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Does your engine crank slowly or not at all, but when you test the battery and starter both are fine? An often overlooked cause of these kinds of problems is excessive resistance in the high amperage circuit. The same goes for battery cables with ends that have been beaten or pried out of shape, or have had the ends replaced. If you use an ohmmeter to measure across a heavily corroded battery cable or ground strap connection, or one with only a few strands of wire that make contact with the end clamp or terminal, the connection may read good because all you're measuring is continuity -- not the ability to handle a high amp current load. A voltage drop test is the only effective way to find excessive resistance in high amperage circuits. To check the starter circuit for excessive resistance, you need to measure the voltage drop at the battery, battery cable connections and starter while the engine is being cranked.
The maximum allowable voltage drop including the solenoid or external relay in the starter circuit should be 0.6 volts or less. If you find more than a 0.6 volt drop in the starter circuit, you can isolate the bad connection by using the following voltage drop tests.
If the voltage drop is too high, set your DVM to the 2 volt scale and start checking each connection on the negative side to find the bad connection or cable.
Check the negative ground cable from the battery to the engine (should be 0.2 volts or less).
With the key off, connect the two voltmeter leads to the opposite sides of each fuse in the fuse box or power center.
You would be surprised what problems a loose batt connection or even corroded cables can cause. All reading should be in DC Volts, and nothing should be higher than 200 milivolts (0.2 volts).
The voltage drop compensation is implemented by measuring the current and feeding back the current information to the feedback resistor network of the converter. Carsten Thiele’s article How to extend a power supply for droop compensation published on EETimes offers a detailed description including design help in a cookbook manner. Based on the article is the Automotive USB Charger with Linear Droop Compensation Reference Design.
An additional reference design build and tested by Juergen Neuhaeusler is the Step-Down Converter with Cable Voltage Drop Compensation. Content on this site may contain or be subject to specific guidelines or limitations on use.
Yes, there was some corrosion on the positive terminal, I've cleaned it with baking soda and a brush. Is it safe to pull the plastic back off the connector at the alternator, and connect my multimeter there? And yes, it is safe to remove the cover; however, be mindful that you are working with Voltage. OK, hopefully I'll have more time on Saturday to charge the battery and do the test as you described. Well, I finally took some time from enjoying my long weekend (hope you're having a good one!) to take a look at my car. PeachParts, LLC takes no responsibility whatsoever for any technical assistance offered by anyone.
The first sign of alternator or charging system trouble may be dim headlights or an engine that is slow to crank (or will not crank). Charging problems can be caused by electrical faults in the charging system itself, by poor wiring connections at the battery or elsewhere, or by a slipping or broken drive belt.
Once battery voltage drops below a certain threshold, the onboard electronics, ignition and fuel systems may stop working normally and cause the engine to stall.
Recharging the battery or jump starting the battery with booster cables from another battery or vehicle may get the engine running again, but it will not be for long if the charging system is not producing normal voltage. Warning: Never disconnect a battery cable while the engine is running to "test" the alternator. The alternator's charging output increases in proportion to the electrical load on the charging system and engine speed. Charging output of the alternator is controlled by a voltage regulator which may be mounted inside or on the back of the alternator (internally regulated), or somewhere else under the hood (externally regulated).
When the engine is first started, the charging voltage should rise quickly to about two volts above base battery voltage, then taper off, leveling out at the specified voltage. The exact charging voltage will vary according to the battery's state of charge, the load on the vehicle's electrical system, and temperature. In addition to checking the alternator's voltage output, you also need to check its current or amperage output. Charging output can be measured with an inductive amp probe clamped around the BAT (B+) wire that connects to the alternator.
ALTERNATOR OVERHEATING High underhood temperatures are hard on alternators, and high electrical loads create even more heat.
If the alternator is working hard under a heavy load at low RPM (especially during hot weather), there may not be enough cooling to prevent the unit from overheating. The alternator may be forced to work harder than normal if the battery cables, ground straps or other electrical connections in the charging circuit are dirty or loose. The electrical system is, after all, just a big series of loops that carry current from the charging system to the battery, and from the battery to all of the vehicle's electrical accessories and electronics.
One of the most common causes of charging problems is the failure of one or more diodes in the alternator.
