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Old 08-25-2009, 20:57   #1 (permalink)
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Car DIES when driving! HELP!

Hey everybody,

I'm at my wits end here, I can't take it anymore. Recently I installed a sound system in my 1998 Ford Taurus. First off, the system isn't too big the subs maximum output is only 550W. So everything is installed so I take the car out on a drive and I'm driving around for about 20 minutes and all of a sudden my lights start getting dim then I lose power steering and the gauges and stuff stopped working. So I call my friend to come and help me jump it so I did and the car only ran for a minute more before it died again so I had to get it towed home. So I figured I'll charge the battery overnight with one of those 12v battery charger things so I did then I turned off my sub woofer and head-unit and I tried to drive it and it happens all over again.

So in frustration I headed to Advanced Auto and purchased a new battery (Optimum Red top) and a new alternator. So this time I thought it was all good and this time it lasted for about 35-40 minutes of driving time this time because I guess the battery is higher quality. What could POSSIBLY be wrong?! I don't understand.

Oh yeh and by the way before it's about to die the car starts to beep in slow intervals.

Thanks.
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Old 08-25-2009, 21:02   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Car DIES when driving! HELP!

Maybe it's not charging. Your alternator may be bad. Do you have a voltmeter? Hook it to the battery and when the car is running the volts should go up from engine off.
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Old 08-25-2009, 21:08   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Car DIES when driving! HELP!

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Originally Posted by rtg143 View Post
Maybe it's not charging. Your alternator may be bad. Do you have a voltmeter? Hook it to the battery and when the car is running the volts should go up from engine off.
The thing is, I replaced the alternator AND battery right after this happened. It also tested good at Advanced Auto Parts.
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Old 08-25-2009, 21:19   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Car DIES when driving! HELP!

But is the charge getting to the battery?
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Old 08-25-2009, 21:26   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Car DIES when driving! HELP!

It seems like the car only runs off of what the battery has what's left in it. For instance if I charge the battery fully overnight then it only runs on that full charge then it dies. It doesn't seem to be holding a charge, it's really odd.
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Old 08-25-2009, 21:33   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Car DIES when driving! HELP!

That's why you need to check to see if the alternator is charging the battery. If you have a bad battery and jump start the car it would run until you shut it off, as long as the alternator is charging the system. In other wirds the car runs on the alternator and the battery is charged at the same time.
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Old 08-25-2009, 21:37   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Car DIES when driving! HELP!

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Originally Posted by rtg143 View Post
That's why you need to check to see if the alternator is charging the battery. If you have a bad battery and jump start the car it would run until you shut it off, as long as the alternator is charging the system. In other wirds the car runs on the alternator and the battery is charged at the same time.
Could it possibly be a fried or bad cable going from the alternator to the battery while I installed my system? If so, how would I check this?
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Old 08-28-2009, 18:22   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Car Dies While Driving :( :( :(

Did you check to see what the voltage is at the battery when it's running?
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Old 08-28-2009, 18:26   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Car Dies While Driving :( :( :(

We charged the battery fully and took it to Advanced Auto and they tested the battery and alternator and they said everything looked fine.
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Old 08-28-2009, 19:04   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Car Dies While Driving :( :( :(

They connected to the battery with the engine running?
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