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Discussion Starter #1
The subject explains it. When my foot is NOT on the gas pedal, the battery and the parking break light are lit....whether i'm in "park", at a stop sign/light, or driving. But as soon as I put my foot on the gas, the battery and parking break light are no longer lit. Very wierd. Is my battery dead/dying? Maybe the cells are low(i'll have to check)?

Here's what happed just before I noticed this:


1) Installed new stereo/amp/speakers 3 or 4 months ago
--Complete success no problems

2) Did an oil change at Jiffy Lube 1 week ago
--after oil change i noticed engine noise through speakers. Coincidence?.....i have no idea. I disconnected the amp so I didn't have to listen to the engine noise.

3) Loaned my car to my inlaws this weekend so they can have a reliable car to make a round trip from Sacramento, CA to Medford, OR( 700 miles or so round trip)
--I was told that one of the headlights went out and they replaced it.

And thats when I got my car back, I noticed that the battery and parking break light are on unless yer foot is on the gas pedal. I also plugged my amp back in for the helluv it and everything with that is fine. No more engine noise....go figure.

Any ideas? Is it proly as simple as getting a new battery? Or does it sound like I have an electrical problem? Thanks!

SactoTechie
 
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Discussion Starter #2
Alternator. Those lights going off together are (almost) always the alternator.
 

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sometimes if your pushing too much equipment, the alternator will slowly kill the battery because the alternator is only kicking out what the car origionally needed, but even at that, i wouldnt think an amp would matter.

alot of people think the alternator is a battery charger, when infact, its only job is to maintain the charge that the battery is at now.
 
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Thanks guys. So it's proly the alternator?? Ouch! I just looked it up on carparts.com and the alternator is $260!! Dizayam! I guess I'll take it into my mechanic and have him confirm the problem. I really appreciate your input!

SactoTechie
 

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no definates, heres a little eletcrical skool...

say your car was putting out 12.50 volts like its supposed to.

and your car is using most of it.

then you throw in an amp that uses X amount of power, and say X sets it over the limit, the alternator will usually only charge to 12.50 Volts. but if the battery is always using more then that, the alternator is always straining to keep up. The alternator will try to keep up, and will for a while (you said 4 months or so ago you threw the amp in?) but after a while the alternator is stained to far.

understand? :D
 

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I think it's probally the alternator, mine went out like 4 months ago it was kinda doing the same thing. Funny thing is that when it actually died, whenever my sub would hit, the radio would cut out.
 

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Get yourself a capacitor. If you don't, you'll fry your new alternator too. After frying 2 alternators under warranty I finally got a capcitor, and have yet to have another alternator problem. It's been a year already.

Also, the engine noise is probably due to bad ground. Make sure your ground wire for the amp is at least as thick as your power wire, and make sure it's making GOOD contact with the body.
 
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The amp I'm using is only 100 watts and is powering 2 8" speakers which are in the trunk. The original speakers inside the car are powered by the deck. I hooked up the amp and speakers for no particular reason....other than they were just sitting in my garage unused. The amp is well grounded with and powered with very thick wire. I'll proly just take out the amp and speakers completely if its going to cause this much of a problem.

If the alternator is the problem. How much time til my car won't run at all. Is it something I should have fixed immediately??? Will I notice additional problems if the alternator fails/is failing? How does/will it affect me battey? I won't have time to take my sentra in for 2 days so i'll proly just drive my truck until then. Thanks again for all your help. I'll be sure to post back after I have my car serviced to confirm your diagnose's.

Sactotechie
 
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