My 2000 wrangler is burning up alternators like a chain smoker!? - Jeep Wrangler Forum

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Old 06-27-2011, 12:02 PM   #1
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My 2000 wrangler is burning up alternators like a chain smoker!?

Hi, I have a 2000 with a straight 6, 4.0. I have replaced the alternator 4 times in the last 6 months, each time it runs great for a month then the check gauges light comes on and the voltmeter shows an overcharge, its at 19 in the red. Each time I go back to napa and get another, I've done so many now that I can replace an alternator in 5 minutes in the parking lot uggghhh! So since alternator 3 I've beginning to realize that something else is going on, maybe a ground problem, a pcm/epm problem or maybe these rebuilt alternators are too small/not enough voltage (the original chrysler alternator was way bigger in size than all the rebuilds I've been getting). Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated, Thanks for reading
-francine

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Old 06-27-2011, 12:30 PM   #2
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I've never experienced anything like this, but I would start with a grounding issue. Next, maybe the tensioner is not working properly. Then maybe you have more of a load on the alternator than it is designed for. Depends on what kind of aftermarket stuff you have.

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Old 06-27-2011, 01:56 PM   #3
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Thanks for burning up alternator info

Thanks for the info! Tension seems good, I put in a new serpentine belt when I put in alternator #2 and it seems nice and snug. And my jeep is stock so I don't have any aftermarkets that require more load, I was just thinking that these rebuilds might be too weak in general. I guess I'll get into grounding I don't have much experience checking grounds but I guess I'm about to learn
Thank you again
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Old 06-27-2011, 03:59 PM   #4
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Had this happen about 15 years ago with NAPA starters in a Mazda pu. Daughter was 400+ miles away, in college. and starter went out. Had her take it to a shop recommended by a friend. They replaced starter and sent the bill to me. Within a week it went out, and was the first of 5 or 6 before we got a good one that was still in the pu when it was traded 3 - 4 years later. We were not charged anything after the first starter. My understanding was it was just luck of the draw with rebuilds. I'm guess'n it could very well be the same with the altenators.
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Old 06-27-2011, 04:28 PM   #5
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A friend had some trouble with high voltage and after he replaced the battery everything was fine. He didnt replace the alternator but the gauges constently came up to high voltage. Might be worth looking at. Sorry i just have a hint no sure answer.
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Old 06-27-2011, 06:59 PM   #6
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Your 00 I believe has the voltage regulator as part of the ECM.

Also are you sure you are getting the correct alternator?
Standard was 87 amps, optional is 117 amps. Could be they are selling you the smaller amp unit when your jeep is supposed to have the larger one.

Maybe also why the new ones look smaller then the original.
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Old 06-27-2011, 07:12 PM   #7
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You're buying "lifetime" warranty rebuilt replacement alternators from your local auto parts store? Are they any chance rebuilt by Cardone? If they are Cardone, that's the problem... those are junk. Generally speaking, such alternators are little more than junk. Personally, there are some parts I'll only go with OE quality on... starters, water pumps, sensors, and alternators.
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Old 06-28-2011, 01:02 PM   #8
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Thanks for your advice, yea I think I've just had some bad luck with these rebuilds, next time I'm getting the original equipped alternator, its just so hard to find! Thanks again
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Old 06-28-2011, 02:19 PM   #9
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Thanks to everyone for their help and suggestions!

