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  • Altenator problems???

    if i put a voltagemeter on my car battery while the car is running, i measure a voltage of 13.7V which isnt constant at all, it even has spikes to 14.4V the higher the rpm is the higher the spikes are, i can even see my lights dim and brighten, anyone knows what the problem can be?

  • #2
    Take your car to a parts shop (Advance/Discount/Western Auto Parts or similiar store) and have them test your charging system. They do it for free.
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    • #3
      One problem with that I live in the netherlands

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Maddog_rvo
        One problem with that I live in the netherlands
        That's a long drive...uh, I mean swim
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        • #5
          Originally posted by Maddog_rvo
          if i put a voltagemeter on my car battery while the car is running, i measure a voltage of 13.7V which isnt constant at all, it even has spikes to 14.4V the higher the rpm is the higher the spikes are, i can even see my lights dim and brighten, anyone knows what the problem can be?
          What is the problem exactly? You've just descibed what on the surface looks to be a properly functioning alternator. 14.4 V is ideal. 13.7 at idle is great. And yes when you add rev's you will see an increase in voltage.
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          • #6
            it gives a lot of spikes, it rocks up and down after longer measuring i measured that it is from 13.7 to 14.5 at idle and at more rpms(then from 14.0 to 14.5), it keeps rocking(jiggling?? dont know what its called in english)

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Maddog_rvo
              it gives a lot of spikes, it rocks up and down after longer measuring i measured that it is from 13.7 to 14.5 at idle and at more rpms(then from 14.0 to 14.5), it keeps rocking(jiggling?? dont know what its called in english)
              Well power does flucuate. Do you have any accesories on because that would cause the flucuation? The thing is the range you keep posting is an excellent range to be in. The only suggestion I'd give you to handle spikes and dips better is to upgrade to lower guage wiring from your alt->battery and battery->ground. This will help your electrical flow.
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              • #8
                Originally posted by falconey
                Well power does flucuate. Do you have any accesories on because that would cause the flucuation? The thing is the range you keep posting is an excellent range to be in. The only suggestion I'd give you to handle spikes and dips better is to upgrade to lower guage wiring from your alt->battery and battery->ground. This will help your electrical flow.
                It can fluctuate indeed, but i never saw this much fluctuation, the lights dim and brighten all the time, no matter what speed i have. I can live with fluctuation but when my lights start to flicker (if i turn on all accesoires (chair heating, rear window heating, mirror heating and the blower the flickering stops and the voltage stays nice at 13.7V)

                Will try to replace the wiring on the alt + battery to a lower gauge

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                • #9
                  Did this just start to happen or has it always done it with this car? With all accessories off do the lights dim with RPM?

                  Are you sure your alterator is not going bad? That is why it's nice to stop at a part store and have them test it - they can tell you more info with the tools they have. Alternators go bad from time to time (quite often actually) and if you are adding stereo stuff/lights/computer... you may be ready for a newer larger alternator. Some of my friends have had their 105A alternators rebuilt to 200A or more after adding large stereos. They also upgraded cables, but if you have a stock car the wires should be fine - I would not spend the $ yet to upgrate until you know your battery and alternator are good.
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                  • #10
                    What kind of car is it?

                    Are you running any aftermarket accessories?

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                    • #11
                      I have seen this caused by a bad ground connection from the (-) negative terminal to the frame. If you are inclinde to try it, run a large diameter wire from the negative terminal to a motor mount. Then retest the voltage. The wire conecction should be done with the engine off.
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Maddog_rvo
                        It can fluctuate indeed, but i never saw this much fluctuation, the lights dim and brighten all the time, no matter what speed i have. I can live with fluctuation but when my lights start to flicker (if i turn on all accesoires (chair heating, rear window heating, mirror heating and the blower the flickering stops and the voltage stays nice at 13.7V)

                        Will try to replace the wiring on the alt + battery to a lower gauge
                        Well if pumping all of your accesories steadies the voltage I really don't see how you suspect the alternator. If anything it could be the voltage regulator which is sometimes built inside the alternator, but I highly doubt that. I think you just have something that's eating Volts that causes the amount of Volts to dip and increase because whatever it is uses elec then does it use it. Similar to a turn signal, but more intensive.
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                        • #13
                          How old is the alternator?
                          If it is old, that is a sign of "going south". Try replace the brushing inside the alternator to see if that work. It much cheaper than replace the whole alternator.
                          I had this problem once with my Supra (10+ years old original alternator). The volt meter needle just jumping up/down regardless of idle or at constant speed. Finally the alternator give up charge at idle but did charge at higher RPM. I ordered a new brushing from Toyota and replaced them. It works fine for about 2 years then die.
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                          • #14
                            the car is a vauxhall astra from 2000 with 170000km on the counter,

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