Question about Toyota Camry

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02 Camry charging circuity

I assume one's average multi-meter cannot handle the current of the alternator (AC) and VR (DC, is there anyway I can read the output of alternator and integrated VR at the output recepitical? Might you know what the pin # (alpha?)is so I can take a read of the load (output), again I'm assuming the voltage is DC but exceeds the 10 amp limitations of the meter? Thx much Glenn

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Great questions...!!!
no it cant, mine can.
most dmm do 20 amps
most cars do 100 to 500 amps. cranked.
the alt can do 50, some more.
yes, its all DC, and the best tool is a DC amp clamp meter for $50
the alt is AC inside, and DC outside, thus the name.
why jnot say context what are you doing.
i need to know your plans.
dead battery ever 5 hours.
car wont start
battery explodes.
wires melt.

testing the ALT on car , takes some skills
alts. can in fact shut down even when 100% OK (it's loansome)

most folks never read the spec on the VR.
its can be very complex this.

cases in point.
open ground or big wire.
battery going open inside. (cracks in battery or a cell dries up)
over volage (over 16v)
battery shorts. or cables shorts.
cable opens or ground opens/
some newer cars the ECU is the VR. ! !!!!
older cars the charge lamp out , nets you no, start up exciton field current (born dead ALT)

to do this we must know what alt we have.
the FSM covers that as does

so here are the 1st test.
12.6v at battery means charged (resetted and not freezing)
13.3- 15v running means the ALT is working
i stall engine
and leave head lights on for 2 mins. or so.. battery was discharged.
so i start up with my amp clamp (DC) clamped on to the
ALT big signal wire, it shows me 40amps.
if not bad.
as i watch it ,it can drift to zero (or to 5amps ignition power)
note polarity , - is drain + is charging.
depends on clamp orientation, that is why i use discharge test first.

need more ask.

Posted on Dec 27, 2013


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SOURCE: Charging voltage is high -- 1997 Montero Sport

Yup, sounds like alternator will need replace, due to regulator defective. Good Luck.

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SOURCE: battery test proper voltage, new alternator test

Battery by itself with no cable attach should read 12.4V for low and 13.6V for fully charged.

With both terminal connected a health charging system should read 13.6 to 13.8V

Amp gauge should read positive when chagring and when discharging it should be on the left (negitive side)


Key has to be out of the ign.

Charge battery to the max with terminals off the car.

Test voltage and make sure it's between 12.8 to 13.6V

Check the battery CCA and compare it with a battery load tester.
CCA that read 60% below the sticker is a BAD battery.

Cannect the + terminal.

Carefully touch the negitive terminal to the neg. battery post.

Make sure all doors and light are off

You should get a little spark.

A large spare is equal to a large load.

An amp meter will give you a better idea what the drain is.

A short is hard to find and it will take time.

Work on one fuse at a time until you find the load.

Posted on Jul 17, 2009

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SOURCE: wiring an amp meter diagram

put the meter in series remove wire gointo back of alternator put one lead on wire and one on alternator that should give you your reading

Posted on Jul 23, 2009

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SOURCE: 2000 ford ranger. New battery and brand new

You are correct about that. I would have the new alternator tested, you might have gotten a defective alternator. Whenever I get another alternator, I usually have it tested, I got one from Auto Zone for a Saturn, (which is a pain to change) and had them test it, and low and behold it was defective!! I would check your connectors and if any wires have high resistance.

Posted on May 18, 2010

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