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> Alternator Issue?
Trolddk30097
post Feb 3 2013, 10:27 AM
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I have a 1997 Volvo 850 2.4L with 120,000 miles on it. After fully charging the battery, it takes about two weeks and the battery is drained or very low even when driving the car. Took the car to Autozone and they checked the battery (good) but said the alternator was only producing 13.07V and 12.7 with load.

Is this definitely a bad alternator and if so, how much would approximately be to replace it? Also, would a re-built alternator be OK to save money?

No other issues with the car as long as I charge the battery every two weeks.

Any suggestions/input would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
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grendel1960
post Feb 3 2013, 01:57 PM
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mine went the other year when I was away on holiday - £500 at a volvo dealership with volvo parts, I would guess you could probably get your existing unit reconditioned a lot cheaper, or a replacement unit at a reasonable price. the funniest bit was they told me afterwards that someone had pulled all the fuses ... how else did they think I made it the 20 odd miles with no alternator, headlight fuses out, radio fuses, anything not essential had the fuse out to reduce the drain on the battery. plus I did tell the repairs dept receptionist when I got there.
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grendel1960
post Feb 3 2013, 01:58 PM
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ps its probably the brushes or diode pack thats not up to scratch..
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SeaMike
post Feb 3 2013, 02:01 PM
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QUOTE (Trolddk30097 @ Feb 3 2013, 09:27 AM)
I have a 1997 Volvo 850 2.4L with 120,000 miles on it. After fully charging the battery, it takes about two weeks and the battery is drained or very low even when driving the car. Took the car to Autozone and they checked the battery (good) but said the alternator was only producing 13.07V and 12.7 with load.

Is this definitely a bad alternator and if so, how much would approximately be to replace it? Also, would a re-built alternator be OK to save money?

No other issues with the car as long as I charge the battery every two weeks.

Any suggestions/input would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks


What type of driving do you do? Short drives with a lot of stops? Or long steady drive with fewer stops?

Who's battery is in the car now?

Also, check all the strap that ground the battery to the chassis (grey strap from head to body) also the main ground strap.
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Trolddk30097
post Feb 3 2013, 02:10 PM
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Thank you - not being a car guy.....with the readings and you saying it is the brushes or diode pack....is the remedy to replace the alternator?

Yes, definitely small, frequent trips. However, I took it yesterday for 2*20 mile drives and check the battery right after - very low.

Thanks again to everybody.

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SeaMike
post Feb 3 2013, 03:27 PM
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QUOTE (Trolddk30097 @ Feb 3 2013, 01:10 PM)
Thank you - not being a car guy.....with the readings and you saying it is the brushes or diode pack....is the remedy to replace the alternator?

Yes, definitely small, frequent trips. However, I took it yesterday for 2*20 mile drives and check the battery right after - very low.

Thanks again to everybody.


How old is the battery?

Is it the type of battery that water can be added to? (Does it have removable caps on top?) If so, you should be able to remove them and look in each cell. If the cell is low you can refill it with DISTILLED WATER ONLY..... then close it up.

Do you run the headlight in the daytime?

Since I am not sure of your age or personal things that we all do.

Does the car have a BIG stereo system?

When you charge the battery, do you do it on a fast charge or a trickle charge?
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Trolddk30097
post Feb 3 2013, 03:31 PM
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QUOTE (SeaMike @ Feb 3 2013, 03:27 PM)
How old is the battery?

The battery is 15 months old but we put the new battery in because we were having this problem. Therefore, I think the battery is still good.

Is it the type of battery that water can be added to? (Does it have removable caps on top?) If so, you should be able to remove them and look in each cell. If the cell is low you can refill it with DISTILLED WATER ONLY..... then close it up.

You cannot add water to it. This is a standard 750 battery from Advance Auto Parts - told it is fine and was $100.
Do you run the headlight in the daytime?

Do not other than the car has automatic lights on.

Since I am not sure of your age or personal things that we all do.

Does the car have a BIG stereo system?

No, the original - with a casette.....

When you charge the battery, do you do it on a fast charge or a trickle charge?

I use 12V/6A on a charger that I bought at Advance Auto Parts.

Thanks!

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SeaMike
post Feb 3 2013, 04:21 PM
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The reason I ask about trickle charger is.

If a battery is charged fast, it causes the battery to swell and this basically burns up the battery to soon.

Did you pull the codes on the car? It may not help, but it also can point out problems that may be leading to this problem.

Remember, not all things throw codes, so just because the check engine light does not come on does not mean nothing is wrong.

You know, you can turn off the "automatic lights" if I am correct.

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Trolddk30097
post Feb 3 2013, 04:24 PM
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QUOTE (SeaMike @ Feb 3 2013, 04:21 PM)
The reason I ask about trickle charger is.

If a battery is charged fast, it causes the battery to swell and this basically burns up the battery to soon.

