Edmunds Answers



  • karjunkie 09/28/08 7:28 pm PST

    I suspect your problem is electrical in nature. First check the battery by removing it and taking it to an auto parts store to test it which they will do for free. Next check the terminals and clean both the battery posts and the connectors. Make sure the negative ground cable running from the battery is securely bolted to the ground point on the frame. Then check the red positive cable's connection to the alternator. If all is good there, you will need to check the alternator. Open the hood, and with the car engine off, loosen the negative battery cable so that it can be removed with little effort. With the battery cable still loosely attached to the terminal, crank the engine, then pull the battery cable completely free of the terminal. If the engine continues to run, the alternator is providing enough voltage to power the electric circuits that provide spark to the spark plugs, electric fuel pumps, etc. You can increase the demand on the alternator by turning on headlamps, heater blower fans, and other electrical accessories to determine the draw capability of your alternator. If the engine immediately dies when the cable is removed, the alternator is probably bad.


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