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  1. #1
    Veteran Member Four Rings
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    how do i know if its my battery or alternator?

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    Basically like the title states. I had to jump the car and either my alternator isnt working properly or i have a dying battery.
    Past: BT Hibiscus Red A4 ,2003 Audi RS6, B6 s4

    Present: Casa white stg 3 b5 S4 avant, noggy B5 avant stg1 DD

  2. #2
    Veteran Member Three Rings oldblu's Avatar
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    Re: how do i know if its my battery or alternator?

    How old is the battery? I recently replaced mine. 140K miles on the factory battery.
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  3. #3
    Veteran Member Four Rings
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    Re: how do i know if its my battery or alternator?

    not the original battery. its an optima and i put it in about 4 years ago.
    Past: BT Hibiscus Red A4 ,2003 Audi RS6, B6 s4

    Present: Casa white stg 3 b5 S4 avant, noggy B5 avant stg1 DD

  4. #4
    Veteran Member Four Rings TH85's Avatar
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    2008 A4 2.0T
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    Re: how do i know if its my battery or alternator?

    same thing happend to me on Friday...its waiting at the dealership so they can look at it on monday...i will let you know what they say

    i turned on my car after driving it for a little bit and no clicking, just one little sound right when i turned the key...but after that nothing...

    had to have the car jumped and got it over to the nearest dealership...pretty sure its the alternator cause my battery is a few years old like yours
    koni fsd/eibach suspension

  5. #5
    Veteran Member Four Rings
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    Re: how do i know if its my battery or alternator?

    hmm, i woudlnt think the battery would go bad that fast. only be on for about 40-50k miles. I just want to diagnose it without taking it to a shop. i have more imprtant things that need fixing
    Past: BT Hibiscus Red A4 ,2003 Audi RS6, B6 s4

    Present: Casa white stg 3 b5 S4 avant, noggy B5 avant stg1 DD

  6. #6
    Veteran Member Four Rings blmlozz's Avatar
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    Re: how do i know if its my battery or alternator?

    start the car, and then disconect the battery, if the car runs it's the battery, if not it's the alternator. the battery just turns the starter motor, after the car is acutaly started the alternator provides all the power the car uses. it could still be the alternator if the car runs, since it might be able to run enough to power the car but not charge the battery, in this case it will need to be removed to be tested.

  7. #7
    Veteran Member Three Rings oldblu's Avatar
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    Re: how do i know if its my battery or alternator?

    Hope it's not the alternator... Though if you're in the states and there is an Autozone near by, they'll test your alternator for free. But I'm willing to bet it's the battery
    --Silver 2000 A4 2.8L V6 Quattro

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    Blue! How come there's no ice
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  8. #8
    Veteran Member Four Rings
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    Re: how do i know if its my battery or alternator?

    hmm, ill have to mess with it tomorrow. battery is easier to replace so im hoping its the battery.
    Past: BT Hibiscus Red A4 ,2003 Audi RS6, B6 s4

    Present: Casa white stg 3 b5 S4 avant, noggy B5 avant stg1 DD

  9. #9
    Senior Member Three Rings LowSantorin's Avatar
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    Dub State

    Re: how do i know if its my battery or alternator?

    you can also get your battery tested. Most of the time places can check your battery without removing it from the car. If evergreen state you mean wa i have a tester where you located?

  10. #10
    Registered Member Two Rings manufan's Avatar
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    Re: how do i know if its my battery or alternator?

    What does your voltmeter in the car read? If you're not seeing 14 volts running, it's likely your alternator.

  11. #11
    Veteran Member Four Rings njm23's Avatar
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    Re: how do i know if its my battery or alternator?

    check grounds ect.. autozone tests everything from the battery so if something is missed up in between it wont give you an accurate read as to what is wrong. BTW put a voltmeter onto the alternator to see if it is working, same with the battery. very simple and a lot safer than pulling the battery with the car running like suggested..

  12. #12
    Veteran Member Four Rings
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    Re: how do i know if its my battery or alternator?

    Quote Originally Posted by LowSantorin View Post
    you can also get your battery tested. Most of the time places can check your battery without removing it from the car. If evergreen state you mean wa i have a tester where you located?
    yeah im located in Washington, bonney lake to be exact.

