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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The past few weeks I've had some weird electrical blips, such as random warning lights coming on when switching from neutral to drive, music randomly cutting out for 20 or so seconds, turn signal is out sometimes but work other times.. the list goes on.

Drove the car to campus today, ate lunch, and an hour later the car just wouldn't crank. I couldn't unlock or lock the car except manually, and absolutely nothing happened when I turned the key. I tried my spare valet key about 30 minutes later, and actually got the airbag light to flash. I then tried jumping it, and when the cables were connected I had full power to my lights. When I cranked it however my headlights just flashed and my dash looked like a christmas tree.

I'm assuming it is the alternator, but I want to double check before I drop any money.
 

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Sounds like you do have a bad alternator, if you can get a volt meter and it should read 13.5-14.1 volts when the engine is running, if its below that then you do have a bad alternator..
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Suppose I can't get the engine running though..
 

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have your battery tested. If it's ok, buy a VR, replace it and you should be good to go. Costs about $100
 

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I would have your battery tested. I've heard of weird things going on in cars when batteries start to go.

Always start with the cheap ones first!
 

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If you are doing the work yourself skip just getting the VR and buy a whole new alternator. Using the link in the thread I posted it'll run you around $180, including free overnight shipping.

Neil
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm thinking about just doing the work myself. My only question now is, is there a way to tell what alternator I have and need to replace before taking it out? Just so I could get the part on order and have less downtime.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Got the battery charged for 2 hours at advanceauto, put it in, and drove home. Is there anything I should check before I order an alternator?
 

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I was going to say find out if you have the Bosch or Valeo alternator. If they both fit and you're getting a new one, I suppose it doesn't matter, unless the new one doesn't include a pulley. I think the Bosch and Valeo use different pulleys.
 
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