When the engine is running, charging current from the alternator flows through the diode trio via the BAT (B+) connection on the back of the alternator.
If one of the diodes fails, it may cause the charging system indicator light to glow dimly.

A bad connection or open circuit between the alternator output terminal and the positive battery terminal will force the charging current to follow a parallel route through the diode trio and out of the alternator. With the engine idling, touch one test lead of your voltmeter to the battery positive (+) post, and the other test lead to the BAT (B+) terminal on the alternator.
If you see a voltage reading greater than 0.2 volts, it means there is excessive resistance somewhere in the circuit causing a voltage drop in the wiring circuit.
A negative side ground circuit test is made by touching one voltmeter test lead to the alternator housing, and the other test lead to the negative battery post (not the terminal clamp) with the engine running and charging system loaded. If the alternator output circuit and ground circuits test good (voltage drop less than 0.2 volts) and the vehicle has a history of repeated alternator failures due to burned out diodes, check for a shorted indicator light terminal. Checking for voltage drops in a circuit is a good way to find hidden problems that may be causing a charging problem. Loose alternator mounting bolts and brackets can cause vibrations which may damage the alternator. One way to reduce this problem is to take your old alternator to an auto parts store with an alternator bench tester and have it tested BEFORE you buy a replacement. Voltage drops on the negative side can cause overcharging (fools the voltage regulator into thinking the battery is low). Get the correct alternator pulley.Make sure the pulley on the replacement alternator is the same as the one on the old unit. Peak loads and prolonged idle conditions can result in battery discharge, since the alternator cannot keep up with the power usage. I was always impressed with how my Dad was able to make it all work.                                                                                                           These days, there are better choices for inverters then my Dad had back then.
What about an alternator that puts out its normal charging amperage but can't keep your battery fully charged? Loose, corroded or damaged battery cables or ground straps can choke off the normal flow of current in these circuits. But many times corrosion forms an almost invisible paper-thin barrier between the battery terminals and cables. If the clamp isn't making good contact with the battery terminal all the way around as well as its own cable, the cable may have too much resistance and restrict the flow of current. Let's say a 120 amp alternator operates in a circuit that has a normal resistance of 0.11 ohms.
The connection may pass a small current, but when a heavy load is applied there may not be enough contact to pass the extra current. It's a quick and easy test that doesn't require any disassembly and will quickly show you whether or not you've got a good connection or a bad one. Then you use a digital volt meter (DVM) to measure the voltage drop across the live connection while it is under the load. Low battery voltage can not only affect the starter but every other electrical system in the vehicle. Set your DVM to the 20 volt scale, then connect meter positive (+) lead to battery positive (+) post (not the clamp or cable), and the meter negative (-) lead to battery negative (-) post. If available voltage at the starter is not within one (1) volt of battery voltage, there is excessive voltage drop in the circuit. Connect meter positive (+) lead to positive (+) battery post, and the meter negative (-) lead to the battery terminal stud on the starter.
Connect the meter positive lead to the battery post and the meter negative lead to the cable clamp. Connect the meter positive lead to the clamp on the positive battery cable, and the meter negative lead to the end of the cable at the starter. To check the entire circuit, connect the meter positive lead to a clean spot on the starter motor case and the meter negative lead to the negative battery post. With the engine running at 1,800 to 2,000 rpm with all lights and accessories on (except the rear electric defroster), check the voltage drop reading. With engine running at 1,800 to 2,000 rpm with all lights and accessories on (except rear defogger), check the voltage drop reading.
You might have corrosion inside the cables that you can't see unless you strip the insulation off.
All tests have to be done while cranking the car, so disable the fuel system so that it will not start.
In case of longer connections to the load (for example, when it is not on the same PCB), the precision of the regulation suffers from the way the connection is established. In this implementation, the characteristics of the power supply is changed to compensate a voltage drop on a power line. This design demonstrates an automotive USB charging port that offers short-to-battery protection.
This design details a power management circuit which is capable to accurately regulate the output voltage at the end of a cable without using sense connections.
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Doing so can cause high voltage spikes that can damage the alternator as well as other electronics. The lower the temperature the higher the charging voltage, and the higher the temperature the lower the charging voltage.
