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Short or charging problem?

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Old 05-04-2012, 08:56 AM
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Short or charging problem?

Hi all,
I've been noticing an odd symptom with my Bronco lately. The last few days while driving, I've noticed that the volt meter on the gauge has been abnormally high, like it's charging a lot. When I slow down, the needle drops to less of a charge (I'm just guessing because the engine's going slower).

Then, this morning I went out and my Bronco wouldn't start. Just the dreaded *click* *click* *click*

Radio and headlights came on fine. However, when I tested the battery, it was at around 9v.


Do I have a short somewhere draining my battery? Or is something in my charging system failing? Thoughts?
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Old 05-04-2012, 09:54 AM
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Most likely a bad battery/regulator/alt....one of the three. Charge the battery and have the system tested at a local parts store...it is free.
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:06 AM
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Yeah, I had planned on doing that. It's just that all three are relatively new (battery is 2 1/2, alternator is about 3 or 4, regulator is about 2).
The fact that it was charging every morning is what seemed odd, like it'd been draining over night and was trying to fill back up. This time, it'd just drained too far to start.

But, if it's just a charging issue, hopefully it's an easy fix.
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:20 AM
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The high/over charging could indicate a bad regulator. The battery being dead could be because the overcharging has boiled the liquid out of the battery and the battery lost its ability to charge until filled again.

Also, the higher charging could indicate a bad battery, shorted or dead cell, and the battery is dead because of that. It would depend on how much the charge is over the normal 13.5 - 14 volt normal amount.

Of course, checking all your connections for being clean and tight is a must also.
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Old 05-04-2012, 08:41 PM
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Higher reading on the "charge" side of the ammeter means one of two things. The battery is not charging properly or the connection to the battery has weakened to the point that the voltage is not getting back to the battery. I know that sounds backwards but the way the ammeter works is based on resistance and a loss of draw on the charge circuit (without an increase in "drain") shows a higher charge.

The short answer, check and clean battery terminals and connections at the start solenoid, starter positive, and the main engine/frame negative before assuming some component has failed.
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:32 PM
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He is talking a volt meter.....
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Old 05-08-2012, 12:35 PM
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The alternator checked out alright so I swapped out the voltage regulator. The symptoms were the same before and after.



Turns out the battery decided to bite the bullet a few years early.

4 months shy of my 3 year warranty running out so I got a new one for free and all's well again.
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