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Alternator issues?

1098 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Tiersin
Alright guys, again, I've run into unexpected problems....again. Recently, over my spring break, I got my engine all back together and running. Unfortunately, I'm having some electrical system issues.

The first thing I noticed was that my battery light is on. I've never had this happen and I don't exactly know what its looking for. I figure its below required voltage. My alternator dosnt seem to be charging the battery. When I first tried starting the car, it turned over. The second time, the starter wouldn't even run. I jumped it and ran the car for a while. Shut it off and tried again and got nothing. It seemed that the battery hadnt charged at all.

I've gone back and checked all my wiring and I believe I've got everything correct. I did notice that the brush in my alternator needed to be replaced. I never got around to it though. Which i'm kicking myself in the teeth for now. Anyway, I was wondering what would be the best way to single out the issue. The car runs fine when its running, it just dosnt charge. One thing I wanted to try, but didn't have time before coming back to college, was trying a different battery. Perhaps because its been sitting dormant its became less effective? I'm an idiot when it comes to electrical stuff, so any help at all is appreciated. Thanks.
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First off, check the transmission housing ground. This plays a huge part on the starter's performance. Quick and easy check.

Ok, since you said the battery light is on, that tells me either your battery or your alternator is bad. (or a wire in between). When my alternator froze up and broke the belt, the battery light (which is actually the charging system light) stayed on permanantly. If you inspected your alternator and noticed it needed brushes, I'd start by swapping it out for a known good one if you have the resources to do so. If not, the guys on here helped me out a ton in a WTB parts thread to get a working alternator.

There's a great write up floating around on how to get the alternator out with minimal hassle. I used it when I did mine, and it was amazing.
You can take the alternator to autozone or somewhere, and they will check it with a machine to see if it's charging. If you need one, I have a spare that's a new NAPA reman.
downest said:
You can take the alternator to autozone or somewhere, and they will check it with a machine to see if it's charging. If you need one, I have a spare that's a new NAPA reman.
Good call dude. I totally spaced on the ride to Autozone to have 4 alternators checked. lol. 1 of 4 was good, now i got 3 laying in a box awaiting spare cash to be rebuilt.
There a whole lot of test that could be done, three min charge test, full fielding test, the list goes on. The man thing is, make sure the battery is good and fully charged. If you question it, change it. If the light doesnt go out, check the volts coming out of alternator. If more then 14.2 or less then 12 at idle or it surges, get new or rebuild the alternator.
dowest, I may be interested in the alternator. I wont know until I can get my car checked out. That wont be for a while, but keep it around if you can.

I'm going to try replacing the battery with one I know to be good and see if that works. If not, i'll take it in. Thanks for the help guys!
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