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New battery and Alt.. but still won't charge..

  #1  
Old 08-16-2013, 05:15 PM
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Default New battery and Alt.. but still won't charge..

Hi all, I'm new here.. My daughter's Camry just got a new alternator and battery. It ran for most of the day, and then conked out again last night.

I tried searching, but couldn't find anything specific to this, so I joined up because this looks like a good place to find advice.

Last night I went over there to bail them out, with a multimeter and jumper cables, hoping to find a simple fix like a loose wire or something. The plug at the alternator was loose, so I thought I found it, but that didn't do it. After leaving the jumper cables on it for about 10 minutes, and then starting it, it still only showed 11 volts at the battery while running.

I found two fuses under the hood that say ALT. The 7.5 was good, but I couldn't get the 120 out to test it. The 120 "looked" like it was good, but it didn't want to come out and I afraid to break it, so I left it.

We wound up just driving it to a safe parking spot nearby, and it'll go back to the shop today.

I'm asking here because I'm not sure I trust the shop anymore. It's a well respected old local chain, but the guy who started the business died years ago and I wonder if it's still the same..

It seems to me like they might've sold her a new alternator and battery that she didn't need.. apparently, there's something else wrong.

Are there any known issues with these cars? I couldn't find any in my searches, but I figure you guys are more familiar with these than I am.

I'm not a mechanic.. I'm just a carpenter who works on his own truck.. It's been 20+ years since I took my own vehicle to a mechanic for anything but tires, but I do need some advice sometimes.

If anyone has any advice on what to check or where to start, it would be greatly appreciated. If this shop wants to charge more, I'm gonna just try to figure it out myself. Thanks in advance!

Jim
 
  #2  
Old 08-16-2013, 05:17 PM
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PS; it's a V-6 and, I'm not sure but I think it's a 2004...
 
  #3  
Old 08-16-2013, 07:25 PM
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The 120A fuse is bolted to wiring terminals thus do not pry it out.

Does the charge light work, if not check the 10A, IG2 fuse and determine if it is OK.

Check the alt wiring.
Black = 12V hot from 120A fuse.
White = 12V hot from 120A fuse and Alt fuse.
Yellow/green = IG2 fuse going to alt light.
Red/blue = 10A gauge1 fuse.

If the alt plug was out, the alt may have been damaged, thus might have it retested.

Check for loose or damaged wires, bad grounds, loose harness plugs, etc.

Sometimes an alt can be bad if rebuilt.
 
  #4  
Old 08-16-2013, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by toyomoho View Post
The 120A fuse is bolted to wiring terminals thus do not pry it out.

Does the charge light work, if not check the 10A, IG2 fuse and determine if it is OK.

Check the alt wiring.
Black = 12V hot from 120A fuse.
White = 12V hot from 120A fuse and Alt fuse.
Yellow/green = IG2 fuse going to alt light.
Red/blue = 10A gauge1 fuse.

If the alt plug was out, the alt may have been damaged, thus might have it retested.

Check for loose or damaged wires, bad grounds, loose harness plugs, etc.

Sometimes an alt can be bad if rebuilt.
Thanks Joey, I appreciate it!

haha, yeah, that 120 fuse seemed tighter than any old fuse I ever saw. I considered putting pliers on it, but I had a feeling that might be a bad idea.. it was dark..

With a flashlight, I checked every wire I could see, but I didn't remove the airbox to see it all better.

The wiring, in general, looked pretty good and clean. But, the clip on that alternator plug looks like it has failed. The piece is intact, but it didn't click together the way I would've liked it to. Maybe the shop did have it fixed, and then the plug came undone again..? (I want to give those guys the benefit of the doubt here). Also, I didn't know that that could ruin the alternator. When I first saw it, it was basically in place, but not really pushed together. It looked like it was just sitting on top, with just the rubber boot keeping it in place..

Judging by what my daughter told me, I figure they drove about 150 miles before the battery ran out of juice. .. mostly highway. Do you think a Camry (with a brand new battery) could go that far without charging?
 
  #5  
Old 08-16-2013, 08:17 PM
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Originally Posted by toyomoho View Post
Does the charge light work, if not check the 10A, IG2 fuse and determine if it is OK.
PS, yes, the battery light was on.
 
  #6  
Old 08-17-2013, 11:00 AM
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What issue prompted the new battery and alt, and who installed it? It has happened there is a wiring problem, etc which replacing the bat and alt does not fix.

Battery voltage after sitting 20+ minutes from driving should be 12.5-12.9v. With engine at 2000 rpm, something like 13.5-14v. If the battery voltage at high idle never changes from engine off voltage the alt is bad.

The battery light being on means the IG2 fuse is OK (light works) but the alt is not putting out power. For the light to work there needs to be an electrical connection at the alt plug to complete the circuit for the light.

Check the larger wire going to the alt that is separate from the plug wires. It is bolted to an insulated stud on the alt. This is the power connection to the battery. If this has bad connection the alt will fail as it no longer has the battery load.

