Question about 1998 Pontiac Grand Prix

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I replaced my alternator and battery but I am still getting a "low regulator" error during a charging system check at AutoZone. Do any of you know anything about this? I have a 1998 Grand Prix 3.8L Super Charged. Thank you!

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Ok you have a voltage regulator sensor you need to take a voltmeter and check it if bad replace it it tells the alternator how much volts its recieving and how much to send out

Posted on Sep 12, 2010

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89 dodge d-150...new altanator. .new battery...truck will run till battery is drained seems like charging system is not working...all grounds are good, there is no external voltage regulator that I have...


The voltage regulator is mounted on the firewall of this truck. There should be a 2 wire plug that plugs into the alternator, one should be green, ground that wire to see if the alternator starts charging. If the voltage output increases then the regulator is bad.

Feb 24, 2015 | Dodge Cars & Trucks

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" HI " Where is the Voltage Regulator Located on a 2002 Dodge Stratus R/T 3.0


The way to check for an over or under charge is to connect your volt meter to the battery, before starting the vehicle.
You should have a reading of 12.5 to 13 volts. If it's 11.8 like you stated or less, it means battery is not fully charged, or it's bad. Now start the car & check voltage again while running the engine, the voltage should exceed 14+ volts, this means your Alternator is charging, the voltage should drop after battery has been charging for awhile. When you turn the engine off after letting it charge the battery, & if the battery is good, you should now have 12.5 volts to 13 volts.
Now to answer your question, the Voltage Regulator is inside of the Altenator, I believe you xcan take the alternator apart to replace it, or simpler to just replace the complete alternator.

Nov 15, 2014 | 2002 Dodge Stratus

1 Answer

LOW VOLT IN THE 12 VOLT RANGE


most charging systems run between 14.5 and 16 volts if the regulator is working fine..battery voltage only means that the alternator is not working or the rpms are too low for it to properly produce power..have it checked for free at autozone or most any parts store for free..

Feb 10, 2013 | 2000 Buick LeSabre

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94 buick 3.8 engine not charging Battery right


Its a fairly simple system. The alternator gets a signal from the circuit for the warning light and-or gauge to activate the voltage regulator inside the alternator. The large wire between the alternator and the battery or starter is fused for protection.
Could be a problem with that circuit back to the instrument cluster, or the circuit to the battery, or a ground connection. You could also have a second defective alternator.

Oct 03, 2012 | 1994 Buick LeSabre

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Battery light kept turning on and off so the alternator was replaced with a used one. Drove it for one day the next morning it died on my husband on his way home from work. Dont know what to think or where...


Might be a freak occurrence - could be a refurbished alternator.

The alternator is actually 2 main parts. The housing where the energy comes from and the voltage regulator. Its a black box on the alternator which regulates the output voltage so its always the same no matter what RPM of the engine.

Some brands have a higher replacement rate of the voltage regulator than others. In general low engine RPM makes live harder for the voltage regulator. In hot climates they might die when the engine is driven a long time on low RPMs.

The other part in the alternator housing are the brushes. The're easy to replace.

Jun 30, 2011 | Geo Prizm Cars & Trucks

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2003 windstar alternator over charge I try 5 or 6 alternator diferent companie always the same problem go up to 18.80 v help me please


it should notgo over 14 1/2 volts.

Get free DTC codes scan from Autozone. I think you will get DTC code 1246 - System Voltage Malfuction.

The I (indicator) (BAT light) wire activates alternator field circuit.

The heavy B wire circuit sends current to the battery for charing and to run the car.

The S circuit helps control the amount of charge. I suspect yours is not controlling. This car has the PCM (engine computer) help control the output and turn the BAT light on when under or over charging.

SECTION 414-00: Charging System - General Information 2003 Windstar Workshop Manual
DESCRIPTION AND OPERATION Charging System This vehicle is equipped with a powertrain control module (PCM)-controlled "smart charge" charging system. The PCM-controlled charging system is a system whereby the PCM determines the optimal voltage setpoint for the charging system and communicates this information to the voltage regulator. The PCM-controlled charging system is unique in that it has two uni-directional communication lines between the PCM and the generator/regulator. Both of these communication lines are pulse-width modulated. The GEN COM line communicates the desired setpoint from the PCM to the voltage regulator and the GEN MON line communicates the alternator load condition to the PCM. The third pin on the voltage regulator, the A circuit pin, is a dedicated battery voltage sense line.
-------------------------------------
  • Charging system malfunction (high or low system voltage)
  • possible causes:
    • A circuit 35 (OG/LB).
    • A circuit fuse link.
    • B+ circuit 36 (YE/WH).
    • B+ circuit fuse links.
    • Generator.
    • PCM
    • GEN-COM circuit 586 (RD/PK).
    • GEN-MON circuit 585 (VT).
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Generator The generator (10300) on this vehicle is monitored and controlled by the powertrain control module (PCM). The PCM monitors the voltage regulator and sends a duty cycle command back to the voltage regulator to regulate the amount of field current supplied to the generator. The generator has an internal voltage regulator. The generator and voltage regulator are installed as an assembly.
    --------------------------------------------------
    I'll send wiring diagram tomorrow.

    please rate

    May 20, 2011 | 2003 Ford Windstar

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    Hello, I have a 1995 Buick Riviera w/3.8 ltr supercharged VIN 1. I replaced the old alternator for being noisy-bearing worn. I went to Autozone and got a replacement alternator. the alternator is not...


    Use a jumper to connect the positive terminal of the battery to the terminal L input of the alternator. That will give 12V to the exciter circuit of the voltage regulator and turn on the alternator so that it can begin charging. If that makes a difference, there must be something wrong with the input to terminal L.

    Oct 04, 2010 | 1997 Buick Riviera

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    BATTERY DIES OUT IN 2-3 DAYS.


    are you saying that you got this battery from autozone? I went thru three batteries in a week from autozone because the lot# was bad. It,'s quite possible that you have either a short that is draining the battery or that the alternator isnt charging properly. To do a fast check, start the car then remove the positive battery cable with the car running. If it stays running, theres a chance its ok. If it dies, It's most likely the alternator or the voltage regulator Diods. On most cars, the voltage regulator is built into the alternator. I would take it to autozone and have the charging system checked

    Jun 03, 2009 | 2006 Pontiac G6

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    I had my battery changed this morning at Autozone because they said it was low. The past couple days it was not starting right. after I got it changed, I started home and the car was idioled very low when...


    Have your charging system checked,your voltage regulator could be bad and the regulator is located inside the Alternator. If the regulator is not charging at least 13.9 volts , This means it is most likely that it is bad. Replace the alternator to fix the problem correctly.

    Aug 02, 2008 | 2004 Chevrolet TrailBlazer

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