My jeep started right up yesterday as if nothing was wrong! Can you beleive it!? No check gauges light or anything! So I made the trip down napa, to have her alternator tested (the one i just put in 3 weeks ago in the parking lot) It tested fine arrrr!!! So after studying my hayes book, I saw that even one bad cell in a battery can cause the alt to overcharge (thanks also to TJ-Q8 for the battery advice) so I tested the batt and it was all over the place, first fine at 12 volts then 4 volts then 10 volts then nothing. So I bought a new battery and connectors (mine were falling apart) put everything on in the parking lot again and drove home up to donner summit, it seems steady so far but I'm still a bit weary. I don't seem to have a grounding problem, I checked my napa rebuilt alternator and its 117 amps which fits my wrangler (thanks shelby427) , I have a new battery and new shiny post connectors, and all seems well but I'm still thinking about this ECM/PCM issue if my volt meter reads 19 again I think that it'll be the problem. The voltage regulator is built into the ECM right? Does any one know if or how I can test the ECM/PCM? Thanks again to everybody!
~francine, the girl who works on her jeep in the napa parking lot
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Old 06-28-2011, 02:40 PM   #10
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Yes the voltage regulator is built into the ecm. And so far as I know, napa's rebuilt alternators are all made for them by Cardone.
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Old 06-28-2011, 03:19 PM   #11
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(Thanks Jerry) Damn well it sounds like the cardone alts aren't too great! If I have to get another alternator I will definitely get a mopar and I'll never get a small rebuild again! They're just real hard to find, they were only made for the 2000 wrangler, and no other year or make so its almost impossible to track down. When my first alternator went I really tried hard to get a OE part. I checked every parts store and dealership from reno to sacramento to san francisco. There were no new OE alts and only 1 mopar rebuild that would take over a week to ship. But I'd so rather deal with that again than an ECM issue. But who knows maybe the new battery and connectors will work Either that or I'll fry my new battery and alternator and end up stranded somewhere
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Old 11-10-2011, 01:25 PM   #12
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Alternator Replacement?

Can jumping a battery, burn up the voltage regulator? I am having to replace the Alternator in my Daughters 2000 Wrangler, was told I should'nt try to jump it , because it was bad on the VR in the ECM. She says it was making a squeling noise from the engine, prior to not starting.
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Old 11-14-2011, 01:33 PM   #13
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Alternator replacement

My experience with replacing the alternator in my 2000 wrangler was, learn to start with the simple things first. Jumping the battery on occasion is not bad for the voltage regulator and the pcm or ecm is pretty solid, thats what I've heard from most folks and read for myself. But if you need to jump start the battery after replacing the alternator and if this is a continuous problem, I say just get a NEW battery. If the alternator was having trouble on and off then it wore down your battery, you could recharge it but still have a bad cell, battery test may say its fine, but if you continue having problems, just start simple and get a new battery. I finally did after replacing my alternator 3+ times, i had just randomly read in the haynes book that one bad cell in a battery can cause an alternator to overcharge. I kept putting in alternators the whole time thinking my battery was fine, I thought it could be an electrical system problem or a faulty ecm, but eventually I went back the basics...new battery, new terminals. And since then no more charging issues or jump starts...knock on wood Hope this helps
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Old 11-14-2011, 04:42 PM   #14
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I also had bad batteries eat my lunch. Three alternators on a Volvo and I finally wised up and had the battery load checked. Shorted cell. Fast way to kill an alternator. The alternator will run wide open and cook it self and blow diodes.
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Old 11-14-2011, 07:15 PM   #15
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I went through 4 alternators from a pep boys before I got a good rebuilt one. it was in my old chevy but similar concept. good luck
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Old 11-14-2011, 07:32 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2000WranglerEDD View Post
Can jumping a battery burn up the voltage regulator?
No, so long as you get the polarity correct on the jumper cables.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TJ_pheonix View Post
I went through 4 alternators from a pep boys before I got a good rebuilt one. it was in my old chevy but similar concept. good luck
For things like alternators, starter motors, and water pumps, I try to only use OE because too many of the cheap "rebuilt" units are junk. A particularly bad brand is, in my personal opinion, Cardone.
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Old 05-29-2013, 01:38 PM   #17
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Over a year and a half have gone by and no charging issues! After putting in the new battery and terminals she ran like a champ this whole time. No more alternators! Case closed...for now
My advice again, start simple...bad alternators wear down batteries...depending on how long you drove around with an "on it's way out alternator", when you put a new shiny alternator in just put in a new battery too... because bad battery cells wear down alternators.

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