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Charging system How do I test an alternator and should I increase the output amps for my winch and install a second battery for my power inverter on a 87 bronco 302

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You Can Test An Alternator By Starting The Vehicle And Then Unhooking The Battery. If The Vehicle Stalls Then The Alternator Needs Replacement. A Second Battery Would Need A Source Of Charge So Unless You Want To Fork Out A Lot Of Money No.

Posted on Jan 05, 2009

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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Does the ECM control the alternator charging amperage/voltage on a 2004 Suzuki aerio? New alternator only charges @12.5. Won't charge enough to keep ahead of necessary power draw.


Some vehicles are fitted with a smart charging system that is designed to prevent the alternator charging during acceleration to free a few horsepower to help.

My experience of these is very limited but there is an ECU that controls them and the battery, charging or ignition light using information from the engine management system.
The alternator generally has an extra plug with about four or five wires which when disconnected render the alternator a standard machine sensed type.

Japanese vehicles used separate voltage regulators longer than most types. You either need experience or a wiring diagram for good fault diagnosis but mostly it is unnecessary to check the charging current of an alternator which bears little significance unless being tested with a graduated load or adjustable carbon pile.

The current output of a healthy alternator is dependent on the terminal voltage of the battery which in turn is dependent on the electrical load placed upon it. Switching on the lights should lower the voltage and increase the alternator output. If the battery is particularly good the voltage won't fall very much and the current won't increase as much as expected...

Measuring the battery voltage with the engine running at about 2000/2500 rpm is sufficient for most purposes. With nothing switched on and a fully charged battery it should be around 14.5 volts and with everything switched on (lights, HRW, heater fan, etc.) a healthy alternator should continue to maintain a voltage above that of a healthy fully charged battery (13.2 volts).

If the voltage isn't maintained on load the charging system, probably the alternator, is faulty and should be independently tested.

Jan 25, 2017 | Suzuki Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

What would cause the battery gauge on a 93 jeep grand Cherokee Laredo to bounce between 14v and 9v. this is also running the battery dead and not charging the battery back up.


Several things need to be checked before an accurate diagnosis can be made, however in general it is most likely your alternator going out OR a bad connection in your alternator/charging circuit wiring.

It's also important to test/verify that you have a good fully charged battery (with no dead cells) before any tests of the charging system. An alternator needs ample battery power into it before it can produce good charging voltage and amps out of it and back into the battery.

If you test the voltage directly out of the alternator's output post/connector (with the output wire disconnected), you will be reading direct alternator voltage output, which should be approx 13.5 to 14 volts, steady. If the voltage is at ~14 volts, then suddenly cycles down to 9 volts (or anything less than 12 volts), then you have a defective alternator.
If the alternator, while isolated, tests out at a constant 13.5 to 14 volts, then the problem is most likely a bad wire or connection in the charging circuit wiring.

There is also the possibility of the battery (how old is it?) shorting out internally, causing the voltage fluctuation. That's why I previously said you need to verify each battery cell is fully charged and good. You can usually test this with a battery hydrometer (if it's not a "sealed" maintenance free battery).

Nov 05, 2014 | Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

1978 chev k10 alternator output 14.4 on bench, reads 9 amps on truck gauge 12.2 on ampmeter at battery with truck running why


amps reading on the truck amp meter is the current that is being generated to run everything as well as charge a battery that will be at best around 80% charged.bench testing an alternator gives these readings as the regulator is feeding into fully charged batteries with no draw on the system. When batteries are 100% charged the charge rate will be as low as 2 amps but in a car where there is a current draw for the ECM , ignition , fuel pump and what ever the alternator feeds these first before it charges a battery. You used a amp meter to get a voltage reading which is reading the voltage drop across the current draw. If you had used a voltmeter (multimeter) then you would see a voltage increase with the rpm increase. The

Aug 14, 2014 | Cars & Trucks

2 Answers

Charging/electrical problem


charging voltage should be 14.5-16..not 12.5.. thats too low.. get the alternator replaced and your charging issues should disapear..

Feb 08, 2014 | 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix

1 Answer

Alternator


Vehicles: any failing to keep its battery charged.

A vehicle unable to charge its own battery has one of 4 problems:
(a) alternator failure
(b) voltage regulator failure
(c) battery failure
(d) wiring problem between battery and alternator/voltage regulator.

One most modern vehicles (including 2002 Lexus RX300 - 2WD and AWD), the voltage regulator is an integral component of the alternator and is not separately serviceable.

In the US, one can get a free "charging system diagnosis" from the popular auto parts chains: AutoZone, Advance Auto Parts & Pep Boys. You needn't remove any parts from the car to get this diagnostic, since they can attach a diagnostic meter to the charging system in the parking lot. This diagnostic aid will tell you exactly which component has failed - battery, alternator or voltage regulator.

