battery light on (and check engine light on) with new battery, is it the alternator? on 2005 Chrysler PT Cruiser

I have a 2005 pt cruiser base with 58000 miles, so i turned on the car the check engine turned on , but I kept driving and at my street corner my battery light turned (also i felt that it had trouble idling like if it wanted to turn off because the rpm was to low), again I kept driving and went on the freeway then i felt the car wouldn't shift gears at 40 miles per hours its rpm was at 4k (i tried putting the car in 3rd gear but it made no difference) then the lights inside the car shut off and then the car turned off. Once i got towed home i installed a new battery from napa, the next day i decided to try again. When i turned on the char the check engine was on, still i got on the freeway again and drove. 5 miles afterwards the battery light turned on again and had to turn back. Finally the day after that i turned on the car, check engine light on at my street corner (.2 miles) the car had trouble idling (low rpms) a few feet after that the battery light came on and then the car turned off. I parked waited a minute or two and turned the car on and went back home. Because it was thanksgiving day and we wanted to cook something for dinner, I tried again turned on the car this time both the check engine and battery light were on, and i went on a 3 miles roundtrip to the store. and got back safely. anyone has any idea whats going on ? my dad thinks its the alternator the only mechanic open today near davis, ca wants 90$ for diagnostic and repair cost on top of that (i tough most would give me the diagnostic as credit towards the repair) but i also tough many code scanners cost like 90$ PLEASE HELP ME OUT :)

by in Davis, CA on November 27, 2010
2 answers 1 comment
ANSWER by on November 27, 2010
Sorry to tell you this, but most mechanics worth their salt do charge for their work even if it's diagnostic. Sometimes the problems are so obvious that there's no need to charge for a quick answer but nobody would promise that to you.. You need to know that when the warning lights come on, you need to pay attention and not simply drive til the car drops but get it checked out right away, for your own good. You need to get the car scanned and diagnosed. It sounds like your alternator is failing, the check engine light may have been warning you that the system voltage was falling below normal. The battery may have been unnecessary. You can't save money by throwing parts at a car, you have to know where the problem is first. Makes life easier... Here's a directory link for you: http://repairpal.com/directory?address=95616&car_brand_names=Chrysler
COMMENT by on November 27, 2010
Thank you very much! and you are right I should have taken the car to the mechanic earlier I got the error codes for my car: P0622 Generator F-Terminal Circuit P2503 Charging System Voltage Low service code P0032 HO2S Heater Circuit High Voltage Bank 1 Sensor 1 P0038 HO2S Heater Circuit High Voltage Bank 1 Sensor 2 but for me this doesn't mean much can you help me decipher it?
ANSWER by on November 28, 2010
All of it could be related to a charging system issue. The P0032 and P0038 could happen because of low system voltage. I would have a starting and charging system diagnosis perforrmed. Bob is dead on with his recommendations.
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