View Full Version : Battery or alternator

Dave NYC
06-06-10, 11:50 AM
I have an 01' Deville and I was driving up this hill and when I stopped at the light, it stalled and it would not restart, the battery level said "OK" and the "Check Engine Soon" light did not go on. So, I waited a few minutes and I was able to start the car. Then it happened again a few blocks later. So, I turned off the A/C waited and it started. I drove it to Auto Zone and there was this freelance mechanic working there and he connected his car tester and everything checked normal, then I turned off the car and the tester said "bad battery." I have had the car several years and I never changed the battery and God only knows if the battery was every replaced before I got the car.

So, I had the dude take out the old battery and I bought a new one, low and behold, the car started right up. So, I drove it a few blocks to a shopping center and I turned off the car and when I tried to start it, it did not turn over (I waited about 20 minutes and it started. I thought it was the alternator). I went to Sears auto center and told them the whole story and they said, being I just got the new battery, that it needed time to charge up more. So, I did not mess with it, I just drove and I have not had a problem.

Anyhow, does this sound more like a battery problem (that seems to be working) or could it be the alternator? Because, I don't want to go on a road trip and be stranded somewhere.

Any help regarding this, will be helpful.

06-06-10, 03:36 PM
Use your car's built-in code scanner/memory to find out if there are any Diagnostic Trouble Codes set. The sticky at the top of this main page titled "How to pull codes".

It's not CKP's (CranKshaft Position sensors) - it's something else.

06-10-10, 07:04 PM
Normally, all a battery does is start the car. The alternator carries 90% of the normal "operating load", and keeps the battery charged. Unless you've got a lot of high-drain accessories turned on, the alternator will keep the car running - even if the battery is removed.

(Yeah, I know they don't recommend that sort of thing. :rolleyes: )

06-10-10, 09:38 PM
No. Remove the battery and the car will die. Ain't like the old days.

Dave NYC
06-10-10, 09:43 PM
Here is a silly question. How long does a battery last, or should I say when is it time to get a new battery for an 01' Deville? I just got one, so I'm not too worried. But, for next time, this info might help.


06-10-10, 10:19 PM
They vary. Mine died at 6 yrs. My daughters '02 SLS was 7 yrs old and still good, but I decided to change it anyway.

06-11-10, 01:27 PM
I don't know about everywhere else, but here in the desert, it's heat that kills batteries - rarely do they last more than 2-3 years. Batteries that reside in the trunk, or under the rear seat, like on many of the recent Cadillacs, stay cooler, so those batteries will last longer. The one on my 2005 Lincoln LS is in the trunk - it lasted 4 years - that's pretty good in Phoenix.