Posted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 4:22 pm Post subject: Do I need an alternator now or later? (2004/3.4)
My alternator is HOT, and not in a good way Really though...
It hasnt been started in about 2 months-winter storage & upgrades. I ran it last week & took a test drive around the block, checked it out & the alternator was hot, very hot. I thought maybe it was just working hard charging since its been so long, but it was seriously friggin hot. Its been parked for almost 4 months now for winter, before this I started it & warmed it up maybe every other week. Battery was new just before I parked it, I forget the specs but its got more than enough oomph for the car (825 CCA). There was nothing wrong with the old battery, I just stole the Impala's battery for another project. I replaced the Impalas battery with something "more than enough."
Today I warmed it up & tested stuff. Heres the results, tested off the alternator hot wire-
14.2V, (cold) Idle, all accessories on
14.8V (cold) holding at 1,000 rpm
14.45V idle, waming, all accessories off
14.55V same as above, 1000rpm
Temps using cheap scanner-
170* alternator case, cold engine
192* copper windings in back of alternator case-thru vent holes
140* for reference, valve cover, engine at operating temp (185ish by the temp gauge)
The voltage doesnt seem out of whack BUT the physical temp of the alternator seems insane. Put your hand on it & youll get a burn in 2 seconds flat. For reference, I took my big ugly Dodge Ram out snow bashing & the alternator was just "cozy warm" after a good beating.
Should I just toss in a new alternator & be happy or is this normal? I didnt really notice any charging problems months ago when I parked it. Just dont want to blow $150 if its not needed, but rather do it now than being left somewhere with a dealt alt! Thanks for any help!
If the car hasn't been started in a few months the battery is low. So the alternator has to work harder to charge it up. Those temps aren't out of the normal operating temp of the engine. I would be inclined to do nothing.
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