Car will only start when Boosted - Battery less than 1 yr, Altenator = Good - I'm puzzled

Asked by Sep 26, 2011 at 12:44 PM about the 2003 Dodge Intrepid ES

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I am fixing a car for a friend and I am puzzled.  The car acts like the alternator is bad, the lights on the dashboard get dim then bright, and will only start when its boosted.  We had the altenator tested twice at different places and its showing good.  the battery test showed that the battery was dead and didn't have a charge and would have to be charged before it could be tested.  batter was just purchased less than a year ago.  just curious if anyone else has had this issue that could get me on the right path to fixing this car.

1 Answer

11,435

i dont trust the tester machines at pep boys and stuff. i have a snapon battery/alternator tester, that consistently has given me different results than the ones at pepboys and what not. usually when my machine says its bad, its bad. what your describing sounds like it could be the alternator, easy way to check is to simply take a multimeter, set it on DC volts and measure what the voltage is while the cars running. if its less than 14, replace the alternator, good charging voltage will be 14.2VDC

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