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Old 02-15-2017, 09:29 PM   #1
vikasevan
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Default Car starts when you jump start but when you remove jumper cables it will die

1999 saturn sc2 with 150k miles and manual transmission.

Car does not start so when we jump start it starts but it will die when we remove cables ...what does it mean battery or alternator? or something else?

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Old 02-15-2017, 09:41 PM   #2
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Default Re: Car starts when you jump start but when you remove jumper cables it will die

Well, start with the basics.
Have you used a battery charger on it?

Using a volt meter,
What voltage is the battery with engine off, should be at lease 12.5 vdc.

History on the battery and alternator?

Forget measuring voltage on the battery if you still have jumpers attached, you will just get the other car's battery boost and probably read 14 vdc

Chances are it is the alternator. Sounds like it just doesn't have enough left in it to produce enough voltage to keep it all running.

You can run all day long with the battery removed from a car, if the alternator is good.

Last edited by toggenburg; 02-15-2017 at 09:47 PM..

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Old 02-15-2017, 10:53 PM   #3
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Default Re: Car starts when you jump start but when you remove jumper cables it will die

Quote:
Originally Posted by toggenburg View Post

You can run all day long with the battery removed from a car, if the alternator is good.
YOU're aware that the batt acts as a V sink for the alt and ( if missing) will allow V surge to impact( potentially damage) the electronics in the car?

OP has a crap battery, alt or both.

How old is the battery, OP?

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Old 02-15-2017, 11:31 PM   #4
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Default Re: Car starts when you jump start but when you remove jumper cables it will die

Running without the battery connected is relying on the MAX voltage control section of the alternator voltage regulator and this is not an overly reliable feature of the regulator. Rapid electronics failure is a real risk. You have at a minimum of a stone dead battery and probably a dead alternator to match. Do not just replace the battery ant think all is just fine now. Pull battery and have it tested and if it is bad then remove alternator and have it tested. At this point it is very easy to get into a loop alternately replacing one and then the other until you finally decide to replace both at the same time.

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Old 02-16-2017, 08:11 AM   #5
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Default Re: Car starts when you jump start but when you remove jumper cables it will die

My own quote "You can run all day long with the battery removed from a car, if the alternator is good", is incorrect for modern computerized cars. I got carried away on an edit. Billysvue and OldNuc are correct.

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Old 02-16-2017, 09:08 AM   #6
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Default Re: Car starts when you jump start but when you remove jumper cables it will die

Quote:
Originally Posted by toggenburg View Post
My own quote "You can run all day long with the battery removed from a car, if the alternator is good", is incorrect for modern computerized cars. I got carried away on an edit. Billysvue and OldNuc are correct.
Back in the day of points ignition and no computer sensors, it was a good test for alt function.
Computers screwed everything up

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Old 02-16-2017, 09:28 AM   #7
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Default Re: Car starts when you jump start but when you remove jumper cables it will die

Unfortunately you will get away with that test often enough to give the illusion of acceptable very low risk performance. It is recommended by many people who should know better. A failure to regulate without the battery usually ends up sending a modern car to the junk yard.

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Old 02-16-2017, 02:40 PM   #8
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Default Re: Car starts when you jump start but when you remove jumper cables it will die

Quote:
Originally Posted by billysvue View Post
Back in the day of points ignition and no computer sensors, it was a good test for alt function.
Computers screwed everything up
It was not a good test even in the "old days". Prior to alternators it was "OK" but once alternators came on the scene it was a baaaaaad move. I was taught this going back to my days in the GM training tech center back in the 60's when alternators were still pretty "new". The systems rely on the battery to even out the pulses from a rectified AC system. It acts as a capacitor. Doing it even back then blew out radios, gauges and so on.

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Old 02-16-2017, 02:47 PM   #9
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Default Re: Car starts when you jump start but when you remove jumper cables it will die

There are many reasons why it is a bad idea and only a very few, if any, that are good ideas.

The original idea that it was OK to do came from the original Chrysler cross country drive without a battery, ran on the alternator only.

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Old 02-16-2017, 04:15 PM   #10
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Default Re: Car starts when you jump start but when you remove jumper cables it will die

Does it do that if you bench charge the battery first? The car should run for some time without alternator output.
-Robert

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Old 02-16-2017, 07:38 PM   #11
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Default Re: Car starts when you jump start but when you remove jumper cables it will die

You are kind of comparing "apples to oranges" there. Running with a battery, but no alt, is considerably different than running with an alt and no battery. Running with only a battery should be no risk at all; no possibility of over-voltages.

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Old 02-17-2017, 09:42 PM   #12
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Default Re: Car starts when you jump start but when you remove jumper cables it will die

since it starts and runs with jumper cables only to me his ALT and bad and his battery is currently low enough tto prevent running. and If its been low long enough the battery will never fully recover......its capacity reduced.

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Old 02-17-2017, 09:46 PM   #13
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Default Re: Car starts when you jump start but when you remove jumper cables it will die

so if I a buy a new battery with full charge ...will it make it about 30 miles ?

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Old 02-17-2017, 10:07 PM   #14
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Default Re: Car starts when you jump start but when you remove jumper cables it will die

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Originally Posted by vikasevan View Post
so if I a buy a new battery with full charge ...will it make it about 30 miles ?
Don't wast your money on a battery until you test it. It could just be dead because it's not charging.
-Robert

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