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Help~!!!~~~alternator....

 

helpme
Unregistered guest
i have a problem...i was gettin 14.5 volts back to my cap....now i think i killed my alternator....cuz im only gettin just above 12 volts......can somebody help me....or...where can i get a good altrnator cheap? please help..
 

helpme
Unregistered guest
o yea....i have a 94 toyota celica...help ..
 

New member
Username: Terminatermule

Australia

Post Number: 5
Registered: Nov-04
Have you checked the voltage at the battery and out of the alternator itself?

Cheers Glenn
 

helpme
Unregistered guest
how do i do that....im realativly new to the whole car thing...thanks.
 

Silver Member
Username: Zacdavis~

Post Number: 229
Registered: Sep-04
just drive your car around for a day or so without playing your system, then read the cap display, it will prolly be back up to 14, you've prolly just ran your batt low, hopefully.
another easy way to check if your alt is working is to... start your car, then pop the hood, and un hook the positive on the battery, if the car dies, then the alt doesnt work, if it stays running, then the alt is supplying the current in order for the car to run, in other words it is charging.
 

New member
Username: Terminatermule

Australia

Post Number: 6
Registered: Nov-04
dude - don't do that - If you remove a battery terminal off while your car is running and had a working alternator - you won't anymore. Also if you have a car with an onboard computer then this could destroy it. This is BAD advice man. Also the theory about the cap reading after time is all wrong - the alternator will put out 14.2 volts or so in order to charge the battery - it won't take time to get a correct reading. Use a multimeter on the batt to check the charge voltage with everything off and the car idling. Remember - the voltage display on your cap is a cheap piece of crap, don't take its word for it that the voltage is what it says.

Cheers Glenn
 

Silver Member
Username: Zacdavis~

Post Number: 237
Registered: Sep-04
ooooooook there moorey, let me guess, you take your car into the shop for an oil change. go back to your day job. check the damn thing by unhookin the batt, if it dies, the alt doesnt work, if stays runnin, it does, simple, period.
btw moorey, he has a 94 celica, not a 2002 300m.
give me a break. you have made some valid points however a few are a little off. if the batt is severely undercharged the alternator may be incapable of producing 14 volts and may only "read" 13 or so under such a high load.
not brain surgery
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ohiopilot

Post Number: 16
Registered: Nov-04
Hilljack mechanic advise at it's finest. A properly operating automotive alternator will produce current regardless of the battery. This is why you can jump start a car, even if it has a dead battery. Aircraft are different, they require a somewhat charged battery to excite the ignition circuit, but that's a whole other discussion.

While it would be wise to check and/or charge the battery first, a simple multimeter would be much smarter for such a test of the battery as opposed to risking new electrical damage by yanking the battery during operation of the system, unless your name is either Bo or Luke Duke and your working on the General Lee in fantasy land...

Glenn, there are shop services out there that will PROPERLY test your alternator if you remove it and bring it in to them, and that doesn't involve half-baked methods like removing the battery mid-operation.

You might also pro-actively upgrade alternators anyway if you plan to expand your sound system and continue adding new current draw to the electrical bus. One recognized source on this board has been Mr. Alternator.

http://www.mralternator.com/

In then end, it's your car, and your right to be cautious when it comes to diagnosing an electrical symptom. Most are simple and only become complicated when we overthink or underthink how to diagnose them...

Best of luck, and Happy Holidays.
 

New member
Username: Terminatermule

Australia

Post Number: 7
Registered: Nov-04
HI Ray G,

I am experienced in DC engineering so I am aware of that - obviously zac isn't. While I don't do much with cars I am pretty sure last time I checked that unplugging load suddenly off an alternator without somewhere for the current to go (the battery) fries the diode packs... even if the alternator does live (likely but not worth the risk) the ECU in the car, which I would have thought a 94 Celica would have, may not like the sudden high voltage spike that this will produce, again the battery is like the smoothing cap in the circuit but on a large scale.
Also - if the alternator can't produce between 13.6 and 14.2 volts under the load of the vehicle and accessories then its either stuffed or over loaded. Bearing in mind that a battery that isn't capable of accepting enough recharge current will give these symptoms.

Cars are not my thing but I can safely say that the advise from zac is dangerous at best. If it were my car I certainly wouldn't do it. BTW - by now if that guy had a stuffed alternator his car wouldn't be starting - the fuel injection alone in that car would draw around 15 amps. If that car is not injected I will be amazed. Love the way people like Zac are quick to be critical of those trying to help others.

Cheers Glenn
 

New member
Username: Terminatermule

Australia

Post Number: 8
Registered: Nov-04
By the way dickhead zac - I do all of my own work on my car - in fact I just finished a few weeks ago rebuilding my entire gear box - alone - under the house. I am quite experienced actually so go F*CK yourself.

Glenn (no Cheers for you dickhead)
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ohiopilot

Post Number: 21
Registered: Nov-04
Moorey, about the ECU, I was thinking the same thing about 20 seconds after I posted, but felt it wasn't worth going back to teach this yahoo any further, but well said. Every car out there these days has an ECU for engine operations, and none of them like having current spiked on them.

Hell, some of them even fail or, worse, get damaged enough to have intermittant failures simply by leaving your lights on overnight and draining the battery down and then jump starting them, so stunts like zac's are sure to have fun results.

Cheers, Moorey.
 

Silver Member
Username: Carguy

Post Number: 447
Registered: Nov-04
Hey Moooooorey, you need to share some of your expertise and experience then. We can always use another opinion/advice.
Remember always to be courteous and polite when helping.
That's my 2 cents.
 