Did you pull the codes on the car? It may not help, but it also can point out problems that may be leading to this problem.

Remember, not all things throw codes, so just because the check engine light does not come on does not mean nothing is wrong.

You know, you can turn off the "automatic lights" if I am correct.



No codes. I guess I will have to have a Volvo mechanic check it out. Any idea how much it is to replace alternator?
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SeaMike
post Feb 3 2013, 05:31 PM
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QUOTE (Trolddk30097 @ Feb 3 2013, 03:24 PM)
No codes. I guess I will have to have a Volvo mechanic check it out. Any idea how much it is to replace alternator?


Well, if you go to a dealer, they will want to verify that the alternator is the issue. I bet they charge at least $100.00 per hour, if you live in a large town.

Do you want to shut off the automatic headlight?

That is a rare thing to have.

Do you know what model of engine you have? Do you want to find out what engine it is?

Is it a turbo or not?

If you want you can call me, let me know and I will send you my # in a private message.
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Trolddk30097
post Feb 3 2013, 05:37 PM
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QUOTE (SeaMike @ Feb 3 2013, 05:31 PM)
Well, if you go to a dealer, they will want to verify that the alternator is the issue. I bet they charge at least $100.00 per hour, if you live in a large town.

Do you want to shut off the automatic headlight?

That is a rare thing to have.

Do you know what model of engine you have? Do you want to find out what engine it is?

Is it a turbo or not?

If you want you can call me, let me know and I will send you my # in a private message.


I really appreciate the help - the lights are not really an issue so I am just going to leave them the way they are. No, it is not a turbo but standard 2.4L engine.

I will take it to a local Volvo place (not a dealer) - I am somewhat stuck on the fact that it is the alternator but they can check that. It just seems that is is not charging the battery adequately otherwise driving 40 miles should have done it.

Thanks again

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SeaMike
post Feb 3 2013, 05:50 PM
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QUOTE (Trolddk30097 @ Feb 3 2013, 04:37 PM)
I really appreciate the help - the lights are not really an issue so I am just going to leave them the way they are. No, it is not a turbo but standard 2.4L engine.

I will take it to a local Volvo place (not a dealer) - I am somewhat stuck on the fact that it is the alternator but they can check that. It just seems that is is not charging the battery adequately otherwise driving 40 miles should have done it.

Thanks again


The easy way to turn off the light from coming on every time (daylight running light)
Look at the light switch, look close to the right lower corner
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SeaMike
post Feb 3 2013, 05:52 PM
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QUOTE (Trolddk30097 @ Feb 3 2013, 04:37 PM)
I really appreciate the help - the lights are not really an issue so I am just going to leave them the way they are. No, it is not a turbo but standard 2.4L engine.

I will take it to a local Volvo place (not a dealer) - I am somewhat stuck on the fact that it is the alternator but they can check that. It just seems that is is not charging the battery adequately otherwise driving 40 miles should have done it.

Thanks again


If you plan on keeping the car, yes have it checked out.

How long have you had the car?
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Trolddk30097
post Feb 3 2013, 07:23 PM
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QUOTE (SeaMike @ Feb 3 2013, 05:52 PM)
If you plan on keeping the car, yes have it checked out.

How long have you had the car?


Well, it has been in the family for a long time but I have only had it for 20 months. We will have it checked out - thanks for the tip on the lights - I had no idea you could do that.

Thanks.
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SeaMike
post Feb 3 2013, 09:17 PM
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QUOTE (Trolddk30097 @ Feb 3 2013, 06:23 PM)
Well, it has been in the family for a long time but I have only had it for 20 months. We will have it checked out - thanks for the tip on the lights - I had no idea you could do that.

Thanks.



Also, find out when the Oil Trap and Flame Trap were serviced last. The easy way to see if the Oil Trap is clogged is to do this: With the engine running at normal temp (3 o'clock) on the temp gauge, raise the hood up... leave the engine running, and pull up the oil dipstick tube about 1 inch. If you see smoke or steam coming from it, that means either the Oil Trap or Flame Trap is becoming restricted.


Do you know when or if the timing belt was changed? It should have been done around 70,000 miles, which means it will be coming up again soon.
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pauloil
post Feb 4 2013, 09:26 PM
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the first thing you should is voltage drop the cables. I went through two alts on my 850 before figuring out the starter cable was shot. voltage drop is done at 2000rpm with lights on, fan on high, and rear defrost on. then use DVM to measure across each end of the starter cable. if the meter measure more than 0.2V, the cable is going bad. you can test the grounds the same way, only for this, measure batt. voltage first. then hook up good jumper cable from motor to the neg. post on batt. again, if the voltage drop is more than 0.2V. ipdusa sells a nice replacement cable. I have one here for my V70, but have not put it on yet because I still get 13.8 V at the batt. with motor on.

http://www.aa1car.com/library/voltage_drop_testing.htm
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