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post #1 of (permalink) Old 10-04-2003, 11:52 PM
Nodak
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Battery or Alternator?

Ok, this might seem like a dumb question, but here goes.

What does the instrument gauge with the battery symbol actually measure. Is it the charge of the battery or alternator charging it? What?

I ask this because mine is a little low. It used to always read straight up at 14 and fluctuate a little when the blinker is on or amplifier drew a lot of power. It now may or may not read 14 when it is cold in the morning. When the truck is warm it will now read two lines (12?) below the 14 mark.

Also, and this is where it seems weird to me, when it has been cold in the morning (25-30's) I start it up and all is well. I turn on the fan for the heater and the "Service Engine Soon" light comes on. I turn the fan off and the light will go off in a second or two. Start to drive, turn fan back on and no SES light comes on. WTF?
Another thing when it is cold, when I turn the headlights on there is a delay. Headlight will come on before the instrument panel lights come on. Again WTF?

The truck starts and runs fine, but I want to get this fixed because I have to a lot of driving in BFE around here and don't want to get stranded anywhere in the winter.

The terminals are clean and it is a Diehard Gold battery that is a little over 3 years old, although it is a replacement for a bad Diehard Gold battery.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 10-05-2003, 01:29 AM
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Re: Battery or Alternator?

read your codes and see what that SES light is all about. for the battery, have the alternator checked out at autozone.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 10-05-2003, 04:12 AM
 
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Re: Battery or Alternator?

I'm not positive on my exact reading, but my truck never ran at 14 volts. No where near, probably like 11-12. I know this isn't normal, but i have NEVER had battery problems. Die hard rangehandler that is about 2 years old. Only killed it once after running the stereo on the battery for 9 hrs. Besides that, everythign has always charged properly...
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 10-05-2003, 09:44 PM
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Re: Battery or Alternator?

Well I took it to Sears today and they ran some tests on the electrical system. The battery checked good, as did the alternator. They did say that something was drawing power from the battery. They thought it might be my alarm, but that makes no sense since it is not on while I am driving. It may be my amplifiers, but they did not make the meter read lower than 14 before. [img]images/graemlins/confused.gif[/img]

I don't have one of those code pullers and I am reluctant to take somewhere to check the codes and have them charge me whatever amount. The Sears guys said that it reading low is OK since everthing else checked out OK, so I am not going to get stranded in BFE because of this.

Do yall know what could trigger the SES light? It seems very odd to me, but everything seems to find other than the battery meter.
post #5 of (permalink) Old 10-05-2003, 10:20 PM
 
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Re: Battery or Alternator?

go to this post to learn how to read the codes yourself with a paper clip. Up til 94 or 95 they were OBD 1 and you don't need a scanner [img]images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img]

Codes
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 10-05-2003, 11:16 PM
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Re: Battery or Alternator?

you have a '94, you can check the codes yourself....the main reason why i suggested it in the first place. 88-95 trucks are OBDI, which means, easy computer system compared to OBDII starting in '96. anyway, get a paperclip and that's as expensive a code reader as you need.

BTW, i just replaced my alternator for the exact same things you're having problems with. the alternator and battery chekc turned out fine, but my reading was still low. apparently, alternators can still be bad and the check not reveal it. i thought i had something draining my power as well...my alarm first came to mind. if you finally get stumped and fed up, have your battery tested to make sure it holds charge. if so, then change out your alternator.

while you're at it, check the belt tensioner and make sure it doesn't move or rattle at all with the engine revving. if so, that could be a problem too.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 10-06-2003, 05:55 PM
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Re: Battery or Alternator?

Interestingly enough, the meter has read normal (14 or just slightly below) ever since I got it tested. G o figure.

Which is better, Chilton's or Haynes manual. I want to check these codes, but I don't even know where the computer is. [img]images/graemlins/confused.gif[/img] I need one anyway. Something tells me it may be tie rod time and I might attempt this myself if it is not to hard. I am a mechanical novice/dumbass, but might try to teach myself as long as I can't mess it up too bad. [img]images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]
post #8 of (permalink) Old 10-06-2003, 06:24 PM
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Re: Battery or Alternator?

i like chiltons - just 'cause its the one i have and i can figure everything out.

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post #9 of (permalink) Old 10-06-2003, 07:10 PM
 
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Re: Battery or Alternator?

agruably chiltons is a better mechanics manual. i however prefer the haynes manuals. i find them very easy to use and its laid out in a manner i find easier to find information in than the chiltons. thatsa matter of personal preferance. haynes manuals are about $14 just to let you know. i dont know about chiltons. the only one i had was given to me
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 10-06-2003, 07:16 PM
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Re: Battery or Alternator?

chilton's runs between $10-$20
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