Alternator problems? (Vid) [Archive] - Forum


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01-15-2014, 07:50 PM
The other day I was pulling into my apartment complex and my dash board went nuts and I pulled over. Went to re start and nothing. Just click click click. Damn battery dead. Tried jump start so I could try to get it home just a few buildings away but nada. Came back later and let it charge for a little bit through a jump box and it started but with a couple problems. All the lights, including the dash lights were surging. I drove it home and by the time it was in the driveway the surging was almost stopped. Went and got a new battery due to the one in the being 5 years old. Now the car starts straight up with no hesitation but the lights are still surging. Is this an alternator problem. It's never been replaced.

2004 Pontiac Grand Am SE1

01-16-2014, 06:37 AM
It's possible. Could be a bad voltage regulator or something. It's hard to say though. I'd see if you can hook a volt meter up to the car while it's running. The voltage should stay pretty steady, and may drop a few tenths of a volt as you turn on accessories (lights, radio, A/C) but should stay over 12v. If it's jumping all over the place that may be the problem. If it's steady, it might be something else.

01-19-2014, 11:08 AM
Well I was finally able to pull the alternator last night to take it into the parts shop to get tested. It was putting out 14.86 Volts but didn't pass the test. The parts guy was a little confused as was I. My guess would be faulty regulator or rectifier.

Ps. I hooked a volt meter up to it prior to removal and yeah it was jumping like crazy.

01-19-2014, 03:37 PM
Yeah, I've seen this happen before. I don't pull alternators to test them anymore. I've done it before and they pass on the machine, but fail in the car. That's because the machine most auto parts stores have can't apply a load to it and don't have the computer/wiring hook up to test the regulator function. I test them in the car. Follow the directions in my first post. ;) Hook a volt meter up to it. If it's not staying steady like it should when you start turning things on, the voltage regulator is bad. Replace the alternator.

I got a brand new Remy from advance auto that comes with a lifetime warranty.