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Is my alternator/starter/battery starting to go?

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by SmogSUX, Mar 27, 2013.

  1. Mar 27, 2013 at 10:46 PM
    #1
    SmogSUX

    SmogSUX [OP] No Money. No Love.

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    So my truck has always been super "peppy" when I go to start it, but today it sounded somewhat sluggish, though it did start up no problem. I drove like 3 miles, stopped for less than 5 minutes, then went to start it and it sounded perfectly fine. Drove it another 2 miles, then came back to it an hour later and started it and it sounded somewhat sluggish again.

    Driving at night or sitting in a parking lot with headlights on and radio on my scan gauge says it doesn't go below 14.2 Volts. When I turn the truck off, but leave the accessory on the scan gauge reads 13.2.

    Just wondering what you guys think. I can't afford to have my truck break down in the next month, so I'd really like to fix something ahead of time if it's on its way out. I checked the battery cables and they don't wiggle, though they have a little build up on them. I'm going to clean them up, but doubt that's causing this.
     
  2. Mar 28, 2013 at 12:22 AM
    #2
    TacoMX

    TacoMX TW's Official anti body-lift pundit

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    take it to the closest autozone/advanced auto and have them hook it up to their charging system diagnostic machine. Its free and it will tell you if anything is bad.
     
  3. Mar 28, 2013 at 1:41 AM
    #3
    SmogSUX

    SmogSUX [OP] No Money. No Love.

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    I'm gonna do that with the battery. Alternator is kinda a PITA if it isn't the cause.
     
  4. Mar 28, 2013 at 2:27 AM
    #4
    sander1036

    sander1036 Well-Known Member

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    try just cleaning your battery terminals first and then do what tacomx said
     
  5. Mar 28, 2013 at 2:49 AM
    #5
    4Wheelin4Banger

    4Wheelin4Banger Longtime Toyman

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    Remove & clean the main wire and terminal on the starter.
    My '95 PreTaco would sometimes be slugish & sometimes just click because of the dirty conection.
     
  6. Mar 28, 2013 at 3:02 AM
    #6
    maxamillion2345

    maxamillion2345 Go home if you don't like guns liquor and whores.

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    You want your battery to be around 12.6 volts key off accessories off. Your alt should be putting out around 14 volts, if it is then it's probably good.

    You could find somewhere to use an electronic imedance tester (like a micro vat) or you can find somewhere to load test using a carbon pile load tester. 1/2CCA for 15 secs should not below 9.6volts at room temp. That's pretty much all you can do.

    http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/testing_deep_cycle_lead_acid_batteries

    If all test good and you're real bored you can do voltage drop tests on charging and starting systems on both positive and negative sides. Google it, could be fun!

    Good stuff.

    http://www.taurusclub.com/forum/98-...w-articles/135793-slow-no-crank-how-test.html
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2013
  7. Mar 28, 2013 at 3:28 AM
    #7
    OldGeezer42

    OldGeezer42 Well-Known Member

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    Do the battery and alt. check. Check for loose connections, acid build up, depending on miles on truck your starter could be about to crap out, even though you drop below 13V ,starter should not be sluggish, it's a 12v system , when you start and stop truck the starter rotor might,not stop in the same place ,so when you start it one time it does fine you next time it doesn't , but most of the time it's loose connections, It's a 25# pull on battery connections, be safe also working on batteries ,my good friend lost a eye when we were jump starting his truck and battery blew up and a piece of plastic stuck him in the left eye blinding him.
     
  8. Mar 28, 2013 at 1:14 PM
    #8
    PolishAndWax.com

    PolishAndWax.com Well-Known Member Vendor

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    How old is the battery?

    Also, a good battery will be roughly 12.6 volts with the truck off but a bad battery may be 12.6 volts right after you shut the truck off and crash later.

    This just happened to me. I checked it right after I shut off the truck and it was fine but 30 minutes later it was down to 10.5 volts. That was 2.5 years into a 6-year warranty. Got a new battery and all has been well for about a month.

    If your idiot light is not on, it's probably not the alternator.

    X2 on cleaning the terminals and cables. That's the first thing I do on any vehicle that is having starting problems.
     
  9. Mar 28, 2013 at 8:34 PM
    #9
    SmogSUX

    SmogSUX [OP] No Money. No Love.

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    It was the battery. Truck wouldn't even start today lol. Got a new battery and shes back up!
     
  10. Mar 29, 2013 at 11:58 AM
    #10
    PolishAndWax.com

    PolishAndWax.com Well-Known Member Vendor

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    Hooah!
     
  11. Mar 30, 2013 at 10:28 AM
    #11
    Shadetree

    Shadetree Well-Known Member

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    If you have not already done so when you installed your new battery, you should fully charge it with and external battery charger and have the battery and alternator tested. Most auto parts and battery dealers will test them for free. One is dependent on the other.
     
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