Parts Professionals can test your battery, and if it's about to fail, help you find the right Super Start battery for your needs. Got it started by using jump leads this time. If you suspect a problem replace it. Do you have the original-equipment external voltage regulator type of alternator, or do you have a later internally regulated alternator?. Electrical System - Are your lights dim? Does your battery always die? One possible cause could be your car's alternator. The battery, starter and charging systems, including the alternator, work together in your car so sometimes it’s not easy to tell right away which one may be malfunctioning. Basically, your battery gets the engine going, but once it’s on, the alternator takes over and can, in theory, continue running the car without the battery’s help. Difference Between Starter Motor and Flat Battery? So i tried to start my car today, i turned ignition and it makes a faint sound and nothing happens, ive been told it is my starter motor b a few people and a dead battery by others, does anybody know how to tell which is which?. Typically with a low battery, you turn the key and the starter lets out a bit of a growl or sound, the lights go very dim as long as you are in the start position on the key. If the alternator isn't putting out enough current to keep up with the electrical loads that are placed upon it, or the charging voltage is low, don't automatically assume the starter or alternator is bad and needs to be replaced (unless you're bench testing the unit out of. They will be able to give the alternator an electrical test to see if it is bad or if the battery itself is bad and needs to be replaced. Alternator and/or Battery Problem - Flashing dash lights So my girlfriend rear-ended a pile up on the freeway a little over a month ago and I got it repaired by a recommended shop in my area. Rule out the starter. STARTER MOTOR 12 VOLT BATTERY SOLENOID BATTERY TER MINAL SOLENOID TAB TERM NAL S TA RE TER INAL KEY SWITCH Switch Position Continuity Terminal No. So I went back and revved the starter-car engine for another 10 minutes. By the way, my expenses for the starter and alternator were minimal. that's important. What is happening is when you use the jumper cables to start it that is were it gets it power, but when you disconnect the cables the battery drops below 12v and shuts off the voltage regulator (required 12v input to operate) voltage then drops below 9v which shuts off fuel solenoid on carb causing engine to die. Replacing the faulty cable. The starter, on the other hand, will draw 150 amps or more and that will have a very thick, dedicated line from the battery to the starter solenoid. Is the car out of gas? Yeah, it. How do I tell if its my battery or starter that is bad? 25 Answers. Simply run a charge wire from the battery terminal on the alternator to the positive terminal on the battery. Even the best new battery will eventually run out with a constant discharge with little or no charge from the alternator. I would like to wire a battery bank in parallel with my car battery to receive a charge while the engine is on and a solar solution as a backup or alternate charge source in order to power lights/electronics in the field. Twelve volt starters, accessory motors, etc. Truck Battery or Alternator: How to Tell Where the Problem Is If your battery or alternator in your import truck just gives out one day, would you be able to determine which it is? Its not easy finding out exactly which part of your truck is giving you the trouble, but here are a few tips that can help you in figuring out whether you have car. My radio shows and so do my dash lights. If your alternator fails, your battery will lose its charge since the alternator won't be able to keep it charged up. I frequently test car batteries at our small dealership prior to charging them with a battery charger. I have changed both batteries and the alternator. back of the alternator. How does one tell the difference between a bad battery and a bad alternator? My car will not crank, but has some power (the dome lights, panel lights and power locks work). The battery was completely dead, and I kew that if the alternator would have been running properly, the motor should have continued running. My auto electric mechanic checked alternator and battery several weeks ago and were OK. You may think it to be a battery issue and change it without running any tests, but a damaged alternator can destroy a healthy battery. Battery tenders provide a trickle charge and exercise to the battery to keep it healthy. Most auto parts store or service centers have one and it doesn't take long to test. A voltage drop test will assess voltage losses at the battery, the alternator and the starter. The only way to test a battery is with a load test. The headlight test is done outside while the vehicle is in park. Often, the problem is not the starter but a low battery or a loose or corroded battery cable connection. We offer high quality New and Rebuilt Alternators, Starters for vehicles, marine & industrial applications. Some of these problems are enough to kill a battery on their own, while others are usually. The battery is often the culprit when a vehicle fails to start. Some starters will hum while they rotate and then click, while others will click shortly after you turn on the ignition. 