How to Check if Your Alternator is Charging Your Battery

by Editorial Team

When diagnosing battery trouble, you must check the alternator to see if it is charging correctly. If the alternator is not working right, the battery slowly drains down. If your battery is drained, it will not run the important electrical systems in your car. Read on to learn how to check if your alternator is charging your battery.

Step 1

Start your car. If the headlights are dim, the alternator is going out. Turn off your lights, radio, air conditioner or any other running electrical system.

Step 2

Ensure the connections are secure between the alternator and battery, after turning off the car. Also, check the alternator belt for damage.

Step 3

Turn on the ignition, again. If your car doesn't start, you must use a battery charger.

Step 4

Connect a multimeter or voltage meter to test the alternator. Idle the engine. Check to see how many volts are showing on the meter. There should be 13.6 to 14.3 volts showing.

Step 5

Talk to your mechanic if your alternator is not charging your battery. You can trade in your alternator and your mechanic can give you a new or rebuilt alternator.

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