    I am seeing 14 volts after the car is running, but if i let it sit for a little(like 5-10 mins) the car wont start. So im assuming its the battery. cant i just take a battery from another car and try that out? that seems easiest, lol. dont really want to take my car anywhere to get it tested as it will most likely not start if it sits.
    Past: BT Hibiscus Red A4 ,2003 Audi RS6, B6 s4

    Present: Casa white stg 3 b5 S4 avant, noggy B5 avant stg1 DD

  13. #13
    Veteran Member Four Rings
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    Re: how do i know if its my battery or alternator?

    tried a different battery from another car. Car ran fine and started prefectly time and time again. So im thinking it is the battery. Even when the car is running it sa constant 14 volts so im gonna go get another battery today.
    Past: BT Hibiscus Red A4 ,2003 Audi RS6, B6 s4

    Present: Casa white stg 3 b5 S4 avant, noggy B5 avant stg1 DD

  14. #14
    Veteran Member Four Rings Seerlah's Avatar
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    Re: how do i know if its my battery or alternator?

    Check out the link.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Three Rings
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    Re: how do i know if its my battery or alternator?

    may be something is draining the battery??? disconnect the negative side from the battery when the car is off turn everything off, take the key out, connect a regular bulb tester to the negative terminal on the battery and the other side to the ground wire. then start taking the fuses out and see which one will make the bulb go dimmer. your radio supposed to take a little, and make sure to check that you have to close the doors every time you take out a different fuse.

  16. #16
    Site Moderator Four Rings onemoremile's Avatar
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    Re: how do i know if its my battery or alternator?

    If the car runs after jump starting and electrical load doesn't hurt it then it is the battery.

    If the car starts from a fully charged battery but will sputter or have lights dim after driving for a while then it is the alternator. If the voltage meter isn't past the 12 mark with the engine running it is the alternator.

    It could also just be the wiring or connections.
    Jim - Moderator

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  17. #17
    Veteran Member Four Rings
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    Re: how do i know if its my battery or alternator?

    Quote Originally Posted by onemoremile View Post
    If the car runs after jump starting and electrical load doesn't hurt it then it is the battery.

    If the car starts from a fully charged battery but will sputter or have lights dim after driving for a while then it is the alternator. If the voltage meter isn't past the 12 mark with the engine running it is the alternator.

    It could also just be the wiring or connections.
    sounds like its the battery then. thank for all the information everyone.
    Past: BT Hibiscus Red A4 ,2003 Audi RS6, B6 s4

    Present: Casa white stg 3 b5 S4 avant, noggy B5 avant stg1 DD

  18. #18
    Site Moderator Four Rings onemoremile's Avatar
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    Re: how do i know if its my battery or alternator?

    I had a bad battery a year or two ago. I put the charger on the battery and used it to start the car. Then drove 3 hours to Chicago with the lights, radio, and seat heaters on. No electrical problems whatsoever. When we arrived I turned it off and it was dead flat. Did the same thing with the charger for the drive home. Replaced the battery with an Optima 34R and all is well.
    Jim - Moderator

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  19. #19
    Stage 3 Forum Advertiser Four Rings VMRWheels's Avatar
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    Irvine, CA

    Re: how do i know if its my battery or alternator?

    check voltage on teh battery after you turn off the car, if it's not showing around 14.4v (fully charged voltage) or if it show's 14.4, and 10 min later, it shows 9v.... then it's the battery. you can always test the output of the alternator as well.
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  20. #20
    Established Member Two Rings
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    CA

    Re: how do i know if its my battery or alternator?

    I have 25k miles on a 2006 S4 that has an alternator problem. Five days ago my car wouldn't start because my battery was dead. I got a jump, bought a battery and replaced it. I was on the freeway last night and the power started to cut out while in traffic. I quickly turned off my lights and radio and revved the engine to 3k to keep the power on until I got home. As soon as I turned the car off the batter was dead again. I'm working from home today waiting on the car to be fixed. Hopefully you don't lose power on the freeway like I almost did.



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