How to check a generator car

I am trying to figure out the best way to verify if my system is charging the battery? I am sure it is something simple, but I am not sure how to do that. Can someone kindly reply with the steps to rule out a bad generator? Joined: Jun The proper way is to check it with a volt meter at the battery with the vehicle running. If you don't have one you can disconnect the negative battery terminal while the truck is running, if it dies you are not charging, if it stays running you are. Do not disconnect the positive, more potential for unwanted sparks. Joined: Feb Dellrose, TN. First, momentarily attach a jumper wire from the BAT terminal of the regulator to the ARM terminal, for no more than a second or two.

This "polarizes" the generator, establishing "residual magnetism" in it. If this voltage is not present after polarizing, don't bother with any other tests- - - - -you've got a bad generator. If the residual voltage is there, reconnect the wiring, and run the engine with a jumper wire connected between the FLD terminal of the generator and ground. The voltage at the ARM terminal should increase rapidly as you rev up the engine.

How to Check Your Starting and Charging System

Do not allow it to go above 8 volts or so. If it will do that, you've got a generator that's capable of charging the battery.

No, this is not a petrol generator charging an electric car

If it's not charging, the trouble is in the regulator or the wiring. Do the same series of tests- - - -ground the Field wire and measure voltage at the ARM wire of the regulator to check the condition of the wiring.


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  • Top Nine Reasons Generators Fail to Start;

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How to Build a Hand Operated Electric Generator

PLEASE don't disconnect battery terminals with the engine running- - - - -you can do major damage to anything that's voltage-sensitive when the generator voltage spikes to 50 volts or more momentarily. I've seen that on an oscilloscope dozens of times. Hotrod is correct according to the books. You will not get any output from the field terminal, ever, it is for putting power INTO the fields.

Try this. There should be enough residual magnatism in the iron pole shoes to start the generating process. Connect the battery and field posts together. Connect your volt meter between the battery terminal which is now also connected to the field terminal and the case of the generator ground. Now you can spin the generator with your drill or some other method, after it spins up and stabilizes for a short time you should see full voltage output on your meter.

Technical notes of interest to Marine Engineers

Make sure you spin it in the right direction. When doing this you have to remember that you have no regulator in this simple circuit so you don't want to do this for very long. The faster you spin it, the more power it will make. The more power it makes, and feeds back into the field circuit, the more power it will make, etc.

But a quick, short, spin will tell you if it works. Tying A to F will only short out the field coils entirely. Thanks rrhawg for waking me up. Everything as I explained above except tie the field terminal together with the ground for your 2-brush unit. Like I said, don't run it very long like this without a regulator in the circuit.

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Remote Start Generator

That I'll try next to check my generator. I think I lose my mind with this 12V generator problem, dammit! Lets go step by step: - I made a wire connections without voltage requlator as in picture below. If the reading is less than 6 volts, you need to get it checked out quickly because the generator won't be able to charge your battery. This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information.

To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Runs, contact us. Step 1 Access your car's battery.

How Does a Generator Create Electricity? How Generators Work

Step 2 Turn on your car's engine so the 6-volt generator operates. Step 3 Turn the dial on your multimeter to measure voltage. Step 4 Place the metal rods on the ends of the two wires from the meter on the battery terminals. Items you will need Multimeter Helper. About the Author This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. Photo Credits multimeter image by dinostock from Fotolia.