1998 hyundai accent, wont hold charge

my car quit charging,,,, i bought a new altenator but it wont charge still,,,,, i hear a relay clicking and it charges,,, but it quits quick,,, i really need help with this prob,,,, i am taking it across canada in a few
days,,, and i cant find the prob at all
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essobill wrote:

The alternator is not what holds a charge; that's the battery's job. It sounds like you may have replaced the wrong part.
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I read somewhere that it's best to replace the battery and alternator at the same time. A bad alternator can ruin a good battery and vise versa.
But this isn't true for more expensive cars like Lexus and BMW.
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Don't know where you read it, but it's wrong. It's not even true for the most inexpensive cars. This sounds like the kind of advice one hears on the DIY type channel on TV...
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Mike Marlow wrote:

If a car battery is more than two years old I can see replacing it along with a bad alternator, just to keep from having to mess with the charging system again sometime in the near future.
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As a proactive preventative measure, I suppose so, but I always get way more than two years out of my batteries. I live in upstate NY where summer can be pretty hot (but not like AZ), and winter can be as cold as you need to put a battery to the test. If I had to guess, I'd say I probably average 5-6 years on a battery. At that point the winter weather will generally show what shape the battery is in.
My truck is a '94 and it really only gets occasional use anymore. It plows a lot in the winter but in the summer it can sit for three weeks without ever being started up. In the winter, it's usually started within two weeks since we seldom go that long without snowfall. It sits outside, no engine block heater or anything like that. The battery is at least 6 years old and it doesn't even think twice about turning that 350 over on the coldest of days.
I just replaced the factory battery in my daughter's 2000. It finally hit the point where it didn't take much to run it right down. It would start the car ok under any conditions but if you left a door open for any amount of time at all, it would drain down to the point that it couldn't supply the starter. I threw in a battery that had been in another car of mine for 5 years. One of my other daughters had totaled the car and it was quite convenient that the battery problem in the 2000 popped up when it did, as I was able to pull the battery out of the totaled '98 before they towed it away. So far, it's performing well. If it fails within any short period of time I won't really complain - I've already gotten a useful life out of it so anything from here on out is just a bonus.
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Mike Marlow wrote:

It sounds like batteries last a lot longer in New York than they do down here in Florida. I just replaced the battery in my son's 2000 Accent for the 2nd time. The summer heat combined with engine heat can really cook a battery.
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I suspect that as much as we associate weak batteries with cold temps, it's really probably more as you suggest - the heat probably hurts them more than our cold. Our cold will sure point out a weak battery in a heartbeat though.
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Screwtape III wrote: > It sounds like batteries last a lot longer in New York than they do

That's true. I'm curious whether you ever check the fluid levels in your batteries? It seems that few people ever do, but batteries need to have water replenished just as much these days as they ever did, regardless of the bogus "maintenance free" labels manufacturers paste on them. Call me cynical, but this seems to be nothing more than a tactic to ensure that batteries rarely last more than three years.
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On Mon, 2 Jan 2006 11:44:23 -0500, "Mike Marlow"

1. I believe the failure mechanism on lead acid storage batteries is largely a matter of charge/discharge cycles so long life from a seldom used battery is not surprising. Capacity also drops with use if the cells don't short out first. AFAIK the lead plates break down creating sediment that collects in the bottom.
2. The battery/alternator tie in would be if the regulator let the alternator overcharge the battery to failure where it shorted and took out the alternator diodes. Ditto if the battery shorted and cooked the alternator. The bottom line is that it pays to check both but you may not need both. It depends on what failed in the alternator.
Before regulators were incorporated in the alternator it was reasonable to replace the regulator and alternator/generator as a pair.
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Didn't mean to be confusing. That truck and that battery used to be a daily driver until recently. Now it doesn't see the daily use, but the battery was subject to normal rigors for years.

No disagreement with that. My original comment was in response to a poster who suggested replacing both as a matter of course if the battery was over 2 years old.

As it was all to common to have to replace just the regulator. They used to "stick" and soak the battery overnight.
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You should have two powers into the alternator at the plug and charging voltage out at the main terminal. If you don't have power at those two wires, your alternator will not charge. If there's a problem in the charging wire between the alternator and battery, it will not charge. You should probably do some poking around with a voltmeter.
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"" wrote: > my car quit charging,,,, i bought a new altenator but it wont > charge > still,,,,, i hear a relay clicking and it charges,,, but it > quits quick,,, > i really need help with this prob,,,, i am taking it across > canada in a few > days,,, and i cant find the prob at all
I always thought the clicking or no sound was the result of a bad starter. An alternater will regularly stop giving energy when you stop giving gas, like stop lights/signs/braking for any reason. Ironic that I had my Sonato towed this morning because it make all the starting noises but just wont kick over (thank God for warranties) :lol:
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Geo wrote:

Multiple clicks generally indicate a weak battery. No sound could indicate a dead battery or starter, depending on whether anything else electrical worked or not (lights, radio, etc.). If they do, it's probably not the battery.

That's not true. The alternator produces electricity whenever the engine is running, just less amperage at idle than at higher revs.
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