Question about 1997 Chevrolet Camaro

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I have a digital multimeter and want to check the charge on my car battery, what settings should I have the meter on and what reading should I expect. Normal 12 volt car battery

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Always start high if you dont know then work your way down. The setting will be the one closest to above 16 volts. Key on engine off shold be 12v or more. Engine running should be 12.8 to 14.3 give or take.

Posted on Nov 18, 2009

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Charged battery will be dead in about 8:hours after the cables are put on and tightened

Hi , you need to have the battery checked for condition, it may not be retaining charge because one or more of the cells is in bad condition. Assuming you have a 12v battery, it should be producing rather more than that while the engine is running and the charging circuit is performaing it's task of keeping it charged. Ideally this value will be around the 14 v mark. If the value is below the 12v the battery requires then the battery will not charge but slowly become depleted. Somebody should check the battery output with the engine running , with a multimeter, to establish whether this is the case.
If the output is below 12v have the alternator checked, check the drive belt is appropriately tensioned so that the alternator can be properly driven. It may be that the alternator itself is faultyand needs servicing or replacement.
It might be that there is a fault with one of the components in the electrical system that is the battery to drain, this is not very unusual and can sometimes be traced to components such as the BCM, (body control module,) an electrician can establish this for you.
It should be a fairly straightforward task to track the cause of this problem in the case the battery/belt/alternator are at fault.

Oct 16, 2015 | 2000 Lexus Gs 300

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1978 chev k10 alternator output 14.4 on bench, reads 9 amps on truck gauge 12.2 on ampmeter at battery with truck running why

amps reading on the truck amp meter is the current that is being generated to run everything as well as charge a battery that will be at best around 80% charged.bench testing an alternator gives these readings as the regulator is feeding into fully charged batteries with no draw on the system. When batteries are 100% charged the charge rate will be as low as 2 amps but in a car where there is a current draw for the ECM , ignition , fuel pump and what ever the alternator feeds these first before it charges a battery. You used a amp meter to get a voltage reading which is reading the voltage drop across the current draw. If you had used a voltmeter (multimeter) then you would see a voltage increase with the rpm increase. The

Aug 14, 2014 | Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

2012 chevy equinox wont start. cranks but it starts clicking

Sounds like maybe you have a weak battery... have you tried putting a battery charger on it or jump starting it? If you have a digital multimeter, check the battery voltage. It should be in the 12.0-12.6 volt range. If you can get it started by charging the battery or jump starting, and have a digital multimeter, check the battery voltage with the engine running. It should be in the 13.5-14.0 volt range. (All measurements should be made with the meter set to Volts DC).

Oct 18, 2013 | Chevrolet Equinox Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

Had the alt replaced on my 98 etc in march. Last month the battery not charging light came on and the car died. Bad alt or more serious problem

If you have access to a multimeter start the car put the meter on range 20v dc or if it's an auto range meter just put it on DC and while the car is running put the meter at the battery pos to pos and neg to neg . it should read between 14 - 14.5 v if it's not the alternator is not charging the battery. If it reads OVER 14.5 It is cooking your battery. I have 2 Cadillacs myself and the rebuilt alternators you get are horrible i replace 2 a year cause the rebuilds are crappy. I used to rebuild them myself but the kits are no longer available.

Oct 19, 2012 | 1998 Cadillac Eldorado

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Batt drain over night

First check the connections at the battery, make sure they are tight, clean and secure.
Then with the ignition off (key out of the switch) disconnect the negative battery cable.
Connect an amp meter (digital multimeter set on amp) between the battery and the disconnected cable end. Wait a few minutes for the modules to power down. (this could take up to 15 minutes at times).

Check the reading. If it is more than 25-30mv you have a parasitic drain in the system.
Leave the meter connected and start pulling fuses one at the time. When the reading on the meter goes from excessive to 0 or close to 25mv you have found the affected circuit.

Find out what is on that circuit, reinstall the fuse, disconnect the components on the circuit one at the time while checking the reading and you will find the problem.

Also, could check this interesting note about Chrysler-Battery-drains-overnight

Hope helps.

Sep 06, 2011 | Chrysler Pacifica Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

Gauge showing low output alt only 1yr old wondering if it could be regulator or batt or wiring

if you have access to a digital multimeter, connect the meter (set to volts) across positive and neg. terminal of the battery, should read roughly 12.6 volts, close to 10 volts, battery may be going out, also test the alt output, disconnect neg term and place negative lead to battery neg post and positive lead to neg battery cable (make sure meter is set to amps) should read near the rating, if both those, then you'd want to do a resistance test, (set meter to Ohms) disconnect battery and connect meter neg to either pos cable terminal or where the pos cable connects to the alt and connect positive lead to opposite of neg, should read next to 0, the check resistance of the ground by connecting meter between batt neg cable and body of alt.

- Spenser

Apr 04, 2011 | 1988 Ford F 250

2 Answers

Car says check charging system

check to see if your battery and altinator are working properly. use a digital multimeter and see if you are geting more than 13 volts when the car is running. if not you may have a bad altinator...

Nov 20, 2010 | 2006 Lincoln Zephyr

1 Answer

92 Accord Battery, Alternator, Battery Cables and fuses changed out. Battery is being drained dont know what else it could be...Help me please!

sounds like you have done more work than needed I wouldn't have changed your alternator, waste of money

1st check your battery with a multimeter (go digital if you can) theses are very cheap to buy, and you will use it a lot, set it to volts DC as per instructions start car and connect multimeter probes or clips to appropriate battery termianals, read display it shoud be 13.8 volts,, you now know battery cables and alternator are fine,, disconnect battery and do the same with multimeter on the battery again, leave sitting and watch reading if it goes below 12 volts over an hour your battery needs replacing.. If all good check when the battery terminals are back on tight and clean put the multimeter probes on termianls and ignition off and watch to see if reading starts to drop, if nothing turn ignition to accessories with everything turned off and again watch meter,, its a long process If you find it is still draining then pull a fuse at a time and check meter each time, if still dropping put the fuse back in and pull another one out.... repeat process till found........ before you start check glove box light isnt staying on, boot/trunk light is going off, ( put someone in there if you cant see) ,, If you have put in an aftermarket stero it may draw to much and you may have to upgrade your system, start with checking your battery

Jun 21, 2010 | 1992 Honda Accord

1 Answer

If van is not driven for few weeks it would not start and the battery be drained completely, jump starting it still did not help but caused mufler to blew.

to check for a parasitic drain, you will need a multimeter. with battery fully charged, remove negative cable from battery. set meter to 300mA and put negative lead on the battery's negative post. put positive lead on vehicle's negative cable and check meter reading. usually, there's an initial draw for a short time (1 or 2 seconds) for the vehicle'ssecurity system, relays, etc. after that, it should only pull 30-40 mA or so, for the digital clock, radio settings, etc. if you're seeing higher numbers, try removing the main fuses (under hood fuse box) one-by-one to see where the problem is. it's also possible that a diode has gone bad in your alternator, which will draw current when the vehicle isn't running. you can check this by disconnecting the alternator's electrical connector to see if you notice a difference on the meter.

Feb 05, 2010 | 1996 GMC Savana

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