On my way back from work yesterday, the car battery barely started the my '95 G20 (145k miles) and the warning light went on. After driving about 30 minutes, most of it steady highway driving, the power went out and the car died. This was the first time I noticed any weakness in the battery.
Because it was Sunday and I managed to get the car to an illegal parking spot, I went to buy a new battery at WalMart so I could move the car. The new battery started the car just fine.
My questions are:
1) Would a bad battery simply die while driving if the alternator was working properly?
2) I hear a squeeking sound for a short period when first starting the car in the morning which sounds like a belt. Then it goes away. The belt doesn't seem too loose. It may have engine oil on it from a very slight leak. Could my problem just be a bad or loose belt and not the alternator itself?
3) If the alternator is not working properly, could this old battery still be good if recharged? It is about 1 1/2 years old.
4) If the alternator is not working, how long will it take for the new battery to die? (How long do I have to get it fixed without the same problem again?)
5) The former owner said it was a new alternator and battery (I bought the car in May 2006). How long should a new one last?
Thanks in advance for the help.