Once again, looking to the ultimate source for help here. Yesterday, I started my Cherokee and within a minute, it was at 9 on the IP voltmeter, and the Check Gauges light came on. As I let it run, the needle came back up. I left this morning to drive home to Maine, and about 160 miles into the trip, the voltmeter needle dipped to 9 and the CG light was on again. I stopped for gas, and it was normal again. Then the dip. Stopped for coffee, looked around under the hood (had no tools, as i had the kids and their Christmas gifts in the back), so as long as nothing obvious was wrong, I would keep driving. The needle dropped again, the CG light came on, and remained on for the last 140 miles or so, even with the headlights on. I am leaning towards the alternator starting to go out, but it did make it home. The lights were dimmer, but still on. If there was 0 charge, I doubt I would have gotten that far. The battery is almost 2 years old. And I have had some loud squealing on cold starts, which I thought was the belt, but might have been the pulley bearings. Any and all thoughts are appreciated, as always.
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I'd say alternator. My friend's Ranger did the same thing about a week ago. His lights were so dim you could barely see them. Turns out he was running soley on battery power. I'd go for the Autozone remanufactured alternator with a lifetime warranty. I have one in my Jeep and its been good so far.
If i were you i would do the ghetto method of checking your alternator.
Take a multimeter and measure the voltage at the battery with the ignition off, Start it and compare the numbers. should be about 14 while running.
Or Start the vehicle and disconnect the battery, If the vehicle dies you have alternator issues. I have heard rumors of dont drive like this or keep the batter disconnected for extended periods of time as it isnt good for the alternators voltage regulator
Alternator swap is very easy. I put one in my jeep when I got it cause the one that was in there was seized. As far as your check gauges light, I have the same issue. I have a new alternator and a new battery as well. I did notice the only time my check gauges light comes on and the voltage drops off is when it is wet out, whether its raining or something as little as the road being wet from melting snow. It seems to have no effect on the Jeep at all. At least nothing I've noticed...I'm curious what it is..
2009 jk 2 door 6 speed.
Sold - 98 4 door XJ, 4.0, AX15, 8.25 w/ Aussie, HP-D30 w/Aussie, 4" IRO lift, custom front bumper, 34x10.5 Super Swamper LTB's.