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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How tough is it to change an alternator? '99 - 3.2.

Dealer wants $400 installed for a reman and everyone else is about $500.

I got a new battery and starter a year ago and haven't had trouble until today. Tried to start it after work (was fine at lunch) and it clicked a couple times, then honked, then the lights flickered, then honked, then no dash lights at all, wouldn't even click, just dead. Then a couple minutes later it honked again and had dash lights but no power to start. Jumped it and turned on AC and it died. Then jumped it again and drove around for about 30 minutes. When I got home I tried to start it and just one click and no dash lights. I get a 1684 code and my clock keeps resetting so am guessing the battery went bad or it's not getting charged up anymore, or worse. Charging the battery now but guess won't really know until it goes empty again. How many times can you start a "charged" battery that doesn't get charged back up? Can shops test the alternator or tell if it's something else? Can anyone give detailed instructions on replacing them? Thanks.
 

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Most auto parts stores like advance auto or autozone should be able to test your charging system. It is very possible that you have a loose or corroded battery terminal and I would check this first before you do anything else. The location of our batteries in the wheel well makes them very susceptible to corrosion. BTW, that price for the alternator replacement is outrageous IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well the battery was fine - fully charged - so am hoping it's not the alternator. With how treps are wired, is it possible for the alternator to still charge the battery but the starter not get enough juice to start the car? It does seem like a loose connection since the clock keeps resetting. Is it possible w/ a loose connection that when jumping it, it forces more power to the starter than without jumping it? It was a really slow turn over when I jump started it. Now when I turn on the key I get no dash lights, nothing, so am hoping the starter is ok. So if the battery is charged, the starter is ok, but I get nothing when I turn the key, it's gotta be a loose connection, right? The posts look corrosion free but they spliced in new ends last year I'm gonna check out. Wish it was a little easier to get to everything. Thanks.
 

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Its totally possible for the jump start to work better because don't forget you're jumping to the jump terminal and not the battery so even if the battery connection is loose you can still have a good connection between the jumper cables and the starter. I would check and clean both battery terminals and jump posts and see where you get. If your battery is charged, even if the starter were bad you would still have all your accessories working. The fact that your clock keeps resetting and your dash lights don't come on with a full battery indicate that there has to be a bad connection somewhere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah K.I.S.S. I guess.

Got the access panel out and saw lots of rust where the positive wire is clamped to the terminal. I had a shop install the battery and they just used a cheap 2-6 ga. terminal and didn't use any protectant. The geniuses also spliced in a few inches of 10 ga. wire, and used the tip of the old wire to connect to the terminal. No clue why they did that. Put on new terminals (heavy duty one for positive since you have to clamp together the 2 ga. jumper wire and 6 ga. positive lead) and sprayed it w/ "red stuff" and it's fine. My new battery charger says the alternator is fine too. Not sure why I had someone else do it. Turn the wheel to the right, take out the access panel (just slides up from the bottom to reinstall - took me a few tries :), and pop out the air box and you've got access. Thanks for the help.
 
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