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Huskie

01 Dodge Ram help

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I have not been driving my truck much due to gas prices but took it up north fishing last week end and will need it for 4 week ends of hunting in the near future. When I start it the voltage gauge (needle) goes all the way left to discharge (-). Would this be a poor battery or an alternator problem? It will charge slightly when I drive. Also, the ABS and the brake lights both come on and stay on about 1/2 the time I start it. If I shut it off and start it again they both go off. Any ideas on what I am going to deal with on both of these issues? Thanks.

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Best thing to do is take a volt meter, set it at 20V and probe the battery terms while truck is at idle. If you do not get more than (lets say) 13.5v, I would suspect alt. is bad.

Also check for loose, dirty battery terminals.

Also check for broken wires going to the Alt. and bad or loose connections at the alt...

The brake lights on the dash could just mean low voltage issue, which could mean a failed battery, but the gauge readings most likely point to an alt.

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I have a 01 Durango, when my battery went the gauge went all the way to the + end, if that helps at all. I will also have the brake lights flicker for a split second at times, maybe 1-2 times a month, don't know what that is about

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I would take the battery out and charge it and then get it tested. Sitting for a long period of time without anything happening is hard on a battery. I get a lot of people in that have weird problems like that and we charge their battery and its all good again. The alternator is only for maintaining the battery, not charging it, so it will need to be charged after sitting like that. If you don't have a charger, most parts stores (like O'Reilly's) will charge and test it for free.

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