I was driving yesterday and all of a sudden my volt meter dropped to 9 .
.... When I got home I checked the voltage at the battery with and without the engine running and it was about 12 (not good). Upon checking this morning I found that the wire to the battery was completely off the bolt. The bolt had corroded off at the nut and was just hanging there.
Here is my question: the bolt coming from the alternator was too short to put back on the protective cover (pic below) so I did not put it on. Is that OK or not? How long can I run like this? I am guessing "not" or else they would not have one there in the first place. Once all connected back up the voltage with the engine running is about 14 as it should be. Anything I can do about besides a new alternator?
Thanks for any advice you can give......