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Old 08-26-2009, 11:47 AM   #1
PXJ800
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Default Could a faulty starter cause a battery drain?

A little background: A week ago my 16-month old Bosch starter (rebuilt) gave out. Failed 2 of 5 tests at Pep Boys. I noticed the large post on the soleniod was jiggly and probably making a bad connection. I tightened it up and re-installed it, and she started first on turn. But after I parked I tried the starter again and got nothing, as well as on several succesive tries. I roll-started it with no problem, went for a drive, and when I got back I removed the starter. That same post was loose again. So maybe I managed to get it into place but normal drive vibrations are loosening it internally. Regardless, that one is shot and I'm getting a new one.

I just had a question about something unusual (for this car) that happened - as I was driving my voltage kept dipping to 10 even though it usually reads 13+, even at idle. I had to keep it over 4K to see the voltage rise to 12 again but it got there very quickly, under 5 seconds. I double checked and didn't have any electrics running in the car; no lights, radio, blower, etc. This has never happened in the 18 months I've had this car, it's always been solid electrically.

Could a bad connection in the starter be responsible for a drain like that? Or is this the sign of a failing alternator?

Otherwise I have some funky new gremlin
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Old 08-26-2009, 11:54 AM   #2
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alternator
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Old 08-26-2009, 12:11 PM   #3
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faulty starter can cause a drain on a battery. It can pull too much energy or consistently drain off energy. My cousins Dodge truck did the same thing when we kept it in our barn when he was overseas. Would leave it for a couple weeks starting it every now and then and the battery would go dead.
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Old 08-26-2009, 12:45 PM   #4
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Maybe I should give it a go with the starter disconnected and see what happens, but then I'm risking leaving myself stranded if the alternator goes completely. I guess I could always hook up the tow rod and drive in the direction of the repair shop.

Also, just to rule it out, the battery's a 6-month old Optima red top. The voltage never read under 10 even just idling for a few minutes straight, and when I put the lights on the voltage dipped a hair, but popped back up when they went off and stayed stable after that. I'm really hoping it's just a steady drain from the bad starter.
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Old 08-26-2009, 01:14 PM   #5
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you can go to autozone have have them test the pull of the starter from the battery (its free). thats how we found out about my cousins truck
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Old 08-26-2009, 09:51 PM   #6
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I'm betting alternator. I went through something like this a few months ago. I put in a new battery and it still drained. Replaced the alternator and all's well.
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Old 08-31-2009, 08:55 PM   #7
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Well I finally got my new starter in. I gave the car a jump and it started up with no problem. After a 20 minute ride with the voltage reading 13+ the whole time, I turned the car off and saw the voltage had charged back up to 12. Looks like it was the starter after all.
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Old 08-31-2009, 08:55 PM
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