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Hi board,

I'm back again with another question regarding alternators. I have a 2001 Rav4L AWD. I just recently changed my battery because it occassionally died on me. Strangely enough, the color sign on the old battery was blue, indicating that it's still good. Anyway, when he was testing the battery and alternator, the alternator would not go higher than 13.91 after speeding up the rpms. From what I read on the net, it should read 14.3. So, I'm thinking of going to Autozone to get that checked again, but gut instinct says that my alternator is what's killing my battery. Is anyone else here getting the same 13.91 reading from their alternator? The only add ons I have are the fog lights on my grill guard and the powerlock security system. I can't think of anything else. I do have an extended warranty, but it's going to expire by next year, so I don't have much time to get this fixed.

Thanks for your advice in advance.

Ann
 

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No, it's probably just an old battery that was due for replacement anyway (5 years wasn't bad). I don't know about the precise details of alternators but the difference between 13.9 and 14.3 volts shouldn't be worth worrying about. Afterall, it's as near as damn is to swearing as being 14 volts which is what it should be and, more importantly, more than 12 volts which is required ro run your Rav while charging the battery. I would not look too hard for problems here. You'll probably be sweet as candy from now on.

Alternators should produce ~13+ volts when running. You electrical system is a 12v system so the extra energy keeps the battery charged. So if the alternator dies, you are left running on the battery and like the flashlight.... you will eventually stop. On the other hand, if your battery fails, you are stuck running on the alternator, but this will leave the battery drained, so you cannot restart the engine.

I would trust my alternator over a 'battery fine' indicator....others may disagree so comments please! And I doubt there is a short circuit in your equipment because that would normally blow a fuse.

On a final note, I hope you do not drive only very short distances with all the electrics on (heating, lights, wipers etc.). That can wear a battery down.
 
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Thanks for the info. As always, when things like this come up, I think, "Oh, oh! He's looking for another job to do." Until something else comes up, I'm leaving it alone.
 
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you said your battery occassionally dies on you, therefore you're jumpstarting the car? dunno how many times you're doing this, because that means your battery was near empty everytime ....and once started, the alternator is getting taxed by having to recharge a near empty battery each time (that's not holding a charge well).

you can buy a battery/charging system tester for $10-13 at www.harborfreight.com to test the alternator.....shops charges $12-15 to do the same thing.
 
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I bought a tester as well as a new battery some time ago and so far it's been working great. i'll have to test the battery again, but i have no issues w/ start-up anymore.

thanks.
 
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Discussion Starter #6
make sure it's one that tests the charging system/alternator
 
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