Bad alternator?

Car not starting anymore, extremely fast clicks when I try.

Hi, Scotty

First off, thank you for what you do. You have given me so much information on cars!

I have a Chevy Cobalt, coupe, manual transmission, year 2010. I live in Austin, TX. My car cannot start anymore.

Here is what I first noticed: It took a second more to start (when it was starting). It was basically a delayed start and then would be a very short start. Also, I noticed the diagnostics took a lot longer to run. Took maybe about 30 secs down the road until it was complete. I know this because my tire pressure is a little low and the indicator on my dash would let me know.

Then the car would take even longer to start. I would turn the key and could hear it struggling, but would eventually turn on. I did notice one thing though, if I was out for the day driving around the car would start easier. The most trouble I experienced was when I started my car first thing in the morning. I decided to finally try to find some solutions. Took my car to Autozone to check the battery, it was fine. Reading at 12V. Then I decided to take my battery back again, but I took it out of my car this time. Wanted to see if there would be a difference, but no. Still reading at 12V. This is when the man at AutoZone suggested the alternator. Did my research and decide to do a small test. Put the battery back in my car, put the key in and turn the car on idle. I notice that all my electronics worked (radio, air, lights, headlights, etc.) Then I just decided to wait... I noticed my headlights got dimmer and the air/fan slowed down. Then I decided to try and start my car. When I try I hear a lot of clicks extremely fast! So, I stop. I put the car back in idle and now no lights are on in the car except the radio clock. The fan/air is barley blowing, headlights are barley on, and I had no dash lights at all.

This makes me believe that the alternator is not charging the battery efficiently. What do you think, Scotty?

I am confused. was the car running when you did the test? if so, yes your alternator is bad. if not it is normal for that to happen.

Not running, but when you turn the key just one click or so. Not sure got to explain it... sorry

okay you need to charge the battery and do the test while the car is running, as that is when the alternator charges the system

take the car to Autozone they can check the charging system for you.

could be a bad starter.

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