Accessory demands affect charging - Saab 9-5 Bulletin Board - Saabnet.com
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Accessory demands affect charging
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Posted by FredKolb12 [Email] (#46) [Profile/Gallery] (more from FredKolb12) on Mon, 10 Jan 2022 05:46:58 Share Post by Email
In Reply to: follow up, skell17, Sun, 9 Jan 2022 16:50:05
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The battery is charged when more voltage is generated than the car needs to run accessories like heated seats, fans, AC, headlights, etc. Especially hard on the battery is cold weather starting and it can take 20 or more minutes of highway driving to recharge the battery even in warmer weather with NO other demands. If the engine is at idle, the alternator is not going to put out much more voltage and current, but at higher engine speeds, it will if it is working correctly. What you really need is a voltmeter to see what the actual voltage is when the car is operating. You should have 13.8 to 14.4 volts when the car is running at road speeds.

I bought a phone charger/ voltmeter (analog) that I keep plugged into the accessory jack (lighter socket). It has a ring of lights around the edge that are red, amber and green that show the voltage output of the alternator. On starting, I get 4 green dots which drop back to two later after I've been driving for a while, but it varies with idle sometimes only showing one or two green dots. I was going to get one with a digital readout, but realized that the analog is much faster to monitor because it has colors - green is good, red is bad.

If the alternator is not putting out more voltage than the car is using, then you are not going to get charging. Try using a meter to see voltage what you get at idle and at 2000 rpm. Lead acid batteries are charged by putting higher voltage back into them, but not too high. If current is flowing into the battery, the light on the dash will go out.

_______________________________________ The more details you learn about your Saab, the more interesting it becomes. Fred 2000 9-5 SE 3.0L V6


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