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Unread 04-26-2012, 10:00 AM   #1
Camswe
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Battery wont go more than 12a?

Recently i have discovered that while sometimes driving my interior lights, gauges, notification lights would sporadically flash until i shut it off and re turned it on. I cleaned my terminals, changed the alternator, and the battery. But now it seems that when i start my GC the amp gauge reads about 12a, not the 14 it should and used to before any of those things happened. Sometimes after i let it "warmup" for a while it will go to just below 14 and sometimes it just stays at 12. I drove it for 40m straight today and it seemed okay but when i look at the needle on the gauge i can see it slightly moving up or down all the time even when parked. I am stumped with what this could be from, my radio also only turns on for 6 seconds (displays the time, which is incorrect) then goes black. All the interior lights and button lights are fine. Are these related and does anyone have any clues? I tried the search bar and it revealed almost nothing.

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Unread 04-26-2012, 11:33 AM   #2
phitmein
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stick a volt meter on the battery while it is running and see what that's reading .

I would stick it on the battery before you start it too to see if it is 12.5 or so volts .

Phit
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Unread 04-26-2012, 11:42 AM   #3
Oldfrog
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Agreed. Sounds like it doesnt want to take the charge. I'm guessing a dead cell.
( btw...it's 12 VOLTS...not amps)
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Unread 04-26-2012, 12:13 PM   #4
gunner44
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Interesting, would you please fill out your profile on the Jeep.


"'Recently i have discovered that while sometimes driving my interior lights, gauges, notification lights would sporadically flash until i shut it off and re turned it on." Turned what on and off?

"my radio also only turns on for 6 seconds (displays the time, which is incorrect) then goes black." What turns on for 6 seconds, then goes blank, the radio or the display on the radio?
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Unread 04-26-2012, 12:34 PM   #5
Pattywagon92
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Is volt metet just off? Mine says it charges at 9v but it starts right up and drives great. I even put a new alt on it. Battery isnt very old so i think my voltmeter is just way off
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Unread 04-26-2012, 01:43 PM   #6
Camswe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gunner44 View Post
Interesting, would you please fill out your profile on the Jeep.


"'Recently i have discovered that while sometimes driving my interior lights, gauges, notification lights would sporadically flash until i shut it off and re turned it on." Turned what on and off?

"my radio also only turns on for 6 seconds (displays the time, which is incorrect) then goes black." What turns on for 6 seconds, then goes blank, the radio or the display on the radio?
Sorry just got done painting some trim. That happens until i turn the vehicle off and then on.

Only the display of the time comes on for the radio, it doesnt play any noise and during those 6 seconds i cant do anything as far as band/eq/volume. And when i put a CD in it takes the CD but again turns off after 6 seconds and plays nothing.
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Unread 04-26-2012, 02:31 PM   #7
gunner44
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I will need a little time, MeenGreen if out there this sound down your ally.
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Unread 04-26-2012, 03:16 PM   #8
gunner44
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One more time. Not the words I have put in your paragraph, if wrong let me know.

Recently i have discovered that while sometimes driving (at night ) my interior lights, gauges, notification lights would sporadically flash, (headlights etc, stayed steady) until i shut it off and re turned (the jeep back on) it on. I cleaned my terminals, changed the alternator, and the battery (with the correct parts and rechecking the connection). But now it seems that when i start my (ZJ - 4L 6cylinder) the (volt) amp gauge reads about 12a, not the 14 it should and used to before any of those things happened. Sometimes after i let it "warmup" for a while it will go to just below 14 and sometimes it just stays at 12. I drove it for 40m straight today and it seemed okay but when i look at the needle on the gauge i can see it slightly moving up or down all the time even when parked. I am stumped with what this could be from, my radio also only turns on for 6 seconds (displays the time, which is incorrect) then goes black. All the interior lights and button lights are fine. ( are you talking here about the bulbs, the first sentence contradicts this. Also button lights - are are these switched lights or door switches which are push in button type) Are these related and does anyone have any clues? I tried the search bar and it revealed almost nothing.

