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Re: It's my alternator, right?

-----Original Message-----
From: Matthew Brenengen <qcar@hotmail.com>
To: quattro@coimbra.ans.net <quattro@coimbra.ans.net>
Date: Saturday, February 13, 1999 12:13 AM
Subject: It's my alternator, right?

>Argh.  Both of my Q-cars are conspiring to do me in.  I had the leaky
>current in the QSW (many thanks to all of you that helped me with
>creative solutions on testing current with a insufficient amp meter!).
>Tonight, my '87 4kq bit the dust (it could have been much worse, I was
>close enough to home to run back, get the QSW and tow it back to base --
>didn't even miss our movie).  I saw it coming.  The dash lights got
>really dim, the head lights got dim, then the tach started acting funny
>as I wheeled it around, making a desperate dash for home.  Then it died.
>It is 11:00 p.m. and about 10 degrees out.  Nonetheless, I was going to
>go lie in the snow on the street and pull the alternator tonight,
>because I have to go out of town tomorrow morning.  But, I was a bit
>concerned that it could be something other than the alternator and I
>would waste all morning and whatever an alternator costs replacing the
>wrong part.
>As my battery charges, I ask you all, could it be something else?  The
>battery and cables are new and clean.  There is no warning light or
>anything on the dash.  The wires to the alternator look good.  The belt
>is reasonably tight.
>Can this thing be reliably tested while in the car (preferably for free
>and in an instant)?


    Check the voltage at the alternator post with the engine running ~ 2000
rpm and accessories off. It should be above 14 volts. If it is not, you
likely have an alternator problem. If it is, check the voltage at the
battery terminal under the same conditions. It should be within 0.2 volts of
the alternator output voltage. If the difference is greater, you probably
have a bad connection/wire somewhere between the alternator and the battery.


Fred Munro
'91 200q  268k km