Ammeter engine display not moving - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 17 Old 06-05-2007 Thread Starter
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Ammeter engine display not moving

I noticed while running the engine the ammeter on the engine control panel doesn't move at all niether plus side or negative side. The engine starts right up, but the boat has been barely used since it was commisioned a few weeks ago from winter storage. Any ideas? Shouldn't the needle move to the right to the plus side indicating that the battery is charging?

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post #2 of 17 Old 06-05-2007
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Most engine control panels have voltmeters not ammeters...is that what you are referring to? Since those are powered off the alternator, I would look for a loose or corroded wire there as a first step.
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post #3 of 17 Old 06-05-2007 Thread Starter
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Yeah, it has an ammeter, for the universal diesel. I guess I should look for loose or corroded wires to see.
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post #4 of 17 Old 06-05-2007
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If you have an amp meter, it should be reading a little to the plus side, unless the battery is low, then a lot to the plus. A volt meter should read 12-14 plus volts all the time.
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From what I saw last time I was aboard its not reading at all the needle is in the middle all the time.
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post #6 of 17 Old 06-05-2007
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Originally Posted by saurav16
From what I saw last time I was aboard its not reading at all the needle is in the middle all the time.
I am going by memory, but on my diesle the Ahm meter is in the middle of the circuit between the alternator and the pos post on my battery bank. Trace the wire and see where they go. Check the connections at all points. Those meeters are ussaly pretty bullet proof. If it dosen't move at all, the circuit is broken some where.
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post #7 of 17 Old 06-05-2007 Thread Starter
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Ill have to check all the wiring today. Im just hoping that its not the alternator. Is there an easy way to figure out which one is the house battery and which is the starting battery?
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post #8 of 17 Old 06-05-2007
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There are arrangements in which the meter measures a voltage drop accross a very low resistance. The reading is proportional to the current flow. This is where the ampmeter is normally connected. This resistor will have two large terminal screws on each end and a positive battery cable at each end. You can measure the voltage from negative to each terminal or across both terminals. There should be a voltage drop. If this is too technical for you, find an electrician.
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post #9 of 17 Old 06-05-2007
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saurav16...if your alternator was not working you would see a drain on your ammeter which you did not report so chances are that is NOT the problem.
To be sure...with the engine running for a few minutes, take a voltage reading at the posts of your batteries with the battery switch turned to the BOTH position. You should be seeing over 13 Volts. If less...then you DO have an alternator problem.
If over 13V then you either have a wire/connection problem like I first suggested OR a bad ammeter. Or perhaps you have your batteries switched to where the one with the ammeter on it is out of the charging/connected circuit and is simply sitting there doing nothing...hence the reading. Those are the simple things to check.
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post #10 of 17 Old 06-05-2007 Thread Starter
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Cam,

Thanks for your help. I went to the boat today it was a wiring issue like you had said. Thanks again!
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