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So I purchased my truck in February of this year. Everything has been great except the battery/alternator. A couple of months ago I was sitting in the truck just listening to the radio, without the engine running, for about 15 minutes and after, the truck would not start. I took it to the dealer to test battery/alternator, all was fine. Recently, I left the truck parked for 5 days, and it would not start. I assumed no biggie, prolly left some light on. After driving from MA to NY, left the truck parked over night, in the morning, it wouldn't start, jump it and we are good. Now I drove from NY to VA, and the truck would not start after leaving for 30 min. Obviously something is wrong. I pulled the battery and brought it to Pep Boys and the battery tested fine. The only other thing is when the truck is running and I open/close the windows the headlights dim. Is this an alternator problem? Something worse? I need to get this fixed ASAP as I will be driving cross country in the next 2 days and will not be able to depend on jumpstarting the truck every time. Thanks.

-S
 

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I know you tested the battery but it could still be the battery. My guess is that a cell has gone bad and this doesn't always show up when it is tested. I belive your alternator is trying to charge it and its just not working. This is why the jump works but a regular crank doesn't. It could also be your battery cables. Make sure the connections are good and tight.

I would just go to WalMart and buy one of theirs since they are cheap and have a great warranty. I think it is something like 3 year 100% and then an additional 5 year pro-rated.

I think another way to check it is to start the truck and then remove the wire from the alt to the battery or something like that. If it dies, that means the battey is dead. If it doesn't, then the battery is good. I would research this first thou since it is only something that I have heard but have not tried first hand.
 

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a load test, which is what pepboys use, will not show a dead cell and will show a good test. replace the battery. another way to test is with a multi meter. start the truck and put the leads on the pos and neg terminals. it should read from 13-14vs.

also, clean the terminals. baking soda mixed in water and a brass brush. hose it off with the hose when everything is clean.
 

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I think another way to check it is to start the truck and then remove the wire from the alt to the battery or something like that. If it dies, that means the battey is dead. If it doesn't, then the battery is good. I would research this first thou since it is only something that I have heard but have not tried first hand.
This is backwards. Pull the positive post of the battery terminal, while the vehicle is running. Do this quick and clean (no sparks). Best way is to loosen the terminal first, then reinstall with removing it while the vehicle is running in mind.
When you pull the terminal the vehicle will shut off (bad alternator) or keep running (probably a good alternator). If the vehicle keeps running, shut it off before you reinstall the terminal.
But I'd clean and grease the battery terminals and engine ground before I bought a battery. If you need a battery then an Interstate Battery Warehouse is the place to go. $90 for an oversized battery that hooks right up. Forget about it for 10 years.
 

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I would not recommend disconnecting any battery terminal with the engine running on modern vehicles. It wasn't a big deal back in the day with older vehicles. You could possibly damage a good charging system if you run it with an open field.
 
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