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Country Discussion Topics
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Urgent car question! Need help
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Bkeepr    Posted 02-20-2005 at 05:11:37       [Reply]  [No Email]
Have a kid with a '72 VW with a bad alternator about 60 miles from home...no places nearby to fix it.

Given a fully charged battery (using a plug-in charger before he leaves), how far can he probably drive before the the non-charging car quits driving? I don't want to pay a tow-truck, but I do want to get the car home where I can have my local VW mech fix it. I'm assuming no accessories running, just the engine.

thanks!
Tom


Redneck    Posted 02-20-2005 at 12:01:12       [Reply]  [No Email]
All good ideas below and you might also hook up jumper cables for a while and let it equalize the batteries before the trip. A bug will go awhile on just a battery if you ain't running anything off it.


Willy-N    Posted 02-20-2005 at 08:54:06       [Reply]  [No Email]
I would take a extra battry and you will probley make it on one. I have run with out a Generator on my Bug for allmost a year and it was 6 volts just had 2 battrys in case I drove it to many days and forgot to charge it. The 72 bugs might use a electric fuel pump if it is injected but not sure been a while if it is it will use more juise out of the battry. Just keep excess things turned off and they will go a long ways on a full charged battry. Mark H.


TomH    Posted 02-20-2005 at 08:50:34       [Reply]  [No Email]
He'll probably be fine. But really, what's the big deal with getting a new alternator in the Washington, DC area? Might cost a few bucks more, but is the worry and possibility of getting stranded or having the engine die when he's being tailgated by some idiot worth it?


VADAVE    Posted 02-20-2005 at 08:06:20       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Turn off everything you can--radio, heater(pull the fuse if the fan won't turn off), lights (run during the day). With those conditions and a fully charged battery you can go more then 60 miles.
Remember TURN OFF everything electrical!


bob ny    Posted 02-20-2005 at 06:13:48       [Reply]  [No Email]
fully charged bat. cell phone and jumper cables shouldn't have any problem you just stay home near your phone


deadcarp    Posted 02-20-2005 at 05:55:26       [Reply]  [No Email]
it should almost make it, they don't take much n the road - fella in australia replaced his battery with taped-tgether flashlite (torch)batteries - then cranked it up & went to adelaide (250 km)


Steve/TN    Posted 02-20-2005 at 05:22:07       [Reply]  [No Email]
My daughter's car had a bad alternator and was about 70miles away. The battery had not discharged. I took a fully charged battery with me and started home. I got about 40 miles on the partially discharged battery and then changed to the fully charged battery. You might take a battery charger plus a fully charged battery with you to be on the safe side, and like Gerrit said, start the car with jumper cables. p.s. My daugher's car was not a VW.


Gerrit    Posted 02-20-2005 at 05:14:47       [Reply]  [No Email]
Does he/she have a cell phone? If yes, I would take the change 60 miles should be OK with a full battery if it's only the engine..


yep, has cell    Posted 02-20-2005 at 05:17:16       [Reply]  [No Email]
Thanks, that's what I've been thinking but...

My biggest concerns are traffic (he's coming from inside the Washing D.C. beltway...if you've ever seen that traffic, you'll understand) and weather (it's really cold right now, with potential for snow later today).


Gerrit    Posted 02-20-2005 at 05:16:25       [Reply]  [No Email]
They should try starting it with jumper cables from another car. starting decharges a lot..


good thought, thanks    Posted 02-20-2005 at 05:18:25       [Reply]  [No Email]
stretching every amp in the battery is what I'm after


Betty Oh    Posted 02-20-2005 at 08:17:55       [Reply]  [No Email]

To keep from having these problems, get the triple A gold card. Makes it nice when kids are away from home. Saves a lot of worry. They tow for 100 miles, and u know your kid is safe, whether they run out of gas or what, flat tires and all and a cell phone is a must.


Salmoneye    Posted 02-20-2005 at 05:21:55       [Reply]  [No Email]
I drove 30 miles after dark with the lights and heater on in a 4 cylinder Toyota PU a long while back...Didn't realize the alternator was dead till I pulled into the yard and the engine died...

Never occurred to me why the lights kept getting dimmer ;-)



Clod    Posted 02-20-2005 at 08:40:52       [Reply]  [No Email]
It also depends upon the battery capacity. They often put motorcycle batteries in cars.You can take a 4 D off a Cat dozer and make the trip on the starter. Oh,Why don't the kid take the charger and extension cord along and stop and charge the battery now and then?


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