Question about 2001 Nissan Xterra

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New battery, recent starter replacement 130K, drove it 2 hours ago, now completely dead, no electrical at all, won't jump off, no lights no horn

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It is quite likely that your alternator is bad. If your battery was recently replaced, then it just may not be charging as you drive. It is also possible that the battery terminals are not fastened down properly if I understand you correctly, in that you say it won't "jump off". If you check that the battery terminals are tight, hook up jumper cables from another vehicle and manage to get it started, you'll need to check the voltage at the battery when it is running. If it falls below 13.6 Volts then there is a problem with the charging system. Check the belt first to make sure it is nice and tight, if it is, then you will likely need an alternator.

Posted on Sep 27, 2010

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I just buought a 98 Volvo S70 T5, the car sat for abit, to the point were It had to jump it. to start. ran great for the next 2 hours off and on mybe 7 diffrent starts but it never running for more then...


It could be a number of things:
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  • Dead cell in the battery would prevent it from charging fully
  • Bad or worn drive belt would slip, preventing the alternator from fully charging the battery
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If the car will run at idle with all accessories turned on, the alternator is good and you should concentrate on the battery and battery cables. If the car won't idle, then the drive belt and/or alternator could be the issue. If the car starts everytime when it's cold and only gives you a problem starting when the engine is hot, the starter could be the issue. A bad starter will often work when it's cold (after sitting a few hours or overnight). When a bad starter gets hot, it takes more and more power to get it to turn over.
Overall, I'd have the electrical system checked out. Most chain auto parts stores (Autozone, Advance Auto) will do a complimentary electrical test for you.

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Lead acid batteries can "die" catastrophically. This is actually not all that uncommon. If the battery is new, it should be under warranty. I would take it back, and have them test it. It it fails, which I believe it will, then there is the problem. If it passes, then your alternator is probably bad. The chances of it being your alternator are slim as you did jump the car off, and drive it for a while. If the battery is too weak to start the car, it will not maintain vehicle operation very long without help from the alternator.

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