In case the vehicle is immobile, one can DIY (do it yourself) the diagnosis.
(a) inspect the wiring for corrosion/loose connections/loose connectors/etc.
(b) check alternator belt/pulley - if drive belt is properly turning the alternator pulley (no slippage/misrouting/etc.), then the mechanical tests are complete, and you'll need to continue testing the electrical performance of the charging system components.
(c) first component to test: battery
DIY test 1: remove battery from car and put battery on a 120VAC automotive battery charger and charge it fully (or just check it in the car with motor off, since the car's charging system is a type of automotive battery charger).
test parameter: a fully charged lead-acid automotive battery should read 12.45 volts on a VOM/DMM
DIY test 2: disassemble battery out of car after driving it to one of the auto parts chain stores (Advance/AutoZone/Pep Boys) for a free battery test. These testers will test the battery under load, which is not possible with just a DMM.
(d) if wiring is good, and battery tests good under load, then
the failed component is the alternator/voltage regulator - by process of elimination.
(e) DIY test 3: direct alternator/voltage regulator test (car must start and idle successfully to perform this test)
Start the car, and put a VOM/DMM across the terminals of the battery. Since the car is running, you'll be reading the output voltage of the alternator and not the output voltage of the battery. The acceptable ranges for alternator/voltage regulator output are:

ALTERNATOR CHARGING VOLTAGE

Most alternators that are charging properly should produce a voltage of about 13.8 to 14.2 volts at idle with the lights and accessories off. Always refer to the vehicle manufacturer's specifications. Many Asian vehicles, for example, have higher charging voltages of around 15 volts.

When the engine is first started, the charging voltage should rise quickly to about two volts above base battery voltage, then taper off, leveling out at the specified voltage.

The exact charging voltage will vary according to the battery's state of charge, the load on the vehicle's electrical system, and temperature. The lower the temperature the higher the charging voltage, and the higher the temperature the lower the charging voltage. The "normal" charging voltage on a typical application might be 13.9 to 15.1 volts at 77 degrees F. But at 20 degrees F. below zero, the charging voltage might be 14.9 to 15.8 volts. On a hot engine on a hot day, the normal charging voltage might drop to 13.5 to 14.3 volts.

Here are the full specs for installation of the 2002 Lexus RX300 alternator - you may be able to check these specs yourself (with a torque wrench), or pass them along to your mechanic.

Note: the VIN 8th digit should be "F" for the 2002 Lexus RX300 (2WD & AWD)

2002 Lexus RX300 (2WD and AWD) - 3.0L Engine, VIN "F" SFI DOHC

Alternator

Drive belt. Tension the belt to 170-180 lbs. for a new belt or 95-135 lbs. for a used belt.
Adjusting alternator lockbolt. Tighten the bolt to 13 ft.-lbs. (18 Nm).
Alternator pivot bolt. Tighten the bolt to 41 ft.-lbs. (56 Nm).

Glossary of acronyms
--------------------------------
DIY = do it yourself
DMM = Digital Multimeter
DOHC = Dual Overhead Cam
SFI = Sequential Fuel Injection
VOM = Volt Ohmmeter

References
----------------
How to test a Car Alternator - todayifoundout.com

Alternator & Charging System Checks - aa1car.com

Dec 26, 2011 | 2002 Lexus RX 300

5 Answers

I had a the battery light on what does it means


The battery light means your alternator is not charging, so if you continue to drive the vehicle your battery will eventually drain and the vehicle will stop.

You can test this by putting a volt meter across the battery posts. A fully charged battery should read 12.6 volts. Then start the engine and the voltage should increase to 13.5 to 15 volts. If you do not get this increase in voltage, then the alternator is not charging, which can be either the wiring to the alternator or the alternator itself being bad. Good luck :O)

Feb 25, 2011 | 2008 Chrysler Sebring Convertible

3 Answers

Battery wont charge changed alternator and battery still wont charge


fit a new reconditioned alternator and not one from a junkyard

Mar 30, 2010 | 1992 Ford F150 SuperCab

2 Answers

How do I troubleshoot the charging system?


test battery and alternator battery may be loosing charge or alternator output enough to run vehicle but not enough to keep battery charged some auto stores such as auto zone/advanced auto can bench test both for free

Oct 30, 2009 | 1991 Toyota Corolla

1 Answer

Battery problem


Check the battery for a draw, if you know how to use a Ampere meter, put it inline and make sure all doors are closed, and if the car has a lamp under the hood disconnect it. With the Ammeter in line, you should see a reading on the meter.
If there is a reading, disconnect the amp power connector and the reading should drop. If it does, you may have to install a power relay to control the amplifiers to ensure they do not drain them in future.

The second possibility is that the power consumption of your amps is preventing the battery from charging completely. Especially if the battery has bad cells. It would be helpful to know what amprerage your alternator is putting out and what the amperage draw of your amps are while in use.
Of course if demand is higher than supply then the battery will have difficulty keeping up.

One quick check is to check battery voltage with a meter, start the car, check the voltage is it around 13 volts and increasing, turn on the amps, again check the voltage, is it still increasing or decreasing. Rev the car up a few rpm's If it is decreasing then you are taxing the charging system.
Replace the battery and try these tests again.

Hope this is of some help.
Ed

Apr 20, 2009 | 1995 BMW 5 Series

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