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#1305444 - 10/21/07 08:11 PM Amp Light
KennyJNotG Offline
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Registered: 12/22/04
Posts: 897
Loc: Leesville, LA
Ok here is my problem. I have ran test after test and got nothing. My charging system is working fine. I got no codes on my code reader, and I am at my wits end with this one.

My amp light flickers on and off when it is idling. The Volts gauge I got hocked up shows a good charge. (See pic. 1) When I rev up the engine the light goes out until I lay off the gas then it flickers back on. (See video) I have taken it to Midas, Advance Auto Parts, AutoZone, and they have no idea. Just short of taping over the light what should I do? Could it be the Alternator or a Regulator issue?



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#1305489 - 10/21/07 09:09 PM Re: Amp Light [Re: KennyJNotG]
MAFpilot Offline

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Could very well be the regulator. My battery light came on once when the voltage was good... I changed the regulator, then the light went off. Shortly thereafter the alternator itself went bad, so who knows for sure.
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#1305539 - 10/21/07 09:52 PM Re: Amp Light [Re: MAFpilot]
KennyJNotG Offline
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Registered: 12/22/04
Posts: 897
Loc: Leesville, LA
How do you test the regulator?
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#1305549 - 10/21/07 10:17 PM Re: Amp Light [Re: KennyJNotG]
MAFpilot Offline

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AutoZone has a tester
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#1306087 - 10/22/07 04:32 PM Re: Amp Light [Re: MAFpilot]
GM_Guy Offline
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Registered: 12/17/00
Posts: 15855
Loc: London, Ontario Canada
Since your voltage is fine, and I'm assuming its not wavering (except when you tap the brakes or sit at idle with the lights on) the regulator is probably fine.

Find the small white wire on the alternator and check the connector. If its loose or corroded it'll turn on the light.

Alex.
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#1306122 - 10/22/07 05:25 PM Re: Amp Light [Re: GM_Guy]
lpp71 Offline
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Registered: 10/17/06
Posts: 3554
Loc: NW Indiana
 Originally Posted By: GM_Guy
Since your voltage is fine, and I'm assuming its not wavering (except when you tap the brakes or sit at idle with the lights on) the regulator is probably fine.

Find the small white wire on the alternator and check the connector. If its loose or corroded it'll turn on the light.

Alex.


x2 on that it COULD be the regulator but its not at all likely, but then again with electrical things you just NEVER know \:\(

Good Luck \:\)
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#1306357 - 10/22/07 09:48 PM Re: Amp Light [Re: lpp71]
jimmy_stikx Offline
Member

Registered: 11/11/05
Posts: 167
Loc: Jacksonville, FL
I would say check the stater wire, but then my car was converted from an integrally regulated alt to an older externally regulated setup, so things might be a little different.

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#1315417 - 11/03/07 08:53 PM Re: Amp Light [Re: jimmy_stikx]
BillB Offline
Member

Registered: 10/11/06
Posts: 141
Loc: Revere MA
check for corroded ground mounting screw(s)
between Voltage Regulator and fenderwall/frame
mounting or thru the wiring harness.
may look okay but under the V/R bracket
could be corroded. I had that problem on a
75 Ford, even after replacing regulator
the alt. light came on randomly at idle
or even at 45-55mph. I had overlooked
the bad ground connection between the
regulator and the fender wall.
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#1315900 - 11/04/07 07:26 PM Re: Amp Light [Re: BillB]
KennyJNotG Offline
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Registered: 12/22/04
Posts: 897
Loc: Leesville, LA
Ok here's the deal. I went to AutoZone and had them put the tester on it. It came up saying that the battery was low but the charging system was ok. So I went home and charged the battery up 100% It was at about 38% when I went to charge it. Now, the light is still flickering and after two days of letting it sit with nothing hooked to the battery I tested the battery again. It was lower but only at 98%. I put the battery back in the car. Started the car and the light was still flicking but the battery remained at 100% the entire time. Any ideas?
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#1315906 - 11/04/07 07:52 PM Re: Amp Light [Re: KennyJNotG]
dz1 Offline
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Registered: 02/20/04
Posts: 21
Loc: Pa
Here is my .02 cents. Did you do a specific gravity test on the battery (hydrometer readings) or is it a gel pack maintenance free? Did you have auto zone just test the alternator on their machine (you have to pull it out of the vehicle), not the entire charging system? Did you hook up a voltmeter while the car was off and again when the car was on to see the difference in voltage and amps? My amp light has come on a couple times, and as soon as I replace the alternator it goes out. Without thoroughly testing the battery and alternator I can't pinpoint it for sure. Also, do you the the internal or external voltage regulator? My 88 marquis has the internal one. AND I would suggest never to buy any electric parts from pep boys (my source for three faulty alternators even before I took them home and put them in the car).
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#1315943 - 11/04/07 08:51 PM Re: Amp Light [Re: dz1]
KennyJNotG Offline
Climber

Registered: 12/22/04
Posts: 897
Loc: Leesville, LA
Let me break this down...

