Question about 2001 Chevrolet Tahoe

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2001 Chevrolet Tahoe won't start

How do I test my alternator with my multimeter? Four small prongs on the back and the connection to the positive side of the battery. Where do I put the test leads and under what conditions and what should I read on the meter?

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  • runningti550 May 11, 2010

    2001 chevy tahoe 5.3l, it doesnt have a code but it says, sec air system inc and evap system mon, can any one help ?



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Set your multimeter to 20 volts and put red lead to the positive out of the alt. and the black lead to the neg. side of the battery or the frame.

It should read 13.8 - 14.6 volts. Don't try to test the AMPs, as this will blow out your multimeter.

Posted on Aug 05, 2008


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How to test an alternator

Diagnosing alternators are about the same on all vehicles. You will need a digital multimeter to do the tests. ( WalMart has cheap ones for around $9) <br />First, you need to make sure it isn't really a battery problem.<br />One at a time, take off each battery cable at the battery and thoroughly clean the terminals and cable ends and retighten securly. NOTE: take off negative (black) first, leave it off, then do the positive (red) cable. Re-attach positive and then negative last. This way you will avoid any contact spark on the positive side which could damage your computer or wiring.<br />Next, check the voltage on your battery. With multimeter on Volts DC 20 setting, you should get around 12.65 Volts DC. <br />NOTE: Always use red lead on meter to positive (red) cable / battery post and black lead to negative (black) cable.<br />If your battery was discharged some due to your alternator suspition, you can go to the next step and start / jump start the engine.<br />With engine running test voltage at the battery again. You should get 13.4 to 14.2 volts.<br />Wiggle your test leads, scratching at the metal battery / cable terminals to ensure a good metal contact.<br />If you get more than 14.2 volts DC, your voltage regulator in the alternator is bad and the alternator must be replaced.<br />If you get less than 13 volts DC, move your black test lead to an engine ground (metal bolt which holds the alternator on, or clean metal surface / bolt on engine itself) and see if your readings are the same. If you get a higher reading of 13.4 - 14.2 volts your negative connection (cable or attatch point on engine) is faulty.<br />If still the same (less than 13 Volts) Move your red test lead to the connection on the back of the alternator itself where the red wire connects and black lead to ground. If your voltage is higher in the 13.2-14 volt range, your positive (red) cable or connection in that circut is faulty.<br />If none of these test produces at least 13.2 volts DC, replace the alternator.<br />If you get good alternator output voltages, but your battery won't hold a charge, have your battery load tested (free at auto stores or WalMart) as it is probably bad.<br />Hope that helps!<br />Mike

on Jul 13, 2011 | GMC Jimmy Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

What does it mean when the battery light comes on for my 2001 chevy Tahoe?

Usally it means that the alternator is not charging.Check the voltage coming out of the alternator with the engine running.It should be 13-14.7 volts and if its less than 13 volts or more than 15volts then replace the alternator.If alternator test good then check battery voltage you need at least 12 volts.

Jan 19, 2012 | 2001 Chevrolet Tahoe

2 Answers

HoW Do I diagnose alternator problems in 1990 mercury sable

one is by disconnecting negative cable from battery for an instant with car running, if car stops running, your alternator is bad, other way is to read voltage at the battery with car running, what your reading is alternator voltage, should be between 12v and 14.9v any reading off means your alt. could be bad, but if your not shure, if you can, take the alternator out and have an autoparts tested for you they will tell you if is good or not. thanks

Jul 13, 2011 | 1990 Mercury Sable

1 Answer

I have a 2000 chevy tahoe and I jumper cable it to start and I drive it all day but the following day it wont start so I hve to jump start it again. It has a new battery and I got the alternator checked...

Unhook one battery cable, positive usually. Now hook a multimeter between the battery post and the cable. With everything off it should read zero volts or close to that. then switch the meter to measure current (amperage) it should read zero again (or very slightly above that as the radio memory draws a small amount.
If it isn't zero or low then you have an item that is staying on and draining your battery overnite. Time to troubleshoot what it may be.

Jul 13, 2011 | 2000 Chevrolet Tahoe

1 Answer


does the light say its in four low and it actually isn't or is the truck actually in four low and you cant drive normal speeds? Alot of times in winter and rain conditions moisture gets into plug connection under vehicle and causes a malfunction or short due to moisture and will stop actuators from working. Unplug connections and check for moisture, Spray plug with carb cleaner or starting fluid and blow out plug with lots of compressed air. You can also use a blow dryer or heat gun to dry the plug but do not use starting fluid if you do.

Feb 01, 2011 | 2001 Chevrolet Tahoe

2 Answers

2001 lincoln continental not charging

Start the vehicle use a multimeter and connect the positive lead to the back of the alternator where the battery wire is hooked up, place the negative (black) lead to a good ground. Voltage should be around 14.00 Volts, if not you have a bad alternator. Good Luck.

Oct 29, 2010 | 2001 Lincoln Continental

2 Answers

Checking alternator on 99 chevy cavalier

The manufacture recommends using the CS electronic generator tester to check alternator output while on the vehicle, but you can go by a AutoZone or advance auto store and they would check the alternator for you.

Oct 02, 2009 | 1999 Chevrolet Cavalier

2 Answers

My 2004 kia rio wont start it just clicks when trying. we changed the starter and it didnt fix it

Use a multimeter to test the main wire that goes to the starter that should have 12v all the time. The small wire that goes to solenoid should have 12v when you crank, which sounds like you are getting because the solenoid is what clicks. So it may just be a bad connection between the positive cable and the connection to the starter. Test everything with a multimeter then let me know and I will respond promptly.

Jun 23, 2009 | 2001 Kia Rio

2 Answers

My 96 chevy Tahoe wont hold a charge and dies after about an hour. I replaced the alternator and even got a new battery. So where do I need to start looking next

Check the big red wire on the back of the alternator for power. The wire likes to get corroded in half inside the casing but is still held together BY the casing. you can even take a jumper cable from the positive side of the battery to the big/single wire on the back of the alternator. Now , you could have a bad ground also. take a voltmeter or test light and with the ground of the tester on the ground of the battery check for power on the case of the alternator. Another thing , does the alternator or charge light on the dash light up woth the key off? the alternator knows to "start-up" or "field-up" by the power it recieves through the bulb before the engine is started. once the engine starts the small brown wire on the alternator goes hot and shuts the light on the dash off cause it now has power on both legs of it. if the bulb blows then the alternator won't field-up. good luck. Scott

Sep 26, 2008 | Chevrolet Tahoe Cars & Trucks

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