Rick's Free Auto Repair Advice

Posts Tagged: test alternator

Test your alternator

How to test an alternator If your car wont start because the battery is dead, you’ll need to test the battery and test your alternator. I’ll show you how to perform the tests, but first pay attention to this WARNING! NEVER test an alternator by disconnecting the battery cables while the is engine is running. That was a valid test back in the days when cars didn’t have any solid state electronics, but it’s not valid anymore and can cause substantial damage to expensive computers and modules. How to find … Read More

Alternator overcharges battery Impala

How to fix an Alternator that overcharges battery Impala Shops are reporting instances where GM vehicles and specifically Chevrolet Impala alternators are overcharging the battery. The charging system in these newer GM vehicles is far more complicated than just a traditional voltage regulator and alternator. These systems incorporated and Electric Power Management (EPM) strategy to reduce the amount of time the alternator runs when charging isn’t needed. That saves gas. The system also monitors the state of battery charge when the engine is turned off. The body control module (BCM), … Read More

How to test an Alternator

How to test an alternator If you want to test an alternator all you need is a digital multimeter. But there are so old fashioned ways that many people still use on late model vehicles and those out of date methods can damage vehicle electronics. One of the most damaging ways to fry your vehicle electronics is to disconnect the battery cables while the engine is running. Cardone, a major re builder of alternators has issued a service bulletin regarding the right and wrong ways to test an alternator. How … Read More

The safe way to test an alternator

How to test an alternator Disconnecting a battery cable while a car is running to test an alternator can damage your car’s computers and computerized controls. You could do that on non-computerized cars, but not on any car since the early ’80’s. What happens if you disconnect battery terminals while engine is running? When you start your car, the voltage regulator takes a look at battery voltage. If it’s at 12.7 volts, the regulator determines that the battery is in good shape and doesn’t need charging. But once you turn … Read More


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