3) If you look at the wiring leaving the positive terminal from the battery, there is one cable that goes down to the starter and another one that goes over to the under hood fuse box. 16, all for just $19. It started almost a week ago when I went to crank it up and all I heard was click click click and nothing. Our starters and alternators match OE requirements for a trouble-free replacement. It could mean the alternator isn't charging, or the battery isn't holding a charge. If the alternator is beginning to have problems or has failed, it will not be able to meet the vehicle’s electrical needs, including keeping the battery fully charged. If the alternator is bad, the battery will most likely be dead as well. Battery or Alternator The battery provides the juice needed to operate the starter motor. (Electric vehicles don't need alternators since they are driven by an electric motor and battery combination that provides plenty of energy for the vehicle's normal operations. This is why I suggest starting with a simple alternator battery connection. Im having some trouble with my benz. Alternator bench tested good. took starter off and oreillys tested it 4x, good each time. Hello all, Last week, my car did not start. The battery is not designed to be a long-term power source. We got it tested and the battery and alternator tested fine. It seems to me since the alternator output goes straight to the starter then to the battery it shouldn't matter where I connect it, but in a previous question you said to run the main power line for the 6A to the battery. I know from previous experience that the car is about to completely shut down. The alternator is only going to be sending a couple of amps to the battery when the engine is running so it won't need a huge wire. The second problem that people encounter is the slow starter speed when cranking the engine. Select your vehicle details and find the alternator or starter that fits your vehicle in a matter of seconds. Adema Alternator and Starter Service is an alternator repair and installation shop in Coopersville, MI. Basically, when you turn the key in the ignition, the starter motor is powered by the battery and this starts the engine. When this occurs, the battery cannot charge and will, therefore, run down. I took it to the Honda dealership and they state that my battery, starter, and alternator are working great. Do it yourself. Then you will have both a battery and alternator to place, and sometimes a starter as well. How does one tell the difference between a bad battery and a bad alternator? My car will not crank, but has some power (the dome lights, panel lights and power locks work). If you have a bad alternator, the way to self test it is to remove a cable from the battery after the car is running. The car would not start after the new battery was put in and the starter was put on. Macon, GA 31206 (478) 785-1500. When the car is running the alternator produces electricity and the voltage should be above 13. Our starters and alternators match OE requirements for a trouble-free replacement. I've had it on a trickle charge for about a week. What was weird was that all the electrical stuff was working, my headlights and all,however; my car was not kicking over. Turned it back off so they could do the test, tested 430CCA out of 720, but was still "good". 3) If you look at the wiring leaving the positive terminal from the battery, there is one cable that goes down to the starter and another one that goes over to the under hood fuse box. When my alternator died in my chevy S10. The starter never acted funny and it cranked the engine normally when the battery wasn't dead, and I never found it to be hot on a cold engine. The cause of the battery light could be a loose or corroded battery cable or other wire connecting components of the charging system, or it might be a problem with the alternator or voltage regulator. Ok so here's the story: My battery has been dying a bunch these past few weeks, so i tested the alternator and it wasn't giving a charge, I assumed the alternator was bad and put a brand new one on. It can be hard to determine if you're dealing with a battery or an alternator problem. When my AC and radiator fans are running the inside voltmeter will drop to 12 or a little below. This is usually an indication that the battery may be flat. If the alternator is not working properly, the battery will quickly run out of power. I plug a jumper pack in and it immediately starts. I looked up the wiring diagram and was able to locate and remove the wire, except there seems to be a problem: it was just a 10 ga wire running from the alternator to the starter, and about half way in between was another 10 ga wire spliced into it running to a junction block on the firewall above. If one of these parts is not working properly, your car won't start or run correctly. There is a reason the 8 volt battery was installed in the tractor. I dont belive it is the battery, starter or alternator. 1 or lower battery is not charged or it is old and not holding charge. Mac’s Auto Electric operating since 1996, is located at 496 Bay St, Victoria, B C. The alternator consists of a stator - a stationary set of wire coil windings, inside which a rotor revolves. is it the battery alternator or starter??? 1 Answer My 92 chevy pickup sat for about 2 months due to a broken radiator and me being gone to fix it. A dead battery is your initial sign that something could be wrong with the alternator. Okay, so I have a 1999 Mercedes C230K with a new battery (that has been tested with a full charge) and a new alternator (from NAPA auto) however my car will die after extended periods behind the wheel and the battery is not being charged as I am unable to get it started again without a boost. They will be able to give the alternator an electrical test to see if it is bad or if the battery itself is bad and needs to be replaced. You should be able to get proper cables at Case-IH or Tractor Supply or similar places. I pulled the negative battery cable off and measured the voltage between the cable and the negative battery terminal and got 12. Positive cable is brand new. This is a multi-location business. connect to the Bat+ close to the firewall Senses and adjusts the +12V were it is needed use 14 ga wire (thinner) Pin 1 of the push in connector on the alternator Ignition On input. At first my alternator had an 8 gauge wire going straight to the battery and no ground wire (thought the alt grounded itself). Such as battery, cables, and other components in the alternator circuit. 