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Unread 02-21-2010, 11:45 AM   #1
AWILD
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Jump start = Volt Meter spikes while driving then wont start

Just looking to see what I'm up against here. My guess is alternator? Here's the details:

Got in an accident the other week and had to jump it afterwards to get it to start. Drove it home and during the drive the volt meter spiked to 19V+. Ended up only doing that for about 5 mins and went away. Shut the car off after about an hour drive home and it immediately had nothing when I turned the key. No crank, no beeps, no lights, nothing. Put a tester on the battery and it showed 12-13V. Took battery out and had autozone test it, good battery.

Alternator?

(ps this is a 2000 TJ 2.5L manual trans)

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Unread 02-21-2010, 12:30 PM   #2
Stu Olson
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The most common problem for the symptom you described is a poor connection at the battery. The cables degrade over time and if your vehicle has some age on it (not to mention white/green mung junk that grows on the battery cable connectors), it's time to replace them.

I've seen a lot of TJs fixed by doing this. Of course, it could be another problem, but I would start with a careful inspection and proceed as appropriate. Don't forget the negative cable is just as important as is the positive.
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Unread 02-21-2010, 01:26 PM   #3
AWILD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Olson View Post
The most common problem for the symptom you described is a poor connection at the battery. The cables degrade over time and if your vehicle has some age on it (not to mention white/green mung junk that grows on the battery cable connectors), it's time to replace them.

I've seen a lot of TJs fixed by doing this. Of course, it could be another problem, but I would start with a careful inspection and proceed as appropriate. Don't forget the negative cable is just as important as is the positive.
Yeah I'm going to take it to my shop today and check all the terminals (which appear ok at the battery end), check them at the alternator side, put the voltmeter on the alternator and see what happens from there.
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Unread 02-21-2010, 01:48 PM   #4
dlporter
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Keep in mind that cables can sometimes degrade inside the insulation. Everything will look good upon visual inspection, but the cables are really shot.
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Unread 02-21-2010, 01:56 PM   #5
sxysouthtx
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We had a lot of Humvees in Iraq do this. Ordinarily there was a huge spike, and it would fry the lines. The battery would usually be fine afterwords. The alternator's voltage regulator would twist from it's position and cause the power surge. But an alternator on a jeep is much different.
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Unread 02-21-2010, 06:37 PM   #6
AWILD
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FIXED - We ended up taking the starter, battery, and alternator to autozone to get tested. All tested fine. Signs then pointed to a bad connection somewhere. So we wire brushed all the connections and wires for the starter, battery, and alternator. Fired right up (with a belt squeal lol...fixed that too witha 15mm socket)
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