New member
Username: Terminatermule

Australia

Post Number: 9
Registered: Nov-04
Hey Ray G,

Yeah - I'm not so worried bout the other bloke learning anything, rather the poor bugger that he advised having something really expensive broken because of dodgy advice. And Isaac, the name is Moorey, its my last name. I have been sticking around a few weeks now and will help out with the stuff I can, I don't know much of car audio in the way of what brands are good etc or what amps can run sweet on a .5 Ohm load but I can help with general electrical stuff. I will try to remain courtious, but post like that back to a legit response really piss me off :-)

Cheers Glenn
 

Silver Member
Username: Carguy

Post Number: 476
Registered: Nov-04
Hey Mooooorey, I know it just like typing the ooooooos. Everyone's entitled to a day off here and there so feel free to go nuts, just not too often :-)
Don't worry about cars and stuff, your knowledge on electronic/electrical will come in handy for people.
What pisses me off on here the most is when people bash a brand without ever testing anything or just assume it's bad cause so and so said so. But since life is short, I don't bother getting angry.

Cheers mate (borrowed that from Mik Dundee).
 

New member
Username: Terminatermule

Australia

Post Number: 10
Registered: Nov-04
Fair enough then. mate you cracked me up with the borrowed Cheers mate. Lol - its so normal here in Aus it just passes us by. To give you an example - and i am not joking - when i was a younger fella i called my Dad "mate" and only "mate" for about the first 16 years. Seriuosly - never once can i recall calling him dad or anything like that. its sort of odd our culture...
 

Silver Member
Username: Zacdavis~

Post Number: 238
Registered: Sep-04
wow moorey, didnt mean to pizz you off. you gave good advice to this guy. however, i am a mechanic, and ya ya ya i know unhooking the batt isnt the proper way to check if the alt is charging. however, it works, and we here have done it many times with cars and trucks. it was late lastnight and i was just flyin through threads givin my two cents on random subjects.
dont get so mad bro, i didnt intend to offend ya.
btw, i too am a little bit familier with in the 12volt industry. my cars audio system draws over 800 amps, i think i have a grasp on how to deal with dc current. sorry again guys, and yes, as much as i hate sayin it, although my advice will work, my advice is "not the proper way" to test an alt.:-)
 

Bronze Member
Username: Terminatermule

Australia

Post Number: 11
Registered: Nov-04
Its cool man - but remember - this poor guy doesn't know much about this sort of thing so all advice he gets needs to take as much safety and precaution into scope as possible, you and I may know the side effects we risk when doing somthing like that, but not everyone does.

Cheers Glenn

( your back on Cheers terms now :-) )
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ohiopilot

Post Number: 30
Registered: Nov-04
And remember, just because your action didn't cause noticeable, immediate damage doesn't mean that it didn't quite likely damage or weaken an electronic component (like an ECU) and indirectly lead to it's early failure or flakiness down the line. In the end, it comes down to pride and integrity in one's profession. If it's a hobby, treat it as such. If it's a business, the same rule is true. If I ever knew that a mechanic of mine pulled that type of "diagnostic manuever" on my vehicle, well, we'll stop there. This is also why I do most of the work on my vehicles myself. Then I *know* that the mechanic is following the rules and not risking damage. Not a rail against you zac, just a general statement of my attitude towards car maintenance and customization. But then again, it's probably partly due to being a pilot, where such tactics will be even more likely to get you or some innocent person killed as opposed to just ruining their day due to a breakdown on the side of the road...

Have a great Holiday Season all. I'm breaking a 5-year tradition and actually going out tomorrow into the snarl of traffic the day after Thanksgiving. My hard-fast tradition/rule is to never set foot off my property the day after Thanksgiving as I despise the traffic that day. However, I'm forced to this year. Our Maytag Neptune washer has broken AGAIN (second time in 4 years) and I need to go buy a new control board from the local parts shop. B*stards....
 

Silver Member
Username: Zacdavis~

Post Number: 244
Registered: Sep-04
ray, your a pilot, an aviation vehicle has no tolerance for any short cut or quick fix in anyones opinion, especially mine. specific guildlines should always be followed in the strictest sense. but we arent talking about airplanes trains or submarines. were talkin about an old celica, i already said my advice wasnt the proper way to check something, however it would work and does on all older vehicles.
so dont use my one slightly bold statement to further your image of intelligance on this forum.
i cant beleive you would lead my statement into a situation where someone could get killed! wow.
like i said before, STOP IT, ITS A CELICA. come on ray, when your outside at the car auction and you've got an hour to check out all the cars in the lanes before you bid on them, thats one of our "half baked tactics" in order to make sure an alt works. checkin the oil for antifreeze, and checkin the antifreeze for oil, checkin the ball joints, tranny, top end noise, bottom end noise, these are all things that need checking within a single minute period. i grew up in a body and mechanic shop. i'm the guy who "can make it work", and some of what seem to be half baked ideas are to you, are common knowledge among us real grease monkeys:-)
but i'll leave my short cuts out of the forum, like moorey said, our advice should be by the book in here and he is right.
 

Gold Member
Username: Jonathan_f

GA USA

Post Number: 2652
Registered: May-04
They say you can tell someone's intelligence by his ability to properly use tools. I guess that makes me an idiot :-) Sometimes you have to get creative.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ohiopilot

Post Number: 37
Registered: Nov-04
The point to my statement was, again, that such shortcuts may not lead to visible damage, but quite likely cause unseen wear (partial damage) to the sensitive IC components, such as the ECU. Just because it didn't break didn't mean you didn't just damage and weaken components and lead to early failure or, worse, intermittent/flaky behaviour later on. That's the problem with such measures. I agree, sure, it will work, but I have real heartache at the unseen damage they do cause. Just because it's a Celica doesn't mean that it isn't somebody's expensive headache later on.
 

Silver Member
Username: Zacdavis~

Post Number: 247
Registered: Sep-04
ok, fair enough
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