Headlights and dashboard lights went haywire and then just SHUT OFF while driving at night. Van still drove though. What could be the problem?

Asked by Nov 23, 2014 at 01:17 PM about the 2004 Pontiac Montana

Question type: General

I am pulling the battery to take it in to have it tested.  Bad alternator possibly?? how can I
test the alternator without pulling it?  I am no mechanical genius by far, but have fixed
small stuff myself on my vehicles such as alternator, brakes/rotors, etc.  The van is at
about 140,000 mi and have already had †he wheel sensor fixed and head gasket done.  
Should i just take it to my mechanic and have them do a diagnostic on it?  PLEASE save
me money.  Thanks.

3 Answers

11,170

battery has to be fully charged to perform a load test. also, to test the alternator output, start the car, set your multimeter to volts d/c. put the red test lead on the pos post on the battery and the black on the negative. turn on the headlights,and wipers, just a few accessories. the alternator should give a fairly steady 13- 14.5 volts all the time. if not, it is bad.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Mike took battery in to have it charged because thought my charger was not working properly. They could not get a full charge either meaning it was bad. Put new battery in and did what you said. Yep, obviously need alternator as well. Figures. Also did a double check and unhooked negative terminal while van was running...engine immediately shut down. Thanks for saving me cash on a diagnostic test.

11,170

glad to be of help. have a good turkey day. Mike.

Your Answer

Add photo

Related Questions

Montana

Looking for a Used Montana in your area?

CarGurus has 326 nationwide Montana listings and the tools to find you a great deal.

ZIP:

Search Pontiac Montana Questions

Pontiac Montana Experts

#1 Countrygal77
Countrygal77
Reputation 1,980
#2 Robert Reed
Robert Reed
Reputation 1,410
#3 Jim Space
Jim Space
Reputation 730
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Chevrolet Venture
431 listings starting at $1,800
Used Honda Odyssey
222 Great Deals out of 22,649 listings starting at $2,200
Used Dodge Grand Caravan
170 Great Deals out of 28,956 listings starting at $2,080
Used Chevrolet Uplander
902 listings starting at $1,750
Used Chrysler Town & Country
303 Great Deals out of 16,833 listings starting at $1,700
Used Pontiac Grand Prix
30 Great Deals out of 2,871 listings starting at $900
Used Oldsmobile Silhouette
141 listings starting at $2,195
Used Toyota Sienna
242 Great Deals out of 29,678 listings starting at $289
Used Buick Terraza
196 listings starting at $2,499
Used Chevrolet Impala
520 Great Deals out of 31,726 listings starting at $1,450
Used Buick Rendezvous
19 Great Deals out of 1,077 listings starting at $1,495
Used Honda Civic
654 Great Deals out of 88,603 listings starting at $995
Used Kia Sedona
111 Great Deals out of 8,685 listings starting at $2,395
Used Pontiac Bonneville
3 Great Deals out of 533 listings starting at $1,799

Content submitted by Users is not endorsed by CarGurus, does not express the opinions of CarGurus, and should not be considered reviewed, screened, or approved by CarGurus. Please refer to CarGurus Terms of Use.