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Old 02-07-2013, 08:19 AM   #1
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Help! Battery not charging, jeep dies.. Alternator?

2002 Wrangler....

1. Jeep won't turn over.
2. Starts with jumper cables
3. Check engine light comes on.
4. Gauge indicates battery not charging
4. All gauges quit working
5. Jeep sputters and dies 5 minutes later and will not restart.

Time to go through steps 1-5 above is ~10 minutes.

What to do, what to do....

It's stuck in a convenience store parking lot right now - gotta move it asap.

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Old 02-07-2013, 08:23 AM   #2
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If it starts off jumpers then dies its alternator. If it stays running its battery. In your case its more than likely alternator.

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Old 02-07-2013, 08:33 AM   #3
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What to do, what to do....

It's stuck in a convenience store parking lot right now - gotta move it asap.
A well-charged battery will run the engine for quite a while if you minimize the electrical load.
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Old 02-07-2013, 08:37 AM   #4
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I have to somewhat disagree with TJdude09, A weak battery does not have enough CCA to start the Jeep. Once started, the alternator will charge it but a dead battery will not hold a charge. Your Jeep will not run long with a dead battery.But first, clean/tightened your battery terminals. You need to disconnect the battery and have a buddy drive you to a parts store to have it load tested, if it's good then alternator may be the culprit.
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Old 02-07-2013, 08:43 AM   #5
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I have to disagree with TJdude09, A weak battery does not have enough CCA to start the Jeep. Once started, the alternator will charge it but a dead battery will not hold a charge. Your Jeep will not run long with a dead battery.But first, clean/tightened your battery terminals. You need to disconnect the battery and have a buddy drive you to a parts store to have it load tested.
He said it starts off a jump. It will run if alternator is good. Or turn off if bad.
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Old 02-07-2013, 08:46 AM   #6
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No autozone close? If so take it there
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Old 02-07-2013, 08:47 AM   #7
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Ok.... It has the original battery. I'm thinking replace the battery making sure everything is clean and tight.

That'll get me to a shop if its not the battery and at least ill have a new battery for the price of a tow.
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Old 02-07-2013, 08:49 AM   #8
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Autozone is several miles away. I'll be checking this thread til I get it figured out and will post when resolved.
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Old 02-07-2013, 08:51 AM   #9
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Replace battery first then alternator but I could almost bet since its nit charging and wont stay running it's alternator
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Old 02-07-2013, 08:59 AM   #10
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I would agree with Tjdude as from what I know, the battery is just there to start your vehicle and once it turns over, the battery is no longer used. From that point on it is just simply getting charged when the vehicle is running. If the alternator is bad then it will drain the battery making it where it won't turn over. But if you jump it with a good battery, it will turn over which would clue into having a bad alternator.
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Old 02-07-2013, 09:06 AM   #11
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Do you have or can you borrow a battery charger?

Charge up your battery, use a multimeter to test voltage before and after starting the Jeep. That will tell you everything you need to know. That is, after you get it home.

Probably a bad alternator/dead battery combo from the sound of it.
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Old 02-07-2013, 09:13 AM   #12
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Either way, 10+ year old battery should be replaced anyway. It could still be the alternator, but the battery is on borrowed time.
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Old 02-07-2013, 09:48 AM   #13
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I don't have a multimeter but do you think I could rely on the gauge to tell if it was charging?
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Old 02-07-2013, 10:03 AM   #14
Knows a couple things...

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He said it starts off a jump. It will run if alternator is good. Or turn off if bad.
No, it won't run if the battery is dead. The type of alternator our Wranglers have requires (!) 12 volts from the battery & if the battery is dead enough, the engine will not run after removing the jump start battery.
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Old 02-07-2013, 10:20 AM   #15
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ive read on a diff trend about a diff issue that low voltage on start up will fault the iac sensor which will throw the check engine light.....replace battery n the engine light will go out
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Old 02-07-2013, 10:50 AM   #16
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Off to get a battery.....
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:03 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
No, it won't run if the battery is dead. The type of alternator our Wranglers have requires (!) 12 volts from the battery & if the battery is dead enough, the engine will not run after removing the jump start battery.
Well there you go. I stand corrected. Had no clue about our alternators. Learn something new everyday.
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:43 AM   #18
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It appears that the problem was the battery.

I put a new battery in it and it fired right up and the electrical gauge went to 14 volts.and stayed there all the way to Autozone where I got the alternator checked.. The alternate passed the check.

Thanks for all the help guys!
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:44 AM   #19
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... btw, that's my kind of problem.
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Old 02-07-2013, 12:16 PM   #20
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... btw, that's my kind of problem.

Don't you love it when it's the first thing you try?
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Old 02-07-2013, 12:44 PM   #21
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Indeed...
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Old 02-08-2013, 02:52 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
No, it won't run if the battery is dead. The type of alternator our Wranglers have requires (!) 12 volts from the battery & if the battery is dead enough, the engine will not run after removing the jump start battery.
This is very true and I've seen many many occasions where a bad battery will make an alternator seem like it's not charging...On average, using a multimeter on the battery with engine running should read between 13.9 and 14.9 volts...A bad battery can make this reading low...I like to verify battery voltage to the alternator before changing out parts...

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