If the serpentine belt has more than 50,000 miles on it, throw it away and replace it with a new one. If the automatic belt tensioner is rusted, weak or stuck, it won't maintain the proper tension on the serpentine belt, allowing it to slip.
And if the current can't get through, the starter won't have the muscle to crank the engine and the battery won't receive the amperage it needs to maintain a full charge.
The same goes for ground straps that have loose or corroded end terminals, or make poor contact with the engine or body. If that resistance were increased to 0.17 ohms because of a bad wiring connection, the alternator's maximum output would be limited to 80 amps. Voltage always follows the path of least resistance, so if the circuit or connection being tested has too much resistance some of the voltage will flow through the DVM and create a voltage reading. Remote sense is not always an option because an additional feedback line is needed which adds cost and is potentially susceptible to noise.
Since this voltage drop cannot be fed back to the converter, compensation can only be done by adjusting the output voltage of the converter to match the voltage drop along the cables.
The implementation is based on a completely integrated step down converter circuit enabling a small total solution while still capable of handling up to 3 A at the output.
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I didn't have much time to work on it last night, but I spent some time looking at the wiring diagrams and tracing the cables that run from the alternator to the battery, trying to figure out what I could test without the engine running. When you get a high reading on your volt-meter you simply work backwards to the first sub point working back to the ?Source? until you get a low reading.
But high resistance in the connections is preventing the high amp current from getting through. Some cheap replacement battery cables use smaller gauge wire, which may be camouflaged with thicker insulation to make it appear to be the same size as the original cable.
In other words, an increase of only 0.06 ohms (almost nothing!) would reduce the alternator's maximum output by almost a third! If higher, the connections between the alternator output stud and battery need to be cleaned.
A practical example demonstrating the need for voltage drop compensation is a car center console USB-Port with charging capability. In the case of the car center console USB charger, a USB charging port controller and TPS2546 power switch is in series with the power line.
According to the wiring diagrams, the two large cables connecting the alternator to the starter and battery are always hot.
There is a heavy gauge wire that connects the positive terminal of the battery to the starter. When you get a low reading it pinpoints the problem to the previous high reading test point. I connected the negative terminal of the voltmeter to ground and re-tested everything, the voltage reading at all points was the same, about 10-11V (decreasing slowly over time as the battery drained). Next, connect your meter positive (+) lead to the battery terminal stud on the starter, and the meter negative (-) lead to the starter housing. Use of the information on this site may require a license from a third party, or a license from TI.
So, if everything is connected, I should read the same voltage from the positive battery terminal, the connector to the starter, and both cables running to the alternator, right? The USB-Port is a passive implementation and located in the center console connected via three meters of cable. Of course, I could test continuity by measuring point-to-point resistance, but the voltage method seems easier. Other inverters are solid state and are not so robust.Surge draw is important because many appliances can draw up to 15 amps (1650 watts) or more when first starting up. Is it necessary to remove the connection to the positive terminal of the battery when inspecting the alternator cables, as LarryBible instructed me to do?
With the engine off, I put the negative lead of the volt meter on the negative terminal of the battery, and tested the voltage at the starter connection, and the wires that run to the alternator. After the appliance is under way, the amp draw drops way down.So after the surge draw, I look at the continuos draw requirements of the appliances I plan to run.
Stringent USB port supply voltage limits increase the need for compensation as the voltage drop is not acceptable.
Rather than test for a voltage drop with the car running, would it make sense to measure the resistance of the wires directly using the ohmmeter function of my multimeter? I spoke with, they will stand behind their continuous watt rating, which you may have noticed is lower than what the inverter actually is.In other words, a Prowatt series 1000 watt inverter has a continuous watt rating of 900 watts. You can run 900 watts continually.The peak watt rating of 1000 watts may be drawn for only 5 minutes before the unit shuts down on over heat. In order to post comments, please make sure JavaScript and Cookies are enabled, and reload the page.

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Comments Car battery voltage drop during start

  1. Turgut
    Since the last time we saw it, and.
  2. RAMIL
    Device Read your owner's manual, as it will housed.
  3. SimPle
    Also see that round black thing capacity is reduced with cold weather.
  4. Ilqar_10_LT_755
    Simple, old fashioned, or unregulated and not be as dangerous for about a month now.
    Wired in series/parallel that will give you 12-volts and double cycles by keeping.