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Discussion Starter #1
A couple of days ago, I moved the black Q to the driveway to wash and charge the battery as it hasn't moved in a couple of weeks. The voltage guage was only reading about 12 volts. Hmmm. So I was wondering if the alternator was going out. I put the voltage meter to the two exposed terminals and the guage read out 13.8 volts. So no problem there. Any ideas why the guage is reading low?
 

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Alternators sometimes don't "wake up" right away, did you give it a little throttle and the alternator kicked in then? On my 928 with a Paris-Rhone alternator, you had to get the revs up over 3k for it to start charging, but that was due to a bad wiring harness, which I was able to fix and switched to a Bosch as well. I have noticed with the 164, it sometimes doesn't start charging until I blip the throttle a bit in the morning. Look at it real close some morning and see if the gauge doesn't indicate ~12V and then go up to ~14 after blipping the throttle a bit. It could be nothing to be too concerned about, mine started this morning behavior, I believe, after I replaced the internal voltage regulator.
Charles
 

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Discussion Starter #3
After I started the car, I thought the battery might be low and hence the low voltage...wrong thinking. Well, that is when I got the volt meter our and checked things. The regular Bosch alternators on the Alfa spiders doesn't start charging until it gets over 1500 rpm, so I revved up the motor and still the guage just sat at around 12v. I am not concerned, probably a guage that is sticky a bit from not being used regularly. Worth asking a question to the group.
 

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Mine does the same thing, the ABS and charge light come on when first started, then you blip the throttle and all is well.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Lenard, I will drive the car once I get the power belt bearings installed. You are one lucky guy that they didn't disintegrate on you while driving around. They are that bad! The guage thing was something that just surfaced on Monday when I started it up. No big deal, just curious as to why.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I thought I would revisit this thread after driving the car today. I am not sure what is going on with that infernal guage but it seems to be dropping in what is being read. Now the voltage is showing less than 12v on the guage while driving around. So...out comes the voltage meter again. The meter reads 14 volts at the large lug and 14 v at the small lug on the alternator. The battery is one of those closed cell types you can't check the water in, but the green indicator is showing in the window. The battery voltage is 14 volts. So it appears the charging system is working. I am guessing the voltage guage is going out. I am going to this weekend before I start chasing rabbits, get out my brush and De-Oxit cleaner and go over all the fuses, connectors and what ever else I can clean. I have some De-Oxit Gold contact protector to put on after the contacts have been cleaned. Lets see if it fixes this weird indicator. I am probably going to open up Pandora's proverbial door to more electrical problems. :D
 

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I would suspect the gauge more then anything else, so long as you are getting good voltage every where else, what else could it be?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
What is weird is that I have never seen an Alfa guage go bad before, so this is a new one on me. Most likely is that I will have to replace the whole gauge rather than just small voltage unit unless I can find just the guage lying around some where.
 

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Two 95 LS, both voltmeter gauges have read 11 ever since I'm owned them. My latest 95 starts strong every time summer and winter.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Two 95 LS, both voltmeter gauges have read 11 ever since I'm owned them. My latest 95 starts strong every time summer and winter.
Then I won't worry so much about it, just freaks me out to see guages where they are not supposed to be. Today on a 20 mile trip, the guage read 12+ and close to 13. *shrug* I will just have fun enjoying the ride :D
 

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Maybe clean the ground wire at the thermostat housing and see if it corrects the problem? Or add one if it is missing.
Charles
 

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velocedoc, we have a 88 bmw 325 that has all kinds of warning light and guage irregularities, and its ok, because we know the car and the lights/guages are wrong. for some reason in an alfa, a lot of us get all weird when everything is not completely perfect, even though we also know that things have been checked out and there's nothing really wrong. FWIW, our 91 164 has way fewer quirks this way than the bmw. If I were in the field, I would think that the contradiction of expectations and desires would make an interesting study.
 

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According to my dealer (and my personal experience with many Alfa owners), this has been a complaint for many years. For some unknown reason, many people who buy Alfas seem to think they should be completely flaw free, that they complain about problems which also occur in other makes, which people don't seem to get too upset about. I've never understood it myself.

Sorry, just had to add that.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I would imagine that a BMW that is out of sorts with the guages would be a strange deal, because that isn't what you would expect of a BMW. An Alfa with FIAT electrics is probably what I would be expecting. At least this isn't a major electrical issue! :) More problem than it is worth to swap out the gauge and then there isn't any guarantee it would resolve the issue. At least it is indicating something :)
 

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Hee, Hee. :eek: I had a brain fart. So may times it is a complaint about a temp gauge not being right. I had forgot that this was a alt gauge issue. My bad. Could try removing the instrument cluster and clean the contacts at the wiring connections on the back of the gauges cluster. It's not too bad to remove, may be a loose or otherwise compromised connection.
Charles



Alternator guage and ground at thermostat? :confused::confused: How are they related?
 

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Mine was reading high this morning, around 15 volts, the other day it was a tick below 14, go figure. One thing it does good though, is tell me the fan has come on, it usually flicks left to right slightly when it does that.
 
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