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Re:Battery Voltage

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05 Jun 2020 19:53 - 05 Jun 2020 20:27 #223286 by Reason2doubt
Battery Voltage was created by Reason2doubt
Hi all,

Hoping to get a little bit of help figuring out if my battery voltage is normal.

disclaimer: car is in use - hasn't been sat standing.

Battery measured at the terminals at 12.4v (engine off)

Battery hovering around 12v with engine ON, lights on and radio at idle.

The battery is fairly new (8 month old Yuasa with 3yr warranty) - wondering if maybe my alternator is a bit pathetic?

Anyone else got any insight into this? The reason I ask is that I am changing back to my old headlights and when on high beam at idle, they flicker and the voltage at the terminals drops to 11.95v

EDIT: Voltage drop to 11.6v at the terminals when lights are on high-beam at engine idle - this can't be right surely?

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Last edit: 05 Jun 2020 20:27 by Reason2doubt.

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05 Jun 2020 20:25 - 05 Jun 2020 20:32 #223287 by mlines
Replied by mlines on topic Re:Battery Voltage
I assume this is a Gen3

A battery that's charged but without load should be around 12.6 to 12.8 volts.

With the engine running the peak voltage should be up around 14.6 volts but anything over 13.8 volts means it will charge.

Gen4 have an intelligent charge system which "turns off" the alternator so you will see different voltages

So does should like a possible alternator problem.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

Martin

2003 M13 early KAP build.
3" Trailmaster lift with 1.5 Spacers on front
Customised winch bumper and roll cage
235/85R16 Maxxis Bighorns on 16" Rims, 4:1 Rocklobster, Rear ARB locker and on-board air
Corrected arms all-round, rear disks, Recaro seats and harnesses
Last edit: 05 Jun 2020 20:32 by mlines.
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05 Jun 2020 20:31 - 05 Jun 2020 20:32 #223288 by Reason2doubt
Replied by Reason2doubt on topic Re:Battery Voltage
Thanks Martin - yes this is a Gen 3.

OK - so it looks like the battery is under-voltage by a long way - as you say, this points to an alternator issue, given that the battery is not that old.

I even went as far as to hook it up to my other battery (in parallel) which helped...but did not keep the voltage above 12v (hovering around 11.8v with high beam on).
Last edit: 05 Jun 2020 20:32 by Reason2doubt.

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05 Jun 2020 21:21 #223289 by Scimike
Replied by Scimike on topic Re:Battery Voltage
Martin's spot on.
It appears to be the alternator, my G3 sits at 14.2 volts with or without the lights on according to the cheap usb display thing. Drops to 12.5 with the engine off, but it's an old (but still working) battery.
Mike
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06 Jun 2020 08:43 #223300 by RainerK
Replied by RainerK on topic Battery Voltage
As said above, the battery voltage should be above 13.2V when the engine is running and if it isn’t the fault is probably the alternator.
Before removing/repairing/exchanging the alternator I would:

- Measure the battery voltage at higher revs, not idle, e.g., at 2000rpm.

- check the connections to the battery and remove any corrosion, dirt, ... and re-measure the voltage at the battery at 2000rpm.

- Charge the battery with an external charger and check how much energy goes into the battery, there are some chargers that measure this or you can measure the battery voltage while charging every 30min). Then recheck the battery voltage at 2000rpm.

The reason I would do this is first, because it is not much effort and secondly to verify an alternator failure. Because you wrote that the lights are flickering in idle and with flickering I would think that there is at least some charging and I did experience new batteries being defective in the past and also corrosion at cable connections that lead to interesting voltage measurements.

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06 Jun 2020 09:36 #223301 by Fossie
Replied by Fossie on topic Battery Voltage
I would suspect voltage regulator , which is built in to the alternator on a car ..(motorcycles are separate , so a touch easier to deal with ..money wise.)

However get the battery checked first as said , it could be the voltage is fine but the cranking power is down , so it takes a struggle to replace charge ....
I have a few m/c batteries that sit at 13. 4 v fully charged but won't start a bike....
( they power the electric fence though!)
That'll need a drop test ....but I would go for alternator / reg/rec.

But again as said disconnect the leads and make sure the earth connections to battery and body are good.

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06 Jun 2020 11:56 #223306 by DrRobin
Replied by DrRobin on topic Battery Voltage
Hi,

It’s definitely the alternator or regulator (it’s probably built in to the alternator) which is on the way out.

A lead acid battery is nominally 2 to 2.2v per cell, this gives the normal range of 12 to 13.2v for a car battery. When a battery is charging it will go up to 2.25 to 2.3v per cell or 13.5 to 13.8v. Float charge, when it is fully charged can be a bit higher , 2.35v per cell, or around 14v.

Absolute max voltage is 2.5v per cell or 15v, but generally only an old, tired battery will get up to this.

Without the engine running,terminal voltage will be around 12 to 12.8v, put the lights on and the voltage might dip to 12v, measured on the terminals. The Jimny battery is quite small, so even a good battery might go below 12v, but not by much.

With the engine running, even at idle expect to see 14v with minimal load and still around 13v with lights on.

Low voltages, especially flickering lights means low output from the alternator, just change it and you will be okay. By the way a faulty alternator takes it’s toll on the battery, so best to get it changed quickly since the battery is new.

