Drained the battery and now it will not stay running

Tiny
WAYERS87
  • MEMBER
  • 2002 MAZDA TRIBUTE
  • 3.0L
  • 6 CYL
  • AWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 160,000 MILES
Battery died after using radio for over an hour without the vehicle running, got a jump and drove home. The next day it started and when my wife turned the headlights on it almost died and she panicked and cut it off it would not start again. I jumped it again and pulled the battery cable to see if the alternator would keep it running and it died immediately.
Do you
have the same problem?
Yes
No
Wednesday, July 27th, 2016 AT 1:19 PM

7 Replies

Tiny
WRENCHTECH
  • EXPERT
You are making two very big mistakes here.

Never remove the battery cable from a running car. That is the fastest way to fry every computer in the car.

Never jump a dead battery and drive the car to recharge it. Today's alternators are only designed to maintain a battery, not to charge one from totally dead. That overloads the alternator and often causes it to fail. Always use a battery charger on a dead battery before running the car.

At this point what you need to do is first fully charge the battery with a charger and then have it and the charging system tested. You have to have a good battery before testing the alternator.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Wednesday, July 27th, 2016 AT 3:06 PM
Tiny
WRENCHTECH
  • EXPERT
The other issue I did not address is after a battery has been disconnected or run totally dead, the computer loses its learned memory and it may have an unstable idle until the computer relearns the idle strategy. It should do this through normal driving. If it does not, disconnect the battery and start over.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Wednesday, July 27th, 2016 AT 3:08 PM
Tiny
CJ MEDEVAC
  • EXPERT
Well WAYERS87,

That battery cable trick worked in the 1970's on back, but then, still, you were putting the voltage regulator at risk with a voltage spike (so what was $30.00 back then?)

Nowadays, the alternator is the least of your worries, spiking a modern car might mean a "New Computer", "expensive modules", someone to diagnose the now exponentially more complicated problem, expensive computer stuff, and that is even before the problem at hand can be diagnosed.

Bad WAYERS87, Bad WAYERS87!

Lol!

But, I was serious about the possibilities of what can happen.

Maybe you got lucky.

Look under "Electrical" in this link on how to properly test the battery and alternator

https://www.2carpros.com/articles

As far as the battery goes, remove it and take it to a popular auto parts store for thorough testing.

This might aid you should you need a new anything. A124/ TRT30/ TRT41, still worked a week or so ago.

http://www.2carpros.com/questions/2001-dodge-neon-milage-just-want-put-fliuds-their-locations

It may just be a bad battery, It may be that the juice from the alternator is not reaching the battery.

After the battery check/ charge/ replace test the system using my first link, or again take it to the auto store to insure the alternator is charging the battery.

If it is not, I will find you a diagram on what all is in the charging system that could go wrong/ along with locations of the parts. If you do need this info, send me your VIN number, it will insure I get the correct diagram for you.

Regardless, Come back and keep us updated on the situation!

We like happy endings!

The Medic

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Wednesday, July 27th, 2016 AT 3:10 PM
Tiny
WAYERS87
  • MEMBER
Thanks for the replies, so I should start by charging the battery and hope life is good again? I am at work at the moment but this evening I will look at the links med posted when I have time. Hope I did not cost myself more money!
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Friday, July 29th, 2016 AT 7:46 AM
Tiny
RIVERMIKERAT
  • MEMBER
Yes. Always perform tests on the electrical system with a properly charged battery and never try to charge a completely dead battery with the alternator.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Saturday, July 30th, 2016 AT 8:53 AM
Tiny
WAYERS87
  • MEMBER
Well, charged the battery completely, tested it, the battery tester showed the battery was still good. I put everything back together with the old alternator and it now runs and drives however idles very rough and I have no radio or interior lights. I'm going to check fuses, anything else I should do?
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Saturday, August 6th, 2016 AT 3:21 PM
Tiny
RIVERMIKERAT
  • MEMBER
I would scan the computer for both hard and soft codes. I would also see if the alternator is charging properly.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Saturday, August 6th, 2016 AT 4:51 PM

Please login or register to post a reply.

Recommended Guides