NEED HELP Battery dying while driving

PProph

Well-Known Member
Was driving to the farm last night (~40 min on backroad) and about 15 minutes into the drive my lights (headlights and cluster) started to dim intermittently, with the battery gauge dipping at the same time. It was cold, -25ish so it was not a great feeling to think it might die on the way out.
I think it might be related to the serpentine belt, my power steering has been leaking (first the reservoir, now the lines seem to be getting bad) and I'm sure fluid has been getting on the belt.

Could it be that either A) the belt is slipping due to the fluid and cold or B) the pump is seizing causing the belt to slip and affecting alternator rotation? Or should I be looking at a frosty ground issue maybe?

I stopped and looked under the hood, everything ran fine while i was stopped and idle, it was only while driving that I had the issue. I did make it out to the farm at least, nerve wracking driving late at night on backroads in -20 conditions though.

Any ideas for me?
 
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PProph

PProph

Well-Known Member
Fixing the power steering is obviously something requiring attention. But it's f'n cold out and I can't afford to take it to the shop, this might be what accelerates a new vehicle purchase, was hoping to wait til after christmas.
 

Mooseman

Moderator
Unless it's leaking on the belt, it shouldn't affect the belt. I say take it to a parts store and have your alternator and battery tested.
 

MRRSM

Lifetime VIP Supporter
Given the Weather Extremes... It might be worth the time it takes to get down there by laying on a few layers of insulating Cardboard and try to get a 'Graduated Eyeball' and a Bright Flashlight on the relevant Ground Wire Connections to the Engine-Body-Frame and examine-remove-clean-re-attach anything that looks sketchy.

 
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TimRXUV777

Well-Known Member
It's free to have a parts store test your electrical system.. thats' what i just did, having the same issue - voltmeter drops past 13.. O'Reillys told me that the battery wasnt being charged like it should be so ordered an alternator.. Question - why is an ACDelco Professional alternator about $100 less ACDelco OEM?? What am i not getting or missing/ ACD PRo for about $150..
 

TimRXUV777

Well-Known Member
.... this might be what accelerates a new vehicle purchase, was hoping to wait til after christmas.
I have never understood the rationale behind thinking like this.. "Hey I might need a new alternator ($300), maybe i should buy a whole new vehicle instead ($45,000).." What would you get to replace your truck?
 

Mooseman

Moderator
Question - why is an ACDelco Professional alternator about $100 less ACDelco OEM?? What am i not getting or missing/ ACD PRo for about $150..
The OEM is basically a brand new alternator, the same as if supplied when the truck was built but the Pro is likely a rebuilt. You're missing nothing.
 
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PProph

PProph

Well-Known Member
I have never understood the rationale behind thinking like this.. "Hey I might need a new alternator ($300), maybe i should buy a whole new vehicle instead ($45,000).." What would you get to replace your truck?
We have plans to get a new vehicle already. And I should adjust that to read "new to us", our budget is under 20k.
Alternator is easy but looking at the pain it would be to replace the power steering pump and lines, combined with the possible necessary replacement of another exhaust manifold (at the very least the connection/seal where the manifold attaches to the CAT pipe intake is blown out), the attention my shocks need and slow oil leak that needs identifying (I'm hoping it's the CPAS i replaced but i have my doubts), it's no longer cost effective to sink a bunch of money and time into this TB. It just recently turned over 300,000 km and i've loved it but it's time to move on from it as my daily driver. I just don't want it to die on me in the meantime.

Unless it's leaking on the belt, it shouldn't affect the belt. I say take it to a parts store and have your alternator and battery tested.
It's leaking everywhere, the fan is making sure everybody gets some.

Thanks for the replies all, i'll get the electrical tested and maybe crawl around and check the grounds. The power steering issue is something that's been nagging i just haven't been able to do anything about it yet. Appreciate all the input, thanks again.
 

Mooseman

Moderator
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PProph

PProph

Well-Known Member
I think my battery bolts are good, but I'll double check.

Came back to the city last night, dimming/voltage drop happened to me twice, both during acceleration. Gonna pop the belt off today and see how the alternator pulley spins, and if I have time I'll try to get over to PartSource to have them put their tester on. Don't really plan on taking it anywhere distant any time soon now though. Gonna try to find some time to pop out to the wrecker and see what they got out there, I see they got a few TBs in November so we'll see what I can salvage to save some $$.
 
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PProph

PProph

Well-Known Member
Thought I would provide a quick update, my parents are awesome as always and bringing me a van to use for now, Christmas is so busy so it's a relief to not have to add this to my list until after. I will update again when I start working on it, Merry Christmas everybody!
 
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PProph

PProph

Well-Known Member
Update time, just had it tested, everything tested fine, so not sure where I'm at with it. Going to get the power steering stuff replaced soon. I'll check my posts and give them a cleaning. Maybe a bad/dirty ground somewhere? I take the backroads a lot with it so things get dirty. I've got a message in to my car guy so we'll see where that goes.

Quick side note, if I'm not 100% trusting the PartSource electrical test is there one I can do with the Torque app? I've got the paid version but so far have mostly just used it for monitoring levels and clearing codes.
 
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PProph

PProph

Well-Known Member
Another update

As I'm always 50% confident in the guys at Part Source (at best) I was over at my mechanic's place getting a bunch of stuff checked out (power steering lines included) finally. He put his tester on and ran the gamut and everything still showed as fine. I did clean the posts as well as the connections to the fuse block but haven't driven it much since then (due to the power steering leak). I will do a better clean on the posts and connections I can get at when it warms up and keep an eye on this, especially once I start driving again.
 

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