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Old 01-25-2006, 01:04 PM   #1
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Default Voltage Gauge Qustion

I'm wondering how long after cold starting my '93 SE should it take the voltage gauge to make it'* way back to the 'middle' position?...
I had to replace my alternator late this summer [with an AC Delco Re-manufactured one] and when the weather started getting cold [Oct/Nov] I noticed that it takes the Voltage Gauge about 15-20 minutes to get back to the center [it never goes into the red at the high end, nor does it drop below the mid-point line]...
So, thinking that it might be battery related [stressed by the alternator but not showing up until it got colder out], I replaced the battery about 2 weeks ago [checking condition/cleaning the battery connections]: no change in the gauge....
The car stars fine, & it doesn't seem to matter if headlights/accesories are on or off: is this normal/OK?....
What/how/where can I check with my Multi-Meter to confirm a problem?
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Old 01-25-2006, 01:57 PM   #2
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Put a multimeter on the two battery posts and read the voltage and amperage with the car off. Then start it and read voltage and amps again. Then 20-30 min trip later..read both one last time.

I have a feeling you aren't going to read anything too crazy if everything is working fine. Probably just the inaccuracy of the gauges.
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Old 01-25-2006, 03:22 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillBoost37
Put a multimeter on the two battery posts and read the voltage and amperage with the car off. Then start it and read voltage and amps again. Then 20-30 min trip later..read both one last time.

I have a feeling you aren't going to read anything too crazy if everything is working fine. Probably just the inaccuracy of the gauges.
agreed with the multimeter check...i constanly have 13-14 volts all the time while the car is running verif ified with the multimeter and the capacitor and the gague only shows 11-12
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Old 01-25-2006, 03:30 PM   #4
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Default Re: Voltage Gauge Qustion

Quote:
Originally Posted by ukie eagle
I'm wondering how long after cold starting my '93 SE should it take the voltage gauge to make it'* way back to the 'middle' position?...
I had to replace my alternator late this summer [with an AC Delco Re-manufactured one] and when the weather started getting cold [Oct/Nov] I noticed that it takes the Voltage Gauge about 15-20 minutes to get back to the center [it never goes into the red at the high end, nor does it drop below the mid-point line]...
So, thinking that it might be battery related [stressed by the alternator but not showing up until it got colder out], I replaced the battery about 2 weeks ago [checking condition/cleaning the battery connections]: no change in the gauge....
The car stars fine, & it doesn't seem to matter if headlights/accesories are on or off: is this normal/OK?....
What/how/where can I check with my Multi-Meter to confirm a problem?
This is normal.... usually you will cold start at about 14-15v Generally they will drop to 13.5-14v which will be above the center point... The gages on these cars are a reference point just ti give you a half decent idea on what the systems are doing... On my 91 with the same alternator you have, I cold start at 14.5v or so... And later in the high 13'* low 14v, it looks like its less... when checking with a scantool or multimeter my cars are on the money..

Like it has been posted check the voltage with a multimeter.. When you cold start voltage at 15v is not uncommon and having it at the proper voltage 15 minutes later is common as well

Good Luck

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Old 01-25-2006, 07:11 PM   #5
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Thanks for the input!

I went out into the work parking lot & here'* what I found [mind you, the car had sat for only about 5 1/2 hours in the cold, as opposed to 12-13 hours]:

Battery Voltage before starting: 12.61

Battery Voltage right after starting: 14.91

Battery Voltage after driving around about 20 minutes: 14.21


Is that about right/normal?
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Old 01-25-2006, 09:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ukie eagle
Thanks for the input!

I went out into the work parking lot & here'* what I found [mind you, the car had sat for only about 5 1/2 hours in the cold, as opposed to 12-13 hours]:

Battery Voltage before starting: 12.61

Battery Voltage right after starting: 14.91

Battery Voltage after driving around about 20 minutes: 14.21


Is that about right/normal?
Functioning perfectly

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Old 01-26-2006, 06:43 PM   #7
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What a relief!

So are there any steps that I can take to help my gauges work better?...My Oil Pressure gauge doesn't seem to move very smoothly & the Gas gauge isn't too hot either...Only the Temp gauge seems to work smoothly/normal...
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Old 01-27-2006, 07:17 AM   #8
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Most every car has the same issues with gauges and most people haven't noticed or realized it.
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Old 01-27-2006, 12:00 PM   #9
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Really?...Well then I'm in good company...I just thought that maybe I should be checking grounds somewhere: like that "ground buss" thing on the driver'* side floor...
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Old 01-27-2006, 12:02 PM   #10
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my dash volt gauge is always off a little bit. When the voltage is 14.1-14.5 the guage reads 13.75. That is about the highest the gauge will ever go.
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