Question about 2001 Jeep Cherokee

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Voltage Gauge drops suddenly to zero

2001 jeep cherokee voltage gauge all of a sudden drops to zero but still runs. Died once but changed the serpentine belt and all was right with the world again but the gauge still drops to zero periodically. Is this the alternator? Have a new battery so that can't be the problem.

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  • thedragontre Jan 31, 2009

    So your saying its most likely an alternator problem?

  • klroy Mar 04, 2009

    2001 Jeep Cherokee. This exact problem just happened to me this morning on the way to work. Pulled into work, turned the headlights on, as bright as they should be, checked the battery voltage with an multimeter, 12.5 volts. Car started at lunch and ran fine. Volt gauge indicated 12 volts, but after about a minute, went to zero. Shut car off, turned key on, volt gauge reads 12 volts. Concerned I might have an alternator problem, will see during my 68 mile commute home tonight.

  • lennnn Mar 07, 2009

    Similar problem.  If I keep driving, eventually the battery will completely drain and and the engine will die.  If I turn it off and  back on again, it's fine for awhile.  It's some sort of intermittent Alternator problem.  When it looks fine, the volts are 14.8.  But when the gauge drops to zero, I measure the volts and it's only 11 - but then suddenly fixes itself and jumps back up to 14.8 (and I hear the engine change based on the sudden increase in horsepower needed to drive the alt).  But, even though it seems to be working agian, the gauge still reads zero.
    Any help would be great... lenn@shaw . ca.

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Charging system grounding out, poss inside alternator

Posted on Jan 31, 2009

  • classicbill Feb 01, 2009

    CHECK ALL GROUNDS FOR CONTINUITY; CHECK TO ENSURE THE BATTERY TERMINAL ENDS ARE NOT LOOSE (WHERE THE CABLE GOES INTO THE TERMINAL ENDS). ACTUALLY, WHILE THE VEHICLE IS RUNNING, POP THE HOOD AND USE A MULTIMETER OFF THE BATTERY; WIGGLE BOTH CABLES AT BATTERY, AND LOCATE THE REST OF THE GROUNDS IN THE ENGINE COMPARTMENT AND DO THE SAME. IF YOU CAN REACH THE WIRES WHERE THEY ATTACH TO THE ALTERNATOR, WIGGLE THEM AS WELL. IF THE OUTPUT DROPS AT ANY POINT, YOU THEN HAVE ISOLATED THE GROUND PROBLEM. IF NOT, COULD BE A PROBLEM WITH THE GUAGE (BECAUSE IT DROPS TO ZERO, EVEN THOUGH THE VEHICLE STILL RUNS)

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