Question about 1990 Chevrolet C1500

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The amp meter shows no voltage but measuring the

The amp meter in dash shows no voltage but measuring the output of alternater shows 13.5 volts. do i have a bad amp meter in the dash or is there somthing else i can check? 1990 454 ss

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  • louis carto Jul 21, 2009

    i'm sorry its a volt meter i'm mesuring dc volts

    thanks

    lou

  • Ned C Cook
    Ned C Cook May 11, 2010

    there is a difference in meters. You say ammeter but are talking about volts. Sorry, but it is confusing. Vlts are different than amps An ammeter is in series in the electrical system and a volt meter is in paralell. The ammeters come in many ranges like 0-30,0-60,o100, etc. ck the amps at the battery by putting an ammeter between the ground cable and ground post on the battery(in series, and that will tell you what the battery is getting. make sure which meter is in the dash.

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  • Chevrolet Master
  • 3,433 Answers

An ameter won't show voltage.

Posted on Jul 20, 2009

Testimonial: "thanks "

  • Ned C Cook
    Ned C Cook Jul 21, 2009

    Ok Lou. Figured it was just a terminplogy thing. Yoyr voltmeter appears to be either wired backwards or not connected at all If it's an after market gauge then I would question the wiring. Test is easy, just test like you use a meter. The proper charging voltage range is between 13.6- 14.2 !3.5 is charging ok But, the issue is the gauge not reading. Ck the volt meter securement . many times one leg loses a good connection an it eon't resd. Good Luck Lou

  • Ned C Cook
    Ned C Cook Jul 22, 2009

    Now I'm getting confused... Chk theAMMETER securement and wuring, Whew!

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The alternator should be tested for its operational value in this case. There may be some issues with the charge rate.

Testing the amperage output of the 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. 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 is needed. Once the meter is connected start the engine. Next turn on all electrical accessories and raise the engine idle to about 1200 RPM. The alternator should output the max amperage it was designed to produce. Example: a 90 amp alternator should output about 88 amps. Note: 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. An alternator is designed to operate at max amperage output only for a reasonable amount of time.

((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.)))

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Ok, i understand that you have replaced the alternator, but there seems to be a non charge state in this case. i recommend checking 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). The battery in this illustration has a protective cover over the positive terminal to prevent short circuit in case of an accident. 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. If the battery cable is disconnected from the battery a spark can be generated which can cause the battery to explode or a major electrical malfunction to occur.)

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)

The alternator is rotated by a drive belt driven by the vehicles engine 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 alt pulley)

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

Testing the amperage output of the 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. 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 is needed. Once the meter is connected start the engine. Next turn on all electrical accessories and raise the engine idle to about 1200 RPM. The alternator should output the max amperage it was designed to produce. Example: a 90 amp alternator should output about 88 amps. Note: 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. An alternator is designed to operate at max amperage output only for a reasonable amount of time.

((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.)))

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