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Old 09-04-2020, 01:56 PM
jac jac is offline
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Battery light on. How to identify alternator model/brand?

I think the alternator or the starter are going bad. I have ruled out the battery as I took the battery to the Batteries Plus and they confirmed it is still good.

I tried viewing the voltage through the cluster but I wasn't able to get to the option.

For now I am just trying to figure out what type of alternator I have to see what the cost of refurbishing it myself or replacing it could be. Is there a way to figure out the model/brand alternator without taking it out? I've had this car for 20 years now but I can't recall if this is the original alternator or not... Lol

Wondering if I should do the oil housing gasket too while I am in there.
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Old 09-04-2020, 02:20 PM
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Most likely you have a Valeo alternator. You can get an inspection mirror and see if you can read the name.
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Old 09-04-2020, 03:59 PM
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I switched mine from Valeo to Bosch when I replaced mine about two months ago. Turns out I could have probably just cleaned the brushes.

I refurbished wife's in the past year by just replacing brushes and swapping polarity of the slip rings (since only the one polarity takes 3/4 or more of the wear I didn't even bother changing the slip rings this time).

If you get some brushes and follow my thread how to swap the polarity you can probably get 60-100,000 more miles.
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Old 09-04-2020, 09:53 PM
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Thanks gents. I did not get a chance to get the splash guard and all that other stuff out of the way so I did not get to use the mirror to check the brand, but thanks for the photo, now I know what to look for!

I was however able to get the cluster tests to work. With engine OFF, test #9 says 116, which I assume means 11.6volts. With the engine ON, test #9 says 111 (or 11.1v).

The battery was fully charged 2 weeks ago and the car had been sitting in the garage without me messing with it for 2 weeks and I can't believe it has discharged the battery that much just sitting there. :-)

Now that the test showed me the low voltage while running, I am going to assume that means that alternator is bad and so will spend some time tomorrow removing the alternator.
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Old 09-04-2020, 11:50 PM
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Originally Posted by jac View Post
Thanks gents. I did not get a chance to get the splash guard and all that other stuff out of the way so I did not get to use the mirror to check the brand, but thanks for the photo, now I know what to look for!

I was however able to get the cluster tests to work. With engine OFF, test #9 says 116, which I assume means 11.6volts. With the engine ON, test #9 says 111 (or 11.1v).

The battery was fully charged 2 weeks ago and the car had been sitting in the garage without me messing with it for 2 weeks and I can't believe it has discharged the battery that much just sitting there. :-)

Now that the test showed me the low voltage while running, I am going to assume that means that alternator is bad and so will spend some time tomorrow removing the alternator.
If the alternator is only putting out 11.1 volts running I'm surprised it runs. I wouldn't trust a battery test in a auto parts store. I've taken batteries in that would not charge that my battery charger said were bad and they tested ok in the parts store. You definitely have a bad alternator. Put in a new one and put the battery on a charger for 24 hours. After charging for 24 hours put a voltmeter on it and see what the battery is holding. If it's not holding 12.3 volts it may be bad as well.
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Old 09-05-2020, 08:01 AM
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Quote:
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Now that the test showed me the low voltage while running, I am going to assume that means that alternator is bad and so will spend some time tomorrow removing the alternator.
Or just remove the voltage regulator is situ without removing the alternator. Then renew just the brushes (or the regulator with brushes).
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Old 09-05-2020, 01:21 PM
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Or just remove the voltage regulator is situ without removing the alternator. Then renew just the brushes (or the regulator with brushes).
That sounds like a lot less work! I am gonna try that for a little and see if I can figure out how to do that. Thanks!
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Old 09-05-2020, 01:29 PM
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That is correct. Definitely alternator.

You’d have to have at least one extra joint in your fingers to remove the VR in place. I wanted to do that very badly.

Heres a tip though: the most difficult part is getting the bolts back in; grind the end into a cone.

I've redone mine and wife's and it was just brushes. I even replaced mine when it failed to find out the bushes only needed to be cleaned so now I have a spare alternator.
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Old 09-05-2020, 02:17 PM
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The trick to reinstalling the alt easily onto the bracket is to refit the long mounting bolt (on the bench). Spray it with penetrating oil and lightly whack the bolt head a few times with a deadblow/rubber hammer. This moves the sliding nut back a few mm and is easily refitted. The captive nut is made to slide. Don't get carried away, a few light taps are all you need.

Also, there are at least two different Valeo alts depending on the options/packages, maybe 100amp and 140 amp. If you have heated seats, you def have a 140amp.
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Old 09-05-2020, 02:19 PM
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That's a great tip about the captive nut. I thought it was just a threaded hole in there block.


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