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  1. #1
    Radar Fanatic
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    Fort Worth, Texas
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    Default I am worried about...

    I am worried about my alternator...

    I have been through about 4 alternators in 100,000 miles

    I am going on a road trip in 3 weeks.... are there any signs of a failing alternator?

    I hear some things under the hood and it may be coming from the alternator... however when the car is warmed up the sound is gone

    I had the laternator tested and its all good, I have not washed the engine for fear of the alternator going.

    Any helpful comments or tips?

  2. #2
    Radar Fanatic
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    Default

    What would it cost to get a spare to take with you on the trip? If you are that worried about it going, that's what I would do. Most of the time it's not too difficult to swap one out.

    What happend to the others that died? Brushes? Bearings?

  3. #3
    Radar Fanatic
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    Default

    i dont know it just stopped working

    i cannot install it myself... should i just bring one with me?

  4. #4
    Yoda of Radar
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    Dec 2004
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    Default

    4 alternators in 100k miles? That's really weird. Were you replacing them with rebuilds? Perhaps they were all bum units.

    What kind of sound? A belt squeal? I remember my alternator was giving me belt squeal on start up, I look under the hood, and the two V-belts on it are different lengths, so one is tight the other flapping around, so whenever the alternator needed to make some real juice (after starting) it just slipped. It was also only in the morning when there was dew all over on the pulleys and belts... $8 later of factory belts and about 20 mins I've got no squeaks, that was 2 years ago.

    I'm sure you have a single serpentine belt on yours though. Often squeal just means something weird on the belt. GM cars usually have a spring-loaded tensioner on there so typically they are good to go however. Maybe shoot some WD40 at that sucker and make sure it moves freely.

  5. #5
    Good Citizen
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    May 2005
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    NEW JERSEY South - about 15 mins from Philly
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    Default

    If you have a digital voltmeter or can get a cheap one. You could monitor your voltage while on the trip and at least have some warning if it went bad again, while you could still drive it to safety or repair.

    Just hook up your meter to a cig lite or fuse and lay on your seat, console or somewhere. And just keep an eye on it.

    With a good battery and alternator it should read a constant 13.5 VDC or so. Day or nite.

    Good luck

    Have fun

  6. #6
    Radar Fanatic
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by A 2000 SS in Jersey
    If you have a digital voltmeter or can get a cheap one. You could monitor your voltage while on the trip and at least have some warning if it went bad again, while you could still drive it to safety or repair.

    Just hook up your meter to a cig lite or fuse and lay on your seat, console or somewhere. And just keep an eye on it.

    With a good battery and alternator it should read a constant 13.5 VDC or so. Day or nite.

    Good luck

    Have fun
    where can i get a voltmeter that goes in the cig lighter?

  7. #7
    Good Citizen
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    May 2005
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    NEW JERSEY South - about 15 mins from Philly
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    Default

    Well, I meant you would have to rig it up with a regular digital voltmeter.

    Alligator clips or some elec tape. I gather your not very mechanical?? Its not a difficult thing to rig up. But maybe you could find someone to help do it. Or go to radio shack and tell them what you want to do and Im sure they can rig something up. Get the cheapest Digital Volt Meter and a cig lighter adapter and ask them to show you how to tape it up safely.

    If you had a escort 8500 x50 you would be golden......

    It has a Battery VOLTAGE display mode built in.

    Good Luck.........

  8. #8
    Good Citizen
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    Jun 2005
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    COPPELL, TX
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    Default

    Yes get a volt meter from a store that sells electronics.
    Put the red test lead on the pos + post on the battery. put the black test lead on the neg - post on the battery.
    Start the car you should get 13.8 to 14.0 volts range.
    Turn your head lights on bright, look at the meter it should drop just a little around 13.0 iv seen them go down to 12.2.
    rev the engine up a little and if its charging it should go up in volts.
    You can also turn on the ac and it still should stay in the range.
    Also are you running any radio power amps? They can burn out alternators if you dont have a heavy duty one installed.
    also check all your wiring going to and from the battery to the alternator.
    Make sure the plastic on the positive wires havent rubed off and not touching any metal. This can cause the alternator to short or burn out.
    Why take an extra alternator with you on a road trip?
    If it goes out and you are in the middle of bfe and its dark and loanly
    eeeek!!! :shock:
    If you can't do the test yourself i would strongly suggest you take it to a auto mechanic and have them check it out for you.

  9. #9
    Professional
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    Jun 2005
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    Lufkin, TX
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    Default

    I don't think your Lumina (I assume that's what you drive) has a volt meter in the cluster, but you'll have an idiot light that comes on when the car drops below 10 or 11 volts I think, but you might want to pick up one of them cigarette lighter volt meters to keep a closer eye on the voltage. The only thing you might have to do on that car is rock the engine forward to make the serpantine belt fit over the alternator pulley, but they're not that difficult to change. If you're worried about it on a long trip, go buy a spare.

  10. #10
    Speed Demon
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    May 2005
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    Washington
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    Default Re: I am worried about...

    Quote Originally Posted by f_399
    I am worried about my alternator...

    I have been through about 4 alternators in 100,000 miles
    I wouldnt worry about it. Thats pretty normal if not better than normal. I think I have had 2 alternators in 2 years. Oh ya, mine squeaked for 2 months before it died at 3am in the morning... that wasnt fun.

 

 

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