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When ignition switch is turned on - voltmeter goes to 8 volts-when engine is started and running voltmeter remains at 8 volts-battery is staying up - what is the problem?

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  • zoomer441 Jul 31, 2009

    The voltageregulator appears to be builtin to the alternator however it may be possible to remove

    it from the outside. Alternater tested 13.99 volts at O'Reily.

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  • Master
  • 1,714 Answers

Your Alternator is not functioning correctly. The output to the battery when running should be 14.5 volts DC. Usually the voltage regulator is built into the alternator, but not always. It could be the voltage regulator if it's separate from the alt. Pull into an automotive store and have them test it for you and they can tell you what's failed free of charge.

Posted on Jul 31, 2009

  • Craig Butler
    Craig Butler Jul 31, 2009

    Did they test it in your car? Was it hooked up to the battery? Is your meter working ?
    If they said you had 13.9 volts, that sounds good...
    Are you having trouble starting or any voltage problems?


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Start by testing the ignition coil primary, and secondary resistance.

To measure the primary resistance, connect an ohmmeter between the positive (+) and negative (-) terminals (the terminals which are connected to the engine wiring harness) on the coil. To test the secondary resistance, connect an ohmmeter between the positive (+) coil terminal and the high voltage cable terminal on the coil. Then, measure the resistance between the positive (+) coil terminal and the coil case; the resistance for the case should exhibit infinite resistance. For coils manufactured by Diamond, the primary resistance at 70-80°F (21-27°C) should be 0.97-1.18 ohms and the secondary resistance should be 11,300-15,300 ohms. Coils built by the Toyodenso company should exhibit a primary resistance at 70-80°F (21-27°C) of 0.95-1.20 ohms and a secondary resistance of 11,300-13,300 ohms. Replace any coil with a new one if it does not meet the specifications.

FAILURE-TO-START TEST Before proceeding with this test make certain that spark has been checked for at the coil. Refer to the ignition coil testing procedures. Failure to do this may lead to unnecessary diagnostic time and wrong test results. CAUTION
Be sure to apply the parking brake and block the wheels before performing any test with the engine running.
  1. Check the battery voltage. It must be at least 12.4 volts to perform the test. If the battery voltage is not at least 12.4 volts, refer to Section 1 for battery charging procedures.
  2. Crank the engine for 5 seconds while monitoring the voltage at the coil positive (+) terminal. If the voltage remains near zero during the entire period of cranking, refer to Section 4 for the On-board Diagnostic checks. The checks will test the PCM and the auto shutdown relay.
  3. If the voltage is at near-battery voltage and drops to zero after 1-2 seconds of cranking, refer to Section 4 On-board Diagnostic procedures. The problem is likely to be related to the distributor reference pick-up circuit to the PCM.
  4. If the voltage remains at near battery voltage during the entire 5 seconds, with the key OFF, remove the PCM 60-way connector. Check the 60-way connector for any terminals that are pushed out or loose.
  5. Remove the connector to the coil positive (+) and connect a jumper wire between the battery positive (+) terminal and the coil (+) terminal.
  6. Using the special jumper wire shown in the illustration, momentarily ground terminal No. 19 of the 60-way connector. A spark should be generated when the ground is removed.
  7. If a spark is generated, replace the PCM with a new one.
  8. If no spark is generated, use the special jumper wire to ground the coil negative (-) terminal directly.
  9. If a spark is produced, inspect the wiring harness for an open circuit condition.
  10. If no spark is produced, replace the ignition coil with a new one.
TESTING
  1. Check for stored trouble codes, then proceed as follows:
    • Fault code 11 - proceed to the next step.
    • Fault code 54 - proceed to step 6.
    NOTE: Before proceeding, verify that a minimum of 12.4 volts is available from the battery for operation of cranking and ignition systems.
  2. Test the distributor pick-up signal reference circuit as follows:
    1. Turn the ignition switch to the OFF position.
    2. Unplug the distributor pick-up connector.
    3. Remove the coil wire from the distributor cap and have an assistant hold it 1⁄4 in. (6mm) from a good engine ground.
    4. Turn the ignition switch to the ON position.
    5. Connect a jumper wire to the gray (GY) wire terminal and touch the other end of the jumper wire to the black/light blue (BK/LB) wire terminal on the distributor harness connector several times. While performing this, observe the coil wire.
      • If there is spark from the coil wire, proceed to the next step
      • If there is no spark from the coil wire, the problem is in the engine controller or wiring.
  3. Check the power supply to the distributor reference pick-up as follows:
    1. Turn the ignition switch to the ON position.
    2. Connect a voltmeter between the orange wire in the harness connector and a known good ground.
      • If the reading on the voltmeter is 8-9.5 volts, proceed to the next step.
      • If the reading is anything but 8-9.5 volts, check for problems in the circuit between the reference connector and the engine controller.
  4. Check the mechanical operation of the distributor as follows:
    1. Turn the ignition switch to the OFF position.
    2. Remove the distributor cap from the distributor housing.
    3. Crank the engine while observing the ignition rotor.
      • If the distributor rotor revolves while the engine is being cranked over, replace the distributor pick-up coil assembly with a new one.
      • If the distributor rotor did not rotate, inspect the engine for a mechanical fault and repair as necessary.
  5. If fault code 54 (No distributor sync pick-up signal) is being received, or was received before performing this test, proceed as follows:
    1. Turn the ignition switch to the OFF position.
    2. Unplug the distributor pick-up connector.
    3. Connect a voltmeter to the tan/yellow (TN/YL) wire of the harness connector.
    4. Turn the ignition switch to the ON position.
      • If the reading on the voltmeter is at 4 volts, replace the distributor pick-up coil assembly.
      • If the reading is 0 volts, check for an open in the wiring harness between the reference connector and the engine controller.

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2 Answers

I think my starter motor has gone? my car wont start unless i pus it and kick start it in gear. Is it the starter motor gone or battery playing up??


hi...

both may be the reason for not starting.

11.please check the terminals from the battery,wires and all in good order.then check the volt comin to the starter motor if the volts are correct then the problem is with the started motor. please service or replace with the new motor.

2.if no supply is comin to the motor terminla then ther is a problem with the wires.the wire is damaged so no power goes to the motor.

3.if the voltmeter/multimeter reads less reading then the problem is with the battery.the charge is not sufficient enough to start the motor. please recharge or replace the battery if required.

if my information was usefull please vote

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1 Answer

BATTERY GOES DEAD OVERNIGHT


Check that the alternator and charging circuit is actually working. You can do this with a voltmeter across the battery terminals. Check the value with the ignition off - you should see 12.1 and 12.5 volts. Then start the engine and leave it on idle - you should see between 13.8 to 14.2 volts. Watch the voltmeter as the gas is pressed down. With the engine revving around 2000 rpm the voltmeter value should increase up to something like 14 to 14.2 V but not increase any further with an increase of engine revs. If you see voltages of 14.5V or above then the voltage regulator needs replacing.

Note that if you constantly see voltages of 12V or less with the engine switched off then the battery should be replaced as it will not hold charge and gradually drain down as you are experiencing to a point where it will not turn the car engine.

If you don’t see any increase in battery voltage, or the battery voltage falls, when the engine is switched on then either the alternator or the voltage regulator need to be replaced.

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3 Answers

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