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How To Fix An Overcharging Alternator

If you’ve ever had to replace an aging car battery, you’re probably familiar with the process of getting it charged. In fact, most mechanics do this for free or for a nominal fee. But what about when your car’s alternator starts to fail? For the vast majority of people, this is something they never have to worry about. However, as the years go on and your alternator starts to age, it becomes more and more prone to failure. This can cause your car not to start or worse yet, cause a dangerous fire while you’re driving. In this blog post, we will explain the symptoms of an overcharging alternator and how you can fix it in a safe and timely manner.

What to do if your car is not starting

If your car is not starting, there are a few things you can do to troubleshoot the problem. Try turning the key in the ignition multiple times and waiting several minutes before trying again. If your battery is fully charged, you may need to try jumpstarting the car. If that doesn’t work, check the connections between the battery and the car’s electrical system. If everything seems to be connected properly, it may be time for a new alternator.

Testing your battery

Testing your battery is important to ensure that it is functioning properly and that it will hold a charge. You can test your battery by using a battery tester or by reading the vehicle’s code. To test your battery, start the engine and let it idle for a few minutes. Record the voltage reading after you turn off the engine. If the voltage is lower than 12 volts, your battery is not charging and should be replaced. If the voltage is above 12 volts, your battery may be overcharged and should be replaced.

Checking the alternator

If your car’s battery is dying or not charging, you may have an overcharging alternator. Checking and repairing the alternator is a simple job that can save your car or truck from a costly repair. Here’s how to do it:

1) Park your car with the engine off and the headlights on.
2) Open the hood and locate the alternator. It’s usually mounted on the front of the engine block, just behind the radiator.
3) Turn off all of your car’s electrical systems (except for the headlights), then disconnect the power cord from the alternator.
4) Remove the bolt that holds down the cover plate on top of the alternator. This will allow you to get at both wires connected to it.
5) Disconnect both wires by twisting them around a bolt until they’re either tight or difficult to pull out. Don’t pull on them too hard – you could break them!
6) Inspect each wire for damage – especially at connectors where they might have been pulled out of their sockets. If there’s any obvious damage, replace both wires now. Otherwise, leave one wire in place and fasten it securely with a bolt and washer (you’ll need to remove this later).
7) Reinstall the cover plate and bolt, then replace the other bolt and washer. Be sure to tighten everything down correctly – you don’t want your new wiring coming loose again!

Replacing the alternator

If your car’s battery is low, the alternator may be drawing more current than the car can give it. This will cause the alternator to overheat, swell up and start smoking.

The most common symptom of an overcharging alternator is a whining noise coming from the car. If you’ve already replaced the alternator, you’ll need to replace the belt as well. If you’re not sure whether or not your alternator is overcharged, try this test: Disconnect both batteries and fill up one of them with a full tank of gasoline. Wait ten minutes, then connect both batteries and measure the voltage. If it’s high (above 12VDC), your alternator is probably overcharged and needs to be replaced.