Help-stalling 97 Toyota Corolla

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My friend has a 97 Toyota Corrolla. It would not start and it appeared that the battery was dead. After jumping it, it immediately started and was idled for about 15 minutes. Then when the headlights were turned on it shut off. This happened repeatedly. Does anyone know if this is a alternator problem?

posted by  marathonman0803

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Did the little battery light turn on in the dash display? That would be the first indicator of a bad alternator...especially on the newer cars.

After this happened, was the battery still strong enough to turn the engine over...and did it start again?

(questions from a non-mechanic)
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posted by  BavarianWheels

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If the battery didn't turn it over...and it only clicked, then I must assume the battery is dead and probably a bad battery (it can't still be the original battery right?). They just go bad after a few years.

But I would take it to the nearest mechanic just to test the alternator just to make sure...I believe it is almost a freebie check if you buy the battery from them...otherwise I don't see the check being more than $10 if that. But what do I know anyhow.
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posted by  BavarianWheels

If the battery wont hold it's charge at all and the car wont run then chances are it's a dodgy alternator, but if the car starts, runs, drives normally etc then when you turn it of and leave it for a few mins and try to restart it and nothing happens, chances are it would be a dodgy battery. I could just be a bad wiring connection though, check it all out to be certain! but unfortunately in your case it sounds more like an alternator fault..sorry!

Hope this helps

posted by  Cliffy

I had a 1993 Corolla DX, and it's more than likely the alternator. The 'rollas in that year span were notorious for alternator trouble. Hope it gets worked out for ya.

posted by  digital_shad0w

Happened in a car of mine. It was the alternator...

posted by  DodgeRida67

This is a very easy problem to address.......If the battery in a car is dead and it will not start the car but the accessories will run, or if it is so dead that NOTHING will work.....and you jump the vehicle and now have it running.....connect a multimeter to the battery testing for DC current and get a reading on what the ambient idle voltage is with the engine running. If the alternator is working, you will have 13.8-14.1 volts running to the battery, whereas a typical (charged) battery with no alternator input at the time of measurement will have about 12.6 volts coming from it. :thumbs:

One thing about this situation that brings some question to me is that you say the battery was dead, you jumped it and then it ran fine until you cut off the headlights? :screwy: First of all, I cannot see how in the world turning off the headlights would cause the engine to turn itself off unless there was an electrical problem. :banghead: Secondly, if the battery was dead to start with and you started the engine via a jump, if the alternator was also bad and it was not charging.....then where is the power coming from to run the engine at all? Not from the battery and not from the alternator....so it should not run UNLESS the battery was just weak enough to not spin the engine over, but was still fairly charged so much so that it could power the engine's ignition module for a bit without a problem.

I would do two things with the car, load test the battery and make certain that it was not just dead from something being left on or whatever the case. This will tell you if it is ok now that it is charged or if it fails load testing, then it is bad. Also test the alternator as mentioned above or have a professional do it. Have fun! :hi:

posted by  cmeseadoin

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