8 volt range, it is not working. My radio shows and so do my dash lights. took starter off and oreillys tested it 4x, good each time. It doesn't seem to be resetting my radio clock. I'm saving his # for any problems. i just bought a brand new battery and alternator a month ago…. Finally removed the alternator and the BRUSHES were making contact just enough to keep my truck running, but when lights or any other accessory was used the truck would quit. My question is how can I determine if it is a dead battery, bad alternator or bad voltage regulator? I charged the car for 1. The autozone guy said that since the battery is getting over-charged that I'm sending too many volts to the starter and that I'm probably burning out my starter, which is why it cranks so slowly. 917272280 Craftsman lawn tractor. Also connect the alternator to the terminal block. my battery indicator light went on on my 1990 Chevy Silverado pickup 5. You know the battery's dead, it's a matter of why. The only way to test a battery is with a load test. ) * Charging warning light does not come on * Alternator tests OK, but maybe a bit low, in car, but tests fine on a test bench. and am wondering if there is some sort of relay between my key ignition and starter that may need replaced. My auto electric mechanic checked alternator and battery several weeks ago and were OK. Replacing the faulty cable. Don't wait until your battery, alternator, or starter goes out before taking your car to a professional to determine why your car won't start. It just clicks a bunch when i turn the key. "My battery is dead!" Or is it more complicated than that? The same situation could happen again with a new battery, if you miss signs of a failing alternator. 04 volts and the battery reads 13. New battery won't stay charged. There is one thick output cable from the alternator to the starter solenoid , and a smaller lead or leads. Starter problems can be caused by several things: Weak battery because of battery failure or alternator that is not charging the battery. Mechanic said well it has to be the alternator, so now that has been replaced. Threw on my Optima Yellow Top battery and ran it into the local parts store. Well, by the time I got home last night and parked my car, the battery was completely dead. Both checked out good, which I'm thinking rules out an alternator/ charge issue since I drove for a while and then tested the battery. I replaced solenoid, starter, and battery. Took it to pepboys and they told me to replace the battery, a new battery later, my car wouldn't start again and I needed to get it jumpstarted again. If the lights stay bright, the problem is probably not a dead battery or a bad alternator. Hey my car has slowly been starting I just had to replace my alternator a while go and my starter is still new from last year so is the battery what could be the problem that my won't start Michael says:. One of the standard tests to determine if the starter motor is to blame is to bang on the starter box with a. 12v battery, starter motor and alternator tester all in 1, this amazing piece of kit is a must have for any roadside technician, mobile mechanic or busy workshop. 2004 Pontiac Vibe Starter or Alternator Problem? So my 2004 Pontiac Vibe (not the GT) has been having problems starting in the morning. It started almost a week ago when I went to crank it up and all I heard was click click click and nothing. Also connect the alternator to the terminal block. Hi guys I'm currently working on a car alternator as a generator, I'd like to prove and see it for my self how much torque it would require to properly pull the alternator to producing voltage greater than 12. With all the power going to the starter, there wasn't enough for a sufficient spark and it wouldn't start. Battery isolators and relays are a good way to toast your alternator. Alternator: If it is not up to snuff, the battery may not charge. There are two parts to a starter that can fail. It started with a jump. If you don't have a battery tester, you can still see if the battery is good by jump-starting the car. It might be your starter and not your alternator or battery. I was told using this test, that if the car stays running with a battery cable pulled off, then this indicates the battery is bad. The battery terminal must have 12 volts going to it for the alternator to work. 2 - Battery Problems. Im having some trouble with my benz. Problems with starter or alternator 4 Answers. This is usually an indication that the battery may be flat. same exact reading at the solenoid. Once the engine is started it runs on its own and the starter turns off. If you attempt to start your vehicle and all you hear is a low whining, it could be a low battery. I have heard that pulling off one of the battery cables, while engine is running, is a good test to tell if the alternator or battery is bad. How to tell the difference between a bad battery, alternator, and starter. If the vehicle needs to be lifted, support it with jack stands. Thanks in advance. These lights are operated by the battery and if they can be turned on then the problem is not the battery and is the starter. Finally the car started!! So here's the question: Was the problem really my starter the whole time, or was it actually my battery??? Think you know? Well there's one more twist: For sh*ts and giggles, I took the old starter to Autozone and had them test it. You may have a failing starter. If the battery is weak, the car will continue to run but the lights will again become dim shortly after, indicating a problem with the charging system within the battery. If the alternator is beginning to have problems or has failed, it will not be able to meet the vehicle's electrical needs, including keeping the battery fully charged. At Sun Auto Service, we understand that you lead a busy life and having the start-up or battery issues never come at a convenient time. If it starts take the car to a mechanic and have him test the alternator.