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Battery test proper voltage, new alternator test normal to low voltage,have trouble starting at times. while driving amp gauge shows varying readings of 14 to 10

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  • Master
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If you test battery with a load test it will probably fail. Battery is bad. Also have alternator tested. Go to any parts store, even walmart they all test for free. I would put my money on bad battery. Cells getting weak.

Posted on Jul 17, 2009

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  • GMC Master
  • 2,359 Answers

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

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What will be the next step in repairing my 2003 ford ranger ? i replace a bad alternator and battery and voltage gauge is still read low.


While its running take your ground wire(black)off your battery if it stays running your alternator is functioning and my guesd is your belt is loose or you have a faulty gauge if its reading close to 14 volts its not reading low that's normal

Nov 21, 2016 | Ford Cars & Trucks

2 Answers

My car needing a jump threw out the day


Ok I would have the battery tested. While testing battery make sure all connections are clean and tight on the battery terminals. If battery checks out to be good. Test the charging system, alternator. If alternator tests good make sure you belts are not slipping or worn and stretched out as this could cause a an inconsistent charge. While doing the battery test if posible do a draw test to see if anything is during current all the time as this could be draining or weakening the battery.

Apr 13, 2015 | 2000 Chevrolet Blazer

1 Answer

Radio going off and on..air conditioner going off and on..gauges flickering and won't start


It could be a faulty alternator. This would cause a battery drain since the alternator would not be recharging the battery and supplying operating voltage to the vehicle. Once the battery dropped to about 8 volts then the gauges, A/C, radio and other electronics would start acting crazy. Eventually the car would have shut down, but since you stopped at the post office, that didn't happen. With the battery being so low in charge, that would not allow the car to restart, as there would not be enough current to engage the starter properly. Check the battery voltage. If it seems ok (12-13 volts), try checking it again with someone trying to start the car. A normal battery will see some voltage drop, but a drained one will fall to almost zero with a starter load. Since you have gauges and not warning lights, a discharging battery may have gone unnoticed. If you determine the alternator is bad, be sure to have the battery charged, or if necessary, replaced before using the new alternator. A low battery can cause a new alternator to fail and most alternator warranties will not cover this type of failure.

Sep 05, 2014 | Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

I put a new alternator/battery in my 02 jeep grand cherokee limtid and now my batttery gauge keeps moveing back and forth . whats causeing this?


what engine option????????????????????????????
that dash meter is a volt meter.
so when that meter varies
connect any hand meter, DMM (volts) to the battery lugs
do both meters vary,?,, yes, BINGO its not fibbing to you, the
voltage is out of control. per below:
but key on volts is 12.6v
and running does vary from 13.3 to 15v, this is NORMAL
outside that range is AB-NORMAL.(running)

post actual accurate voltages. and we cant find true cause.
is engine RPM always above 800 rpm
is the alternator fan belt at spec, tension?

if engine RPM drops , way low the ALT drops.
if the belt slips ,same deal.
My 4.0L uses a serpentine belt that must be set real tight.
100lbs. in fact. i have a spec tool to do that. (guessing dont work)
tell engine on 02 GC and we can look it up.


Apr 01, 2014 | 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee

1 Answer

1998 Ford Explorer Low Battery/Voltage Reading


Bad alternator you should have about 14.7 volts at idle with a new alternator.

Nov 02, 2012 | Ford Explorer Cars & Trucks

2 Answers

Battery icon lit on dash


The batt. may be not good. Take to most any parts place, they usually will
check the batt. condition for free,of course if bad will try to sell you a new
one.

May 14, 2012 | 1995 Ford Explorer

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

2 Answers

Battery won't hold a charge


There seems to be a no charge state in this case. I recommend checking the battery first, then, move on to the charging system. Use the procedure below to isolate this issue.

