1994 Geo Prizm Problems

I have a 1994 Geo Prizm that has been a greta car for the past 3 years for me. About a week ago the alternator died and I had to replace it. Once replaced, all went well. My lights were bright again and the car stopped
studdering because the car wasn't getting enough power. Last friday I noticed that my battery light had come on, and would stay on until I started driving. I dismissed it as the old alternator had almost killed my battery which is about 4 years old now and that I would have to replace it. I went to advanced auto parts today to have my battery tested and the guy who tested it said that it was fine, it just had a low charge probably due to that fact that my amp for my stereo had a bad ground. I fixed the ground for my amp and thought my problems were over. I guess I was wrong. I got almost to work and my AC was running very low. After that, my stereo, my XM and all my dash lights go out. The first thought in my head was WTF!?!?! I got the car around the corner and turned the car off. The car now would not start. Once again... WTF?!?!? I called my mechanic and asked him about the problem. He told me that the alternator that I just replaced was bad and now my battery was probably fried with it. Is this possible??? How does a brand new alternator go bad in a week? could there be other problems with my car???
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Yes - sometimes new parts do fail right out of the box. Not so frequently, but enough to recognize the fact. Have the counter guys at advance auto put your car on the tester again. Have them check both the battery and the alternator.
Could there be other problems? Absolutely. You mention that you have an amp in the car. Have you either calculated or consulted with someone knowledgeable about the load that amp puts on your charging system? Do you know the rated output of the alternator you had/put in the car? Is it sufficient for the load you draw?
The fact that you first started to notice a problem when the car was at an idle is indicative of low alternator output at an idle. You don't have any belt squeal from the alternator belt, do you?
When did your problems start? Were they shortly after you put the amp in or have you had the amp in there for a while?
Try disconnecting your amp and see if that makes a difference.
--

-Mike-
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