Date: Fri, 5 Apr 2002 10:20:08 +0100
From: "Grunff" <>
Subject: Re: Your thoughts appreciated - relationship may hang in the balance

"Charlotte Henson" <> wrote in message > > I would love to know whether you think I'm right or my boyfriend is: > > He has an '88 900t. Something was drawing power off the battery so we > installed a battery disconnect under the hood. Thanks to the kind folks > here I learned that the fuses for the no longer functional > active-restraint seatbelts were located under the back seat, they are > there no longer. We started testing to see if that cured the battery > drain and the tests were looking good! > Then Sunday evening the alternator light came on. The boyfriend thinks > that is just a symptom of a whacked-out electrical system, some wires > crossing perhaps. I think the alternator's gone bad. After about 15 > minutes the light goes off. > Today we started the car and the light was on. We drove for about an > hour total before the car died entering its driveway - it was beautiful. > > Here's the question: > I think the alternator/regulator is bad and we got as far as we could on > the battery. > He thinks that the more delicate connection made by the screw in the > disconnect has been corroded and the alternator/battery circuit was > broken that way. > > Who's right? > I agree that the light going off after it first went on supports his > claim, but I believe that if the battery is essentially disconnected > then there is no way the car can draw current to run, that is the whole > reason to *have* the disconnect. > > Tomorrow, in the daylight, we will go re-seat the disconnect. We will > install the other battery and use our friend's voltmeter to check it > both with the car running and off. We will check the voltage across the > alternator. Is there anything else I'm forgetting? > > Thanks for your help, both before and now! > > -Charlotte It's a good idea to test the alternator first. To do this, put in a fresh, charged battery. Start the car. Set your voltmeter to volts, and connect it directly across the battery terminals. Now apply some electrical loads to the battery - turn on your main beams and the rear window heater. Watch the voltmeter reading. It should not drop below 13.5ish volts. Revv the engine, up to say 4000rpm while watching the volts. The voltage should go up slightly, by maybe 1-1.5 volts, but not go above 15ish volts. If all this checks out, then it's not the alternator. Let us know what you find. Grunff

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