battery gauge at 19v and check gauge light on -
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Unread 07-17-2014, 12:39 PM   #1
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2001 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: corcoran, MN
Posts: 6
battery gauge at 19v and check gauge light on

OK read almost everything on 2001 Jeep Cherokee Sport (158,000 miles) about this engine light/battery gauge sitcking at 19volts.
Yes regulator in PCM not internal to altenator!
Had altenator and battery bench tested- both good but battery recommendation replace in next serveral months.
Put meter on battery with jeep off and on. Saw about 13.8 volts with jeep on and 12.6 volts off.
Cleaned battery terminals, cleaned starter ground cable, altenator cable. Did not clean field connection on starter as its a female connection and can not really clean. Checked small wire negative battery connection to body, looked ok but I might cut bolt off and replace.
Replaced drive belt
Everything fine for 4 days and then it happened 2x in 25 miles. Once turned jeep off and started immediately- battery gauge at 14v and no check gauge on. Second time just drove for 30/40 seconds and it returned to "normal".

Need help.
Change battery now? It is going to need replacement soon but is this the problem.

Take all the connections apart and clean again?

Replace PCM? last thing I want to do for $190!

Oh have not had multmeter in car to check voltage when it sticks at 19 volts.

Note: altenator housing has crack betwen two slots but store felt not an issue as test was good.

This problem did not arise until 1 1/2 weeks ago when after I drove through a bad rain and took jeep out the following morning.

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Unread 07-17-2014, 01:46 PM   #2
AZ Jeff
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2014 JK Wrangler 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: San Tan Valley Arizona, AZ
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You need to keep the VOM on the car, and when it pulls this crap, measure the voltage on the battery terminals right away.
I don't own an XJ any longer, but I still think they are the best of all the Jeep products ever made. My XJ was my favorite vehicle in my 50+ years of driving.
So...I stick around and give advice.
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Unread 07-17-2014, 05:18 PM   #3
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2000 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: out in the garage - Minneapolis, Minnesota
Posts: 24,040
The gauge showing 19 volts typically means poor quality wire connections such as loose/damaged battery clamps, corroded clamps or other connections, internally corroded wires, or as suggested, a failing battery.

If the battery is 4-5 years or older, or a lower quality/lower CCA capacity, replace it.

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Unread 07-17-2014, 11:13 PM   #4
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2000 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Monroe, mi
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This is a typical problem on the XJ. Jeep loved to run everything through the PCM. The voltage regulator is in the PCM. When there is a bad ground between the PCM and the battery the PCM sees a zero volt condition at the battery and has the alternator go full out to try to charge it up.

DO THIS: Disconnect the negative battery terminal before you do anything. Pull the PCM off the firewall and clean all metal to metal contacts from its case to the fender to bare metal. There is a ground lead from the negative terminal of the battery to the fender, clean it too (bare metal). Clean the engine block ground, and lastly clean and tighten both battery terminals. After all that you will be right a rain.

EDIT: After re reading your first post, the problem has to be at the PCM ground, it is the only thing you haven't said you cleaned yet. That is what I get for posting from my phone...
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Unread 07-18-2014, 03:29 AM   #5
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Be careful with this, the stereo, lights, ignition coil etc don't like 19 volts. The windows go up and down really fast. As it is intermittant, I would also concur with a ground issue. Mine was the PCM, once it failed it failed.


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Unread 08-05-2014, 12:45 PM   #6
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2001 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Jan 2014
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Posts: 6
battery gauge at 19v and check guage light on

Well that did not work.
Cleaned PCM feet and fender reattached PCM and also added additional grounding wire. Revised ground battery wire to fender well after Dremel cleaning surface. ( I am concerned about this ground terminal. It is a loop lug with a saw tooth ID. It seems like not enought surface area to contact fender adquately). Cleaned and reattached battery wire to engine block and cleaned another wire on seperate lug next to battery wire. Tightened new serpentine belt. Had battery and alternator checked again, this time on Jeep and things seemed good. Print out still indicated battery needed to be replaced at some point 700CCA reading 680 CCA.
Well finally replaced battery with 690CCA one. Checked with car off 12.78 volts and when starated 113.36 volts. Problem still there. Gauge continues to jumps to 19v intermittently.

Finally to try and get reading of charging system when problem occurred, I hooked up some long leads attached to battery to my multimeter inside car.
Found while driving 55mph about 1800 rpm (always around this area problem starts) 14.28,14.32,14.35,14.51,14.56,14.30, 14.59 meter reading. When gauge pinned out at 19volts my multimeter readings 14.58, 14.62,14.5,14.64.
I did not see multimeter moment gauge pinned, but within seconds saw numbers around above. Gauge dropped back to normal (around 14 v) within a few minutes. Sitting at idle at stop light saw 14.03, 14.09,14.07 readings on multimeter.

So it appears gauge in car jumps to 19v but actual charging system in 14.6 v range.
Question what is causing gauge in car to jump to 19v and then return to "normal"? I understand a normal charging voltage would be 13.9 to 15.1.
I think I mentioned alternator has crack between 2 cooling slots. That does not concern me but how it got cracked does. I don't know if something in alternator (like rectifier diode) acting up on occassion. Denso alternator. I have to believe original.
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