Jerry
Jerry UltraDork
11/1/16 12:14 p.m.

Last week the xB didn't start one morning. Only had it a few weeks so I had no idea the vintage of battery it had so eh, I'll replace it after work. If it's going to be dead, being dead next to the Abarth is the perfect spot to get to work without issues.

I drove it last week one weekday and then Saturday down to Cincy and back for a party, no issues. This morning, dead again.

First guess is alternator, how long can I drive a car with a bad alternator and perhaps battery only?

Second guess is loose connection but doubtful.

Third guess is something draining the battery over time & REALLY hoping that isn't it. I am not in the mood to start trouble shooting someone else's 12 year old car problem. I'd much rather replace an alternator.

HappyAndy
HappyAndy PowerDork
11/1/16 12:43 p.m.

Does the dash have a battery/charging idiot light? If the light never lights at all it's an indication of an alternator fault.

mtn
mtn MegaDork
11/1/16 1:06 p.m.

I would guess that it is not the alternator--I bought a new battery to get home when my alternator went out in my Miata. I made it about 15 miles (highway, nothing on) before I lost dash lights. Replaced the alternator after that, but I'd have expected it to only go a few more miles if that before dying again.

Jerry
Jerry UltraDork
11/1/16 1:16 p.m.

In reply to HappyAndy:

It does, and it never came on. That's promising. (And maybe it isn't completely bad, but fading?)

HappyAndy
HappyAndy PowerDork
11/1/16 2:07 p.m.

In reply to Jerry: Not all systems are wired the same, but I've had more than one Nissan with a faulty VR that never light the idiot light, not even when the engine was off. The idiot light circuit goes through the voltage regulator in traditional systems, I'm not sure if that's universally true in this day of everything being controlled by the ECM.

Also a failure in the VR or rectifier can create a short that will drain the battery voltage when at rest, but in some instances still charge reasonable well when running.

clutchsmoke
clutchsmoke SuperDork
11/1/16 2:39 p.m.

I would suspect bad alternator. Also check belt tension.

Jerry
Jerry UltraDork
11/1/16 3:06 p.m.

So looking like either voltage regulator or alternator. (I know basics but collecting info for when it heads to the shop.)

One minor detail, this thing has a "TRD Pro Ground System" on it. Under the hood, multiple large ground wires coming off of it. I've never seen one before, I'm thinking a kid with a $4000 stereo owned it before me.

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 PowerDork
11/1/16 3:17 p.m.

If it was an XD I could understand.

Stefan
Stefan MegaDork
11/1/16 4:42 p.m.

What are the symptoms?

Check that the battery connections arent corroded and the voltage at the battery.

If those are good, I'd take a whack at the starter with a hammer or chunk of wood.

outasite
outasite Reader
11/1/16 9:26 p.m.
Jerry wrote: So looking like either voltage regulator or alternator. (I know basics but collecting info for when it heads to the shop.) One minor detail, this thing has a "TRD Pro Ground System" on it. Under the hood, multiple large ground wires coming off of it. I've never seen one before, I'm thinking a kid with a $4000 stereo owned it before me.

I would check all aftermarket wiring and remove it. Sounds like sound system was hastily removed with no regard for the wiring. May be cause of battery draw.

Stefan
Stefan MegaDork
11/1/16 9:44 p.m.

Ground kits weren't necessarily for stereos, they were a bit of a fad to "improve" the drivability and "power" of the cars. They also could help with noise through stereo systems, though capacitors generally made a bigger difference with noise.

Mostly it was to just lighten the wallets of unsuspecting rubes.

Remove it to simplify things, but I doubt it's your issue.

jfryjfry
jfryjfry Reader
11/2/16 12:09 a.m.

Did I see anywhere that a basic voltage reading was taken? Start car (charge battery, jump start, etc) and check.

Jerry
Jerry UltraDork
11/2/16 7:59 a.m.
Stefan wrote: What are the symptoms? Check that the battery connections arent corroded and the voltage at the battery. If those are good, I'd take a whack at the starter with a hammer or chunk of wood.

No corrosion, didn't take a voltage (can't find my old voltmeter) but no headlights either. So it's not the starter.

I am having it towed to my local SCCA-owned shop that does everything else, let them go thru it. Passed along the voltage regulator possibility, and when they see the ground system I'd be happy to have them take everything back to stock.

Our Preferred Partners
r6iDCttUOIqpgAnsCjSZneN3rzMg0Ct4Ga6RY4Z1TJ0RL9eCPgPfzkitfjTVjoN7