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We have a 91 astro van. When driving noticed speedometer and all other needle gauges were not working. Van was running and starting no problem at that point. Soon after stopped somewhere got in and Van was dead not even a click BUT horn worked. After a few minutes started right up drove home and when I tried to restart it was dead. Checked next day dead. Then jump started it sounded great ran for maybe 5 min then idled rough and pittered out. Window wipers were very slow as well. It will jump and start sound great and then after about 5 minutes or so will start to idle rough and putter and die, applying gas does not help it actually seems to cause it to die faster. Gauges never start to work. it seems like I may have a few problems that seemed to happen around the same time? Any ideas??
 

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Re: 91 astro van starts with jump then dies gauges died first

Hi britcans

Fire up the van then hook up a DVOM to the battery terminals before it dies out, then check the alternator's ability to charge the battery. The alternator should give out approx 14.2 to 14.5 volts with battery fully charged, anything lower than that the alternator is gone.

Note: With your battery being in such a low state, it may be impossible for a new alternator or a charger to rejuvenate your battery. It is recommended that you replace your battery to get the maximum amperage to your starter and electrical system.



post back your findings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Re: 91 astro van starts with jump then dies gauges died first

Hi britcans

Fire up the van then hook up a DVOM to the battery terminals before it dies out, then check the alternator's ability to charge the battery. The alternator should give out approx 14.2 to 14.5 volts with battery fully charged, anything lower than that the alternator is gone.

Note: With your battery being in such a low state, it may be impossible for a new alternator or a charger to rejuvenate your battery. It is recommended that you replace your battery to get the maximum amperage to your starter and electrical system.



post back your findings.
thank you! will give it a try and let you know
 

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Re: 91 astro van starts with jump then dies gauges died first

Normally on most cars the instrument panel has to work in order for the alternator to get it's ignition signal in order for it to turn on. Without an input from a source the alternator won't charge. 1991 would have either a brown wire in the plug for the alternator getting power from battery light in the dash...or pink and black wire usually gets its power from an ignition fuse...check fuses with test light and especially gauges fuse and ecm I
but check all fuses CHUCK
 

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Re: 91 astro van starts with jump then dies gauges died first

Chuck you are the man! I checked the fuses as you suggested. I had my doubts and everyone said it would not be that BUT found a broken 20 amp fuse and replaced it. Jumped the van and it jumped right away all gauges were working and Van ran for 10 min I turned it off and it restarted on it's own. went and got some gas, it tried to turn but not enough juice so jumped it again it ran and ran for 30 min till I turned it off, started on it's own again. Need to get a good charge on the battery but it looks all good to me! You saved me the cost of a new alternator as I was told by the local shop that is what it most likely was. Thank you so much!
 

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Re: 91 astro van starts with jump then dies gauges died first

Glad to help...but a fuse blows for a reason. It might be an intermittent problem. If it blows again don't install a larger fuse. Look around the exhaust for a harness that has got to close. CHUCK
 
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