Did you do a specific gravity test on the battery (hydrometer readings) or is it a gel pack maintenance free?

I am not sure what that all means. It is a fairly new deep cycle battery. I got it from AutoZone to replace a Wal-Mart brand crap battery about 4 years ago. How do I tell what it is?

Did you have auto zone just test the alternator on their machine (you have to pull it out of the vehicle), not the entire charging system?

They ran the test from under the hood. I also had them take it into the building and test it on their machine in there. It was showing some weakness but not enough to worry about for a few more years or more. I also bought the alternator from AutoZone about 3 or 4 years ago. Right after I got the battery.

Did you hook up a voltmeter while the car was off and again when the car was on to see the difference in voltage and amps?

Off: 12.6 Volts
On: 14.8 Volts
Difference: 2.2 Volts

Do you the the internal or external voltage regulator?

It is an external setup.

Side note:
I was thinking of upgrading to a 3G alternator. Do they still make a kit to do the upgrade from a 1G setup to a 3G setup? I haven't been able to find one. Not even on Ebay.
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#1316124 - 11/05/07 05:53 AM Re: Amp Light [Re: KennyJNotG]
dz1 Offline
n00b

Registered: 02/20/04
Posts: 21
Loc: Pa
An easy way to tell if it is maintenance free or a wet (normal) battery is if it is maintenance free there is no way to get into the top of it. If it has caps that you can remove, it is a wet battery, in which you can look into each individual cell and see water/acid, just be very careful because it is very corrosive. There is a special device called a hydrometer that you can get fairly cheap at wal-mart or auto zone that actually measures the acid content in the battery (which is what reacts with the metal plates to make/keep a charge). A reading of 1250 is what you want, anything lower than 1150-1100 I would replace, or if one cell is a lot lower than the others it should be replaced. A 12volt battery in a car should typically have 6 cells and two caps. Yea, wal-mart battery's do suck. When you say you want to upgrade to a 3g alt., do you mean 3rd generation? If you can find out what other car has the same hookups but different amperage you could roll with something like that. Summit has high output race alternators too. I hope this helps somewhat.
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#1316834 - 11/06/07 12:51 AM Re: Amp Light [Re: dz1]
TheBlunderbuss Offline
Over the Hill

Registered: 02/24/06
Posts: 1506
Loc: CHAMPAIGN, IL
 Originally Posted By: dz1
A reading of 1250 is what you want, anything lower than 1150-1100 I would replace

Divide each by 1000 and then you're close ;\)
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#1317940 - 11/07/07 05:53 PM Re: Amp Light [Re: TheBlunderbuss]
KennyJNotG Offline
Climber

Registered: 12/22/04
Posts: 897
Loc: Leesville, LA
Ok. Now I am mad. Last night on my way home from work my car stalled out three times. Each time was when I had to stop at a red light. This morning I got in the car and went to go to AutoZone and get some tools to work on my car (Lost all my other tools in the move from TN to LA). As I drove down the road the AMP light didn't flicker. Didn't even come on other then when I first started the car. Once I got to AutoZone I had them run the tests again. The battery was perfect hold a "good" charge. Alternator is putting out 58 of a possible 61 amps. And the regulator is working perfectly. I am not sure what else to say. My car had to be semi retarded for a few weeks. I am going to keep an eye on it for the next few days.

The battery is a 'wet' cell battery, but the two caps will not come off at all. Not unless I want to destroy the battery. I got it from AutoZone and the guy told me that is what it was, and they have a tool to take the caps off, but they don't do it unless I return the battery and get a new one. Whatever that mean. >:-(
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#1317956 - 11/07/07 06:13 PM Re: Amp Light [Re: KennyJNotG]
MAFpilot Offline

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 Quote:
I got it from AutoZone and the guy told me that is what it was, and they have a tool to take the caps off, but they don't do it unless I return the battery and get a new one.


That is BS. Anything in an AutoZone should be available for your use. Ask for the store manager to question the "only use the tool for purchases" policy, and then ask for the district manager's phone number. They are there for you and should be willing to help.
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