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Old 12-17-2008, 08:54 AM
 
3,574 posts, read 6,934,861 times
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Car won't start after sitting for 14 hours. Is it the battery or alternator? I read somewhere that disconnecting the + cable while the is running will indicate a bad alternator if the engine stops running. Is that a good test?

Also, where is the best place to buy a battery among these: Autozone, Pep Boys, Sears, Sam's Club, Walmart? I am looking for a solid, mid-priced battery.

Thanks.
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Old 12-17-2008, 09:05 AM
 
Location: Kansas
3,855 posts, read 11,296,615 times
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I've bought batteries from Walmart without any issues. It may come down to which battery you choose but whatever you decide to do get one with a good warranty.

The batteries I've bought at Walmart have had a 3 yr free replace policy.
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Old 12-17-2008, 09:12 AM
 
Location: Southern Arizona
9,223 posts, read 25,114,743 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidt1 View Post
Car won't start after sitting for 14 hours. Is it the battery or alternator? I read somewhere that disconnecting the + cable while the is running will indicate a bad alternator if the engine stops running. Is that a good test?

Also, where is the best place to buy a battery among these: Autozone, Pep Boys, Sears, Sam's Club, Walmart? I am looking for a solid, mid-priced battery.

Thanks.
Good question, Davidt.

Since a Dead Battery could indicate other problems, most decent shops will do a quick check on the electrical system prior to installing a new battery.

As for the best place and/or price . . . for longer dependability and peace of mind, spend a few bucks more and go for an Optima at Sam's Club.

Good Luck
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Old 12-17-2008, 09:33 AM
 
48,522 posts, read 79,354,278 times
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Most auto parts stores will do a check of the charging system freee when purchasing a new batery. Tho I alwsy like to install the battery myself because I like to clean the terminals and battery area well before installing a new one.
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Old 12-17-2008, 10:02 AM
 
93 posts, read 103,052 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidt1 View Post
Car won't start after sitting for 14 hours. Is it the battery or alternator? I read somewhere that disconnecting the + cable while the is running will indicate a bad alternator if the engine stops running. Is that a good test?
Year, make and model please. Milage on vehicle and is it the original battery. Then I can help you further.

DO NOT EVER DISCONNECT YOUR BATTERY WHILE THE VEHICLE IS RUNNING!!!!! YOU WILL DO DAMAGE TO YOUR SENSITIVE ELECTRONICS IN MODERN VEHICLES!!!
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Old 12-17-2008, 12:16 PM
 
Location: So. of Rosarito, Baja, Mexico
6,549 posts, read 17,554,184 times
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NEVER disconnect a battery cable while engine is running...can damage the altinator.
If disconnecting a battery cable...do the ground (negative) only. (not while engine is running)
On some cars...put the headlights on...try to start and if the lights go off... it would be the battery...and if the lights just dim...then the battery is low or weak to activate the starter.
Sears is the best for the price (die hard)...get a battery with the highest cranking amps that will fit in your car. I buy die hard with a 6yr warranty for the same price as Walmart 2-3 yr battery. My last one lasted 7 yrs without failing. Always kept the battery when changing cars. Works for me. Steve
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Old 12-17-2008, 12:48 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
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Just to clarify - the shadetree trick of disconnecting the battery while running to verify that the charging system is working *WAS* a legitimate technique back in the day of the generator, but will frequently damage an alternator. You can of course use it with antique cars that have *GENERATORS*, even today. Although, you can usually verify voltage rise more easily, even with the simple little voltmeters that plug into your cig lighter. (BTW- don't leave one of these plugged in with your car parked for a few days - they are a cheap, low-impedence voltmeter and draw enough current to kill the battery over a few days...never mind how I know this...)
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Old 12-17-2008, 02:07 PM
 
3,460 posts, read 4,697,690 times
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Sometimes regulators, etc. go bad and drain your battery while your car is parked. If that is the case, disconnecting the battery when the engine *isn't* running is still a good check to see if the problem is in the battery or in another part of the car.

One time I had a car that was having a hard time starting, so I bought a new battery from Wal-Mart. After I put it in the car, it still had a hard time, so the car got a new starter. It still had a hard time starting, so it got new battery cables. About that time, my battery charger died, and I replaced it with a new one that checks your battery.

It turns out the brand new battery was bad, so now I always make them check the battery before I'll buy it.
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Old 12-17-2008, 10:58 PM
 
3,574 posts, read 6,934,861 times
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I went to Walmart and bought an Everlast Max battery for $82 after tax and state fee, which is about $22 less an a battery from Autozone. It has good rating from the current issue of Consumer Report. Thank you everyone for your input.
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Old 12-18-2008, 07:52 AM
 
Location: Kansas
3,855 posts, read 11,296,615 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 Mitch View Post
..never mind how I know this...)
LOL
Sometimes knowledge is gained through trial-by-fire.
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