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Need some advice on battery alternator

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 01 Nov 2014, 07:35 pm
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Default Need some advice on battery alternator

My battery light came on (3 times in past 2 days) took it to a parts source store and they checked it by connecting a device to positive and negative battery terminals, and said the battery could use a charge it is a little low which would lead me to believe it is your alternator. I am not convinced that it is for when I turn key it starts up with no difficulties or hesitation, even with everything possible on (headlights, radio, heater (on full) a duel usb charger charging 2 cell phones) i notice no power loss. The 3 times the battery light did come on I was idle and parked or going slow (under 5klms). It hasn't come on when driving normal traffic speed or even when idle at a stop light. I am hoping it is not the alternator for it is not a repair I can afford at this time. I found somewhere on the web a way to test for sure it is the alternator and not something like a belt or inline fuse that may be blown. The only thing I have noticed is if I have heater on full defrosting the front window and I am stopped it is lower while stopped like at a stop light then it is when I am in motion. I bought a multimeter to do the suggested test that I found but I not sure where to look to find the alternator on my 2004 PT Cruiser limited to put one lead from the multimeter on lead power source on alternator and other on positive battery lead to test that it the alternator or inline fuse. Any help or suggestions on this matter would be greatly appreciated, thank you in advance.
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Old 01 Nov 2014, 08:16 pm
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Default Re: Need some advice on battery alternator

Great Start! Take your voltmeter and check the battery not starting and see if you are getting 12 to 12.5 volts. Start up the engine on your PT Cruiser and see if you are getting 14 to 14.5 volts on the battery.

Do me a favor and introduce yourself to the forum. Give some information on your PT Cruiser mileage, year, what you have been doing to do it, etc.
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Old 01 Nov 2014, 08:18 pm
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Default Re: Need some advice on battery alternator

Quote:
Originally Posted by krazykanuk View Post
My battery light came on (3 times in past 2 days) took it to a parts source store and they checked it by connecting a device to positive and negative battery terminals, and said the battery could use a charge it is a little low which would lead me to believe it is your alternator. I am not convinced that it is for when I turn key it starts up with no difficulties or hesitation, even with everything possible on (headlights, radio, heater (on full) a duel usb charger charging 2 cell phones) i notice no power loss. The 3 times the battery light did come on I was idle and parked or going slow (under 5klms). It hasn't come on when driving normal traffic speed or even when idle at a stop light. I am hoping it is not the alternator for it is not a repair I can afford at this time. I found somewhere on the web a way to test for sure it is the alternator and not something like a belt or inline fuse that may be blown. The only thing I have noticed is if I have heater on full defrosting the front window and I am stopped it is lower while stopped like at a stop light then it is when I am in motion. I bought a multimeter to do the suggested test that I found but I not sure where to look to find the alternator on my 2004 PT Cruiser limited to put one lead from the multimeter on lead power source on alternator and other on positive battery lead to test that it the alternator or inline fuse. Any help or suggestions on this matter would be greatly appreciated, thank you in advance.
It's not your fuse. You wouldn't still be running. You might clean the connections on the cables not just the battery ends but the other ends as well. You alt. in in the back of the motor on the right side if you have the 2.4. I think you have a brush going out on the alt. JMHO. How many miles on your PT?
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Old 01 Nov 2014, 09:07 pm
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Default Re: Need some advice on battery alternator

At present it is too dark out to test what the multimeter shows on the battery both with engine off and on. With it not being the fuse and the whining noise (failed to mention in first post) that I don't recall hearing until today and yesterday it would lead me to believe it is in fact the alternator and would be a repair I can't afford at this time. Also I failed to mention in my first post is when we turned defrost on the heater on and turned fan on full we started to get an odor that smelt like burnt plastic, I took this as something on the fan that I replaced 2 weeks before that I went and got rad and fan from auto wreckers, but I could be wrong smell has seemed to be gone. My 04 PT Cruiser Limited has 245000klms which I believe is 152000mi and change. When I first got my cruiser I changed drivers side headlight (was yellow and dingy) and changed them from stock to HID and replaced the radio. Only other thing I have done was front brakes (by garage) and I replaced rad and fan and front bumper cover.
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Old 01 Nov 2014, 09:15 pm
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Default Re: Need some advice on battery alternator

Is your engine light on? If so what are the engine trouble codes?
Your alternator belt maybe slipping or your alternator may need to be replaced. You need to physically check to see where the whining noise is coming from before we can pinpoint the problem.
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Old 01 Nov 2014, 09:28 pm
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Default Re: Need some advice on battery alternator

Quote:
Originally Posted by ptcruisersteve View Post
Is your engine light on? If so what are the engine trouble codes?
Your alternator belt maybe slipping or your alternator may need to be replaced. You need to physically check to see where the whining noise is coming from before we can pinpoint the problem.
The only light I get on my dash after the initial check once you start it is cleared is the battery light has come on three times but clears when I start driving fast enough to engage the auto door locks. I don't hear this when idle with hood open, I have heard it while driving.
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Old 01 Nov 2014, 09:42 pm
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Default Re: Need some advice on battery alternator

If you find your battery voltage is low you might want to make sure your battery cables are making good contact with the battery. Also check to make sure your battery fluid is not low. Did they do a battery load test when they checked your battery or just the voltage?
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Old 01 Nov 2014, 09:44 pm
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Default Re: Need some advice on battery alternator

Quote:
Originally Posted by ptcruisersteve View Post
If you find your battery voltage is low you might want to make sure your battery cables are making good contact with the battery. Also check to make sure your battery fluid is not low. Did they do a battery load test when they checked your battery or just the voltage?
Just the voltage.
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Old 01 Nov 2014, 11:09 pm
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Default Re: Need some advice on battery alternator

Most retail auto stores can check the charging system when they do the voltage check
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Old 02 Nov 2014, 10:16 am
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Default Re: Need some advice on battery alternator

you really need to have a parts store or shop load test the battery. this is done with the battery still in the car, and requires a fancy tester, not a multimeter. it will tell you if the problem is the alternator or the battery causing your problem.

you can check your battery with a multimeter, and if it's under 12.4 volts, it is definitely bad. at the same time, even if it tests over 12.4v, it still might be bad. when mine took a dump, the volts were fine, 12.6iirc, but the CCA test came back at 200, well below the 560 my battery is rated.

when i have my lights and fan on, my alternator would sometimes make a whine. the sound does not change with RPM, and according to an alternator rebuiilding expert, it means the stator in the alternator is failing. he advised me that if i were to touch the alternator when i hear the whine, it would be "hotter 'n hell" and would easily burn my hand. if that's the sound you're hearing, that would explain the burning plastic you smell. sometimes when these alternators fail, they can overcharge the battery or even fry the ECU.

i'd recommend you don't even bother with the multimeter(unless you're just checking the cables for resistance/voltage drop). go find a place that has the fancy tester, and have it tested properly. i'm a big fan of multimeters, but your charging system is not something a multimeter can properly test.

you need a tester like this or better. Nitro's way of checking a battery
the one i was used was made by snap-on and had a computer screen that would read you it's diagnosis on a more elaborate screen. more accurate for me as nitro is a certified mechanic that is trained to use the tester, i'm not.
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