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Unread 10-22-2008, 05:03 PM   #1
miketyson
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check gauges volt meter need advice

jeep runs and idles fine no significant stumbles or starting problems.

I am occasionally getting the check gauges light and while it is on the volt meter in dash spikes to 19 and holds. This has happened during regular driving and so far has been turning itself off after a few seconds/minutes only to turn back on again and off again later; as soon as check gauges light disappears volt meter falls back to 14ish and works like normal. I have not noticed any discernible difference between when light is on or off, runs just fine either way (though the red "check gauges" light and the voltage needle pinned high is an eyesore). This leads me to believe i have a loose wire somewhere or the voltage sensor where ever that may be is on its way out.

anyone have any advice? the weirdest part to me is how it peaks around 19 while not working rather than dropping to 0


thanks

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Unread 10-22-2008, 05:36 PM   #2
tjwalker
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Always freshen connections in a situation like this. Alternator connections AND grounds. A good portion of electrical problems are connection related rather than component. Start there.
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Unread 11-01-2008, 01:58 PM   #3
miketyson
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any other ideas?
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Unread 11-03-2008, 08:22 PM   #4
kepal
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Make sure your engine belt is tight. I am having issues right now as well. While in Boise, my voltmeter gauge dropped to a little above 9, then would jump back to 14. It finally stayed at 9 and I replaced the alternator(NAPA- rebuilt Nippondenso). Installed the rebuilt alt and the voltmeter showed recharging of my battery and everything was fine. Drove back to soggy Western Washington and then went to the Dalles, Ore with no problems. Came back home again, no problems, but Sunday while going into Seattle, the alt went back to 9 volts and driving home in the dark didn't help my battery. I did tighten the engine belt and I replaced my battery because it was a 6 year old Optima. Still having voltage issues and will check for any fusible links/blown fuses and loose connections tomorrow. I haven't done any electrical mods yet to the wiring so I'm curious as to what it is. I know it's going to be something simple so it's hard to resist pulling the alt and taking it to NAPA in town, to have them check it. I wish I had a better answer for you right now, but I should have more news tomorrow.
So today I looked for cracked/loose wiring. I checked the fuses in the engine bay. Installed battery and took multimeter reading at the battery and at the positive terminal of the alt. Both read 12.77 volts. I attempted to get into what looks like a fusible link which heads into the engine fuse panel. But I kept breaking the clips and decided to stop. I did try to pull codes off the dashboard using the key turned to ignition but not quite starting it method. I read 12(the beginning of self diagnostics) and then 35, 33, and 41 finishing up with 55, which is the end. I caved in before I did anything stupid and took it to the mechanic in town. So there you go miketyson, long story short, "I got nothin' ".
Last update Wed the 5th. My alternator issues were an open field in the rebuilt alt I bought while in Boise. I chose not to take the chance of removing the alternator because I had no definitive way of knowing it was truly an alternator issue or elsewhere in the electrical. The shop said NAPA's testing would of identified if there was an open field or not so if you are still having alternator issues, peel it off and take it to your friendly local auto parts store.

Last edited by kepal; 11-05-2008 at 01:09 PM..
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Unread 11-04-2008, 08:51 AM   #5
440_Magnum
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miketyson View Post
jeep runs and idles fine no significant stumbles or starting problems.

I am occasionally getting the check gauges light and while it is on the volt meter in dash spikes to 19 and holds. This has happened during regular driving and so far has been turning itself off after a few seconds/minutes only to turn back on again and off again later; as soon as check gauges light disappears volt meter falls back to 14ish and works like normal. I have not noticed any discernible difference between when light is on or off, runs just fine either way (though the red "check gauges" light and the voltage needle pinned high is an eyesore). This leads me to believe i have a loose wire somewhere or the voltage sensor where ever that may be is on its way out.

anyone have any advice? the weirdest part to me is how it peaks around 19 while not working rather than dropping to 0


thanks
That can be caused by one of the field leads to the alternator shorting to ground, OR the rotor of the alternator itself having an internal short to ground. The short can be anywhere in the wiring harness, and its hell to find something intermittent like that. Its probably worth biting the bullet and tracing the field wires from the alternator all the way back. Another possibility is a dead or dying voltage regulator, but my bet would be on a short to ground. The voltage regulator works by throttling the field connection to ground, so if you have a solid short to ground it actually turns the alternator on full-blast. Get after it quick, because too much of that will start popping your lights like flashbulbs and frying electronics.
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Unread 12-11-2008, 08:23 AM   #6
Robs01XJ
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Did you get this resolved?