There is a wire running to the breaker box right behind the battery and a ground to the fender. Just check them, you were pulling on them, if these were loose there would be many other problems though. Hopefully there is a common circuit, breaker, fuse, relay once all the items that indicate a problem are listed.
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Unread 04-26-2012, 03:51 PM   #9
Camswe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gunner44 View Post
There is a wire running to the breaker box right behind the battery and a ground to the fender. Just check them, you were pulling on them, if these were loose there would be many other problems though. Hopefully there is a common circuit, breaker, fuse, relay once all the items that indicate a problem are listed.
Its raining out right now but shortly i can check both of those. I have previously checked all the fuses and they were good which puzzled me as well. I noticed that the black wire that holds onto the battery terminal that is shaped like a "C" is cracked it still holds on tightly to the black nub terminal but it is indeed broken. since i have put in a new battery the light flashes have been none but they are very sporadic so i can not tell if it is fixed. Maybe it is the meter that reads the voltage? or the wire for that, i really have no clue it could be the CPU and i hope its not because that would be a large pain to change, i need to try some different types of troubleshooting
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Unread 04-26-2012, 05:11 PM   #10
Uniblurb
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You also better check your engine grounds, in addition to the one by the battery & if there's one on the firewall, and clean them if needed. There's 2 under the coil and 1 on the oil dipstick tube bracket which are real important. It also doesn't hurt to put some dielectric grease on them after cleaning.

Here's some diagrams which which show the connectors/grounds.

http://www.lunghd.com/Tech_Articles/...und_straps.htm
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Unread 04-26-2012, 05:47 PM   #11
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1) Your IP gage measures volts, not Amperes. Ammeters haven't been used from the factory on vehicles in years, simply because an ammeter requires running the full current through it (either through the gage proper, or through a shunt,) and I haven't seen an OEM ammeter used since 30A generators were common under the hood. New current requirements are too high.

2) Never trust the IP meter for diagnostic purposes. Always verify suspect readings using a multimeter of at least reasonable quality (you're going to use your multimeter for diagnosis. A five-dollar Harbour Freight unit is fine for a kick-around, but spend a few bucks for the one you keep in your garage - $50-100 is reasonable. You don't need a Fluke or a Beckman, but you do want something decent!)

3) If you're worried about your primary electrical system (battery/starter/alternator,) I've posted a writeup on how you can get a better test than the parts house can give you - it's qualitative, rather than quantitative, but it gives more useful results than the parts house bench will, and you can usually do the test yourself in the time it takes to drive to the parts house and back anyhow (not including the test.) Search for it - it should be in whichever board here is for OEM Tech (I've posted this on six or seven different online fori, all in the OEM section. Mods, that's something that probably should be "stuck.")

I know the answer is out there, I put it there. I didn't save a link, but you should be able to find it in less than thirty seconds using the Search function on this board, using information given in this post (yep - keywords and everything are in here.)

I've long since gotten out of the habit of handing out answers - I find people don't learn anything that way. Perhaps I've spent too much time teaching?
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Unread 04-26-2012, 05:54 PM   #12
Camswe
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Thank you both, i will go check my grounds in about an hour and in the mean time i will look up the aforementioned guide to testing my alternator which is the only thing i have not replaced new.
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Unread 04-26-2012, 06:20 PM   #13
Uniblurb
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YW and just a tip on the 2 engine grounds under the coil. It's best to do it from underneath. On the front one/stud you can get a socket on it but the back one you can't since it's right up against the motor mount. In fact I couldn't even get a ratching wrench on it and had to use a thin walled box/open ended wrench. Also mine were so tight/corroded I had to hit it with some PB beforehand. Also you'll have to clean the lower half of the contacts (4 wires from small/black distribution box) on the alternator from underneath. Good luck.
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Unread 04-27-2012, 08:34 AM   #14
gunner44
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"I cleaned my terminals, changed the alternator, and the battery." - "i will look up the aforementioned guide to testing my alternator which is the only thing i have not replaced new. "
"i need to try some different types of troubleshooting"

Where I was going and where I would start. but will have to pull out.
You have got to sit down and list the problems, not in a paragraph, a list from. this list will indicate by looking on the wiring layout which circuits are involved and if there is a common one. TO START, I would beleave gauge is telling me that there is a short to ground, or corroded fuse paddle, it being intermittent means it is something loose, something moving. The blinking lights are telling me what circuit the problem is in.

You need to test the battery, both with the engine running and with it not running, with a volt meter. There are places on here on how to do that. But right now. what you have indicated in the starting paragraph, if it was major, like the voltage regulator in the PCM there would be a lot more blinking then interior lights.
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Unread 04-27-2012, 07:17 PM   #15
Camswe
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Just got home from work, it was fine today although still sitting at 11-12v which is the low side of my meter. I also noticed today it was reading the engine temperature as about 1-1.5 notches over normal or equalized on the scale... it usually doesn't do that. It ran fine and felt okay and today was pretty cold here maybe 40 with wind chill.

But as you said gunner i got my hands on a volt meter and tomorrow i will go outside early and take some measurements and write them down as well as check my grounds and i will report back here to update.
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