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Think my alternator is dead!

This is a discussion on Think my alternator is dead! within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; So i was going around 70 mph when all the sudden all my gauges and radio shut off. I was ...

  1. #1
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    Think my alternator is dead!

    So i was going around 70 mph when all the sudden all my gauges and radio shut off. I was still able to accelerate for a short time before I was able to pull over safely. When i did the battery was dead. I got the car jumped and was able to drive for about a mile before the same thing happened again. While i had it going again i noticed that the battery gauge was only at 8.

    So I assume that my alternator is shot and it needs a new one. How hard are they to install on these cars? or am i off and its the battery.

    2000 Trans Am 5.7 V8

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    I had the exact scenario happen on my saturn a few years ago...it was a bad alternator....radio went first then slowly the car just lost power....i let it sit for an hour and it drove a few miles then dead again....id troubleshoot the alternator...may be a good time to replace the battery too

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    Battery connections can also create the symptom and result you described. Dirt and corrosion can cause an open circuit. I'd make sure all the connections are clean and aren't creating excessive resistance or an open.
    At one time the positive battery cable connected to the battery in my truck was loose and created the same situation you described. I had it easy since all I had to do was tighten the connection.

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    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    OP, they are not hard to do.

    Remove the serpentine belt
    disconnect the battery
    lift up on jack stands or a lift
    You have 3 bolts this includes the positive (red wires)
    after removing last bolt make sure you have a good grip and lower it slowly. There is a thin wire that connects to the pcm. If you break it or forget to connect it the alternator will not charge the battery.

    Replace with new alternator and reverse the same steps above.


    Now do you know what caused the alternator to go bad? Does it have a lot of power steering fluid on it? if so post. A leaky PS pump is the culprit in most cases. Usually a bad o ring on the high pressure hose.

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    Electrical Engineer KMdef9's Avatar
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    It's not your battery, if your belt is there, it's your alt.

    I'm with Scott the rest of the way, especially diagnosing the cause. You can take both your battery and your alt into the autoparts store and get them tested.

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    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    Like Kevin said take both. When the Alternator goes so does the battery. If you're lucky it just needs a recharge, however if it's old it will most likely need replacement.

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    I think some powersteering fluid got on it. I let my nephew pour some in the reservoir. When I looked when he was done some have spilt around and i wiped it up. But im thinking that i may have missed some or not done it quick enough that some may have dripped on to the alternator.
    Good news, from what you guys have said changing the alternator shouldnt be too hard. But im going to double check the battery before i start taking things apart.

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    Well, i looked underneath and i believe that i am leaking power steering fluid. I checked the reservoir and its already missing a lot of the fluid i put in there 2 days ago. So looks like im going to have to fix that as well.

    How hard is it to replace that 0 ring on the high pressure hose?

    edit: Also, i assume its a horrible thing to do, but how bad would it be to run the car with no power steering fluid? looks like the seals arent carried at the local autozone and need to be ordered and i need a car. and these are the seals id need correct http://www.autozone.com/autozone/par...ier=21438_0_0_
    Last edited by Vince from Shamwow; 12-28-2011 at 12:18 PM.

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    Member DaddySS's Avatar
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    Before you begin assuming anything is bad, get the are cleaned up, remove and clean your battery terminals, then see where the leak is coming from. you've got a high and low pressure hose, the resevoir, the pump, etc. to check.

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    I almost got the alternator off and can already that there is power steering fluid everywhere. So im going to have to get that fixed before I put my new alt on. Thanks for the help so far guys! And SMW6TA that guide is going to be incredibly helpful when i start working on that leak!

    Edit: Alt is out, believe leak is from the high pressure hose. Just waiting on the seals so i can start working on that
    Last edited by Vince from Shamwow; 12-29-2011 at 04:48 PM.

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    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    Those O rinks cost under a buck. Unless the hose is torn just replace the O rings. Tighten to sung, over tighten and you'll be right back where you are now.

    Also while alternator is out use a 50/50 solution of water & simple green to clean up the fluid. Let it sit for 10 mins and then rinse with water under low pressure.

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