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Lights flickering cd player turns on and off, whining when starting up?

 
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Old 02 Mar 2010, 10:25 am
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Location: Port St Lucie Florida
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Unhappy Lights flickering cd player turns on and off, whining when starting up?

I just bought a 2003 Turbo Limited Edition on Saturday. It was about 5 hours from me but the price was unbeatable, miles are super low and carfax was good. It drove great on the way home and also later that night when I took it out on the town. However, Sunday I started it up and it acted like it didn't want to start..made a whining sound and after turning over random lights on the dash flashed. The trac kept flashing, break light, my back windshield wiper went on and off, headlights flickered and cd player kept rebooting. After driving it for acouple minutes it stopped and was fine. However, it has done this the last 3 times I have drove it since (yet after it seems to "warm" up it goes away). I took it to a autoshop for them to run a diagnostic and they told me the alternator is only putting out 35% and I also need a new battery. At first I was relieved because even thou thats not cheap, I thought it was going to be alot worse. However, when I called the dealership I bought it from, they told me that it sounds like a lose connection and not the alternator. I pretty much spent all my savings on this car and really don't have the time or money to take it to thousands of places to find out if it really is just a loose wire or alternator. Not to mention the guy told me not to drive it because when my battery dies I will be stranded. Unfortunetly I don't have a choice. Any ideas?
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Old 02 Mar 2010, 11:31 am
quicksilverdon's Avatar
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Default Re: Lights flickering cd player turns on and off, whining when starting up?

Welcome to the forums.
Reading your symptoms, I immediately thought battery - low mileage means short trips means battery doesn't get charged, and when the battery is going on a PT, it behaves strangely.
Call ahead, but I thought Sears & WalMart will test your battery and charging system for free - I'll bet you need a battery, not sure about alternator.
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Traded in '02 Silver Touring Edition w/87,000 miles
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Old 02 Mar 2010, 11:55 am
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Default Re: Lights flickering cd player turns on and off, whining when starting up?

I think QSD is right but before you do anything, check the connections at the battery terminals. Lots of owners have had corrosion build-up at the terminals which caused a bad connection. Might be just as simple as that. You can't just look at them because it's all hidden underneath by part of the air filter so it doesn't get checked very often.
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Old 02 Mar 2010, 03:35 pm
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Default Re: Lights flickering cd player turns on and off, whining when starting up?

Thanks! I got a call from my sales guy and he told me that he thinks it's just a bad connection/bad wire from the battery to the alternator. I am taking it to a place tomorrow to see if thats the simple problem. Which, I don't know that much about cars but seems to make sense. I will post back tomorrow with an findings!
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Old 07 Apr 2010, 11:40 am
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Default Re: Lights flickering cd player turns on and off, whining when starting up?

Ok so I am really late on replying but it was the battery
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Old 07 Apr 2010, 02:15 pm
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Default Re: Lights flickering cd player turns on and off, whining when starting up?

Hate to think of what the dealer charged you but at least it was something simple.
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Old 29 Jul 2010, 03:35 pm
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Default Re: Lights flickering cd player turns on and off, whining when starting up?

When my battery went dead, even after a jump, it must have been low becuase the CD track would rattle on and off for minutes changing tracks for no reason. I did replace the battery as a quick cheap fix and have had no problems since.
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Old 30 Jul 2010, 06:06 pm
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Default Re: Lights flickering cd player turns on and off, whining when starting up?

Any time I replace a battery (or clean the corrosion off the terminals and clamps), my CD cycles in my 2003 PT. It just likes to do that, I guess. And one sure sign of a bad battery (or terminal corrosion, as Crewzin stated) is this: weird things start happening on the dash--sorta like when Richard Dreyfus was sitting in his truck at the railroad tracks in the movie Encounters of the Third Kind. You'll have the odometer and rpm needles go all over the place, the warning lights in the dash come on, even a "ding" sound, acting as chorus. It's all good, though, if you realize that the battery is the first place to look when you suspect an alien is hovering somewhere in the vincinity ....

Tim
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