View Full Version : Going through alternators like crazy

12-07-2006, 09:52 PM
Just wondering if anybody else has had anything crazy like this happen. I have a 2001 Subaru Legacy GT 2.5 . Sorry for the length of this. Sooo, a few weeks ago i was driving home from school and everything went fine (it's about an hour or so) and then on the way back when the weekend was over i drove back and when I was pretty close to school my stereo started crapping out and my car started losing power, not engine power but my gauge cluster was going crazy, my break light and batt. light. So i got back to school, parked my car and then shut it off. just for giggles i tried to start it again and nothing. I purchased a new alternator later that week and installed it. I drove home later that day and almost made it home and the same thing started happening. I talked to a couple of my buddies, threw in a new battery, and checked the alternator and it was puting out like 12 amps. I left my car running for a few minutes and it died right there. I decided to let my mechanic take a crack at it. Over the course of 2 weeks I went through 5 alternators and am currently on #6. What seemed to fix the problem was disconnecting my amp/subs. This doesn't seem like it should be the fix, I have had the stereo hooked up since a month or two after I bought the car. Car seems to work fine and has been a few weeks, I havn't been driving very heavily but i'm not sure if the stereo would cause this, just out of the blue like that? Anyway if anyone has any insight please let me know. Thanks! :smile:

12-07-2006, 11:01 PM
Check ALL of your grounds, and maybe start replacing old cables? I think you can do without your stereo for a few days/weeks, so definitely disconnect the power-hungry accessories and see if the problem persists.

12-08-2006, 10:26 AM
I'm not sure but I would check the grounds like he said ^, check if you have the right alternator, check the steps to installing alternator...(i went through 5 radiators at a mechanic once took me about 3 weeks of my car in the shop...cuz they were dumb. one of my friend came up with the idea of the radiator cap being bad...and that was the ONLY reason radiator kept blowing...) then see if the problem still occurs with the sound system disconnected. Depending on the system it drains alot of power unless you have a capacitator? not sure if you've installed it. Another thing is go to multiple shops for their input...some mechanics are more experienced than others. Anyways goodluck fixing the problem.

12-08-2006, 02:12 PM
yeah i have had everything disconnected for a while, i've gone through most of my cables and stuff, everything seems fine, my fuses are good, i've double checked the grounds several times, no brake lights or battery lights as of yet. I don't mind not having my stereo but it just seems a bit odd that i have to be without it for no reason (that I can see) anyway. It was just like the radiator, something really simple. This alt. is holding up so I guess i'll just wait until warmer weather perhaps and try fiddling with the stereo, for now ill just have fun in the snow once it starts piling up. :cool:

12-08-2006, 02:45 PM
Just a thought, because I had some trouble, test the cables for the proper resistance. I had a problem with my system blowing the fuse on the back of the head unit. The stereo guy (very nice guy, stayed 3 hours late to get the problem right) checked everything and fixed the radio twice before we came to the idea that RCA's could be bad. We checked them, and low and behold, they had been fused from the factory! :roll:

Moral of the story, test/replace all your cable for the system, not just a visual inspection. :cool:

12-08-2006, 11:50 PM
cool, thanks for all your help guys. I might try a few things next week when i'm home rather than doing it here at school and having my car die again. I'm just a bit nervous that when I hook my amp back up my alternator is going to blow again, even though everything should be working properly. :roll: i don't want to put any more money into it now, i'm already pretty deep with this problem here and don't have a job at the moment. Once summer rolls around new exhaust system and brakes are coming :cool:

12-09-2006, 01:49 AM
Could it be that you are simply drawing too many amps for the alternator? Did you try an higher amperage alternator?

12-09-2006, 01:46 PM
yeah i had tried just ones that were just replacements but i threw one in that is supposed to put out more power.

12-09-2006, 05:43 PM
OT: shrewsberry, get onto nasioc's NESIC forum and keep up with all the worcester meets, kraigt (kraig) zumpdrx7 (rick) and i (david) put meets together frequently that require more legacy love! cmon out, we'd love to see ya. we usually get food then end up at jillians. it's good stuff. let me know!