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Old 08-20-2010, 09:26 AM   #1
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Unhappy Check your Battery Terminals

I just got back from a long trip (5K). When I returned I cleaned the car up, changed the oil and filters (air filter was filthy). I crawled around under the car to check if all was ok, it appeared to be. Checked all the lug nuts, but I did not to think to check the tightness of the battery terminals, my mistake.

All I can figure is that there was a lot of bouncing around of the car on the trip and the nut on one of the battery terminals worked loose, it did not come off, but it was a loose connection. For those of you that dont know (that was me, until this happened), if you have loose battery terminal connection when the car is running it cooks your alternator almost immediately.

I started the car and the red electrical indicator on the dash came on, by the time the car was shut off, the alternator was toast. Rebuilt alternators are over 400.00, ouch....


Ed

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Old 08-20-2010, 11:16 AM   #2
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In all the years I have been working on Porsche’s, I have never seen a battery terminal come loose. If anything, they become harder to get off with time. Someone left yours loose............... And be happy if all you have lost is the voltage regulator or a diode of two; we have seen some idiots pull the battery cable off while the car was running, smoking the DME (read bring lots of cash)....
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Old 08-21-2010, 01:25 PM   #3
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I had one come loose on my 914 on a cross country trip. Car got hard to start . Then harder as it apparently loosened more. Then hot.

Of course 914 battery very easy to check and correct.
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Old 08-21-2010, 01:44 PM   #4
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Wow, thanks for the posts...I didn't know a lot of that. (Sorry about your misfortune, Ed. Looks like my enlightenment came at your expense. )
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Old 08-31-2010, 04:48 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JFP in PA
In all the years I have been working on Porsche’s, I have never seen a battery terminal come loose. If anything, they become harder to get off with time. Someone left yours loose............... And be happy if all you have lost is the voltage regulator or a diode of two; we have seen some idiots pull the battery cable off while the car was running, smoking the DME (read bring lots of cash)....
Heh, heh. That's the "old school" domestic-iron method of determining whether you have a working alternator. Before DME's/ECU's/PCM's/EIEIO's, you could disconnect your battery, and if the car died, it meant your alternator was out of commission. Of course, if you try this with a modern car, you're just asking for an expensive repair.

(I still hear about LT1/LS1 Camaro guys trying this from time to time. They invariably destroy the voltage regulator in the car, which is integrated with the alternator in those engines, meaning that they end up having to get a new alternator because of their attempt to determine whether they had a bad alternator. Oh, the irony...)
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Last edited by Banana S; 08-31-2010 at 05:14 PM.
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