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Jack in the Box Crew #1!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all. I tried searching and could not come up with anything specific to my problem, so I'm going to type it all down here.

A few weeks ago, I bought a new optima yellowtop battery. Sweet. So I'm assuming this problem will not relate to the battery.

A few days after that, I installed a new subwoofer system. 2 12" subs with a 1000 watt amp.. but I've never CRANKED it.. (this MAY be the problem)

Ever since my FIRST start up, it's been lagging when I start up my car. I know its not the battery, as its a brand new one. I would think its the alternator as it sounds like its trying to turn over (no clicking as a dead battery would sound off) just a random "bwow wow ow ow ow" and then "VROOM!" it eventually starts up.. but at times, it can take quite a long time. Is the amp trying to draw too much power? Is the alternator blown due to this amp install? Has this happened before? Easy fix? I'm going to uninstall the amp when I get home (from work) and see if I can get it to start normal.. if not, I'm assuming my alternator is shot. Please help all, it would be much appreciated. =D
 
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Do you have a multi-meter? I would check to see how many amps you're drawing on startup and then what the running voltage is. Should be somewhere in the high 14v range. Also, is it possible that a grounding source was somehow compromised during this install? That has happenend to me: Brand new battery darined by good alternator due to faulty grounding on my part. Good luck.
 

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Jack in the Box Crew #1!
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Do you have a multi-meter? I would check to see how many amps you're drawing on startup and then what the running voltage is. Should be somewhere in the high 14v range. Also, is it possible that a grounding source was somehow compromised during this install? That has happenend to me: Brand new battery darined by good alternator due to faulty grounding on my part. Good luck.
grounding of? it's possible.. I just unhooked the amp from my sub set up and drove it around for about 3 minutes.. came home and it started really well... so if you mean grounding of the amp, It's possible.. I grounded it under the rear seatbelt bolt for the back seat... or are you talking about a ground for somethin else? Thanks for the help by the way. :)
 
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Just grounding in general. The incident I spoke of was my old Jeep. It was grounded in the OEM location (to a starter bolt) and with the OEM cable, but had just gotten oily and deformed from my numerous starter swaps. I dismissed it as a possibility at first. Once I replaced it, it was like "Holy crap! That cable was the problem for all this time?". That's more where I'm going.
 

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Jack in the Box Crew #1!
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Just grounding in general. The incident I spoke of was my old Jeep. It was grounded in the OEM location (to a starter bolt) and with the OEM cable, but had just gotten oily and deformed from my numerous starter swaps. I dismissed it as a possibility at first. Once I replaced it, it was like "Holy crap! That cable was the problem for all this time?". That's more where I'm going.
I suppose I could check em out.. odd though, I've got a grounding kit and its only a 2005... I wouldnt think the ground would be acting up already...
 

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If it's not a grounding problem - make sure the amp is wired correctly with the remote turn on wire from the head unit. If the amp is always on, it will put a mild draw on the battery and slowly drain it over night.

Checking the amps: while the car is turned OFF disconnect the battery on the positive side and use a multimeter - hook one side of it to the battery, the other side to the positive terminal you just yanked off to complete the circuit. See how many amps you are drawing without the keys in the ignition. You'll draw some, but nearly nothing (like 0.1 amps) - if it's upwards to an 1 amp or more there is a problem. - you'll drain your battery over night. With the meter hooked up, try disconnecting your amplifier and see if the drain falls to normal. DO NOT try to start the car, or put the keys in the ignition while you are bridging with that meter - or you'll turn the multimeter into a smoldering pile of melted plastic.

Be sure to you reset your idle timings for the ECM after you disconnect the battery (see the FSM)

(I used this same method to find out what was draining the battery on my g/f's old ass buick - turned out to her motorized radio antenna - I used the amp meter + yanking fuses method)
 

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*one more thing - to check your cranking amps (while starting the car) you need a passive clamp style amp meter. (Looks like a plastic loop that opens up and you just put a wire through and it checks the amps via the magnetic field and it can't be blown up because it never touches the wire)

*And another thing - you didn't mention anything about a capacitor. With 1000 watt amp, you really should have a capacitor inline. Not only will the bass hit harder/clearer - it reduces the strain on your alternator when it's turned up loudly. Amp + Cap = alternator lasting for years. Amp w/o cap = alternator lasting 6 months.
 

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Jack in the Box Crew #1!
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
*one more thing - to check your cranking amps (while starting the car) you need a passive clamp style amp meter. (Looks like a plastic loop that opens up and you just put a wire through and it checks the amps via the magnetic field and it can't be blown up because it never touches the wire)

*And another thing - you didn't mention anything about a capacitor. With 1000 watt amp, you really should have a capacitor inline. Not only will the bass hit harder/clearer - it reduces the strain on your alternator when it's turned up loudly. Amp + Cap = alternator lasting for years. Amp w/o cap = alternator lasting 6 months.
Ahh thanks... I ended up having to solder in the remote wire into the antenna wire ONLY because there was not an input on my deck.. which is odd. But yes, there was no wire so they said that you should attach it to that instead. =| I'll try to get a hold of the multi tester to see if its drawing anything..
 

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Jack in the Box Crew #1!
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
WELL I want to autozone and they tested my battery and alternator.. it wasn't the bat, but it was the alternator :( It's only getting up to 11 volts when trying to charge my battery.. hence why it will slowly be harder to turn off, when I don't start the car... *sigh* so, my next question is, where do I find a cheap OEM (or better) alternator.. for a good price? =| reccomendations?
 

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Zack Killa
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4,535 Posts
If it's not a grounding problem - make sure the amp is wired correctly with the remote turn on wire from the head unit. If the amp is always on, it will put a mild draw on the battery and slowly drain it over night.

Checking the amps: while the car is turned OFF disconnect the battery on the positive side and use a multimeter - hook one side of it to the battery, the other side to the positive terminal you just yanked off to complete the circuit. See how many amps you are drawing without the keys in the ignition. You'll draw some, but nearly nothing (like 0.1 amps) - if it's upwards to an 1 amp or more there is a problem. - you'll drain your battery over night. With the meter hooked up, try disconnecting your amplifier and see if the drain falls to normal. DO NOT try to start the car, or put the keys in the ignition while you are bridging with that meter - or you'll turn the multimeter into a smoldering pile of melted plastic.
Parasitic load test :thumbsup:
 

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Jack in the Box Crew #1!
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G

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I would do that one. It will simply be a rebuilt Japanese core: New brushes, bearings, etc. I have always purchased reman. alternators, starters, etc. It's not like an internal engine part or anything.
 
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