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Old 06-02-2013, 02:54 PM   #1
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Check gauges light turns on, battery goes to zero

had this exact same issue about a year ago.

went through all the trouble of pulling the alternator, getting it tested and it was fine. again. put it back together and no issue yesterday. today i get the check gauges and the volt meter is at zero. again, no charge at the battery.

any ideas to check. i checked all the connections and grounds and re-cleaned them all.

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Old 06-02-2013, 07:40 PM   #2
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no ideas? i may try changing the alternator tomorrow. i have read that the tests aren't 100% accurate.

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Old 06-02-2013, 08:42 PM   #3
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You may have a connection problem at the battery. Or possibly the alternator connections. How they work is they take a signal or draw from the battery, when it gets below 9.2 volts the alternator "kicks in" and builds the charge back up. But if that signal is not received, for instance if a break in the wire, it will not bring that charge back to proper operating range. Same thing happens when people try to run dual batteries without upgrading the alternator wiring
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Old 06-02-2013, 08:57 PM   #4
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Why don't you try cleaning out the connection between the instrument cluster an the main harness. It is a known problem and can effect all or some of the gauges. Just a thought but better than buying a new alternator on a whim. There are a few posts on the procedure here but it isn't too hard. Remove the cluster, clean connections and use some dielectric grease on them and the install. Hope this helps and it is your problem and you don't need to spend money on a alternator.
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Old 06-03-2013, 06:03 AM   #5
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Why don't you try cleaning out the connection between the instrument cluster an the main harness. It is a known problem and can effect all or some of the gauges. Just a thought but better than buying a new alternator on a whim. There are a few posts on the procedure here but it isn't too hard. Remove the cluster, clean connections and use some dielectric grease on them and the install. Hope this helps and it is your problem and you don't need to spend money on a alternator.
would this affect the alternator to charge the battery? I am getting no charge at the battery, 12v running or not. the check gauges light just turned on for a sec, but when I restarted the car it was showing 11v or so.
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Old 06-03-2013, 06:52 AM   #6
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If you have cleaned/tightened the battery terminals and you stated the alternator is fine, I would have your battery load tested at autozone. If it checks out ok, I would then clean the dash cluster connections as 00TJ2 have stated. Have you tried pushing on the dash to see if it affects the gauges?
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Old 06-03-2013, 10:52 AM   #7
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Have you tried pushing on the dash to see if it affects the gauges?
no I will try that after work. I will also get the battery load tested after work.

I am not getting 14v at the battery with the car running checked with a multimeter. the dash light controls the alternator output? the "check gauges" light is no longer on
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Old 06-03-2013, 12:43 PM   #8
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Autozone will check both alternator and battery for free. I'm leaning towards a weak battery vs. the dash cluster connections because the dash cluster gauge issues usually involve multiple guages(no speedo, no voltage,no oil pressure, etc..). You may also double check the battery temp sensor under the battery to make sure the connections are tight/clean. That sensor does communicate with the ECM.
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Old 06-03-2013, 05:22 PM   #9
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went to advance and had the battery tested. battery tested fine, just low on volts which would make sense since i drove it there with no alt charging it. they told me alt wasn't charging anything, which i already knew.
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Old 06-03-2013, 06:40 PM   #10
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HAve you tried checking for 12V at the alternator terminals? From the FSM, there is also a fusible link in line with a black/grey wire from the alternator. I would follow that wire to find the fusible link.
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Old 06-03-2013, 08:10 PM   #11
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HAve you tried checking for 12V at the alternator terminals? From the FSM, there is also a fusible link in line with a black/grey wire from the alternator. I would follow that wire to find the fusible link.
i will look for that fusible link tomorrow, thanks for the tip. BTW, what am i looking for with a fusible link? and is it the large grey/black wire coming off of the ground on the alt, or the power plug?

i went through every ground again, and also checked every connection to the alt and battery, and also checked the connection to the battery heat sensor, and added dialectic grease to every connection. still no luck.

going to replace the alt tomorrow to eliminate that possibility after i check for the fusible link. heck, that will only take an hour, took me three to go through and clean all the other connections this afternoon.
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Old 06-03-2013, 08:45 PM   #12
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Pull on the wire with the fuseable link. If it stretches its popped.
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Old 06-04-2013, 07:13 AM   #13
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i will look for that fusible link tomorrow, thanks for the tip. BTW, what am i looking for with a fusible link? and is it the large grey/black wire coming off of the ground on the alt, or the power plug?

i went through every ground again, and also checked every connection to the alt and battery, and also checked the connection to the battery heat sensor, and added dialectic grease to every connection. still no luck.

going to replace the alt tomorrow to eliminate that possibility after i check for the fusible link. heck, that will only take an hour, took me three to go through and clean all the other connections this afternoon.
It's showing coming from the alternator and you can check the continuity with a multitester .
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Old 06-04-2013, 06:02 PM   #14
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Sorry, I did t see the no charge at the battery part. I thought you might of been getting a false gauge reading at the dash. It can happen when the gauge cluster connection becomes corroded but that will def not cause a no charging reading at the battery.
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Old 06-04-2013, 06:04 PM   #15
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Also, have you started the jeep and disconnected the battery?? If it keeps runnin then you know the alt is good an its somewhere between it and/or the battery.
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Old 06-05-2013, 05:41 PM   #16
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should have just gone with my initial instinct. replaced the alt and its back to charging. i will get it checked again when i return the core to see if it still tests good.
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Old 06-05-2013, 06:04 PM   #17
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Glad to hear that you got to the bottom of it.
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Old 06-06-2013, 10:33 AM   #18
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Glad to hear that you got to the bottom of it.
me too. thanks for the help
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Old 06-09-2013, 12:47 PM   #19
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alt was tested when i returned it for the core and it tested bad.

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