i know that this is the sub section but thought maybe people in here could help me. what are the symptoms of a dying alternator? i mean, does it just give out, or slowly die somehow? i think mine might be giving up because the rpm gauge will slightly dip after every bass hit. before, it has never done this before. and i don't really want to spend money on a HOA.
If you're running a serious amount of power its normal for engine rpm to dip a bit when the bass hits(especialy with a "small" engine). The increased current load puts more stress on your alternator which in turn puts an increased load on your engine(gotta get that extra power from somewhere). Try revving your engine a bit and I bet the "problem" disappears.
I'd be more worried about what your voltage is at say 2k+ rpms when you have your system cranked.
Ya, my car does the exact same thing. I got a cap to help, but once the stored power is used up then the problem comes back and I have to wait until the cap recharges. I think Im gonna upgrade the alternator. Im only slightly educated on those but when I decide to get one Ill ask questions and do research etc. Revving does help, but its tedious, sometimes shifting to neutral or park temporarily helps too b/c the rpms rise a little bit more in those gears.
Hey fishy, what do u mean when u say "I'd be more worried about what your voltage is at say 2k+ rpms when you have your system cranked." Im j/w
well, right now i got 800 watts rms going at 4 ohms mono. i do not know what the amperage on the amp is because there aren't no fuses or anything built in it. it's one of the old school rockfords, but still puts out. so you think getting one of those optima or after market batteries will help? i may do that, but won't go as far as replacing the alternator w/ a HOA. also, i have a 1 farad cap already.
Hey Hiphop, the cap doesn't do a thing to manufacture power. It stores power. It is really nice if you have a regulated high power amp and a power thirsty sub b/c it keeps the power up TO AN EXTENT!!! Also, you probably need to upgrade THE BIG 3. I am running right at 1350wrms with my stock alt(Ford F-150)and it is 130a. My headlights went to winking immediately. I installed a 1.0 farad cap-cured the problem-for a lil while. I upgraded THE BIG 3-problem solved. So.....might wanna start there, dude. FYI: alternators put out LESS than 40% at idle. That is why you have to rev it up. That rpm gauge "dipping" during bass hits means ur alt is starting to fail. Ur alt feeds the battery, which feeds the cap, which feeds the amp, which powers the sub. When the amp is finished sucking on the cap, it starts on the battery, when the battery cannot keep up, it asks for more amps from the alt, when the alt doesn't give it up- you have a drop in the electrical system which in turn causes the engine speed(RPM) to drop. Even if you got a 3.0 farad cap, it wouldn't help. The alternator is the heart of the car's electrical system. If it can't pump enough juice to its hard-working muscles, it is going to DIE.