Radio won't work - alternator issues?

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This is on a 1993 Saturn SL-2... DOHC baby, I'll blow the doors right off of your '99 Dodge Caravan, soccer mom! It does have fake plastic stop-n-go's, though... that hasta count for something.

Okay guys, here's a long crazy trip that I've been on for about 3 weeks now...

On 8/7/03 (a Saturday morning) my car was dead in the lot of the High School after I got done coaching at football practice. We tried to jump the car to no avail, and then finally relented and got it towed. The tower took it to some backwoods hilljack garage, and that should have been my first indication of trouble.

Anyways, after replacing the battery and alternator, I get my car back from the garage Monday afternoon, August 9th. On the way home I notice my radio is no longer working, so I figure it fried the radio, no big whup. I go to Best Buy on 8/21, and get a new radio and some speakers (they were included in the deal) and all of the hook-ups for a little over $220 or so. I go home to install the new radio, and alas it doesn't work. I keep messing with the wires and the harness when I notice that my keys are in the ignition with the engine off and the door is open, and there is no door alarm. I also notice that if I don't put my seatbelt on, it no longer dings to let me know. Also, the little red light underneath my radio will blink if I leave the car sitting for a few hours, but when I turn the car on and put the face on, the radio lights up briefly, then goes dim and won't work again until I turn the car completely off.

I took my car in to Advance to get a battery/alternator test, and they tell me the battery is good, but my alternator is only throwing out 22A. Now, last time I checked it was supposed to be 85-95, but whatever. So I tell the garage, they refuse to do the work, so I go to pep boys. They test the alternator and everything else in a full diagnostic, and they find that my alternator is only throwing out 12.2A... slightly under the standard. :cussing:

So, I finally get my car back to the hilljacks, they "replace my alternator", yet now my car is doing the EXACT SAME THING. Not only that, MY "CHECK ENGINE LIGHT" IS NOW ON! I haven't gone to test my alternator again yet (believe me, i will...) but is there another potential problem I am overlooking?

Help me guys, I'm DESPERATE here. I am losing my mind w/o a radio SO BAD that I am actually like... talking to myself when I drive around. Sometimes I even sing a little tune to myself to keep myself occupied. My very self-being relies on my getting this car back up and running again. :banghead: :screwy:

posted by  EasyCheez

did you checkk all the fuses and relays from the battery? sometimes on newer cars if you try to jumpstart them they can mess up the electrical system. most of the time on newer cars its best if you disconnect the positve or negative terminal battery connection and let them charge the battery from their car, then reconnect the cables and try to start it then.but i would check out all the relays and fuses.i may be wrong but i may be right, youll just have to check. hope it helps.

posted by  je2ta

You may be wrong or you may be be right. Wow! What a nice way to give electrical advise! :banghead: :banghead:

posted by  DodgeRida67

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