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I've been having some strange issues with my '00 RS. I suspect it's the alternator, but having someone confirm would be helpful. There have been two instances of electrical problems:

  1. (2 days ago) After a recent cold snap, my car would not turn over. It would try its damndest, but just couldn't make the crank. Getting a jump started it, and didn't have any subsequent starting issues. I didn't have a voltmeter with me, but a reading today gave me 12.75V. Age of battery uncertain.

  2. (yesterday) While driving over a bump, I lost power to my engine and power steering. Lights and radio still on. I pulled over, and the car started right back up again. I drove it home (20 mins) with no further issues.

My check engine light is on, and has been for a couple weeks. I was just waiting for the cold to stop in case it was a temperature related issue.

I've had an alternator fail on me in the past, albeit in a different car, so losing power to the engine is what made me think this could be the alternator.

Does this sound like an alternator starting to die to you?

  • First things I would check are all the connections battery : starter : engine : body and all the fuses as the going over a bump bit seems obvious... – Solar Mike Mar 3 '18 at 20:43
  • Connection at battery terminals were a bit oxidized but otherwise it looks good. Cleared that up and we'll have to see – Cork Mar 4 '18 at 0:31
  • Get your battery checked, it is more likely a battery issue than the alternator. If your alternator was toast, you wouldn't be able to continuallty drive the car because it won't keep the battery charged. That voltage (12.75) is on the low end but not too low. This also makes sense with the cold. Cold temperatures cause the vehicle to require more amperage during cranking. Most parts places will test your battery for you (oreillys, autozone, etc). Just make sure the CCA (cold cranking amperage) used on the test, matches the battery. – finleyarcher Mar 5 '18 at 17:26
  • Also, you lost power steering because the pump is driven by the engine's mechanical motion, not the battery. – finleyarcher Mar 5 '18 at 17:27
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I guess since there haven't been any posted solutions, here's what happened now that there's been a few days between updates.

The alternator appears to be the culprit. After brushing the oxidation off the battery, the check engine light went away, but the car had a couple power dips while driving. Today, the car has been unable to turn over, and can't stay powered when jumped and revving the engine. Lights and radio stay on, but car dies.

  • that sounds like an alternator issue. @Cork do you plan on fixing it yourself? Very easy on your car. – finleyarcher Mar 6 '18 at 21:52

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