So I checked and reseated the battery connections. They were corrosion free and tight for what its worth. Stopped at Autozone and had the codes read, there was a pending ABS
code for battery voltage out of range, code b1676 I believe. It struck me as odd since the yellow abs
light didn't flash. While I was there I had them check the battery which came out normal at 12 volts.
They also checked the alternator, which did fail the diode test twice. I did use the engineering test mode on the way home from work and of course the car didn't act up. The voltage bounced between 14.2 and 14.7 while the car was under load, and dropped to a low of 13.5 while sitting at a red light.
I will keep using the etm
to monitor voltage as I am driving the vehicle just to see how bad the voltage does get when this happens again. The serpentine belt squeal as far as I can tell is the tensioner. Though I don't have a mechanics stethoscope to be precise. That pulley however was feeling a little rough when I spun it, not horrible but it didn't spin as freely as the others. Given the mileage I'm guessing its probably a good idea to replace the idle pulley and belt as well.
Unfortunately I wont be able to replace the alternator until payday, a week from today. Yay for going Christmas shopping for the kids last week before the light show on the dash. The only other question's I have are could this just be a result of the tensioner ? My uneducated guess is that since the alternator failed the diode test it needs to go regardless.
Does anyone have any recommendations for alternators ? Is it a good idea to buy it from a local store just so I can have them bench test it before I buy it. I really don't want to replace a failing unit with a potentially bad unit.
Regardless I will have it sorted by next Thursday unless someone more knowledgeable chimes in otherwise. If all else fails I can use the wife's car to get back and forth.
I would be interested to know what they meant by diode failure. They
usually fail shorted. When that happens, there is a constant drain
on the battery, the alternator will be warm long after the car is off,
and it will run the battery down just sitting.
The alternator is a three phase electrical generator. My guess is one
of more of the diodes has failed open, causing the alternator not
to put out its rated current output and have a abnormal output waveform.
Now, if the solder came off where the diodes are soldered in, there is a
chance to repair it internally. But you would have to tear the alternator
apart, and have a BIG ASS soldering system to have enough heat to
If your on the cheap, you could always go to the UPuLL yard and look for
one. On my trip to the local yard this week, i saw at least three on
GEN3's that had rebuild stickers on them and looked relatively fresh for
Dont screw with the tensioner or idler wheels too long. I had one once
on my 93 that self destructed and shot the mount bolt out into the
windshield washer tank in a act of self destruction. If they are not spinning
freely, replace them. It going to be cheaper than a tow. as long as your
there, get a knife or blade or such and clean out the groves in all the
pulleys. Also look for leaks that can be putting oil or water on the belt
causing it to slip under load.
Your voltage will vary at lower RPM's depending on the load. If your running
headlights, heater blower, and other stuff your NOT going to get full output