When I first start the truck, it shows around 14.5 volt on the meter. After a few miles of driving, the meter drops to around 13 volts. It stays there even if I turn on the lights and air conditioner. The next time I start the engine, it again shows 14.5 volts for the first few miles of driving then the meter again drops to around 13 volts. Is this a normal condition or do I have a charging system problem to address? 2005 Avalanche with 5.3 litre engine thanks for the help D Osburn
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Re: Charging system Question
This is within "normal ranges" however it is an indication of wear on your alternator. If you start seeing a slow but steady decrease in your voltage it is probably time to check out the charging status of the alternator on your vehicle.
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That is definitely wrong, not normal. Voltage should stay at 14 volts or near that until the battery is close to fully charged, then will slide down to about 13.5 volts, and stay there while engine is running. Also, a fully charged battery should show about 12.6 volts at a minimum, especially a new battery.
I don't know what is going on with your system. Take it back to Merc- were they aware of how it is acting, voltage-wise? Doesn't sound like it. One small possibility: is your alternator belt not tight enough?
Get a volt meter, start your car and see how many volts your car is producing while running. Should be around 14 volts. May want to watch the meter for a while since your electric seems to fluctuate. Most voltage regulators are internal of your alternator. If you are getting a lot more or less than 14 volts while running, replace the alternator. If it is not charging, voltage will drop as vehicle runs, until battery is dead.
If your charging system isn't working, It will drain your battery voltage, and eventually stall. Jumper cables supply voltage from another vehicle. You will need to get the charging system tested. If you can use a volt meter, you can get an idea if it's charging. You normally have 12.5 volts at the battery posts, with the engine off, and around 14 volts running. This is if it's working correctly.
When the new alternator was installed did you perform a charging test to ensure it works properly. If it's not the alternator may overcharge the battery causing corrosion to the posts and possible cracking of the battery case. If you don't have the tester at home most auto parts stores can connect theirs and it usually is free.
Try checking the cables on your battery to make sure there not lose or corroded, a lose connection from the battery could cause this problem, if there's any corrosion it will look like white fluffy deposits, if so clean them off with a wire brush or a battery terminal cleaner. you can perform a basic test on your battery by using an ohm meter, with the vehicle off the battery should read about 12.4 volts, with the vehicle started the battery should read above 12.4 volts, usually around 14 volts, also try checking the drive belt for loseness and wear, if it does'nt have enough tension it could be slipping on the alternator pulley,
This vehicle has a "Regulated Voltage Control" system. The computer reduces the charge voltage based on several parameters to improve gas mileage. Normally it shouldn't be a problem, but the computer will increase the voltage if you switch on the headlights. Also, if you're in Tow/Haul mode the voltage will increase.