Dead battery in daughter's car far away, need advice [Archive] - Glock Talk


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11-27-2005, 21:53
Hello, I just realized I could ask you guys.

My daughter is with friends 30 miles away. She's committed to pick up other friends incoming at DFW in 3 hours. Her car is dead. It's a 2003 Chevrolet Malibu, so the most likely item is that her battery is dead. That's what she told me when she called.

I told her that if the battery was not taking a charge, she could start the engine with jumper cables and drive home at night, that her alternator produced enough energy to light the headlights and to fire the spark plugs. She has the car in a Target parking lot, so her plan is to buy jumper cables at the Target, get a boost from her friends, and have her friends follow her home.

Was I correct? This was what my father told me 25 years ago, and I know that daytime driving is possible with a dead battery and a good alternator. I'm having second thoughts about my assertion that nighttime driving was possible with a dead battery and a good alternator.

If all her plan works as hoped, she'll get home with a dead battery at about 11:30 and swap keys for the spare car and pick her friends up from the airport with no delay.

Worst case, she'll discover that her alternator can't run her lights, and the friends who would have followed her home will bring her instead, and I'll have to go there in the morning to fix the car.

11-27-2005, 22:12
Shortly after I posted that she called and said that she had borrowed jumper cables, gotten her friend's father's help getting the car started, and was convoying home with more friends. The plugs fire and the lights shine. All good.

Next agenda item, replace batteries in the other late model cars before they die, and put jumper cables in all trunks.

11-27-2005, 22:52
She's home now.

Turns out she sat in the parking lot and ran accessories all afternoon without running the engine.

This is no random death, this is a case of MURDER!

11-28-2005, 07:53

11-28-2005, 14:09
All the battery does is start the car (and, as your daughter learned, power accessories with the engine off). The rest of the time everything draws from the alternator. Make sure she lets the battery charge up enough to start the car next time it needs to, and it should finish charging fully in daily driving.