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Old 04-17-2011, 03:31 PM   #16
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Cleaning Battery Terminals - Car Dies


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don't do that with newer cars. You can cause damage to electronics in the car.
That's why I do floor covering. My days as a certifed Toyota mechanic was long ago.

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Old 04-17-2011, 11:13 PM   #17
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Cleaning Battery Terminals - Car Dies


sorry i did not read through all the posts...

properly working alternator should maintain powertrain fully running without battery even connected. i had it tested several times and it does run with cables off the battery.
battery is nothing more than a power storage in case of emergencies or supply, exceeding what alternator produces. also, it works as a back up power supply for all the devices that run when alternator is producing no energy. on non-hybrid cars, it also provides power for starter.

of course you have dead battery if your alternator is not producing enough power.

also, speaking from my very little experience with German vehicles, as i stay away from them, they have some sort of electronics filled box on top of battery, right? my daughter in-law's jetta does. they had similar problem 2 yrs ago, and culprit was one of the pieces in that device. it was bridging battery terminals. whatever it is.
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Old 04-19-2011, 09:18 AM   #18
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Cleaning Battery Terminals - Car Dies


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Originally Posted by ukrkoz View Post
sorry i did not read through all the posts...

properly working alternator should maintain powertrain fully running without battery even connected. i had it tested several times and it does run with cables off the battery.
battery is nothing more than a power storage in case of emergencies or supply, exceeding what alternator produces. also, it works as a back up power supply for all the devices that run when alternator is producing no energy. on non-hybrid cars, it also provides power for starter.

of course you have dead battery if your alternator is not producing enough power.
That's what I said, but some were convinced that I was wrong.
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Old 04-19-2011, 11:26 AM   #19
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Cleaning Battery Terminals - Car Dies


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That's what I said, but some were convinced that I was wrong.
who said you were wrong about what?

I said pulling the battery out of circuit while the vehicle is running can cause damage to electronics...and it can. Suggesting anybody pull the battery cable from the battery to check if the alternator is putting out any power is a good way to throw away money. I learned it from experience in a 1988 Ford. After I screwed up a $100 part (in the mid '90's) I did some investigation and subsequently learned that you should never do that. You can cause damage to electronic parts.


The battery does more than store power for starting. It acts as a filter for the unsteady and somewhat dirty power you get from an alternator. That unsteady and dirty power can kill electronics.



Then, if the alternator is already bad, what kind of power do you think that is going to feed into all of the electronic gizmos?

In a couple minutes of looking around to confirm I wasn't crazy, I found a guy telling about a bunch of alternators from some boats that were apparently damaged when the boat operators turned off the battery disconnect with the engine still running.

So, take it from somebody that learned the hard way; you should not pull the battery out of circuit. If you don't want to believe me, start doing some serious reading. There is plenty of information on the internet from qualified sources telling you to not do that.

Last edited by nap; 04-19-2011 at 11:28 AM.
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Old 04-21-2011, 01:19 PM   #20
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Cleaning Battery Terminals - Car Dies


Thanks for all the replies and discussion. It is educational for me...thanks.

So I haven't gotten a chance yet to take the car to the shop (just driving my other, and this one needs a tow). Though, what I'm thinking of doing at this point to just clear things up and know I'm good to go (though will still take to shop, check VAG/Audi codes, and see what he says), is to put in new battery and alternator - but not happy about the cost.

I'm told that it's fine to buy a used alternator. What are your guys opinions on that? I'm not into the idea. May cost 100 instead of 400. I like to save, but not at the expense of doing it right.

Thanks.
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Old 04-21-2011, 01:31 PM   #21
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Cleaning Battery Terminals - Car Dies


have the alternator tested before replacing. Autozone and Advance Auto both do it for free and I think both can do a carry in alternator.

used alternators; I really tend to shy away from used parts unless there is a decent warranty (or I accept there is no warranty and that fits my needs at the moment). Last thing I want to do is change my old broken alternator for somebody else's old broken alternator. If you can get some sort of warranty that is actually one that will be honored, I don't see a problem with a used part.
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Old 04-21-2011, 01:32 PM   #22
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Cleaning Battery Terminals - Car Dies


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Thanks for all the replies and discussion. It is educational for me...thanks.

So I haven't gotten a chance yet to take the car to the shop (just driving my other, and this one needs a tow). Though, what I'm thinking of doing at this point to just clear things up and know I'm good to go (though will still take to shop, check VAG/Audi codes, and see what he says), is to put in new battery and alternator - but not happy about the cost.

I'm told that it's fine to buy a used alternator. What are your guys opinions on that? I'm not into the idea. May cost 100 instead of 400. I like to save, but not at the expense of doing it right.

Thanks.
First of all, why replace the alternator if it's okay? A good auto parts store can easily check it for you. And I wouldn't go used. A rebuilt Bosch, with lifetime warranty, at OReilly's is about $200.

That said, if it was my car I'd take the battery in and have it tested. Honestly, everything you have described leads me to believe your problem is the battery.

Start simple, start cheap. Work your way up from there, if need be.

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