Car won't start

Tiny
ADDIESTIA
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 FORD TAURUS
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
My car will start w jumper cables, continues to run well. Shut off and will not start back up, alternator or starter? Help! 67 yr old Granny want to fix on my own. No moolah...$!
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Monday, May 2nd, 2011 AT 4:05 PM

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Tiny
WRENCHTECH
  • EXPERT
Why are you overlooking the battery itself? That would be the #1 suspect here. You need to have it test before going any further.
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Monday, May 2nd, 2011 AT 4:18 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Start by measuring battery voltage with an inexpensive digital voltmeter. If it is fully charged, it will read near 12.6 volts. If you find around 12.0 volts it is good but discharged. Suspect the generator. If you find closer to 11.0 volts, suspect a defective battery.

If the battery appears to be okay, it will crank the engine without needing jumper cables after it has been charged for an hour at a slow rate. Measure the battery voltage again while the engine is running. It must be between 13.75 and 14.75 volts. If it is low, we have more testing to do first, but suspect a defective generator.
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Monday, May 2nd, 2011 AT 4:19 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Good morning, Wrenchtech.
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Monday, May 2nd, 2011 AT 4:20 PM
Tiny
WRENCHTECH
  • EXPERT
Good morning Doc,
I would recommend a more in depth battery testing than just a voltmeter. The voltmeter will give you a good idea of the state of the battery but not the condition.
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Monday, May 2nd, 2011 AT 4:22 PM
Tiny
ADDIESTIA
  • MEMBER
Okay gentlemen, I am off to purchase a voltmeter or borrow one. The battery is relatively new but will check it. Remember I am a little old lady, well sort of, 67, anyway and am going to try and fix this myself (and not bug my sons)so appreciate the novice/layman's language. THANKS!
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Monday, May 2nd, 2011 AT 4:26 PM
Tiny
WRENCHTECH
  • EXPERT
If you simply drive the car to an Autozone or other parts chain, they will usually test it for free.
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Monday, May 2nd, 2011 AT 4:29 PM

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