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 Moderated by: Greg Fletcher
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Alternator voltage randomly jumps  Rate Topic 
 Posted: 03-16-2010 12:32 am
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Joined: 12-13-2007
Posts: 42
Driving a while back, I noticed that my voltage meter was in the red, so I parked the car and didn't get to really check her out until yesterday.  The alternator I had on there routinely ran a little high, but a steady 14.3v, which I thought was OK.  With a multimeter on, and after the engine had sufficiently warmed up, I was getting the usual 14.3, then the engine idle would slightly change and the meter would jump into the 15's and sometimes into the 16's.  If I turned the lights on, I could get it down to an acceptable level, but without that it would go into these high levels.  Left alone, it would return to normal on its own, only to do it again a few minutes later.  I'm reluctant to burn out the battery, so that was about all the investigating I did.  Any thoughts?

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 Posted: 03-16-2010 05:14 pm
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Greg Fletcher

Joined: 03-11-2005
Location: Lake Nacimiento, California USA
Posts: 421
It probably needs to be replaced. Voltage spikes, voltage too high or too low often indicate that something inside is in need of replacement, the regulator, burned out diodes or a combination of both. A high quality rebuild of the original Lucas or English Delco unit by someone that knows them and actually replaces all the parts that need to be replaced is not super cheap, but they are quite dependable wen redone correctly.

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