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Idiot light?
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Blackkats_
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:20 pm    Post subject: Idiot light? Reply with quote

Driving on my way cross country, CA-MA, so options are limited. Wondering if there is any danger in driving with the alternator/ generator light on as long as I'm certain the fan is not slipping. Cylinder head, oil pressure and oil temp are good.
Running a MST serpentine belt system so relatively confident ripped belt shouldn't be an issue. If it was I would see an immediate increase in engine temperature. Not sure what is causing the light to stay on. Guessing its just an alternator issue but it also seems to be charging fine. Idle is fine. Want to make sure I'm not overlooking anything big. Thanks
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74 Thing
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Idiot light? Reply with quote

Get a volt meter and test the output with the alternator running at the battery (should be approx 13.8-14.8v or so at around 2k rpms).

It could be your fuse or the light bulb in your dash (check and replace those first).

It can also me your regulator or brushes.

If the light is on it should not be charging.
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Blackkats_
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Idiot light? Reply with quote

The light goes goes out at sustained high Rpms. If it wasnt charging wouldn't that me a my car wouldn't be able to idle? My guess is that it probably is the brushes. Just trying to figure out what the danger is driving on it other then not charging the battery. Thanks again
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oprn
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2019 7:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Idiot light? Reply with quote

Idle would not be effected.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2019 8:29 pm    Post subject: Re: Idiot light? Reply with quote

Turn the key on engine off. Take the small wire off your generator and see if the light goes out. If it does your alternator is not charging. Usually the diodes start to go. With the engine running take a volt meter set on AC voltage and test the B+ terminal on the alternator. Anything more than .5v means a diode is going.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2019 9:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Idiot light? Reply with quote

Check the wires-most likely a loose connection or ground on the speedo or ignition switch.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:51 pm    Post subject: Re: Idiot light? Reply with quote

It’s been awhile but I remember tapping the brushes helped sometimes.


The danger is you’re battery is gonna be totally dead.
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jeffrey8164
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 12:46 pm    Post subject: Re: Idiot light? Reply with quote

Pull the positive off the battery with the engine running.
If the car dies your alternator is out and the car is running off the battery only.
You won’t damage anything running this way but as soon as the battery goes away, so will your locomotion.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 1:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Idiot light? Reply with quote

jeffrey8164 wrote:
Pull the positive off the battery with the engine running.
If the car dies your alternator is out and the car is running off the battery only.
You won’t damage anything running this way but as soon as the battery goes away, so will your locomotion.


FALSE. NEVER PULL A CABLE OFF A BATTERY WHILE THE ENGINE IS RUNNING ON AN ALTERNATOR-EQUIPPED VEHICLE !!!! EVER !!!

Gomer and Goober were too dumb to have a voltmeter or multimeter and/or didn't know how to use it. But that was in the day of GENERATOR-equipped vehicles, you'll kill an alternator most times if you do jeffrey8164's "test".

Correct way to test if VW is charging: use DC volt range 0-20. Put voltmeter cables across the battery cables, start the engine. At about 2000-3000 rpm voltage should read about 13.5 to 14.5 volts.
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jeffrey8164
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 1:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Idiot light? Reply with quote

Cusser wrote:
jeffrey8164 wrote:
Pull the positive off the battery with the engine running.
If the car dies your alternator is out and the car is running off the battery only.
You won’t damage anything running this way but as soon as the battery goes away, so will your locomotion.


FALSE. NEVER PULL A CABLE OFF A BATTERY WHILE THE ENGINE IS RUNNING ON AN ALTERNATOR-EQUIPPED VEHICLE !!!! EVER !!!

Gomer and Goober were too dumb to have a voltmeter or multimeter and/or didn't know how to use it. But that was in the day of GENERATOR-equipped vehicles, you'll kill an alternator most times if you do jeffrey8164's "test".

Correct way to test if VW is charging: use DC volt range 0-20. Put voltmeter cables across the battery cables, start the engine. At about 2000-3000 rpm voltage should read about 13.5 to 14.5 volts.


Your opinion apparently.
I’ve done it many times and never damaged a thing, or a Bug, or Ghia, or a Honda, or a Ford, or a Chevy, or a Kia.
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jeffrey8164
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 1:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Idiot light? Reply with quote

Just for fun, I just did it to my Ford Ranger work truck.
Truck stayed running and according to my voltmeter is still charging just fine.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 2:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Idiot light? Reply with quote

When you pull the cable off the alternator goes full field and will eventually melt down as it tries to charge a dead (missing) battery The first thing I was taught as an apprentice is not to pull battery cables off a running engine. You can also create a hell of a spark putting it back on and of the battery has been charging and giving off hydrogen gas it will go bang. I had to take a coworker to the hospital with acid burns on his face hand, arms and eyes, he was fucked up for a month DON'T DO IT. On modern vehicles at also causes a huge power spike that can take out computers. Hook a fluke with a graphing feature up and do it and you can watch it.

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jeffrey8164
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 3:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Idiot light? Reply with quote

Call me Mr. Lucky I guess.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 3:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Idiot light? Reply with quote

jeffrey8164 wrote:
Just for fun, I just did it to my Ford Ranger work truck.
Truck stayed running and according to my voltmeter is still charging just fine.


jeffrey8164 wrote:
Your opinion apparently.
I’ve done it many times and never damaged a thing, or a Bug, or Ghia, or a Honda, or a Ford, or a Chevy, or a Kia.


So you've been lucky so far. Keep doing this and one day you'll kick yourself in the a$$ for not doing it the voltmeter way.

I'm sure you are very intelligent, and were a baby genius at some point. Do you know how to use a computer? If so, do a Google search and learn.
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jeffrey8164
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 3:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Idiot light? Reply with quote

What’s a computer? Do PLC’s qualify?
Is everything on Google true and trustworthy?
Where have I been all these years?
Sorry. This is inappropriate and totally disrespectful to the OP.
I defer.
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