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Q: Van stalled, ABS and brake lights went on, couln't be restarted

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My van has gone over 200,000 miles. On one occasion, I stopped the car at the traffic light and it started losing power as if it would die out. Before it stalled, the dashboard showed the ABS light and brake light illuminated. After the van completely stalled, I tried to start it up again but I just wouldn't. The battery was totally discharged from my attempting to turn the van on again. The ignition worked but couldn't spark the fuel. What should I do?

A: It sounds like your alternator may have fai...

It sounds like your alternator may have failed. It is the alternator’s job to power the electrical system while the engine is running, as well as keep the battery charged. If the alternator has failed, the battery will now take over and keep the electrical system running. With nothing to charge, the battery, while it has so many electrical demands, will eventually become too discharged to continue powering anything and the vehicle will then die. I would recommend having your battery and alternator checked by a mechanic who is proficient in electrical systems diagnosis. This will prevent any wasted time and the possibility of a misdiagnosis.

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