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My Chevrolet S10's battery light kept coming on while I was driving, and today it was driving just fine all day but when night came it died on me.

I saw my dash lights began to dim so when I came to a complete stop it just shut off and wouldn't crank unless I jumped it off. After a few minutes of letting it charge it cranked right up all my lights, radio etc. was on but as soon I take the jumper cables off the battery it dies.

Do I have a dead battery or is my alternator bad?

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Unfortunately I suspect the answer is both - from what you've described I think the alternator has been failing for a while, and the increased discharge from the battery has probably caused that to fail as well. It may be that the battery can be revived with a good, long, deep charge, but even if it can I suspect it's lifetime will be much shortened.

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  • I've put a new alternator in since then its still not giving a charge to the battery the battery is still new i bought it 1/2/18, could it be my cables cause i went to an auto parts store and had a alternator and battery test the guy told me its not charging the battery?
    – Raphael_95
    Mar 13 '18 at 14:46
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The battery isn't holding sufficient charge to power the vehicle's electrics. This could be due to:

  • a failing alternator

    So something about the alternator or regulator is not allowing it to put out the requisite voltage and current.

  • high voltage drop across the battery-charging circuit

    Here the alternator is actually doing its job, but things like corrosion around the battery's terminals are robbing it of electron juice.

  • a kaput battery

    The charging system works fine, but the battery can't retain charge (dead cells, etc.)

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  • I've put a new alternator in since then its still not giving a charge to the battery the battery is still new i bought it 1/2/18, could it be my cables cause i went to an auto parts store and had a alternator and battery test the guy told me its not charging the battery?
    – Raphael_95
    Mar 13 '18 at 14:47
  • @Raphael_95 it absolutely could be the issue. That's what the second bullet was referring to
    – Zaid
    Mar 13 '18 at 14:48

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