Q: Potential electrical issue? Already replaced alternator and battery.

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One day, my radio cut out while driving, I had to manually assist in bringing my windows back up, the dash lights were dimming, and the gauges were rapidly going back and forth or completely dead (even though the car was moving). After shutting it off at home, it wouldn't start again. Mechanic replaced the battery for me and the car was running great for about 3 weeks. Then the same symptoms happened again. I took it back and they said the issue could've been missed the first time if the alternator was intermittently failing. So, they replaced the alternator. Again, the car was running great for another 3-4 weeks. I just experienced the same exact symptoms as described above. Is this something deeper than battery and alternator? Any experience or advice would be appreciated.

My car has 137000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi there. I understand how frustrating things like this can be. I don’t think you have any serious underlying electrical problems with the car. What I believe may be happening is simply a case of bad luck with aftermarket parts; this is not as uncommon as you would think.

You may have had any combination of bad battery and alternator. It is unfortunate, but these items will need to be retested and confirmed whether or not this is the case. If they do test ok, then we would be sure there is an underlying issue.

A quick visual of the battery terminals and alternator belt are easy ways to check the little things that get overlooked the most; a loose terminal or belt has a direct affect of the vehicle’s charging and electrical system.

YourMechanic has several available technicians that can assist you with an electrical problems inspection and provide an estimate and direction of repair.

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