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Unread 01-16-2012, 01:11 PM   #1
Toloben
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Check Gauge Light. Charging Issue.*HELP

1997 Wrangler 2.5L 5 speed

One week ago I was driving home when the check gauges light turned on. My volt meter on the dash was at nothing. When I got home I turned the cars electric on with out cranking it. It read 12 volts. I pulled out my hand held volt meter tested the battery and it read 12 volts. I turned the car on the next day and put the volt meter to the battery again it reads 12 volts.. So I get the battery tested at pepboys. It's good. So I pull the alternator. Replace it. Fire it up again and I'm having the same issue. When I get to the end of my neighborhood the gauge turns on and it's not charging. Any ideas before I take it into a mechanic?*

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Unread 01-16-2012, 06:26 PM   #2
CJ7-Tim
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Have the battery Load Tested. Handheld battery testers are inaccurate.

Are all the battery/starter/alternator wire connections and wires in good condition ? All the connections and wires clean, tight and free of corrosion ?
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Unread 01-16-2012, 08:28 PM   #3
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The battery should be 12.6 engine off and 14.4 engine running.

2X what TIM pointed to clean the terminals and all ground connections both sides.

EDIT!!! Check the wire from the alternator to the battery.
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Unread 01-16-2012, 08:40 PM   #4
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x3 on cleaning terminals and the likes.

Definitely do a LOAD test, not a voltmeter test. Most shops just test voltage.
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Unread 01-17-2012, 07:20 AM   #5
Toloben
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Had the bat load tested. Bats good.

But when using a hand held volt meter. I placed the positive to the positive of the alternator and the negative to the negative of the battery terminal. It has 7 volts coming out. Is that the correct load?

Going to clean all terminals today. Starter. Alternator. Battery.

If that fails then replace wires from bat to alt to starter.
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Unread 01-17-2012, 08:05 AM   #6
CJ7-Tim
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There is a difference between checking voltage with a handheld meter and having a battery Load Tested. A load tester simulates the work load of starting on a cold day, and tests the batteries voltage, amperage, and reserve capacity under strain. If you battery losses one of its cells, it will still show 12 volts or more, but it will have difficulty starting an engine.

The starting/charing system is very simple, battery, alternator, starter, and wires. All of them have to be in good condition and correctly functioning. If the wires are loose or internally corroded, they will have high resistance and will not allow voltage/amperage to flow for charging or for starting.
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