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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I'm having charging issues with my 2006 XL-7. Battery light is lit and alternator is not charging. I've measured some connections, but I'm not sure what conclusions I can make.

Battery voltage (disconnected): 12.4 V
Battery voltage (car started): 12.0 V
Exciter wire voltage (connected to alternator, ignition on, car off): 2.2 V
Exciter wire voltage (disconnected from alternator, ignition on, car off): 12.4 V

Also, the low beam is not working, but high beam works just fine.

If I disconnect the exciter wire from the alternator and connect a new wire directly from the exciter pin on the alternator to + on the battery, everything seems to work just fine, getting 13 - 14 V from the alternator.

Are there any obvious conclusions on what's fishy here? I'd guess something with the wiring before the exciter on the alternator, does that sound reasonable? If so, which parts would be the main suspects?
Any other measurements or tests I should do?

Forever grateful for any help!
 

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Does the charge bulb light with ignition on engine off ?
 

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The trigger for starting the charge comes from the dash light circuit.., You report low voltage... Either the bulb is defective or you have high resistance on that circuit
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Just to be sure, dash light = battery symbol on the dashboard, right?
That one shines red. Also, the exciter wire gives 12 V when disconnected from the alternator, but drops to 1-2 V when connected.
 

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Do not be fooled by the 12vdc when measuring with a meter, the circuit MUST be loaded, use a test light and see if it lights bright..
A bad wire can report 12vdc but carry no current..
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Okay, seems to shine bright enough. Gives 11.4 V with a disconnected exciter wire. Battery voltage is then 11.9 V.
I'm noticing that the low beam works when the exciter wire is not connected to the alternator. When I connect the wire to the alternator, the low beam shuts off. Does that tell anyone anything?

Tire Vehicle Automotive tire Automotive lighting Wheel
 

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You need an incandescent light, not an LED... You need the load !!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yup, thanks! When I tested with an incandescent bulb, there was no signs of juice at all, despite the voltage being ~ 12 V. What does that imply?
 

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The fact you have no indicator of current flow on the exciter, means you have a bad circuit from the panel, in the panel , or on the wire.. Start by pulling the dash panel and using the Test light, check if it will light directly on the connector. If it does the issue will be wiring to the alternator... If not it is internal..
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Okay. I've tested for connection from the exciter connection to the BCM, that seems fine.

The BCM gives two error codes, 21 and 41. One is an error in the daytime running light circuit, the other is a bad temperature sensor. The temperature reading has been off for years, so that's nothing new.

As far as I can tell from the wiring diagram, the daytime lights share some connection with the alternator exciter. However, the lights work fine with the exciter disconnected. When the exciter connects to the alternator (or a bulb) the lights go dark. The exciter wire should be able to light a grounded bulb without messing with the other components I'm the circuit, right?
 

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the lights work fine with the exciter disconnected. When the exciter connects to the alternator (or a bulb) the lights go dark. The exciter wire should be able to light a grounded bulb without messing with the other components I'm the circuit, right?
That is because the circuit cannot support the current required.
 

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Another opinion? I think that you are chasing ghosts. If I were in your shoes, this is how I see this situation.

Alternators are one of the most often found electrical fault issues beyond battery and ground connections. I can drive to any of my chain Auto Parts stores and have an on-vehicle parking lot charging system diagnostic performed for free in only minutes. Beyond that, I can remove a suspect altenator and have it "bench tested" at no charge. 9 times out of 10, the internals of the alternator are at fault and a replacement alt is only a minor purchase.

At least that's where I would start. ;)

And if deemed needed...
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Another opinion? I think that you are chasing ghosts. If I were in your shoes, this is how I see this situation.

Alternators are one of the most often found electrical fault issues beyond battery and ground connections. I can drive to any of my chain Auto Parts stores and have an on-vehicle parking lot charging system diagnostic performed for free in only minutes. Beyond that, I can remove a suspect altenator and have it "bench tested" at no charge. 9 times out of 10, the internals of the alternator are at fault and a replacement alt is only a minor purchase.

At least that's where I would start. ;)

And if deemed needed...
Thanks for the input. I ordered a new one last week, will get it in a few days. I'm hoping that'll do it.
Still, I don't quite get why the current in the exciter wire is so low when disconnected from the alternator. Hopefully I've overlooked a few things and it's just a faulty alternator.
 

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I can drive to any of my chain Auto Parts stores and have an on-vehicle parking lot charging system diagnostic performed for free in only minutes. Beyond that, I can remove a suspect altenator and have it "bench tested" at no charge
I believe this is unique to the US, I don't know if it happens in Canada, it certainly doesn't in a lot of other countries. The same goes for the "tool loaner/rental" facility that the US auto parts chains offer, just doesn't happen elsewhere.
 

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That service is not available in Canada, you want it tested, you pay at a garage not at any parts supply..
 
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