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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Totally not sailing related question
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Thread: Totally not sailing related question Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
08-27-2008 09:19 PM
knothead
Quote:
Originally Posted by brak View Post
i have this issue with my van. basically alternator puts out enough voltage to keep things running but not quite enough to efficiently charge the battery. must be the internal regulator problem.

I had the exact same situation with my Olds, (don't ask).
Naturally, we found out about the problem when we loaned the car to some friends whose car was temporarily out of commission. The car died as they were idling outside a market and they were unable to restart it. The next day I was able to jump it and drive it home. I cleaned the terminals, charged the battery and it seem to be fine. I checked with my mechanic and he said that it was most likely a corrosion issue and that I had probably solved the problem.
I loaned it out to another person for a couple days and mostly let it sit for the better part of a month before I had to start driving it again.
It started for me and I drove it to work. I tried to start it at the end of the day and no dice.
My mechanic has since replaced the alternator and so far so good.
The driver's side window motor has now decided to only work on a part time basis but I'm not complaining. At least it starts.
08-27-2008 09:07 PM
Stillraining Should have left it hooked up if it had drained that one down you then would have knowen it was a diode in the alternator..If it didnt drain it down your done working on it and You may be paying a mechanic for nothing me thinks.

Really are way simpler then our boats electrical systems pap...
08-27-2008 09:00 PM
poopdeckpappy All right, this is what I did, took the day off ( hehehehe) jumped in the dink this morning and got a new batt from the fuel dock, put it in and started it up, no problems ) put the volt meter on and reg 13.9, shut it off & disconnected it then spent the rest of the day working on the boat

Tomorrow I'll hook it up and have it checked by a real machanic when I get to the office

Thanks for the help, advice & the headsup


I still hate cars
08-27-2008 12:38 PM
brak
Quote:
Originally Posted by poopdeckpappy View Post
See now ya got me worried again brak

What I'll do is hop in the dink in the morning and find a compatible battery, then head to the mechanic and see if he can check the output on the alt.

I hate cars
I am driving with marginal alternator for a few years now. It would cost about $500 to replace it (and my van is barely worth that) and now I only spend $50 or so for each new battery, may be once a year. Sometimes you can let problems just stay there. The worst that can happen is getting stuck (though I got stuck on the beltway once in the center lane, and for about 30 minutes was therefore in local traffic news )

If you want to check the voltage - just use a voltmeter (if you have one). Charging voltages are the same whether its a car or a boat, i.e. presumably alternator has to be putting out 13.5V+ (or better yet 14+ if it works well), when battery is somewhat discharged.
08-27-2008 12:17 PM
timebandit Yep, just replace the battery.

It's better if you can fully slow charge the battery before installing but it is not done much anymore.

You might want to put a volt meter on the new battery to be sure the altenator output is ok but if it was not it would not have gotten you home.

Rick

Quote:
Originally Posted by poopdeckpappy View Post
I have a 05 Titan truck, tonight when I was leaving the office the batt was dead, I jumped started the truck and drove home 71 miles with traffic so about 1.5 hours running.

After arriving here, I shut it off and tried to restart it, again dead batt, now if I remember correctly, if it continues to run after removing the jumper cables it's a bad batt that's not holding the charge, if it dies after removing jumpers, it's a bad alternator.

The question is....... does the above senarios still hold true,
08-27-2008 05:20 AM
sailingdog As pointed out above, the problem is probably a bad battery...but that is probably just a symptom of a bad regulator in the alternator, which killed the battery in the first place.

Most batteries don't die a natural death...they're killed. If the alternator was able to power the truck for 1.5 hour ride home, it is obviously working to some degree...but it may be putting out too high or too low a voltage to keep the battery in good shape. My bet would be that it's putting out too much voltage...rather than not enough...

You don't say whether you have a "maintenance free" battery or not. If you do, I bet the alternator has boiled off a lot of the electrolyte, and that may be why the battery is effectively dead.
08-27-2008 02:16 AM
Stillraining pappy just put your volt meter on the battrie posts when she's running should be 13.8 to 14.2v even with a bad battrie in place. If it is it aint the alternator.
08-27-2008 02:12 AM
poopdeckpappy See now ya got me worried again brak

What I'll do is hop in the dink in the morning and find a compatible battery, then head to the mechanic and see if he can check the output on the alt.

I hate cars
08-27-2008 12:46 AM
seabreeze_97 Defective or not, once run down it's toast now. You may bring back a heavier, better quality aftermarket battery somewhat, but excess discharging causes sulfate deposits on the lead plates and it will not accept a charge. Take the opportunity to upgrade to a gel or AGM unit, or at least a better conventional battery.
Same thing happens as batteries age. You lose plate surface area, so an older one won't supply enough power, or take a charge like it did when new.
08-27-2008 12:29 AM
brak i have this issue with my van. basically alternator puts out enough voltage to keep things running but not quite enough to efficiently charge the battery. must be the internal regulator problem.
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