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Discussion Starter #1
Heres my issue, noticed last night on the drive home my gauge lights were dim and volts reading around 8-9-10, also headlights very dim. After turning her off and going in the store and coming back out find that she wouldnt start back up, jumped it and it started.Volts still read super low, and parked her at work and again shes dead. This a sign of bad alternator or battery? Also I should add, the gauges always went from bright to dim and volt reading use to be low, I decided to move the gauges to a more visable spot and upon hooking them up again, It read around 12-14v. Now back low and Im having this issue of the power gone. Any ideas? How do I test the alternator? Could it be wiring in the gauge thats draining the system?
 

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If it were a gradual decline and it "did" start on it's own to start with, I'd lean towards the alternator taking a dump on you...you can remove the alternator and take it to Auto Zone (most parts stores too) and they can spin it and tell you if it is bad, same goes for the battery, most places check these for free. Oh yeah, one last thing...if you do get a new alternator, be sure it is clocked the same as the one you are replacing.
 

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If it were a gradual decline and it "did" start on it's own to start with, I'd lean towards the alternator taking a dump on you...you can remove the alternator and take it to Auto Zone (most parts stores too) and they can spin it and tell you if it is bad, same goes for the battery, most places check these for free. Oh yeah, one last thing...if you do get a new alternator, be sure it is clocked the same as the one you are replacing.
You should also have the clerk at the store test the "new" alternator before you take it home.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Replaced alternator, tested the battery said 11.58, low? SAid they are going to charge it. Dont know if it could be my voltage regulator? Guess I'll find out about the battery here in a bit. Also someone told me to test the alternator, start the car then remove the positive battery cable, if the car dies then the alt is bad?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ok so, Replaced the voltage regulator, and charged the battery and it started. For some reason my volts still reads around 10v. Seems low. Gauge lights still dim but headlights are brighter.
 

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When you say the battery is showing 10 volts, do you mean on a gauge in the car or using a voltmeter/multimeter that you know is calibrated properly?

If you're doing this all based on your gauges, what sort of voltage did your gauge normally show before these problems started?

If your car ran okay after being jumped but then didn't start and the battery doesn't seem charged, maybe you should try a different battery that you know is good. Do you have access to another battery?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Gauge in the car reads 10 as well as voltmeter on battery. I do not understand whats going wrong. I had to leave the car at the grocery last night because it died again. New alternator, but not sure if its good(going to pull it in the morning and have it tested), new voltage regulator. Still for some reason seems its just running off the battery. Im baffled and pissed! I am now depending on friends to lend rides and we all now how that goes, ohhh uhh sorry man, dont think Im gonna be able to cme get you, nice! I watched the gauge go from 10-10.5 all the way down the 8 and then when I pulled into the grocery and cut it off, of course it wouldnt turn back on.
 

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have you checked the wiring for the alternator and battery cables? Maybe there is a short in the alternator wiring not letting it recharge the battery.

just a thought.
 

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What is the voltage between the battery posts when the engine is running (everything connected)?

Make sure battery posts and cable connecting surfaces are clean.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Ok so had the alternator tested, it was good, charged ther battery up to 13.7 this time. Rewired all the wires from alt to voltage reg n ground, redid my gauge wires and guess what, everything is working, volts reading 13-14. so fixed but dont really know what did it
 

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I'm guessing you just had a bad connection from the git-go, but keep close tabs on it for awhile. I'd still try wiggling and jigling connections to see if you can reproduce the low volt condition? Also check that the grounds engine to body and battery are clean/solid. Not sure you nailed it down yet?
 

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Atta Boy! Knew you'd find it if you kept digging....
 
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