Question about 1997 Buick Riviera

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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 charging, 11.9-12.0 volts running. took alternator back to Autozone they checked and they tested the alternator and said it passed. Put it back on and still not charging. Checked Voltage to Battery terminal on alternator-o.k. has battery voltage. Checked voltage at regulator S terminal (Lt Blue-Ckt 725)-o.k. has battery voltage. Checked resistance at regulator terminal L (Red-Ckt 225) to PCM B4-Good resistance. I do not see any problem but alternator will still not charge. the alternator I purchased from Autozone was half the price of anyone else(Gm,Napa,Carquest) I'm not sure if it just has poor quality parts or am I missing something? thanks for any help you can provide.

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  • Jeff Turcotte
    Jeff Turcotte Oct 04, 2010

    are you saying the voltage at the alternator terminal with the engine running is the same as at the battery?

  • Zaraki Oct 04, 2010

    Check the 1-D fuse in the fuse panel located inside of the vehicle and under the instrument panel and be certain that it is not blown out.

  • johnnycash_0 Aug 27, 2013

    is the terminal l input on the little 2 wire plug in? I got a buick century....alternator has red power wire out and two plug wire in



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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.

Posted on Jul 19, 2011

  • Junkrepair Jul 19, 2011

    Red CKT 225 (from PCM) should be putting out 12V when the engine is on. As I understand it, outputs from the PCM are through high resistance circuits, so that the signals will not light a test light.

    "In some cases, even an ordinary shop voltmeter will not give an accurate reading because its resistance is too low. Therefore, a 10 megohm input impedance digital voltmeter is required to assure accurate voltage readings."

    A common cause of failure to excite is a bad connector plugged into the VR of the alternator.

    Don't leave the mentioned jumper in place when the car is not running, as it will use maybe 35 watts and drain the battery when the car is not running.

  • johnnycash_0 Aug 27, 2013

    battery only drains when car is running



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