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GX620 has 30volt output to charge the battery but the magneto seems to burn out and stop charging then drains the battery. What do I need to look for?

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2nd newly rebuilt alternator burning out.


Due to the nature of the battery technology used with vehicles the alternator is mostly incapable of charging the battery. The car alternator is designed to keep a fully charged battery fully charged and to provide all the power for the car equipment.

The alternator charge rate is regulated by a voltage regulator. Because the alternator output is connected to the battery, the alternator and battery voltage will be the same and the voltage regulator monitors that voltage.

The lower the battery voltage the more output the alternator will produce in order to correct the situation but because a lead acid battery has a high internal resistance to accepting a charge the terminal voltage will quickly rise to the alternator regulated voltage and fool the alternator into thinking the battery is fully charged when the output will drop to the order of just a couple of amps.

Switch on the headlights or a similar load that will lower the battery voltage and the alternator will increase it's output again - but only by the amount of current the headlamps or other load is consuming.
It matters not what the alternator rated maximum output is, it is designed to provide only the necessary current and no more.

The only time an alternator should ever need to produce maximum output is when on a dedicated testbed and then only for a short duration to avoid damaging the unit. Testing the current output on a modern vehicle is not recommended except for the regulated voltage testing and a rule-of-thumb output test where all equipment is switched on and the engine speed raised while the battery voltage is monitored.

Most modern alternators use an internal voltage regulator but a few systems use a separate voltage regulator. No alternator rebuild would be complete without a regulator test and probably a new or replacement regulator, which is where the majority of charging system problems are, or the brush gear.
Assuming the wiring is ok, no alternator should suffer any harm if the voltage regulator and auxilliary diodes (if fitted) are in good order though fitting a defective or a discharged battery can cause it to overheat and be damaged.

The alternator usually just about stops producing an output when the battery voltage is in the region of 14.5/14.8 volts.
Your description indicates the voltage regulator is not working correctly - unless 40 amps was being consumed by the car equipment the alternator should not have been producing 40 amps.. I suggest you also have your battery tested

May 12, 2017 | 1988 Acura Legend

1 Answer

My 1995 jeep Cherokee seems to be losing power and I don't know why or how. How do I check this with a voltmeter?


If you are talking about performance and engine power, you would need other gauges.

If you are talking about the battery not charging, or a battery drain you would use a Voltmeter for the Alternator output. The drain would be using an Ohmmeter with the battery disconnected.

The big 3 autoparts stores will test the battery and the charging system for you for free. Go to Autozone, Advance, or Oreilys and ask for a chargine system test. Diodes in the Alternator are like one way gates and if one is bad it could run down the battery.

Please rate my info.

Nov 11, 2012 | Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

Charging system not working. Major problem with the 1991 Dodge Dakota 5.2L 4x4 Sport charging system not working, major drain on the battery. Searched for short. Any ideas? Already replaced alt. and...


Check output from alternator with a voltmeter it should be between 13.8 to 14.7 if so then check at battery if it is not at least 13.8 minimum to be charging then the big wire on back of alternator is not getting back to the battery through ammeter gauge in dash.
I have hooked a wire from back of alternator straight to the plus[+] side of battery to fix that issue.
Sometimes ammeter gauge burns out breaking the circuit from the alternator back to the battery.

May 16, 2011 | 1991 Dodge Dakota

1 Answer

The battery light on my car came on. I assumed it needed a charge or I needed a new battery. My car stopped, however, when jumped it would not stay on. I was advised by my brother that it is most likely...


There seems to be a no 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). 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.)))

Apr 02, 2011 | 2008 Dodge Avenger

1 Answer

1997 eclipse has to be charged every day in order to drive


There seems to be a no 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). 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.)))

Dec 22, 2009 | 1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse

1 Answer

Starter, battery, or alter Promblems.


There seems to be a no 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). 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.)))


Additionally, If the above inspections prove that the charging system, and battery are ok, This will lead to a battery drain issue.

Here is a procedure I use to isolate a battery drain. Remove the negative battery cable from the battery. Using a 12-volt test light, hook one end to the negative battery post the other end to the negative battery cable you just disconnected. The test light will glow or "light" if there is a drain. If the "light or glow" is faint, that is probably normal draw for the clock or computer. If the "light or glow" is bright, this will indicate a large drain is present. That should be corrected,asap. Now start removing and replacing the fuses one by one until the light goes out; The one fuse that causes the light to shut off, will be the circuit with the drain. Remember to close the car doors, when testing. If not, the interior doom light will interfere with the results of the test.

Dec 15, 2009 | 1995 Jeep Wrangler

1 Answer

New battery. left lights on & had to charge.


There seems to be a no 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). 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.)))

NOTE_ Ok, if everything checks out Ok with the above inspections, and you charging system is working correctly, this will lead to a battery drain issue. Use thsi procedure below to isolate the drain.

Here is the procedure I use to isolate a battery drain. Remove negative battery cable from the battery. Using a 12-volt test light, hook one end to the negative battery post the other end to the negative battery cable you just disconnected. The test light will glow or "light" if there is a drain. If the "light or glow" is faint, that is probably normal draw for the clock or computer. If the "light or glow" is bright, then there is a large drain. That should be corrected. Now start removing and replacing the fuses one by one until the light goes out; that one will be the circuit with the drain. Remember to hold in the button in the door jam for the interior lights.

Nov 16, 2009 | 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee

2 Answers

Car stops in the middle. It drains out battery after driving 10 miles or so. I got battery charged and test came out good. And I see 15.4volts coming from alternator while engine is running. What could be...


Check the voltage regulator if there's coming out of it.
you may have a good alternator but if nothing goes at
the alternator, then, it results to a drained battery. Just
replace your regulator, if this is not working.

Oct 02, 2009 | 1996 Ford Explorer

1 Answer

Gauges quit working and battery died jumpstarted went approx 1 mile and it did the same thing.


Charge the battery to full. Start engine and apply voltmeter to battery posts. Reading should be 13.5-14.5 volts runing. If you read normal battery voltage then alternator is not charging. Check all fuses with test light. Power on both sides of same fuse o?k. Power on one side and not the other burnt fuse. Sometimes when looking at fuses they seem o/k. If they burn close to one end it can be difficult to see. Suggest using test light to be sure. There is a gauge fuse in the system and if it goes it stops power to the regulator on the alt. Hence "no charge" Hopr this helps

Apr 28, 2009 | Ford F-150 Cars & Trucks

2 Answers

Replaced battery and alternator car wont start unless jumpstarted


sounds like a bad battery check with a hydrometer if cells show full charge replace battery

Apr 09, 2009 | 1992 Ford Explorer

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