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"check gages" light in towing truck came on; can I haul my horse home safely?

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  • #21
    Originally posted by GoForAGallop View Post
    Yeah but the alternator will take care of that stuff, no?
    You are correct.

    But if the idiot light came on while the engine was running, there is more than likely a problem with the alternator, the cables or dirty battery posts.

    Even a bad battery will test good while the alternator is doing its thing, and for a little while after the engine is shut down. But when you put a load tester on it, it will admit to being weak.

    If the idiot light came on before the engine was started, the battery would be the suspect.

    But you are right. If the alternator is OK, the truck will run forever until it is shut down.


    • #22
      I was always told one way to check if you had a bad battery vs. a bad alternator was to start the vehicle and disconnect the battery. If the car continued to run then it was most likely a bad battery, if the car stalled out, then it was the alternator.

      Tested this with my car (with power windows, locks, electric fuel pump etc.) a few months ago, and the car continued to run with the battery totally disconnected.
      The Sempiternal Horse


      • #23
        Originally posted by cssutton View Post
        You are correct.

        But if the idiot light came on while the engine was running, there is more than likely a problem with the alternator, the cables or dirty battery posts.
        Yes ok, we are on the same page then.


        • #24
          Don't you just love that morganpony86 could post a question like this and have answers from COTHers quickly on how to proceed? COTHers are the best!


          • #25
            I had the same problem a few months ago (though wasn't hauling anything). Get it checked out sooner rather than later.

            It was my alternator. Came on while I was driving, battery gauge was low, but was in a situation where I couldn't do anything about it at the time. Next time I started the truck it was gone. However, it reappeared within 15-20 minutes.

            The next day it again started with no light, but came on sooner than it had before. I stopped by an auto parts store, guy who helped me said there was some corrosion on the battery and it might be that but otherwise he suspected alternator. Cleaned up the battery but that didn't seem to make a difference. The next day truck wouldn't start while leaving the lab I worked in late at night...got a jump, drove for *maybe* 2 minutes before I lost power to everything...no lights, no power steering, truck kept acting like it was going to stall out. Went to my closest friends house for the night (needing one more jump after sitting at a stop light) and managed to limp it to the mechanic in the morning. Would have been wayyyy less of a hassle if I had taken it in earlier!


            • #26
              We have owned several 2000 dodge diesels. DH is mechanically savvy avd says it was probably the alternator if the truck restarted. He says if the gauge stays low (at 8) the truck could stop while you are driving it.

              He says some diesels are more sensitive to electricity and so some will run fine with poorly charged batteries than others. Of course you need a good alternator if you have junk batteries. (I think I explained that right).

              Battery issues would have caused your truck to start hard/turn over slowly.

              How is it today? DH says driving thru a lot of snow can cause the belt to slip and be funky for a while. He says it's really three options... Battery, alternator, Belt


              • #27
                Serves me right!

                Originally posted by GoForAGallop View Post
                And "guages" is still quite far off from "gauges," actually.

                chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).


                • #28
                  Originally posted by Janet View Post
                  Serves me right!
                  Thou shalt not scold others for spelling without throughly spell-checking thy own post.


                  • #29
                    THINE own post. Heh heh. THY post, as in THY post is wrong. THINE own post becase THY before a consonant, THINE before a vowel. Or before nothing. It is THINE. As in it is MINE. You wouldn't say It is my.

                    Today we might say "MY own post" but in the old days it would have been "MINE own post" and "MY post." Comes from the french penchant for not having two vowel sounds together.

                    Just sayin'. Mine own opinion.
                    My warmbloods have actually drunk mulled wine in the past. Not today though. A drunk warmblood is a surly warmblood. - WildandWickedWarmbloods