How to Test an Alternator

Diagnosing Alternator Problems. Learn how to test an alternator with a Multimeter. Does your car not start, do you have dim headlights or interior lights, does the starter sound weak when start the engine, or does your car die sitting overnight? This video will show you a few ways to test your alternator to see if it is bad, is going bad or is good. A good alternator will show a charge at around 14.2-14.7v while the car is running and under an electrical load it wont drop below 13v.

Here is a great multimeter for under $20: https://amzn.to/3sy10xH

Test your Battery: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=COJr7OB23Hw
Check for Parasitic Draw: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5FJDgcdii8
Top 10 Mistakes Car Owners Make: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkn-K2noClw

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Disclaimer:
Due to factors beyond the control of ChrisFix, I cannot guarantee against improper use or unauthorized modifications of this information. ChrisFix assumes no liability for property damage or injury incurred as a result of any of the information contained in this video. Use this information at your own risk. ChrisFix recommends safe practices when working on vehicles and or with tools seen or implied in this video. Due to factors beyond the control of ChrisFix, no information contained in this video shall create any expressed or implied warranty or guarantee of any particular result. Any injury, damage, or loss that may result from improper use of these tools, equipment, or from the information contained in this video is the sole responsibility of the user and not ChrisFix.

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35 thoughts on “How to Test an Alternator

  1. I have an interesting one, my reading drops from 14.4 to 14.2 as the rpms go up

    This is in a 6.7 power stroke, I’ve never noticed this issue before (have battery voltage on my aftermarket guages)

    Would that be a sign my alternator is on its way out?

  2. Old school. Take a screwdriver and put it behind the alt. If it pulls like a magnet then it’s good. Low to no pull time to get a new one. Just a good test for on the spot little tools on hand

  3. Everything checked out on my 2009 Honda Accord EX-L 3.5L V6 in accordance with your video. Here’s some additional info:

    – alternator intermittently makes a whining noise.

    – battery is approximately a year old.

    – while driving Friday night, the alternator was whining. Drove that way for 4 hours. Check battery light appeared. 5 minutes after that a bunch of dash lights came on and car stalled. Waited an hour, the car started again and I drove 34 miles home. Alternator still whining and the car has started and drove fine since then (still whining though).

    – changed out relays and fuses.

    Any ideas?

  4. Thank you so much for this tutorial. I was able to figure out the problem with my battery/alternator. I was so close to going to a mechanic. God bless

  5. You might want to tighten up the negative battery cable clamp. Also, fine a better way to connect the negative voltmeter lead to the negative battery post than just jamming the probe through the wire filaments.

  6. do we need to check the current? is that possible the voltage is normal but output current from the alternator is lower than normal?

  7. Thanks for an elegant, good, informative, clear, uncluttered video. I didn't have to sift through bad comedy or bad music or other gimmicks but just got what I needed. Well done and thanks again.

  8. My battery light came on.

    I tested the batteries voltage and it had 12.5V when not turned on, and 14.2V when it the car was running.

    This light has been on for almost a year. I have never had an issue with the car starting.

    So why is my battery light on?

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