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Old 09-25-2005, 04:41 PM   #1
Antz_Marchin
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Battery/Alt question



Kinda a general question so put it here besides the E30 section for more traffic:
So I took my battery into Canadian Tire today to see if it was holding a charge and hopefully solve my "click click click" electrical sound when I tried to start the car. The battery is unfortunately good and when fully charged started the car fine.

The day this happened, I did notice a smell as we were driving, didn't think it was me bu who knows......maybe someone knows of this symptom. Just for a short bit as I merged onto the highway, I smelled a "sluphur-ish" smell for a minute or so, then it was gone. With the battery being fine, I'm wondering in hindsight if this smell could be a result of a fried voltage regulator or something else alternator related. The alt is a 2 year old rebuilt one that has given me no problems at all....belt is 1-1.5 years old and shows no real signs of wear or excessive squeaking. Any insight would be reatly appreciated. Thanks -BJ
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Old 09-25-2005, 05:11 PM   #2
e30jones
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not too sure about the sulphur smell, I always thought that was catalytic converter related, but it may be something else, maybe someone else can provide a little more insight.

If you can start your car after the battery is charged, you should put a multimeter on the battery terminals to see what the alternator is putting out voltage-wise while the car is running. Should be at around 14.X volts. If not, you have alternator problems.
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Old 09-26-2005, 05:11 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Antz_Marchin
Kinda a general question so put it here besides the E30 section for more traffic:
So I took my battery into Canadian Tire today to see if it was holding a charge and hopefully solve my "click click click" electrical sound when I tried to start the car. The battery is unfortunately good and when fully charged started the car fine.

The day this happened, I did notice a smell as we were driving, didn't think it was me bu who knows......maybe someone knows of this symptom. Just for a short bit as I merged onto the highway, I smelled a "sluphur-ish" smell for a minute or so, then it was gone. With the battery being fine, I'm wondering in hindsight if this smell could be a result of a fried voltage regulator or something else alternator related. The alt is a 2 year old rebuilt one that has given me no problems at all....belt is 1-1.5 years old and shows no real signs of wear or excessive squeaking. Any insight would be reatly appreciated. Thanks -BJ
I noticed my car had a sulphery smell to it also a few weeks ago and I opened up my trunk and heard a hissing noise from my Optima Yellowtop battery... well... that meant that one of the cells in my battery were toast. I changed the battery to a new Optima Yellwotop and the smell went away. That's my story, I don't know maybe yours could be the same problem I had. Try putting in a new battery in the car and see how it is, then put the battery that you think is giving a sulpherish smell back in the car after week to compare if it is still the battery's fault.

As for the "click click click" sound... that sounds like it could be your starter.
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Old 09-26-2005, 08:01 PM   #4
Jari
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Give us some more details of your symptoms. Does the battery hold a charge ? If so your alternator is almost certainly fine. It would otherwise eventually lose its charge and you won't be able to start the car.
Some other causes of your "click click" symptoms are: Loose and/or corroded battery terminals. Loose or corroded connections at your starter motor. A weak/lazy starter solenoid.

Check and clean battery terminals first, and go from there.
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Old 09-26-2005, 10:07 PM   #5
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Quick Alternator test. Start engine - stare at dome light (switched on). Without looking away, switch engine off. If the light goes dim, the alternator is working fine. If it stays the same, the alternator is not working.

What happens? - as E30jones mentioned, the alternator is outputting 14 ish volts with the engine running. With the engine off, the battery alone will supply 12 volts. The difference of 2 volts is what makes the dome light brighter.
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Old 09-26-2005, 11:19 PM   #6
Antz_Marchin
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^^ok, gonna try those 2 out tomorrow. I got battery fully charged (checked out to hold charge), car runs well and puts out 13.6V at the battery terminals. Took it for an oil change this morning, ran even better. Left for class this evening, something felt funny in the steering, had a front right flat. Pretty new Goodyear Regatta2 tires and never a problem....strange how the costco guys checked them to have 32psi and documented that, .....4 hours later a flat....hmmmm, Damn....when it rains it pours
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Old 09-30-2005, 10:28 AM   #7
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I'm thinkin you might have a starter going bad. That smell might be the starter moter burning, but that depends on when you smelt it. I would check your starter
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