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Discussion Starter #1
If things couldn't get any worse,

Last couple of days or so I've noticed my system taking a toll on my car and everytime the bass hit the lights would dim. I know I need a cap and was going to purchase a 1 Farad this weekend, it being pay day today ... Hell yeah!
Well, yesterday I was at school and when I got in my car and turned the ignition ... Nothing. No accessories, no nothin. I just got a brand spakin new Die Hard battery about 3 weeks ago. I don't think thats the problem, thinking the alternator is. After I sat there for half a minute or so, I just turned the ignition to accessories and everything lit up fine and then started the car normally. This morning I was late for work and got in my car and BAM! Nothing again. Didn't have time to mess with it so I just took my other car. 1996 Mercury Mystique. (Big Ups to the Big Merc Dawg!) I'll bet when I get home it will start right up. Anything sound familiar to anyone?
 

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your alternator could slowly be dying maybe...

maybe its something with the ignition.. but then i think your radio would still go on if u had igntion problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Update:

I just got back from my lunch break and I went home to check on my baby. Now remember I just replaced my battery 3 weeks ago. This is what happened:
Turned the key in the ignition and the dash lights didn't light up. Turned it again and the dash lights were very dim and the car didn't turn at all. I turned the key to off. Turned the key back on and the lights were very dim again, then they went brighter and seemed normal. I turned the key to off and then the car started right up after turning the ignition. Weird ... Is that still the alternator? I guess I really have no clue now. Thanks to anyone who can help me out! :)
 

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my friend hs a digital dash and his are dim when on accesoriy.. that could be a short somewhere maybe...
 

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200'side said:
Update:
Turned the key in the ignition and the dash lights didn't light up. Turned it again and the dash lights were very dim and the car didn't turn at all. I turned the key to off. Turned the key back on and the lights were very dim again, then they went brighter and seemed normal. I turned the key to off and then the car started right up after turning the ignition. Weird ... Is that still the alternator? I guess I really have no clue now. Thanks to anyone who can help me out! :)
Maybe you need to push in the clutch all the way, it happens to me all the time. Just playing. I think its the alternator too. Go to your local autoparts and have it checked out. I have something that checks your battery and alternator but i dont know what its called.
 
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i actually had that exact problem one time, but it was only a couple of days after i replaced the battery. i kept thinking my alternator was bad or my alarm was shorting the battery or something. well, it turned out that my terminals were just a little corroded and all i had to do was clean them and really crank down hard when i tightened them on the battery. absolutely no problems after that.

i wondered why i would get intermittent power. i figured with a connection, you either get juice or no juice...nothing inbetween, but as it turns out, someone told me that a bad connection, can sometimes run the accessories, but not have enough to start the car...sometimes it will start, and sometimes you'll get nothing at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Teknokid said:
Maybe you need to push in the clutch all the way, it happens to me all the time. Just playing. I think its the alternator too. Go to your local autoparts and have it checked out. I have something that checks your battery and alternator but i dont know what its called.
Ha ha ... good one. I made sure of that. Good lookin out though. :rolleyes:

Blk35se: I just bought the battery and even though my previous battery always had a nice amount of corrosion on the terminals, the new battery doesn't. I thought that might have been the problem but probably not. Maybe it is a connection.

As for the car, things went smoothly this weekend. She started up without a problem everytime with no hint of the problem. I bought a 1 Farad Capacitor on Sat. but haven't had the chance to install it. Hopefully within the next couple of days I will. I took it real easy on her and didn't even turn the stereo up too high. I'm still going to replace the alternator as well, since the cap is going in. I just hate taking the time and effort to call a hundred different shops looking for a good one at a decent price. Hopefully they are local.
Here's something though to keep your gears turning. My stereo doesn't keep its power. It seems to shut off for a second or two then turns right back on, more when I have it turned up, but I can be at a stop light and it shuts off. In the morning its completely reset but turns on. Thanks for everyone's input and opinions!! :)
 
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the corrosion wasn't on the actual battery terminal but on the wire that connects to the battery. cleaned with a little soda and tightened down well... no more problems. i'm not sure the connection was your problem, but the whole senario just sounded real familiar.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I think I located the problem. I will have to confirm this if it happens again though. The problem occured again last night. Turned the ignition on and everthing lit up for a second then shut off. Turned the key several times and not a damn thing happened. I checked the terminals and connections, trust me, those things are tight. But I did give them a couple taps just to make sure there was a connection. 2nd thing I did was tap the solenoid on the starter. Gave it a couple swift taps then got in the car and it started up without a problem. I don't know why I went to the solenoid, but it made sense at the time. No power at all is getting to the starter, and for some reason thought the spring inside the solenoid might not be making contact. So next time it happens Im gonna try and verify it's the solenoid, if not, more than likely it would be the battery wire/connections. Still sound familiar??
 

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Whoa, Hold up before you go and replace the alternator. Next time you can get it started drive to the local auto store and buy a voltmeter. Next remove your battery cables and use the voltmeter on the battery. It should be close to twelve volts. Now use the voltmeter on the positive cable that you removed, sunce power coming from the alternator should close to 14 (14.4) . If either one of the readings are low it would suggest that the corresponding part is bad. If both are normal that would lead me to believe one of two things. The first thing to try is to use baking soda mixed with water to remove all battery corrosion from the terminals and battery poles. If you ever saw any corrosion on your battery this could very well be the cause, even if you cant see it. Try it you might be very surprised, I had it happen and I dont even really have a system. If not that, its gonna be down to hunting all cables in your system carrying power and all the grounds. If not that, good luck my friend:(
Trace
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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the suggestion. But I found the problem. It was the positive terminal connection. It was tight but not making a solid contact (if that makes sense. lol) It's also where I have my moster cable integrated with a connector so for some reason would not make a 'good' connection. When the car doesnt do anything when I turn it, I pop the hood ... give it a wiggle ... and bam! Re-wired it and everything seems good. Corrosion isn't a problem with the new battery, just the old one having its problems.
Oh, one more thing, even though it hasn't happened since. I'm just kinda confused. I stated earlier that my radio would shut off while I was driving but turn right back on. Was this just because of the bad connection? Wouldn't more than the stereo have turned off? But like I said no problems since. So thanks again.
 
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