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The alternator went bad a couple of months ago. I replaced it and the car started and ran fine. During a road trip on Tuesday, the battery and brake dummy lights flashed intermittently and eventually my serpentine belt came apart, luckily at an exit. The tow truck owner led me to believe that the alternator failed, causing the belt to shred.

Today, I replaced the alternator and put a new belt on. I started it and it ran fine for a few minutes. I put the cover back on the motor, satisfied in a job well done.

Later in the evening, I started it, intending to run an errand... car started right up, idled smoothly for about 3 seconds, then died. Now the car won't start. Belt and alternator look fine. Starter sounds a little draggy when trying to start it (just since it died), but car gives no indication it even wants to start.

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Check the cables on the back of the alternator are connected correctly. Charge the battery. Turn the ignition on and check that the battery charge warning light illuminates. Start the car and check that the battery charge light extinguishes. If the battery charge light is still lit up, then either the belt is slipping, the alternator is faulty or the cables are still not connected properly. You could also check the battery voltage before and after starting. If the alternator is running the battery voltage should increase to at least 14v if the alternator is working.

Just thought that it is possible that your battery may have been very low prior to fitting the new alternator. Then after starting it to test it, you didn't leave it running long enough to put some charge back in the battery, so next time you came to start it, there wasn't enough power to start the engine. Everything may be OK after charging the battery.

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