What voltage does your voltage dash gauge read? - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums

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Old 10-16-2010, 06:15 PM
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What voltage does your voltage dash gauge read?

when I first got my Alfa, I noticed that my battery gauge normally would read at about 14 volts. When I first started the Alfa, the gauge would read just slightly over 12 volts until I tapped the gas pedal, then it would raise up to around 14 volts and stay there.

I noticed about a week ago when my clutch got really bad that my battery gauge started to read between 12 1/2 volts to 13 volts reguardless if I have anything turned on like headlights and heat, but it doesn't go as high as it used to go.

I just replaced the battery (the old one looked like it was older than the car) but I'm wondering if my alternator might be getting weak.

What is the normal voltage displayed on your voltage gauge?

Also, do you have to tap on your gas pedal to get your voltage gauge to read above 12 volts at start?
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Old 10-16-2010, 06:30 PM
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It would be a good idea to check charging voltage at the bat itself to see what it's getting. I recently added an adjustable voltage regulator to get a little more juice to the bat that is all the way back in the trunk. It has been working very well. All new regulators I have tried do not start charging immediately upon car start up but 5-10 seconds or so soon after, so I would not worry about that if it starts charging on its own. If it only starts to charge when you give it throttle than... well you still don't really have a problem because you will always go above idle when you drive it. http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/164-...regulator.html
Charles
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Old 10-16-2010, 08:35 PM
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What is the normal voltage displayed on your voltage gauge?

Also, do you have to tap on your gas pedal to get your voltage gauge to read above 12 volts at start?

14 V - except when the belt slips, I have to really tighten the thing.

Yes I have to tap the gas to get it to read 14 (from start at idle), sometimes it goes on its own - its been like this since I bought the car around six years ago.( Too lazy to check into this)

Check the belt tension. If you don't lose charge then I wouldn't worry - if you end up with a dead battery after a few days to a week of driving then you need to investigate further.

PS - Chazzy, I also find the charging overwhelmed in winter driving, so your notes about an adjustable regulator were interesting. Thanks.

Last edited by macaroo; 10-16-2010 at 08:45 PM.
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Old 10-16-2010, 10:12 PM
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Mine reads around 13 volts. I've been in some that read higher and some that read lower.
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Old 10-16-2010, 11:22 PM
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Up until about a week/week and a half ago when I started up my car, the gauge would read about 12 volts and be around 13 to 14 volts after I would tap the gas.

Right now when I start up the car the voltage would be at 12 volts and as I'm driving the voltage would be between 12 and 12 1/2 volts which seems like it's a little too low and I'm kinda worried about driving too far and having my car die because the voltage is too low.
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Old 10-16-2010, 11:55 PM
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I wouldn't worry about it unless you have a hard time starting it. Or it does that 'I need a battery soon' kind of turnover/cranking.
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Old 10-17-2010, 03:52 AM
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Check actual voltage reading with a meter at cooling fan fuse bar on false firewall.

With engine off first to just read battery voltage say 12.5v and then with engine on and alternator on line (red light out) should be about 13.7v.

Most of my fleet reads 14 on dash gauge but one pegs needle so you can get different readings.

If actual voltage at firewall is low then I would get a new voltage regulator on ebay or autozone. They are about $15-20 max.

http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/164-...lternator.html

Some info: http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/164-...regulator.html
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Last edited by Alfisto Steve; 10-17-2010 at 03:57 AM.
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Old 10-17-2010, 12:17 PM
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In one of my 164s the gauge reads 14.4V and in the other, older car it reads just slightly below 14V.

I discovered an interesting trick. If you turn on the ignition, then wait for all the lights to go out (except battery and ABS lights), and then start the engine, the battery and ABS lights go out straight away.

Otherwise, both of my 164s leave the battery and ABS lights on until the engine goes above idle speed - just as you said. I have tried swapping voltage regulators and even alternators but I have not managed to change this behaviour...

-Alex
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Old 10-17-2010, 07:20 PM
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Have you actually checked the belt and checked to see if all the ribs are still there, or if it's slipping??

These belts can slip without making noise sometimes.

My 164S I thought had a bad alternator (reading low voltage, no squeaking - even a visual under the hood looked OK - it wasn't until I pulled liner and actually watched carefully that I saw it slipping AND all the rubber dust [read on]) - the alternator itself was perfectly fine, but the worn bearing was creating just enough drag where the belt would slip on startup for a long enough while. It created a fine rubber "dust" that continued to allow slippage, making the problem worse. So, RPMs just added more dust as it was continuously slipping.

These belts should NOT require a lot of tension if the belts are clean and dry. That's why a ribbed belt is used - it's a much larger surface area than a cog or flat belt hence less required tension. Extra tension will just toast your alternator and A/C compressor bearings more quickly.
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Old 10-17-2010, 07:22 PM
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Mine reads 15V ???
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Old 10-17-2010, 07:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by racingswim2006 View Post
Have you actually checked the belt and checked to see if all the ribs are still there, or if it's slipping??
Good idea but one of my cars has the V-belt arrangement, the other has the poly-V (flat belt). And both have new belts. Both do the same thing with the lights staying on, but if I wait for all test lights to go out before starting, the lights go straight out. Therefore I don't think it's an alternator drive problem.

-Alex
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Old 10-18-2010, 03:18 AM
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I have the same issue. I think it's down to the gauge. When testing with a multimeter as Steve suggests I get 2 volts higher at the fuse than what I get on the gauge. Prior to start up with key in ignition at first position and after the test sequence, I get about 10 volts at the gauge. Testing at the fuse, I get 12.5 or thereabouts and I think about 13 or 14 (been a while) with engine running but only 12 at the gauge. I've had it like this since I got it and never had a battery/alternator problem which is why I believe it's the gauge itself that's off.
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