Question about 1988 Chevrolet Suburban

2 Answers

Volts drop off while driving and then go back up

I will be driving down the road and my volt meter will read close to 14 volts and then all of a sudden I will feel a slight power loss and the meter will go down to about 9 volts. Then out of the blue is will jump back up to normal. This usually happens when I am driving with the lights, heater, or radio on. I took the altenator off and took it to Autozone and they told me it was fine

Posted by on

  • 1 more comment 
  • phxmark123 Apr 14, 2009

    Thanks, I will take the whole vehicle down to auto zone and have them check it. That would be great if it was just the battery. I haven't replaced the battery and it has given me trouble before when the truck sits awhile

  • phxmark123 Apr 14, 2009

    Is the fusible link that is on the firewall a fuse holder with a fuse in it? Because if it is there is no fuse in mine

  • phxmark123 Apr 14, 2009

    I found the fusible link by the altantor and it looks good. I put a new altnator on and now my volts on my dash read about 9 volts all the time and wont change. Took the truck back to Autozone and tested the battery and it is good. The voltage at the battery is 12.3. and stays steady there. I think it should read higher though. Almost like it is charging good but drawing current somewhere. When I put the altenator in I redid all the connections to make sure they were clean and tight. But overall now it is worse.



2 Answers

  • Level 3:

    An expert who has achieved level 3 by getting 1000 points


    An expert that got 10 achievements.


    An expert that got 5 achievements.


    An expert who has answered 1,000 questions.

  • Master
  • 1,118 Answers

Chk. all your connections to the battery make sure there clean and tight, and also to the starter, and all other ground connections like from frame to engine to body. I know you said auto zone chk. it and said it was ok but it still sounds like the internal regulator is kicking in and out to me, but a loose connection could cause that to.if you chk. everything i sugested, and find no problem, find a shop that specializes in alt. rebuilding and have them chk. it they know a little more than auto zone does, its there business.

Posted on Apr 14, 2009

  • ccn7 Apr 15, 2009

    The battery itself will only show 12 volts, What charge rate does the alt. show when its running, did they hook it directly to alt. to chk.what alt. is putting out when its running? it should be around 13 to 13 1/2 . Also your guage in the truck could be off a little. When you tax the system, thats means everything on thats electrical can you hear the alt. singing if you do the alt. is working. Voltage at alt. will drop when taxed thats normal, but not more than a volt or two. You might want to install an aftermarket volt meter thats more accurate than the stock one in dash.


  • Level 2:

    An expert who has achieved level 2 by getting 100 points


    An expert that got 5 achievements.


    An expert whose answer got voted for 20 times.


    An expert who has answered 20 questions.

  • Expert
  • 52 Answers

You could have a dead cell in your battery or one or 2 cells that are going bad, its sometimes difficult to check depending on what kind of battery you have in the vehicle. Another option is to check on all you battery leads and wires that run from the alternator, make sure they are free from corrosion and grime. They need to be tight enough that you can get no movement from them with your hands.

Posted on Apr 14, 2009


1 Suggested Answer

  • 2 Answers

SOURCE: I have freestanding Series 8 dishwasher. Lately during the filling cycle water hammer is occurring. How can this be resolved

a 6ya expert can help you resolve that issue over the phone in a minute or two.
Best thing about this new service is that you are never placed on hold and get to talk to real repairmen in the US.
the service is completely free and covers almost anything you can think of.(from cars to computers, handyman, and even drones)
click here to download the app (for users in the US for now) and get all the help you need.

Posted on Jan 02, 2017

Add Your Answer

Uploading: 0%


Complete. Click "Add" to insert your video. Add



Related Questions:

1 Answer

2009 451 Passion. Why a frequent dead battery?

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?

Jul 01, 2015 | Smart Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

Why wont my car start it died going down the road replaced starter?

If you put a volt meter on the battery and it reads 12 volts before you cranked the engine and it drops to 10 volts or less when you crank the engine, this indicates you have a bad cell in the battery and you should replace the battery because it is not holding the charge. The loud click sound coming from your starter is because you are not supplying enough voltage to energize it.