I'm having the exact same problem today. Driving along, voltmeter on 14 then all of a sudden it will spike and hold at 19 for a few minutes with the check gauges light on then back to normal after several minutes. I "think" I hear a faint electrical clicking while the check gauges light is on.

I've only had the Jeep a little over a month and the only electrical mod I did was add a trailer wiring harness that tapped into the rear brake light with a T connector. No problem right after but I'm wondering if this had anything to do with it...
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Unread 12-17-2008, 12:23 PM   #7
miketyson
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not resolved yet. i cleaned up a couple of the grounds atleast the easy ones to find (chassis by battery, pass side block, rear at firewall) but still have the problem.. just the other day it happened spiking to 19 with check gauges light and nearly stalled when i came to a stop (manual with clutch in, not sure why/how) but it picked back up and gauges light turned off again. very weird problem. i am suspecting it is alternator related and will have to reread what 440 magnum said a couple of times. basically youre saying trace the wires from the alternator? my plug/wires coming out of alternator actually look pretty good but looks like a pita to really trace them. could this be a sign that the alternator is on its way out? where is the voltage regulator? i thought on our cars it was part of the ecu or pcm or whatever u call that thing

fyi- i have no check engine light the only light is check gauges and it seems very random. my battery is new and i would rather not toast it if you guys think it is in danger so advice appreciated

Last edited by miketyson; 12-17-2008 at 12:59 PM..
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Unread 12-17-2008, 03:11 PM   #8
Carl48
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The voltage regulator is part of the PCM on my XJ...btw, what model, year,etc is your Jeep? Are you setting any diagnostic trouble codes? A 12 would indicate battery disconnect... a 41 would indicate alternator field open or short...(pre-OBDII).
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Unread 12-19-2008, 12:27 PM   #9
JeepChute
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Same Issue

I have the same issue. I have even pulled over on the road, gotten out and measured the voltage across the battery and from Alternator to ground. Both 14.4V While the Voltmeter is pegged past 19. It doesn't appear to charge the battery fully either, just partially. I may need to replace the battery though. The voltage has me stumped.

Based on wiring diagrams, the voltmeter is the same as the rest of the instrument cluster and get the infor over the data link from the PCM. Is this a PCM issue?

1997 TJ 4.0L
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Unread 03-03-2009, 05:25 PM   #10
kittennocturne
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I am having the same problem with my 98 TJ 4.0. Did you get this solved?
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Unread 03-04-2009, 05:15 AM   #11
JeepChute
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kittennocturne View Post
I am having the same problem with my 98 TJ 4.0. Did you get this solved?
Yeah, I thought I had alternator issues, computer issues, etc.... but before I was able to look into those the Jeep began to have trouble turning over, then sometimes it wouldn't start without a jump. So I replaced the battery and all the troubles went away. Pull the battery out and get it checked at an autoparts store, or if it is old (5-6+ years) just replace it. You'll be much happier.

Why I saw the symptoms I did I'll never know, but replacing the battery worked.

-Adam
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Unread 03-04-2009, 12:41 PM   #12
kittennocturne
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I'll try that now. Everyone i spoke to said it was the alternator. fingers crossed it the battery. Thanks again!
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Unread 03-04-2009, 03:56 PM   #13
kittennocturne
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well took the battery out had it tested...it was good. Cleaned the connections...put it back in it started right up. I took it to the store to test the alternator and it was good. I guess it was the connections or the jeep fairy came to me last night.
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Unread 03-09-2009, 08:47 PM   #14
R. Potts
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I just ran into the same problem with my 2000 XJ, I guess I'll be making a trip to autozone tomorrow to check the battery and alternator. Thanks!
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Unread 01-01-2010, 06:40 AM   #15
Smittyman
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BUMP!! Haha

This happened in my 2000 XJ. It's actually happened before... but the battery had a dead cell in it. So I replaced the battery and connectors and it went away. Since then though, Jeep has not been driven much for about 3 months... Head cracked. Maybe the battery is kinda low from not being driven... Idk. I tightened down the battery clamps. Hope that does the trick!
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