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#659912 - 30th Jan 2012 2:23pm Machine to test Alternator?
Wheels Offline
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Registered: 4th Jan 2005
Posts: 8795
Loc: Tranmere
I have a suspicion that my sisters alternator has gone on her car, where's the cheapest place to get a tester to check? I can't drive the car as its not beig taxed til Wednesday (and the batt is flat) Thanks smile

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#659913 - 30th Jan 2012 2:24pm Re: Machine to test Alternator? [Re: Wheels]
Clive Offline
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Registered: 3rd Jul 2011
Posts: 2620
Loc: some where else
i have one, also have jump leads if you want to get it started to test alternator


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Edited by Willo (30th Jan 2012 2:26pm)
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#659916 - 30th Jan 2012 2:47pm Re: Machine to test Alternator? [Re: Wheels]
Wheels Offline
Wiki Veteran

Registered: 4th Jan 2005
Posts: 8795
Loc: Tranmere
How much willo?

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#659938 - 30th Jan 2012 3:54pm Re: Machine to test Alternator? [Re: Wheels]
Clive Offline
Forum Master

Registered: 3rd Jul 2011
Posts: 2620
Loc: some where else
Not For Sale
here is one on ebay http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/12v-Battery-Al...=item3f0e6711eb

Use a multi meter,
Heres a couple or three checks you can do with a volt meter, but the real test is to have it checked by an autofactor with a proper amp tester.

Read the voltage across the battery and then start the engine and read it again with the engine running.

If both readings are more or less the same then swap the meter to read ohms, switch off the engine, and take an ohm reading between the battery negative terminal and a good earth point on the engine and also a good earth point on the car body. If there is any significant resistance at either test then check the main earth strap(s) for damage and security. If there is no significant resistance then read on:-

Change the meter back to volts and connect the positive probe to the battery positive terminal and the negative probe to the other end of the battery positive cable at the back of the alternator. If the reading is anything other than a 1, -1, or zero, then the battery positive cable needs to be changed.

If all of the above checks out and the voltage with the engine running is around 13.5 volts to 13.9 volts, or maybe a little more, then switch on the headlights, the heater blower onto full, and the heated rear window, then raise the revs to 2500 and check the volts again. If the reading remains in the 13.5 to 13.9 volt range then all is good in the charging system, otherwise the alternator is at fault.

You can also check the output of your alternator, with the car running connect the leads the same way and the reading should be between 14.1 -14.7


If all of the above checks out and the battery is not holding a charge or not taking a charge, then the battery is very highly likely at fault.



Edited by Willo (30th Jan 2012 4:02pm)
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#659945 - 30th Jan 2012 4:15pm Re: Machine to test Alternator? [Re: Wheels]
Littlebear Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 29th Jun 2011
Posts: 193
Loc: Wirral
Go to B&Q, get a multi-meter, they're about 5 pounds.
Set the dial to V, put one end on a pin on the alt and the other to earth anywhere on the body (not your body, the car's). Should read 12+v at rest and then 13 - 14 with the engine running. wink

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#659955 - 30th Jan 2012 4:50pm Re: Machine to test Alternator? [Re: Wheels]
Wheels Offline
Wiki Veteran

Registered: 4th Jan 2005
Posts: 8795
Loc: Tranmere
Thank you both very much! smile

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#659970 - 30th Jan 2012 5:30pm Re: Machine to test Alternator? [Re: Wheels]
Pete_Robbo Offline

Keep It Real !!
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Registered: 11th Aug 2008
Posts: 6640
Loc: Wirral
You should of phoned me dude i would of tested it for you dude smile
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#666167 - 12th Feb 2012 3:16pm Re: Machine to test Alternator? [Re: Clive]
Clive Offline
Forum Master

Registered: 3rd Jul 2011
Posts: 2620
Loc: some where else
Originally Posted By: Willo
i have one, also have jump leads if you want to get it started to test alternator
Lidls leasowe rd are now selling these for £3
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#666206 - 12th Feb 2012 5:53pm Re: Machine to test Alternator? [Re: Wheels]
diggingdeeper Offline

Wiki Guardian

Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 9798
Loc: Birkenhead
Its always best to take the brushes off and examine them, new brush assembly is cheap compared to needing new commutator rings as well. If one of the brushes is short, check the rings carefully all the way around - a new set of brushes don't last long if the rings are damaged.

In my experience (especially on volvos 340/740 etc), when one of the brushes is getting too short, the alternator carries on working but is burning hell out of the ring, the only sign something was wrong was the level of sparking/noise on the supply line used to upset the ecu which gets a bit erratic. Voltage wise it looked fine even under full headlamp/demister/fan load.
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