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Discussion Starter #1
I have a problem with either my ammeter or alternator. after work one night i cleaned my terminals on my battery with hot water as they had that white build-up on them. i then started my car to find my alternator light, interior light and headlights all flashing in a weird pattern and my ammeter was jumping up and down madly.

So i drove home with my headlights going crazy and left it overnight, now my voltage likes to move around a bit, from 11v with the accessories on, all the way to just under 14v while driving but will drop down to 12v while driving too. Also moves when the headlights go on etc.

Any ideas what it could be?

It's kinda annoying.
 

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It should be about 14v when the engine is running above idle.

As this only started after pouring water over you terminals, I would suggest you look at them first, check they are clean and tight. Same for the alternator connectors.

BTW, ammeters are a rather reduandant guage, althought they can cause massive problems when not installed correctly. I'd remove it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It's part of the S-pack instrument cluster, i wish i could remove it, lol.
 

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You've lost me with the Spack options. Are we talking ammeter or voltmeter. I haven't heard of an ammeter being standard in any instrument cluster for a long,long time.

As for you problem, if you have checked all connections and the problems persists then you may need a new regulator. If your unsure of what to check I would consult a auto sparky.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I mean voltmeter, duh. stupid me.
 

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Others have had similar problems. I'd start replacing things if you have spares available. Try swapping over the battery for a new one, again making sure the terminals are tight. The other thing is to make sure the battery terminal lugs are tightly crimped onto the cable and not starting to fray.

Have you determined that your voltmeter is reading correctly? Get a multimeter and check the terminals of the battery and the alternator (only feasible when car not in motion of course).

When you were washing the terminals you didn't get any of the water - or worse corrosion - into the battery did you? This may alter the specific gravity of the battery acid which can affect charge rate.

Is the alternator noisy?
 

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heh, look on the bright side . . . do you know how much some ricers pay to have disco lights ? ;)

Seriously though, if its still doing it obviously, and your not confident on the battery / electronics area, AND your a nrma / racv / whatever member, give their service a call. They'll come out and give the battery and alternator a quick test . . .
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I dont have a battery to swap over but i'll test it with the car off, check the battery voltage then, and then with the car running to see if the alternator is outting out the right voltage, i'll go from there i guess and see what happens.
 

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do YOU have rubber?
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when I had problems with my car, I went to Kmart and bought a new battery with the intention to return it. They said that this is fine... just keep it for a week and return it!
 

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Sounds like the regulator on the alternator is stuffed, so isnt regulating voltage correctly, and is cutting in and out.

Pull the terminals off, and give a light sandpaper clean first, then do them up tight and test again.

Jason
 

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i had this very same problem yesterday i had disconncted my battery to clean the terminals. i hooked everything back up, and when i turned on my headliights the the temp shot up to hot, indictors all lit up on dash etc. turns out i forgot to put back on an earth lead that had fallen off. try checking all earth connections to battery, that none are about to break etc.
 
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