Aug 22, 2014 | 1998 Ford Taurus

2 Answers

What should the voltage guage read

should read between 12 an 15 amps

Apr 05, 2012 | 1997 Saab 9000

1 Answer

I have a 1990 dodge w150 4x4. put new alt & battery in it. still not charging wright. pull positive cable and motor dies. already went through 4 alt. could it be the black box that connects at the alt.

you need to check your electrical system with a digital volt meter-when the vehicle sits overnight, the battery should read about 12.5 volts before startup. You should get the same (or very close) reading at the large post on the rear of the alternator, then start it up. Readings should go to close to 15 volts, and gradually drop down to close to 14 volts at idle, again at the battery and the rear of the alternator. If it is much less than 14 (like 13) or more than 15 (like 16) you have a problem either with the voltage regulator or the ecm.

Mar 22, 2011 | Dodge W150 Cars & Trucks

3 Answers

Having charging problems on 91 ford exploer keeps killing new battery tested altornator and they said it was good was wondering when you hook volt meter is supose to read and thank you inadvance

When your engine is running, you should have around 14.2-14.5 volts using a voltmeter across the + and - terminals on the battery. If it is around 12, you have a bad alternator, blown alternator fuse, or alternator wiring fault.

Mar 10, 2011 | Ford Explorer Cars & Trucks

3 Answers

When the Jeep was new the volt meter read 14 the volt meter reads 13 volts with a one year old battery. Since the battery is a 12 volt battery should there be any concern that the volt meter...

It needs to be looked at,hook a volt meter to the battery,and start the engine,turn the ac on high blower,and the head lights on,the alternator should be putting out 13.65 volts to 14.25 volts,if it is any lower than this,replace the alternator,now,if the reading is not the same as in the vehicles volt meter,then the cables,positive and negative need to be replaced,the cables get old,and corrode on the inside and break down,they do not carry the current as they should.Shuold you decide to replace them,go with a larger diameter cable,both positive,and negative.

May 28, 2010 | 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee

1 Answer

My 2000 grand marque has a low charging rate. The battery runs down after driving for a while. the air bag lite comes on after a while.

Take a volt meter and put the test leads on the battery terminals,
red to positive,
black to negative,
set meter to 12 volts dc
If the meter reads less than 14 to 15 volts dc, the alternator is not charging and needs a new one.

Feb 25, 2010 | Mercury Marquis Cars & Trucks

2 Answers

1998 chevy express van electrical problem

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,

Mar 16, 2009 | 1998 Chevrolet K1500

Not finding what you are looking for?

Open Questions:

0 Answers

1988 5.7 TBI Nightmare This is the start of what the problem was and is, I had a RV cam installed when the engine was rebuilt a year ago. the cam was not a computer friendly cam so after a round with the rebuilder and discovering the specs weren't the correct ones for the cam I installed a 3702 edelbrock cam and lifters with a 7800 timing chain and gear set after I had tried two chips from Jet and no improved performance and the 3rd chip was to be for the cam and that is what is in the ECU now and I have tried about 5 different BCC chips and the bottom line is the power is there but something is happening its hit and miss the idle will sometimes lope, is stalled when first started and acts as if its starving for fuel or its bogged with to much fuel. the fuel pressure is 10 - 13 psi and I have R/R the TPS, IAC, ESC and knocks device , EGR and Solenoid, MAP, Temp sensor, and the Dist is a Procomp 10001 with a MSD-5526 coil. the Throttle Body was rebuild and the ECM was replaced with a Rebuilt ECM. it will smell rich etc. but with the things that goes on it does not show any codes?? I have no clue just feel stupid this is been a simple thing that is kicking my **** and now its a challenge but still loosing the fight too far in and too much spent to stop,. LOL Help !!!! The BCC is a california vehicle AFBX, 5.7TBI TH400 A/T P.S. the key can be turned of and back on as the engine not dying and seems to correct the power and run problems but will not last goes back to running bad or with problems. ?

Jul 26, 2012 | 1988 Chevrolet Suburban

See all 1988 Chevrolet Suburban Questions

Cars & Trucks Logo

950 people viewed this question

Ask a Question

Usually answered in minutes!

Top Chevrolet Experts


Level 3 Expert

76682 Answers

Colin Stickland
Colin Stickland

Level 3 Expert

22219 Answers

Jeff Turcotte
Jeff Turcotte

Level 3 Expert

8531 Answers

Are you a Chevrolet Expert? Answer questions, earn points and help others

Answer questions

Manuals & User Guides