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Billy
Billy, Trainer/Master tech.
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 3279
Experience:  Trainer 8+ years, master tech. 10+ years, SAE member
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2000 Suzuki Vitara: you can help, and praying its not a costly fix

Customer Question

Hi. I am praying you can help, and praying it's not a costly fix. I have a 2000 Suzuki Vitara 2.0 w/ 149K miles. This morning the radio started sounding like there was static/interference and 4 minutes later it started slowing down on me. I stoped at a stop sign and then it wouldn't go past 20mph and the rpm started twitching up and down. I pulled over and the hazard lights wouldn't go on. I turned it off, the hzds came on but then it wouldn't turn on. It didn't make the sound of a dead battery (no clicking) a faint gasp sound instead. I called a friend for a jump and my car started. I was 2 mins from work and once I slowed down at a stop sign it started all over again. I parked the car and I hit the gas, hoping to see if the rpms would go up, no luck. What could it be? Thanks.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Billy replied 3 years ago.

Billy :

Hello and welcome to JA!!!

Billy :

I'm Billy and i will assist you with this.

Billy :

The most probable reason for this, would be a faulty alternator.

Customer :

hello billy.

Customer :

but doesn't it make the clicking sound when the battery/alternator are having issues?

Billy :

The alternator should charge the battery, and if the alternator is faulty the battery would be drained, causing symptoms, like you had.

Billy :

if the battery is dead, the starter would click, and not turn.

Customer :

if it is not the alternator, is there something else that can cause it?

Billy :

One other reason, would be the battery cables are not tight or the contacts not clean.

Billy :

Also you may check if engine ground cable (a thick cable from chassis to engine) it should have tight and clean contacts.

Billy :

BotXXXXX XXXXXne and check sequence:

Billy :

- check battery contacts, make sure they are tight.

Customer :

if it were to be the alternator, what $$ is likely? is this something that can be a DIY project?

Billy :

- jump start the vehicle, and if the vehicle starts, you should check the voltage at battery it should be higher than 13V

Billy :

i can provide documents and step by step instructions for alternator change (you should although be a bit experienced and have the right tools)

Customer :

i'm sure i can recruit the help & tools. thanks.

Customer :

i have looked into other forums and they indicate it may be the timing belt. is that something u think is possible?

Billy :

ok, i will provide test instructions, and removal and installation instructions....just a sec....

Customer :

thanks.

Billy :

after you had the jump start, did the engine run ok.....at least for a few seconds?

Customer :

it did, i was able to get up to 45mph, didn't want to test further and risk a ticket!

Billy :

then it most probably is not the timing belt

Customer :

ok. good to know.

Billy :

the alternator removal and installation: click here

Billy :

the alternator test procedure (this is difficult, so i suggest you turn vehicle on, and check battery voltage should be higher than 13v): click here

Billy :

also important info: click here

Billy :

Remark:

Billy :

- first check the battery contacts,

Billy :

- then alternator plug and engine ground wire

Billy :

- then alternator belt (if loose or worn)

Billy :

- then alternator voltage

Billy :

This check sequence would pinpoint the culprit, and you have the info for replacing...

Billy :

do you need further explanation....

Customer :

no, i think this will be enough. i will take this to my dad and see if he can help.

Billy :

Good luck........

Customer :

is a replacement alternator expensive?

Billy :

Get back to me if for follow up on this matter.....and tell me your findings, if need be...

Billy :

an alternator would cost anywhere between 50 and 250$ (depending on residence, new or used, or reconditioned) you may even fix your own...when you make sure it is the alternator (remember the check sequence...so the alternator is last resort)

Billy :

The check sequence again:

Billy :

- first check the battery contacts,





8:37 PM



- then alternator plug and engine ground wire






8:37 PM



- then alternator belt (if loose or worn)






8:37 PM



- then alternator voltage






8:38 PM



This check sequence would pinpoint the culprit, and you have the info for replacing...



Billy :

do you need further info.......

Billy :

If the answer is satisfactory, click ACCEPT, so i get credited for my work, positive feedback is appreciated...

Billy :

Thank you

Billy :

Regards,

Billy :

Billy

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