Video Transcript:

How to test a voltage regulator on any car with an alternator. You have a voltage regulator and this voltage regulator is responsible for keeping the voltage on the vehicle from exceeding a limit.

Usually this limit is 13.8 to 14.2 volts, which is enough voltage to allow for proper battery charging, but not enough to burn out light bulbs or damage delicate computer circuits.

The best way to test a voltage regulator is with a multimeter, and what you do is you put your multimeter clamps directly on the battery terminals. Positive read to positive and black to negative. And you said it to voltage, and with the car off, you should have a little over 12 volts. That’s that’s a healthy battery. And when the ones you’re hooked up, you want to start the vehicle.

And what you’ll see is that at idiable, the voltage will increase. This means that the alternator is charging the battery. We’re making about 13.8,13.9 volts. And so at this point, what you want to do is you want to slowly start increasing the speed of the engine.

And once you hit between 1500 and 2000 APM, the voltage should reach a point where it no longer increases.

And what we’re noticing is that it’s maxing out right around 13.9,8,9,7or so, which is well within that 13.8 to 14.2.

So this voltage regulator seems to be working fine. If the voltage keeps climbing with the RPA ends up in the 15+ volt range, then the voltage regulator is not doing its job and it needs to be replaced. If the voltage is too low, then the alternator is not charging properly and it needs to be rebuilt or replaced.

And lastly, if the voltage with the vehicle off is below 12 volts, then the battery is most likely in need of being replaced.

Some Frequently Asked Questions

Symptoms of a Bad Voltage Regulator
  1. Dimming or Pulsing Lights. A damaged or failed voltage regulator can rapidly diminish the alternator’s ability to cycle power from the battery.
  2. Dead Battery. A burned-out voltage regulator will diminish the vehicle battery’s ability to charge or stop it altogether.
  3. Unpredictable Engine Performance.
The voltage regulator can be mounted inside or outside of the alternator housing. If the regulator is mounted outside (common on some Ford products) there will be a wiring harness connecting it to the alternator. The voltage regulator controls the field current applied to the spinning rotor inside the alternator.
If the voltage regulator fails it can result in higher or lower voltage levels going from the alternator to the battery. In some situations, the voltage regulator can completely fail and break the circuit resulting in no electrical connection between the alternator and battery.
voltage regulator is used to regulate voltage level. When a steady, reliable voltage is needed, then voltage regulator is the preferred device. It generates a fixed output voltage that remains constant for any changes in an input voltage or load conditions. It acts as a buffer for protecting components from damages.
If one or more of your car’s alternator diodes fail, then the diode rectifier assembly will normally need to be replaced. At Grimmer Motors, we can perform an alternator diode rectifier replacement on your vehicle. This will allow the alternator to keep the battery charged.
How Do You Check Voltage With a Multimeter? Plug the black probe into COM and the red probe into the socket marked VΩ. Set the range to DC or AC volts and touch the probe tips to the two points between which voltage needs to be measured.
Voltage, also called electromotive force, is a quantitative expression of the potential difference in charge between two points in an electrical field. Alternating voltage exists between the terminals of a common utility outlet.
The average cost for an alternator voltage regulator replacement is between $343 and $385. Labor costs are estimated between $155 and $197 while parts are priced at $188. Estimate does not include taxes and fees.
Poor ground connections are an often-overlooked cause of low charging output and alternator failure. Check for voltage drops at the positive and negative battery cable connections, the alternator BAT+ power connection and the engine ground strap(s). Voltage drops on the negative side can cause overcharging.
The following are some parts that can cause the battery/check charging system warning light to come on. Alternator issues – Many times, the alternator is the root of the problem when your check charging system/battery light comes on. Take your vehicle to your mechanic and have them test your battery strength.

*The information above does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of a qualified attorney.

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