Wear protective eye wear and clothing and remove all jewelry when checking your battery and charging system. Jewelry is a good conductor of electricity and is not recommended. Most batteries wear out every 3 to 5 years and need to be replaced. Always replace your battery with an equal replacement battery to assure proper operation. Automotive batteries have a positive terminal (red), negative terminal (black). Electricity is stored in the battery and then supplied to the vehicle when the engine is not running. While the engine is running the vehicles alternator charges the battery for future use. (Note: never disconnect the battery while the engine is running). To check a battery surface voltage, remove the positive terminal protective cover. Connect the positive side meter lead (red) to the positive side battery terminal. Connect the negative (black) side meter lead to the negative battery terminal. With the vehicle not running and the car sitting over night the battery voltage should be between 12.5 and 12.8 volts.(You will need to use a voltmeter for this testing procedure). If the voltage is not up to specs, replace the battery asap. If the battery is ok and showing good voltage readings; Move on to the alternator/generator drive belt and amperage test.

The alternator is rotated by a drive belt, which is, driven by the vehicles engine crank shaft pulley while it is running. Electrical voltage and amperage are generated to recharge the battery and supply voltage to the electrical system of the car. The alternator is held in place with mounting bolts. There is a main electrical wire on the rear of the alternator that supplies voltage to a main voltage junction box. If your alternator is not charging properly, your battery will slowly drain down from operating all the electrical systems in your car and stop the car from running. Most non charge states will be the cause of a loose belt or a low tension rate, due to a mis-adjusted alternator. Make sure you have enough tension in the belt for full rotation of the alternator pulley.

Next, you will need to check the alternators output with the Amp meter.

Testing the amperage output of an alternator is good for measuring the amount (not the level) of voltage the alternator can produce. This test can be tricky because if the alternator is weak it can still show it as producing amperage(False reading); Which is good, but if the voltage is low, it will still allow the battery to go dead. To check the amperage output of an alternator an amp meter will be required. Once the meter is connected start the engine. Next; Turn on all electrical accessories and raise the engine idle to about 1300 RPM. The alternator should produce the max amperage it was designed to produce. Example: a 90 amp alternator should produce about 88 amps. An alternator cannot sustain maximum output for long periods of time. If the alternator is forced to operate at maximum output it will overheat and fail(due to a failed regulator). An alternator is designed to operate at max amperage output only for a reasonable amount of time. Once you have verified the amp readings, check the voltage. To check the voltage, Connect the voltage meter lead the same way you would in a battery static voltage check, Start engine (do not drive). At engine idle, the voltage should be between 13.6 to 14.3 volts. If not the alternator may need replacing.


  • NOTE_ Be sure to inspect the battery terminals for connectivity issues such as corrosion and so fourth..

Nov 21, 2010 | 2003 GMC Sierra 1500

2 Answers

I HAVE A 2003 TRAILBLAZER IM HAVING TROUBLE WITH THE CHARGING SYSTEM,I CHANGE THE ALTERNATOR BUT IT STILL SHOW THE BATTERY GAUGE LOW CHARGE NEED HELP ON WHAT TO DO


You need to check the voltage at the battery itself, if the battery voltage is indicating in the area of 12.5 - 14.0 volts and your dash gauge does not agree, then the dash cluster has a bad stepper motor which drives the gauge.
If the battery voltage agrees with the dash gauge, and the alternator was changed and is assumed good, you need to check the wires going to the alternator, there may a broken connection.

Sep 21, 2010 | 2004 Chevrolet TrailBlazer

1 Answer

Voltage guage showing low reading. Had alternator tested. They said it was bad. Replaced it. Only getting 13. something with engine running. 12. something with out running. A "guy" told me the new...


You can isolate the new alternator by starting the car and disconnecting the negative battery cable with engine running. Now measure the voltage at the positive terminal to a ground. This will be your alternator voltage under normal load (w/o battery). It should be 14-15 VDC and closer to 15 if it's new. If not, return the new alternator and try again. If the voltage is normal, try touching the negative cable back to the battery terminal and see if it takes it back to 13. If yes, maybe your battery has an internal short.

Aug 24, 2010 | 1992 Ford F150 SuperCab

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