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Low Voltage, Why?

This is a discussion on Low Voltage, Why? within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; So for the last week my voltage gauge has been reading low, under the 9 for the voltage gauge in ...

  1. #1
    Senior Member Z28boy2000's Avatar
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    Low Voltage, Why?

    So for the last week my voltage gauge has been reading low, under the 9 for the voltage gauge in the car. Tonight while I was out driving my lights got really dim (interior and headlights ect) i turned off as many accessories that i could and then my Service Vehicle and Air Bag lights came on. What would cause these issues, bad alternator? battery?
    2000 B4C Special Service Package Z28 - Kooks 1&7/8 Stepped 2'' - TSP Torquer V.2 - FAST 92/92 - BDR 4000 Conveter - Xtreme Trans Stage II - Full UMI Suspension - Pacesetter LT's - Comp Drag Shocks - Magnaflow - Cutout - ZO6 MAF - FTP LID - Street Tuned -

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    Member DaddySS's Avatar
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    First step is to take off the battery connections, clean them well, check the wiring to the alternator. If you have a charger and voltmeter, charge the battery up and test the voltage.

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    Moderator Cutlass's Avatar
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    Sounds like a classic alternator failure. Like ^^^DaddySS said, do a couple quick check of the battery and alternator connections. makes sure they are clean and tight. But I'd bet your alternator went bad.
    Also check to see if your power steering is leaking onto your alternator. They have been more than a few people on here with that problem causing an alternator failure. Unfortunately you may have 2 problems to fix

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    Rockin the Ruckus! 02Sweet's Avatar
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    OH that should be an easy fix!

    Pop the hood.
    Locate alternator
    Verify there is a red wire going into the alternator.
    It should be in a clip on the top part of the alternator.

    That wire tells the alternator to turn on. It easily gets broken

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    Member 20ws6speed01's Avatar
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    Do U have 13.5 volts on cold start up...then it drops when U start turning shit on Like A/C...U have a weak Alt..I just went through this..Replaced Alt..works good..

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    Smiles for 9.5 Years cammed goat's Avatar
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    You could also have a bad bearing in the alternator causing the low voltage. Gotta love seizing alternators.

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    Senior Member Z28boy2000's Avatar
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    been at work for the last 15hrs so ill be working on the car monday morning, my mechanic also thinks its the alt

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    Member bobbyd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 20ws6speed01 View Post
    Do U have 13.5 volts on cold start up...then it drops when U start turning shit on Like A/C...U have a weak Alt..I just went through this..Replaced Alt..works good..
    i have this problem. now that you replaced the alternator what is your volt reading?

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    Junior Member BIG_MIKE2005's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 02Sweet View Post
    OH that should be an easy fix!

    Pop the hood.
    Locate alternator
    Verify there is a red wire going into the alternator.
    It should be in a clip on the top part of the alternator.

    That wire tells the alternator to turn on. It easily gets broken
    ^^This.

    I just had a situation in which I thought my alternator crapped out. Took it off the car to replace it & found that the plug had broken off from the wire flush with the connector. Took the alternator in to get checked just for piece of mine & it was fine. Grabbed a plug from salvage with a few inches of wire on it & spliced it in. Everything is fine now & only cost me $10 although if you call the dealer they wanna slap you for $46 for this plug.

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    Member 20ws6speed01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobbyd View Post
    i have this problem. now that you replaced the alternator what is your volt reading?
    13.5 +/= with A/C, lites on ,HVAC blower on high, but on cold start volts r high..14.5 maybe even higher then drop down to 13.5

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    Senior Member 00LS12LS6Z28's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 20ws6speed01 View Post
    Do U have 13.5 volts on cold start up...then it drops when U start turning shit on Like A/C...U have a weak Alt..I just went through this..Replaced Alt..works good..
    This. I experienced this twice in my 91 Beretta GT.

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    Probably Alternator like everyone else is saying. The Zone will check it for you for free once it's off the car.

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    Senior Member Z28boy2000's Avatar
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    New Battery in today, car starts and runs like normal. the voltage gauge reads right around 11, is this a prob?

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    Senior Member tatertot91's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z28boy2000 View Post
    New Battery in today, car starts and runs like normal. the voltage gauge reads right around 11, is this a prob?
    yes you should be reading about 14 volts. Think you should check the alternator

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    Senior Member Z28boy2000's Avatar
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    what are the chances that both go bad at the same time, the battery wouldnt hold a charge and now the voltage reads low

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    Moderator 35th-ANV-SS's Avatar
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    You alternator probably took a shit or is on its way out, causing your old battery to not keep a charge.

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    Senior Member tatertot91's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 35th-ANV-SS View Post
    You alternator probably took a shit or is on its way out, causing your old battery to not keep a charge.
    Bingo

  18. #18
    Senior Member Z28boy2000's Avatar
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    looks like i jumped the gun on buying the battery first...can i return a battery? Never had to take on back before...if the alt is the culprit

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    Junior Member BIG_MIKE2005's Avatar
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    I'd keep the new battery since you already bought it. Grab a alternator & return your old one for the core. But make sure whatever you do you check that plug on the alternator. Cause if its frayed or tryin to break off it wont allow the alternator to charge the battery properly & you'll still have low voltage issues even with a new alternator & battery.

    That stupid thing caused me a major headache on my car.

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    Member 20ws6speed01's Avatar
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    WHY did u not listen???!!!

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