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Old 11-10-2015, 05:42 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Car electrically dying on the road but will start up again.

I have a 98 civic LX that I was driving last night in the rain. I noticed my wipers started to move slower, the radio lights started to cut in and out. My dash lights went dim and eventually the gauge needles all fell to the bottom. The car finally died, I sat there on the phone with my wife setting up a tow. I tried to start the car and it fired up and I could drive it again. I went 5 miles and the car started to die again. Did the process over again and I was able to make it home as it i died in the driveway. I never had the charge light come up while driving. Of course the lights on the cluster showed up as if you had the ignition in the on position.

** I bought the car from a guy 2 weeks ago and installed a new battery and alternator.** Any ideas what could be going wrong or where to start troubleshooting?
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Old 11-10-2015, 05:47 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I guess you don't want this thread in the "Audio" department as it likely won't get looked at.

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Old 11-10-2015, 06:28 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Audio/Electronics..... and it is an electronics issue.

Start with making sure all connections are clean and tight, battery connections, all the engine and chassis ground connections, the starter and alternator connections etc.
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Old 11-10-2015, 06:39 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Check every single fuse in the engine bay box, and every fuse inside. Next take off the 3 grounds (battery-frame, trans-frame, harness-thermostat) and clean them one at a time. The starter & cluster could be getting great power, but other components don't share the same electrical path & could be suffering from a bad power/ground wire.

I've had 2 similar issues. One time it was just a very bad battery connection (looked good but was bad) causing random no-starts, the other was a stuck brush in the alternator causing voltage to drop far below 12v.
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Old 11-10-2015, 07:18 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeerDrinkin View Post
Have you put any kind of voltage meter on the battery while running to see what it's doing?

Also making sure the grounds are clean and the wires not rotting away internally.
Quote:
Originally Posted by blkout23 View Post
I have a voltage meter but haven't checked it yet. Everything I read seems to point to connection really. The car is dying completely and I have to coast it to a stop. It did it twice last night and I was able to start it both times. I was rainy like a beast so I think something was wet or a connection was not good. You know anything about fuse 15 under the dash? I've read something on that too.












check the distributor as well for moisture. deleting your other thread, since there is no need for 2. remember to tip your waiter
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Old 11-10-2015, 07:27 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blkout23 View Post
I noticed my wipers started to move slower, the radio lights started to cut in and out. My dash lights went dim and eventually the gauge needles all fell to the bottom. The car finally died

** I bought the car from a guy 2 weeks ago and installed a new battery and alternator.**
I would hazard a guess that the alternator is faulty. Did the previous owner really replace the alternator? Your battery light should still come on if this were the case but the symptoms seem similar to a bad alternator. You did mention being able to start the car again but the battery could just have enough residual charge to do that a time or two. Of course hooking up a multi meter to the battery with the vehicle running will tell you what your alternator is doing, if anything. Until you do that, all any body can do it guess. Good luck.
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Old 11-10-2015, 08:34 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Sounds like a bad alt.
It stop out putting power. Then you ran in battery power til it cut off.
No start cause the battery was low, then started back up because the battery got some charge. (Static charger or what not).

I would start woth having the battery tested and charged. Then have the alt check.
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Old 11-10-2015, 09:09 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm not a complete moron so I came home at lunch and ran some test. The battery had a good 11.9v the car started and it still had 11.9v so I know the alternator is not putting out the charge(14v) like needed. I checked the connection on the alternator and I swear to you it's like some put it on hand tight. Tightened it up, ran the test again and now I have the proper charge volts. I believe problem is solved. 
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Old 11-10-2015, 10:53 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Nicely done, well thought out trouble shooting, after you were stopped and not under pressure, and boom, problem solved.
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Old 11-10-2015, 12:31 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blkout23 View Post
Tightened it up, ran the test again and now I have the proper charge volts. I believe problem is solved. 
Woohoo! Good job!
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