battery or alternator?????


Asked by Jun 20, 2013 at 08:12 PM about the 1996 Dodge Stratus 4 Dr STD Sedan

Question type: General

I was driving four days ago, and my car just completely quit on me and  locked up and I had trouble even breaking safely. tried starting it and it didnt turn over. and tried three times and was weaker at trying to start each time. was low on gas so thats what I had originally thought it was. So threw ten bucks in,  and still didnt start. so got a jump and it went for the next four days fine. So then The next time I have had this issue, I just shut it off getting gas.  Restarted 2 min later and was dead again. this time I was not actually driving. Got a jump there again, drove fine, and am home with no probs.  Just curious if this seems more of an alternator issue, or battery.

23 Answers

I'd look at the oil? do you gots any oil in there?....please, also there should be the proper level of coolant between "full hot" and "full cold" on your translucent reservoir...thinking the motor is locking up but 1996 tells me it's an OLD battery already...spend $120 on an Interstate battery...these things are awesome and me pops works for them too---NAPA, Prestolite or any one with a five year guarantee is acceptable~....but you need a new battery now...hopefully there isn't damage to your alternator...good luck~

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

sorry 'bout that twenty questions....impertinent and abusive~


I have not once bought a new battery or even alternator on it and have had the car five years. so you could be def be right, thanks a bunch. I will check that out asap.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

batteries will degrade 10% per year (refuse to accept a charge) so in ten years either the alternator will fail from excessive demands or will stop performing altogether...which is where you are at....there are "knock off" stickers on the top of your battery which say what day the first charge happened~ GET A NEW ONE!

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

what was also weird is the first time that my car quit and did the lock up thing all lights lit up on dash. and major brake issues.

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.

please not walmart...if they only treated their employees like Costco, I'd be okay with them~


will do, thx! :)

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Well I was thinking like a basic pull and save junk yard. lol. j/k

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

well it wasn't happy with the 11.3 volts we were feeding it...stuff don't work right under reduced voltages~

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

well on a budget....just get a good one, power brakes are driven by engine vacuum and if there ain't none, there will be no brakes (or NO assist)~ still "locked up" worries there wasn't any oil in the engine...please tell me this wasn't the problem~~

'locked up' means that you threw a rod or something utterly destructive just happened...say it ain't so please~


this may sound lame, but you always check the oil normally before you drive anywhere right? LOL

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

yeah it definitely locked when I was driving it, and then when it got jumped it went a good four days without an issue. My husband keeps track of the oil and all of that. But now im worried. hes checking it out at the moment.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

he thinks you can check it after you drive it around, and I said he was dead wrong.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

well if you've got a hubby, he'd want to make sure that you've got ONLY the best...will do---make him buy you an interstate battery for your car...there are tons of shops that will install them for a your engine drippin' the oil...normally we do not need to check it unless it's gushing outta there~


If your vehicle locked up then it is seized. The engine won't crank. replace the battery and test for voltage. With the engine running you should read around 14v - 14.4v. if you don't read that test at the alternator and see if there is any output voltage. if not replace the alternator.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

I had same problem, it was the voltage regulator on the alternator. My car would not charge at idle speed. I could always tell when it was going to go weak, as my battery light would come on...when I would go, raising rpm's it started charging again and battery light went out. I could not run the AC. When I parked for the night, I would rev engine to about 2000 rpms for about a minute. I went for 2 weeks and learned how it worked! Eventually though, it weakened the battery and I had to replace the alternator.

someone put the cables on the wrong way around, then?

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

fried the alternator, then blamed it on you~

so to answer your initial question....Battery AND Alternator....sorry for the bad news~

Shannon Currie

Judge....we see these WAY TOO OFTEN. All of the above. Sad.


My step daughter had the same problem she change her alternator and her battery and it still wouldn't start or charge the alternator has a fuse and that was the problem check the alternator fuse and everything worked fine

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

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