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Old 08-29-2011, 01:27 PM
 
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Just wondering if my voltage regulator is on the blink.
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Old 08-29-2011, 01:32 PM
 
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I would think it's fine, mine idled around 14.4V
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Old 08-30-2011, 06:00 AM
 
Location: Earth
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Sounds ok to me. What's the voltage when the car is shut completely off?

A good surface charge on a well charged battery should be 12.4 VDC. A properly working charging system, when the engine is running, should increase voltage 1-2 volts.
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Old 08-30-2011, 08:23 AM
 
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Depends upon the ambient temperature, but 14.6v at idle is a bit high for most applications.

The real concern is twofold:

1) What's the charging voltage at cruise RPM with normal accessories operating?

2) How is the battery life? any signs of throwing out a lot of electrolyte?
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Old 08-30-2011, 09:00 AM
 
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Mid 14's is perfectly normal. Todays car have high amp alternators because of all the on board electronics. My Tacoma still reads 14.5 at the idle after 250K miles. Checked it once many years ago at it was in the 14.7-14.8 range. Higher than normal but never hurt anything.
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Old 08-30-2011, 09:07 AM
 
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i'd say its fine too. it certainly has to be higher than 12 to charge the battery.
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Old 08-31-2011, 06:29 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
15,875 posts, read 51,346,084 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunsprit View Post
Depends upon the ambient temperature, but 14.6v at idle is a bit high for most applications.

The real concern is twofold:

1) What's the charging voltage at cruise RPM with normal accessories operating?

2) How is the battery life? any signs of throwing out a lot of electrolyte?
I have to agree with Sunsprit. What I would look for, (just looking at a voltmeter) is if the voltage rises a little from idle and then levels out by the time you hit about 1500 engine RPM. I would wonder what the voltage level is with accessories like headlights on.

Typical max charging voltage is only around 14.7, although some cars that come with sealed batteries tend to run a bit higher.

OP, how are you checking voltage? If it's a meter on the battery terminals, a hand-held meter, how good is it anyway? Is it a Fluke, or a cheapie you bought at Harbor Freight?
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Old 09-01-2011, 07:33 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 Mitch View Post
I have to agree with Sunsprit. What I would look for, (just looking at a voltmeter) is if the voltage rises a little from idle and then levels out by the time you hit about 1500 engine RPM. I would wonder what the voltage level is with accessories like headlights on.

Typical max charging voltage is only around 14.7, although some cars that come with sealed batteries tend to run a bit higher.

OP, how are you checking voltage? If it's a meter on the battery terminals, a hand-held meter, how good is it anyway? Is it a Fluke, or a cheapie you bought at Harbor Freight?
I have 14.7 volts at idle, and 12.4 volts with the engine off, with the average of three (pretty consistent) readings taken by jabbing the probes on to the battery posts. As to my digital multimeter, it's a cheapie digital hand-held meter I bought online. Compared to this meter (think Yugo), the Harbor Freight equivalent is a Lamborghini. You could say that it's a Fluke when I get an accurate reading.
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Old 09-01-2011, 05:31 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zhang Fei View Post
I have 14.7 volts at idle, and 12.4 volts with the engine off, with the average of three (pretty consistent) readings taken by jabbing the probes on to the battery posts. As to my digital multimeter, it's a cheapie digital hand-held meter I bought online. Compared to this meter (think Yugo), the Harbor Freight equivalent is a Lamborghini. You could say that it's a Fluke when I get an accurate reading.
Well, you don't have to spring for a Fluke meter, but, see if you can compare readings to a known good meter.

Measuerment equipment that you can't trust is in some ways worse than nothing - if you have no VOM, fine, you know you don't know what voltage your car is charging to. But if you have a meter that reads high or low, you think you know what's going on, but in reality your meter is feeding you BS.

That said I don't know if your meter is good or not.

Try to take a reading on a friend's car. If 2 or 3 cars you test all read higher than normal voltage at idle, the issue is probably your meter.
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Old 09-02-2011, 01:44 AM
 
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14.6 is right on the money of how an alternator should run.
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