Check for good battery connections and good battery cable ground to chassis connection. The battery needs to be connected to the alt at all times when operating or it will be damaged.

The 120A fuse powers many other fused circuits. If this fuse was bad the car would have a host of non-working electrical items.

Once you get the alt fixed use zip-ties (also called Tie-Wraps, Panduit ties, hose ties, etc) to retain the plug firmly to the alt.

As to battery life with a non-working alt, can only guess. If the alt was not working and the wiring and plug connection were OK the battery light should have come on. Ask when the light came on.

Check battery amp hour rating. In theory if the car when driving uses 10 amps, divide this into the rating say 80A and you get 8 hrs. For the car to operate the battery must power the fuel pump, ign system, computer, brake lights, dash, what the total load is a guess.

If using the head lights, heater/AC the drain will much larger or stopping along the way for gas or a bathroom break then needing to use the starter motor to restart engine, battery life will be much shorter.

Ask when the battery light came on. Once on, the car is using battery only.

If a shop installed the alt and battery even though you don't trust them it is their problem. They should have noticed the defective plug and secured though not sure if this is problem but could be. Plus they should have checked the wiring, etc. rather then just replace parts.

If the replacement alt used was rebuilt it does happen they fail prematurely or be bad out of the box.
 
  #7  
Old 08-18-2013, 04:30 AM
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Originally Posted by toyomoho View Post
What issue prompted the new battery and alt, and who installed it? It has happened there is a wiring problem, etc which replacing the bat and alt does not fix.

Battery voltage after sitting 20+ minutes from driving should be 12.5-12.9v. With engine at 2000 rpm, something like 13.5-14v. If the battery voltage at high idle never changes from engine off voltage the alt is bad.

The battery light being on means the IG2 fuse is OK (light works) but the alt is not putting out power. For the light to work there needs to be an electrical connection at the alt plug to complete the circuit for the light.

Check the larger wire going to the alt that is separate from the plug wires. It is bolted to an insulated stud on the alt. This is the power connection to the battery. If this has bad connection the alt will fail as it no longer has the battery load.

Check for good battery connections and good battery cable ground to chassis connection. The battery needs to be connected to the alt at all times when operating or it will be damaged.

The 120A fuse powers many other fused circuits. If this fuse was bad the car would have a host of non-working electrical items.

Once you get the alt fixed use zip-ties (also called Tie-Wraps, Panduit ties, hose ties, etc) to retain the plug firmly to the alt.

As to battery life with a non-working alt, can only guess. If the alt was not working and the wiring and plug connection were OK the battery light should have come on. Ask when the light came on.

Check battery amp hour rating. In theory if the car when driving uses 10 amps, divide this into the rating say 80A and you get 8 hrs. For the car to operate the battery must power the fuel pump, ign system, computer, brake lights, dash, what the total load is a guess.

If using the head lights, heater/AC the drain will much larger or stopping along the way for gas or a bathroom break then needing to use the starter motor to restart engine, battery life will be much shorter.

Ask when the battery light came on. Once on, the car is using battery only.

If a shop installed the alt and battery even though you don't trust them it is their problem. They should have noticed the defective plug and secured though not sure if this is problem but could be. Plus they should have checked the wiring, etc. rather then just replace parts.

If the replacement alt used was rebuilt it does happen they fail prematurely or be bad out of the box.
Thanks again Joey, I really appreciate your patience, and how you laid it out in detail... I learned a lot just now. Maybe your post should be a sticky? ... there's a lot of good, concise, info right there.

I still don't know the end of the story, but it looks like the shop is gonna make good on it. "Lex Brodie's" is an old shop around here, and they always had a good rep for honesty and customer service.

I was skeptical because they sent my daughter out in an unsafe car. But maybe that plug came loose after a few miles, and they thought it was good when they sent it out. It could happen, and I'll give them the benefit of the doubt on that one...

My daughter called me from the shop yesterday, and she made me feel like some kind of rockstar when I heard her tell the guy "my dad said..."

Basically, they tested the voltage at the battery with the engine running, and it was low.
They said "ok, sometimes these rebuilt alternators are bad... We'll go ahead and replace it with a Bosch alternator."

That's good enough for me right now. But I told her to tell them to make sure they check that weak plug connection too. ... when I found that loose plug, I thought I had it solved. We charged the battery up to about 12.4 volts with jumper cables, but then it still dropped down to about 11.5 while running.

Maybe that ALT was junk in the first place, or maybe it failed because of that plug... I dunno.

When I hear the end of this story, I'll make sure to share it here... hopefully it will help someone else too.. Thanks again bro!
 
  #8  
Old 08-18-2013, 11:07 AM
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Keep us involved.

Bosch is a quality product, could have a bad rebuilt alt. Shop is taking the standard route in up grading the part quality thus appear to be competent.
 
  #9  
Old 08-22-2013, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by toyomoho View Post
Keep us involved.

Bosch is a quality product, could have a bad rebuilt alt. Shop is taking the standard route in up grading the part quality thus appear to be competent.
They put the Bosch alternator in, and all is good now. Thanks again Joey!
 
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