Alternator/Battery Bad

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  #1  
Old 04-20-06, 06:13 AM
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Alternator/Battery Bad

I picked up my car from the shop and the garage said the battery died while they had it, so they had to jump start it with a battery pack. I assumed they tested the battery. By the time I drove it home from their shop (5 miles), the lights and accessories were really dim. I put a volt meter on the battery with the car running, and it was reading anywhere from 8 - 11 volts. I took off the battery cables and tested the battery, and it read 8-7 volts and kept dropping. So I took it to the parts store, they tested it and said the battery was bad so I got a new one. I installed it last night, and everything was better, but the volt guage on the dash was only reading around 12 volts. I put my volt meter on the battery while the car was running, and it read around 12.5v. I was expecting it to read higher, like 13-14 volts. Now I am wondering if the alternator may aslo bad or weak. Does this sound possible, and is there any way to test the alternatore before I replace it? Thanks.
 
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  #2  
Old 04-20-06, 12:36 PM
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it doesnt sound like it is charging you might have the charging system checked at a shop a vehicle make might help get you more replies if it is an easy model to check.
 
  #3  
Old 04-20-06, 12:58 PM
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Alternator/Battery Bad

Bejay, your right, info on the vehicle would help! Its a 87 Mustang, 2.3L, automatic. Just purchased it used so trying to trouble shoot some things. An update is that when I went to work today at 7:00 am, I checked the battery with my volt meter, without the car running it said 11.7 volts. My wife tried to start it around noon and it was dead. She checked it around 3:00 with the volt meter and it said 9 volts. So it seams like something is draining the battery, but we dont' see any interior or exterior lights on.

Could a bad alternator or regulator cause a battery drain?
 
  #4  
Old 04-20-06, 01:32 PM
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sometimes they can cause a battery drain when they go bad but not very common usually they just go bad and dont charge but will not drain the battery when the car is setting and not being used.
 
  #5  
Old 04-21-06, 05:15 AM
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Alternator/Battery Bad

Just to kind of close this, I took it back to my mechanic last night, he conntected a test light to the battery ground, and somehow he could tell that there was a drain of some kind because the light on the test light was flickering on and off. He replaced the alternator which also had the regulator built in. It seems to be working fine. He said a bad regulator could cause the drain, as well as the "clock" funtion on some radios, and the automatic light dimming mechanism on some new cars. Hopefully this takes care of it. Thanks.
 
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