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Originating Member
35,160 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm thinking my alternator is going out ... but who knows ?

Maybe YOU do ... LOL

here's the deal

my '00 Van has 85xxx miles on it

The other day, I tried starting it, and got the click click click, noise, but the engine never turned over and the amp / battery gauge in the dash shows it was well under 14 ... so I wondered if the battery was gone ...

Luckily, I have a trickle charger, (and a good known spare battery.)

I put the new fully charged battery in last Friday and it fired right up, no problem. Driven it every day without a hitch.

Tonight I made a quick run to Home Depot, -got ready to leave and :(

click click click .... sure enough, I look at the gauge again, and it is well under 14 AGAIN ...


I had the original battery on the trickle charger, came home, grabbed the toolbox and the original battery, swapped it in and

just like that

fired right up, first time ....

I looked at the gauge again, and noticed, its just barely past 14 ...

I haven't done anything else to the van lately, so there is nothing (that I know of) that should be drawing on the battery while its not running.

(I don't have the radio hooked up so it will play with the engine off etc.)

but I should have gotten more than 4 days off a fully charged battery ...

so I wondering if the alternator is draining it .... maybe the battery is only lasting as long as the alternator will allow it to while its draining off of it ....

I only work about 5 miles from my house, so I haven't been long distance with it ... but it SUCKS when you don't know if you vehicle is going to leave you stranded ...

and before someone asks - I do have tight connections and the posts and the clamps are clean and tight.

Whats your diagnosis ??

Is there an "idiot" light that comes on the dash board when the alternator is dead or not ? (maybe I'm thinking old school again.)

Do It In A Van
8,045 Posts
The battery light should come on if the alternator is going up, but with these newer vehicles, who knows half the time.

If you have a voltmeter, test the charging system while the vehicle is should get between 13.5V-14.5V, if not then the alternator is probably bad. Have the battery load tested as well. Since the battery is original, I would bet that the battery is the problem.

I just put a brandy new Duralast battery in the '94...IMHO, Duralast is a damn good battery for the price. :rck:

4 Wheel Power Disc Brakes
5,828 Posts
Use an ammeter to check for current draw with the engine off. If it is drawing current, disconnect the alternator to verify it's the culpit. If it isn't, something else is.-Lights, E-flashers, etc.
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