Question about Dodge B Series Cargo
The gauge seems to be indicating no problem.
At idle, the alternator should not really be putting out much of anything, so you only get the battery output.
The alternator should only really put out when you rev it up.
So I see no indication of an alternator wiring problem.
First you need a test light or a volt meter. You can get a volt meter at a place like Harbor Freight for $3.
The first thing you do is check for a short.
You do that by first turning everything off, and then disconnecting one of the battery terminal.
Then put a test light to bridge the gap you just created.
If it lights bright, then there something on all the time, which is draining the battery over night. The alternator can be at fault depending on if a particular diode is bad. Disconnect things one at a time until it goes away and you have identified the short.
If not, then put the battery terminal back on and check the voltage. It should be 12.5 about. Then when you start it, it should drop to around 10 as you crank. Then return to 12.5 once started or giving up.
If it drops below 12.5 when ignition on and not cranking, then you have a short only when ignition is on.
Then you rev the engine, and if it goes above 14 volts, the alternator is fine.
If you find nothing wrong, then I would suspect the battery.
It simply may not hold a charge well any more.
Heat can cause plates to warp and short internally.
Posted on Aug 27, 2010
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
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