2011 Blue Jimny SZ3, Xtrons Head Unit, DAB, Front and Rear Cameras, TPMS, K&N, Bosch Aerotwin blades, LED side and interior lights, boot light, parcel shelf. Osram Nightbreakers

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06 Jun 2020 19:07 #223320 by Reason2doubt
Replied by Reason2doubt on topic Battery Voltage
Thank you all for the help on this matter.

Measured the voltage with RPM 2000-3000 and the voltage was up to 13.4-13.8 without the battery being charged (lights off).

I put the battery on charge which took about 2 hours.

In the meantime, I took out the alternator to have a look. Looked like it was the original - Denso branded (small date of manufacture was made out to be 1998 in Japan) so roughly 21 years old at this point.

Cleaned out the terminals with degreaser and cotton buds with wire brush on the negative terminal and new nuts to replace the slightly corroded ones that came off.

Hooked the alternator up to a drill however it didn't spin it very fast so that was a bit of a flop, but it did at least confirm it was working after tinkering with it.

Alternator back in the car with the battery now fully charged. Hooked everything back up and had 12.8v on the battery.

Turned engine on and got 14.4-14.5v which dipped to 13.6 with lights on high-beam - I thought I had cracked it for a moment. Left on for around 2-3 minutes and the voltage dropped back down into the low 12's and the lights then began to flicker again. Turned lights off and the voltage went back to 12.8v (engine on) however it was dropping slowly. Over 5 minutes it was down to 12.7v .

Given what everyone has said and the results I have found (again, thanks to you all) I've bought a new alternator. Should arrive on Tuesday.
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06 Jun 2020 22:53 - 06 Jun 2020 22:54 #223326 by Reason2doubt
Replied by Reason2doubt on topic Battery Voltage
A quick micro update:

I chose a new alternator which outputs 96 amps instead of the standard 75 amps. To compensate, I thought I would check out the main fuse and discovered it was an 80 amp so I took the fuse box apart to get a good look at it and check what type I needed to uprate it.

For future reference, the standard main fuse in the G13B 1999 Jimny is an 80 Amp PAL B Auto Link (Slow Blow) fuse made by Pacific. I am replacing it with a 100 amp equivalent.

Anyhow, off to the side of the main fuse is a small bank of 4x 15amp fuses. This covers the Left/Right headlights amongst other things (e.g. a/c if installed). I previously noted that my lights were flickering sometimes which I believe is primarily down to the under-performing alternator, but now I also believe it is the connector block going into the fuse box for my lights. The connections were extremely corroded (copper/steel) to the point where the wire (white/blue) freely fell apart:

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The other two were not much better and with a little flexing, the wires too fell out and were very corroded. The copper connection tabs on the fuse block itself were OK, however, the high-beam contact pad was nearly all oxidised and had turned a green colour - I bet this is part of the problem!

I took apart the connector block after wrestling it out of the fuse box itself and then managed to extract the left-over spade connectors that were stuck inside which were very brittle and oxidised:

File Attachment:

(Please ignore my rough and ready hands)

Ordered some spade connections and the new fuse so hopefully, I can get it all back together with the alternator early next week.
Last edit: 06 Jun 2020 22:54 by Reason2doubt.

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07 Jun 2020 07:53 #223329 by RainerK
Replied by RainerK on topic Battery Voltage
This looks like the connections on 20 year old motorbikes.

Maybe it would make sense to check all or most connections under the hood. When I have connections like this, and have good chance of flushing, I use A cleaner for my alloys that says „acid free“ but isn‘t. The cleaner turns from clear to red, if it encounters dirt or corrosion. This removes the oxidation nicely and after 5 min soaking I thoroughly, ver thoroughly flush the parts with water and then let dry.

Before reassembly, I use some corrosion protection fat (Fluid Film Max) from a spray can. With this, so far I had no problems with the electric system.

All the best from sunny Vienna!

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09 Jun 2020 18:34 - 09 Jun 2020 18:40 #223415 by Reason2doubt
Replied by Reason2doubt on topic Battery Voltage
New alternator showed up today at about 15:00 and I managed to fit it and replace the headlight connectors in the fuse box by 16:00 and IT WORKED!

12.8 Volts on the main battery (engine off)

14.4 Volts to the main battery (engine on)

14.2 Volts to the main battery (radio/lights + every other power-consuming thing switched on)

I will monitor the voltage on the main battery just to make sure it hasn't been damaged at all by the poorer alternator before and if needs be get a replacement - might be nice considering the other (dual) battery is new, the wiring is new and the alternator is new...would maybe make sense.

Thank you to everyone who helped diagnose the problem - gave me great confidence to get it sorted out.

Edit: the old (new) headlights are back in and working better than they ever have before:

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Last edit: 09 Jun 2020 18:40 by Reason2doubt.
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09 Jun 2020 22:21 #223421 by DrRobin
Replied by DrRobin on topic Battery Voltage
Result. I think your battery will be fine and good to know your Jimny is humming again.

Robin

2011 Blue Jimny SZ3, Xtrons Head Unit, DAB, Front and Rear Cameras, TPMS, K&N, Bosch Aerotwin blades, LED side and interior lights, boot light, parcel shelf. Osram Nightbreakers
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