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Low voltage on alternator causing hesitation?

 
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Old 02-17-2012, 09:51 PM
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Low voltage on alternator causing hesitation?

Hey Guys

So ive been having hesitating issues during acceleration for awhile now. My mechanic thinks hes narrowed it down to the alternator. We went for a 20 minute test drive with his obd2 reader plugged in and my voltage on the alternator read between 11-12 volts most of the time, which I hear is low. Can low voltage output on the alternator cause an almost misfire-like symptom when driving? The issue does seem to get worse the more I load it (subwoofer, heater, defrost).

Any thoughts?

PS - Everything else has been diagnosed from ignition to fuel so just trying to isolate if its the alternator
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Old 02-18-2012, 08:49 PM
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Re: Low voltage on alternator causing hesitation?

I would definitely think so. That is definitely a bad alternator due to the low charge it puts out.
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Old 02-19-2012, 02:12 AM
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Re: Low voltage on alternator causing hesitation?

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Originally Posted by Vipers4Life View Post
I would definitely think so. That is definitely a bad alternator due to the low charge it puts out.
figured as much. i will pick up a new/refurb alternator next week and report back on what I find

i hope this fixes it.. ive spent so much time and money diagnosing and fixing a lot of ignition components and grounds to solve my issue. never though of alternator because my car never had starting/battery issues
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Old 02-20-2012, 06:00 PM
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Re: Low voltage on alternator causing hesitation?

an alternator test is really simple. car not running, voltage at the battery should be around 12. car running, voltage at the battery should be at least 13 but usually around 14. if voltage running is 12 then alternator is done.
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Old 02-22-2012, 12:59 PM
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Re: Low voltage on alternator causing hesitation?

So new alternator helped.. sort of. Instead of sitting at 11-12, it now sits at 14.. but only under a load (ie. heater turned on)

When its not under any load (ie. heater off, wipers off), the voltage sits and 12. Tried a different battery, same issue.

Were thinking theres a voltage loss somewhere maybe due to bad grounds. Im gonna try and add some grounds to different parts of the car on thursday.

You guys know of any trouble spots for bad grounds?
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Old 02-22-2012, 03:33 PM
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Re: Low voltage on alternator causing hesitation?

The main ground off the battery down by the tranny. Erery one I've seen is all frayed.
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Old 02-22-2012, 05:32 PM
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Re: Low voltage on alternator causing hesitation?

If possible, you should try cleaning the main grounds and gently abraze(sp?) the surface to allow for good grounding. I had the same issue with my lude, the alt. had low volt output, but turns out the ground wire that goes down towards the tranny was the culprit. But I sanded down every possible ground I saw and cleaned them and bolted them back on.
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Old 02-22-2012, 05:34 PM
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Re: Low voltage on alternator causing hesitation?

i just had this happen to me. i was freaking out.. thought my tranny was slippin. i would hammer the gas.. rpms would go up but acceleration would lag a few seconds?? I thought my battery was dead.. got it tested they said it was my alternator. I swapped it yesterday and it fixed the acceleration problem. Your volts seem low to you... but did it fix your acceleration?
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Old 02-23-2012, 12:47 AM
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Re: Low voltage on alternator causing hesitation?

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i just had this happen to me. i was freaking out.. thought my tranny was slippin. i would hammer the gas.. rpms would go up but acceleration would lag a few seconds?? I thought my battery was dead.. got it tested they said it was my alternator. I swapped it yesterday and it fixed the acceleration problem. Your volts seem low to you... but did it fix your acceleration?
my volts stay at 14 under load but not otherwise. new alternator.

gonna try grounds and report back

**UPDATE**
redid the grounds and added a couple more, no luck. still voltage issues. gonna try a brand new alternator (last was a refurb) and see if that works.
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Old 02-27-2012, 07:55 PM
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Re: Low voltage on alternator causing hesitation?

Good news!

Put in a new alternator and consistent 14.4-14.6v output even under heavy load. Guess the refurb alternator was bad. Car accelerates smoothly thus far.

Add alternator to this list of issues causing hesitation
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Old 02-28-2012, 12:19 AM
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Re: Low voltage on alternator causing hesitation?

good stuff. an alternator should be putting out about 14.5 Volts when you are reving the engine at about 2500 RPM.
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