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Gen Light and volt meter

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Old 11-04-2009, 06:09 PM   #1
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Default Gen Light and volt meter

Charging issue is driving me nuts. The gen light came on and volt meter pointed to left (low charge). Charged battery and had it and alternator checked off vehicle. Both checked ok. Cleaned terminals put back together showed close to 14V on meter. Drove to work 2 days and gen light came back on and voltmeter is low again. Voltmeter dropped to red then came back to about halfway to 14V. Checked battery and alternator on vehicle. Tested okay again. Any ideas what might be the issue? Forgot to add, 1996 Cherokee Sport with 6 cyl.
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Old 11-04-2009, 06:11 PM   #2
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When it drops crawl underneath and tap on your alt. if it starts charging- problem located- Time for a new alt.
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Old 11-04-2009, 06:28 PM   #3
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So when the stock gauge drops, did you test voltage at the battery with the volt meter (hand held) ?
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Old 11-04-2009, 06:29 PM   #4
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I did not check the voltage with a hand held meter.
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Old 11-04-2009, 06:32 PM   #5
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OK. well do that. If you dont have one, your local harbor freight tools has a really good lil handheld unit for like 4.00 cant beat it. with the engine running test the voltage at the battery that will tell you if your ALT is working.
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Old 11-04-2009, 06:41 PM   #6
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Voltmeter read 12.2. Shouldn't it be 14 or so?
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Old 11-04-2009, 06:48 PM   #7
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Yep it should. Sounds like your ALT isnt charging. and your gauge and light are correct
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Old 11-04-2009, 06:49 PM   #8
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With engine not running you should read about 12 volts. With engine running and alternator charging you should see 13-15 volts.

If you do not read 13-15 volts at battery test your alternator. Connect red meter lead to the large terminal, thick cable, at rear of alternator and black lead to ground. With engine running you should read 13-15 volts.
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Old 11-04-2009, 07:18 PM   #9
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Checked the alt and get the same 12V reading. Guess it's time for a new alt. Thanks all.
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Old 11-05-2009, 07:49 AM   #10
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Have your alternator bench checked. It could be good and you have a voltage regulator problem. More than likely it is the alternator. If you buy a replacement alternator, have it bench checked before you leave the store. Also check the pulley to make sure it is the correct one.

I purchased a Dodge truck alternator, had it bench checked, all good. Installed it and the pulley was not the right one. I had to take it off go back to the store and replace pulleys.
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