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Old 09-13-2017, 05:50 PM
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Default Charging system acting up

On my '13 Outlander Sport the charging system has started cutting in and out.
It seems random, but almost always will be charging at 14 volts when started and a few minutes later drop to 12.5 volts battery voltage.
Sometimes it will stay there and other times it will go back to 14v when the car is stopped, then drop the 12.5v as soon as the car is accelerated.

I checked for loose connections and the battery is new.

In the old days this would certainly be the voltage regulator, but with this car I don't know if there is some other interaction going on with the computer ECU.

Thanks.
Alan

Last edited by firepower; 09-19-2017 at 07:46 AM.
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Old 09-18-2017, 12:43 PM
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Default Charging

Are there other symptoms? You don't mention why you started monitoring the voltage output? Did the dummy light come on? Are you operating in an extremely hot climate?
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Old 09-19-2017, 07:46 AM
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After taking the car to the dealer for a electrical diagnostic I learned something new. I had always judged charging systems by measuring the voltage, looking for between 13.5 to 14 volts steady depending upon temperature.
When I saw long periods of 12.5 volts I thought that was a problem.
Apparently the 13.5 volt minimum isn't always the case now days. My Outlander Sport varies the voltage from 14 to 12.5 according to the dealer tech and testing. They say everything tests good and is normal.

So I now have a new normal to learn.
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Old 09-19-2017, 11:10 AM
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Default Yup

That's why I was asking those other questions. The ECM will use pulse width modulation to energize the coil/stator and decrease the output when the load is not necessary as it reduces heat and wear on the alternator. Or in cases of extreme load if the alternator is getting too much work, the ECM will rely on the B+ more and recharge it when demand drops. Or at least that's how it was explained to us in a class I took (never seen it happen in real life, but I don't have that fancy a scanner). Cheers
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