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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What's up fellow Frontiersmen and women. I have an 01 Frontier XE Crew with a V-6 5 speed. During the past week i've noticed when I go to start up my ride the starter's been cranking slower and slower. Then finally yesterday it started in the morining then in the afternoon when I tried to start up it cranked a couple weak times then it would'nt crank at all. The battery was depleted. Now it sounds like a bad battery apparently. But I want to make sure because I got the battery only 3 years ago and it's an 85 month battery. So it's not even half way through its warranty/lifespan period.

So I jump started my truck ran it for a few minutes then turned it off. I let it sit for about 5 minutes and it started right back up. It cranked normally. Not weak. I let it run for a few minutes after that.

So this morning when I went to start it up it would'nt crank at all again. I tested the specific gravity of the battery and it was all in the red. (not good). The electrolyte levels were good.

I hooked my battery up to my charger and gave it a full charge. Hooked it back up to my truck and it's cranking strong and started my truck right up again.

Does it sound like a battery issue? Alternator? If the alternator's bad would'nt the battery symbol warning light on the instrument panel stay on when running? Is there a way to check if the alternator's putting out current to the battery? Any ideas guys?
 

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odds are one of your connections was loose or corroded.
you can check your alternator by starting the truck and pulling the negative battery cable off the battery. if the truck run, the alternator is good. if it dies, you have a bad alternator. I think AZ can check on the vehicle too, but dont know for sure.
 

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odds are one of your connections was loose or corroded.
you can check your alternator by starting the truck and pulling the negative battery cable off the battery. if the truck run, the alternator is good. if it dies, you have a bad alternator. I think AZ can check on the vehicle too, but dont know for sure.
x2 - just do it quick, so you don't create a spark. And shut the truck down before you reinstall the terminal.
After you charged the battery, did you stick the hydrometer in it and check the specific gravity?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Thanks gang for the replies! So is that a for sure safe way to check the alt? Just disconnect the negative cable to see if it keeps running or not. I did'nt recheck the specific gravity after I recharged the battery. Should I? Mathster who is AZ? If the alternator went bad would'nt the battery warning light on the instrument panel stay on when running?
 

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Go have the battery tested but it is the battery, it's as simple as that. If the truck cranked fine on a jump there is you answer because the other car replaced your battery at that point and a car with a crapped out battery will start great after being aloud to charge for a few minutes and then started right back up. When a bad battery sits for a couple of hours is when it loses the charge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Sounds logical devious. But why was the battery dead in the first place is the question. Is it a bad battery or is it because it's not getting a charge from the alt.?
 

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I would advise against trying to start the truck with a weak battery. Under voltage is bad for a starter. Your battery probably does not have the right cranking amperage to perform as designed. Normally the battery light would come on when the alternator stops working. If all of your connections are clean and tight, I would say the battery is due for replacement. It does not matter when it was made.
 

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AZ = AutoZone. Take it to your local parts store and let them test the battery for you. My 03 is on it's 3rd battery. I'm lucky to get two years out of mine.
 

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Sounds logical devious. But why was the battery dead in the first place is the question. Is it a bad battery or is it because it's not getting a charge from the alt.?
Like I said they lose the charge from sitting when they go bad. Everytime I had a battery go bad it started one minute and the next click click nothing. But like someone else said...As much as I hate AZ they will come out to your truck and test both the battery and alternator. Wouldn't recommend buying ether from them tho.
 

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Thanks gang for the replies! So is that a for sure safe way to check the alt? Just disconnect the negative cable to see if it keeps running or not. I did'nt recheck the specific gravity after I recharged the battery. Should I? Mathster who is AZ? If the alternator went bad would'nt the battery warning light on the instrument panel stay on when running?
AZ is AutoZone.
for sure safe way? take the alternator off and go to the local parts house and have it checked. but if you hadn't checked, the alternator isn't easily accessible.
Easy way, remove the battery cable.
The technical way, measure the voltage at the battery terminal with the engine off. then start the engine and measure the voltage again. should be a volt or two higher after startup. This requires you to have a volt meter tho.
I had a voltage regulator go bad on an old truck once, I could drive for a couple days on a full battery charge as long as I didn't use my head lights. The computer in our trucks draws some serious power so I doubt you could drive long without an alternator maybe a day..
 

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TEST BATTERY
use a volt meter and test the current on your battery's terminals while they are hooked up with the ignition turned off. should read around 12-12.5 volts
TEST ALTERNATOR
then test the current while the engine is running, should read between 13.5-15 volts. with engine still running, turn interior fans on high and put high beams on, (have some one help u) hold rpms at around 2000 and check volts again. should not change.
TEST STARTER
Have some one start the engine while u test the battery with a volt meter.
the voltage should not drop more than 1-2 volts.

ALL 3 OF THESE SYSTEMS ARE KEY TO ANY CHARGING SYTEM IN TOTAL.
TEST IN THAT ORDER FOR BEST RESULTS.
 

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Good advice all the way around. I have done the start truck and pull negative terminal to check the alternator on my jeep many times.

I also put my voltmeter (in current measurement setting) in series with the positive lead to find a leaky circuit. I kept having a dead battery and was able to isolate where the problem was by putting in my voltmeter, measuring current while pulling different fuses with things engaged. Found a bad wire in my lights that was shorting to the body as a drain.

Don't mean to highjack the thread, but as a related question has anyone dumped coin to get a high end optima battery? I think the stock battery on the fronty is pretty wimpy and am looking for an upgrade.
 

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3 yrs is a long time for a battery - at least in AZ. My DuraLast Gold is 2 yrs old and crapping out hardcore on me.
 

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you can check your alternator by starting the truck and pulling the negative battery cable off the battery. if the truck run, the alternator is good. if it dies, you have a bad alternator.
This is doable on these trucks but its a habit that is worth fasing out only because as vechiles get more and more electronics the computer dont like the voltage spikes that can occur from doing it. Just FYI.

If the alt has gone bad you will get several warning lights on the dash. Jump the truck and use a volt meter at the battery and look for over 14 volts. If you have this at all RPMs the alt is good.

Sounds to me like your battery is toast, mostly cause of the gravity. Could have had a plate come loose or..?

I also put my voltmeter (in current measurement setting) in series with the positive lead to find a leaky circuit. I kept having a dead battery and was able to isolate where the problem was by putting in my voltmeter, measuring current while pulling different fuses with things engaged. Found a bad wire in my lights that was shorting to the body as a drain.
This is by far the best way to find a parasidic drain which can be an alt killer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hey thanks all! This site rules. Keepum coming though. The last time I ran my truck was 4 days ago. I recharged it fully about 3 days before that and it started up fine for about 8 times. Today I went to start it up to run some of these tests and it would'nt start. So I have it on the charger again.
 

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Hey thanks all! This site rules. Keepum coming though. The last time I ran my truck was 4 days ago. I recharged it fully about 3 days before that and it started up fine for about 8 times. Today I went to start it up to run some of these tests and it would'nt start. So I have it on the charger again.
Why haven't you replaced your battery yet? How much more can be said? :laugh:
 
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