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Testing an alternator

My kit car has a 45 amp alternator fitted. I have come by a 60-0-60 ammeter in good order. Would it be wise/ safe to connect this ammeter in series between the alternator and the battery then start the engine to use the ammeter as a test gauge? Could I connect it permanently ?

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  • Cars & Trucks Master
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The short answer is no.
Most amp meters are not designed to carry all of the power the car needs like meters used before 1950.
A better choice is a volt meter.

Posted on Feb 13, 2014

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SOURCE: engine died & wont start no spark ignition coil tested good

try your ignition module in the distributor much more likely. just install rebuilt distributor if that is the problem , if you just replace module the main distributor assem will **** out shortly after.
Make sure you check for broken timing belt also it is one of those two!

Posted on May 27, 2009

Mustgo
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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)

====
Troubleshooting

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

  • 103 Answers

SOURCE: chevy cobalt 07 charging fuse/ alternator has been tested good

i have a 05 cobalt SS Superchaged and i bought it new and had to warrenty two batteries and i put another battery n about 7 months ago

Posted on Mar 17, 2010

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1. Is the lights glowing correctly?
2. check the battery contacts once again re fix them.
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  1. Follow these steps.
    Remove the negative side battery cable from the negative battery terminal.
  2. Connect the black wire to the com input on the multimeter and the red wire to the 10A or 20A input on the multimeter. the meter needs to be able to read at least a 2 or 3 amps for this test to work. Connecting the red wire to the mA input on the multimeter won't work and could damage the meter.
  3. Attach a multimeter(set the dial on the multimeter to measure Amps as per multimeters instructions) between the negative cable and the negative battery post. Wait a few seconds to several minutes for the car to go into sleep mode - i.e. when you make the contact with the ammeter, the cars computer systems "wake up". After a bit of time they will go back to "sleep".
  4. If the ammeter is reading over 25-50 milliamps, something is using too much battery power.
  5. Go to the fuse panel(s) and remove fuses, one at a time. Pull the main fuses (higher amp ratings)last. Perform the same steps for relays found in the fuse panel. Sometimes relay contacts can fail to release causing a drain. Be sure to observe the ammeter after pulling each fuse or relay.
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  7. Check each device (circuit) on that fuse. Stop each lamp, heater, etc. to find the drain.
  8. Repeat steps 1&2 to test your repair. The ammeter will tell you exact numbers.
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