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Old 08-28-2012, 06:35 PM   #1
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Battery Replacement Question for the Masses

Good evening all,

I searched the forum to figure out if my dead TJ was a battery problem or a battery + alternator problem and I believe it was just the battery. But if the Wrangler Gods could give me a little confidence in my simple-minded diagnosis I would be grateful.

The battery was 5 years old (to the month) which was my first tell-tale sign that it must just be the battery -- not bad huh? But without having the proper equipment to do a legitimate electrical diagnostic, I am at the mercy of my feeble voltage gauge on my instrument cluster telling me if my alternator is putting out. The old battery wouldn't budge the needle off of the 9V reading telling me the old battery was dead. I installed the new battery, and voila, she cranks right up, and the volt meter (again the one on the instrument cluster) gives me a reading JUST below 14 -- which I believe is the amount of juice I need my alternator to give out so my battery has another long fruitful life. See attached photo.

My question is: Would any of you feel the need to get a full battery/charging/starter-type diagnostic test just to be sure the alternator won't starve my new battery?

Perhaps there is a simple way for me to determine this without any electrical equipment?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 08-28-2012, 06:40 PM   #2
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I'm no God, but it seems like you fixed it to me. I'd clean your battery terminals at the same time, both the inside of your connector and the new battery posts.

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Old 08-28-2012, 06:49 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by wtbiv73 View Post
I'm no God, but it seems like you fixed it to me. I'd clean your battery terminals at the same time, both the inside of your connector and the new battery posts.

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Old 08-28-2012, 07:28 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by digio12
Good evening all,

I searched the forum to figure out if my dead TJ was a battery problem or a battery + alternator problem and I believe it was just the battery. But if the Wrangler Gods could give me a little confidence in my simple-minded diagnosis I would be grateful.

The battery was 5 years old (to the month) which was my first tell-tale sign that it must just be the battery -- not bad huh? But without having the proper equipment to do a legitimate electrical diagnostic, I am at the mercy of my feeble voltage gauge on my instrument cluster telling me if my alternator is putting out. The old battery wouldn't budge the needle off of the 9V reading telling me the old battery was dead. I installed the new battery, and voila, she cranks right up, and the volt meter (again the one on the instrument cluster) gives me a reading JUST below 14 -- which I believe is the amount of juice I need my alternator to give out so my battery has another long fruitful life. See attached photo.

My question is: Would any of you feel the need to get a full battery/charging/starter-type diagnostic test just to be sure the alternator won't starve my new battery?

Perhaps there is a simple way for me to determine this without any electrical equipment?

Thanks in advance.
A simple volt meter would work to check the stock gauge is reading right.
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Old 08-28-2012, 07:45 PM   #5
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If your voltmeter went from 9v to 14v I'd say your alternator is fine.
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Old 08-28-2012, 07:48 PM   #6
Knows a couple things...

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That voltage indication seems fine to me. And with a fully charged battery, the alternator only has to put out just over 13 volts to keep the battery charged.
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Old 08-28-2012, 09:11 PM   #7
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It's not precise, but if in the future you need to see if your alternator is putting out, just run the engine and point the headlights at a light colored wall at night. Then shut the motor off. If the headlights get noticibly dimmer, the charging system is putting out.
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Old 09-01-2012, 05:56 PM   #8
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Thanks to all. Everything is working great!
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Old 09-01-2012, 09:33 PM   #9
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I would say you solved your issue. If you are concerned stop at your local parts store and get them to check the charging system. It is usually free and will give you a print out showing all of the readings. If anything throws a flag have it checked further.

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