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sgm11155
sgm11155, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 587
Experience:  i have worked on all models and makes of bus cars for over 25 years
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Suzuki Sidekick 4x4: 1994 Suzuki Sidekick 4x4 1.6 TFI. Alternator

Resolved Question:

1994 Suzuki Sidekick 4x4 1.6 TFI. Alternator keeps failing. Original problem would not start. Autozone replaced battery with higher CCA, they said the alternator was good at that time. Two days later battery down to 9 volts, ran ok with only engine running, lights and wipers loaded down volts to point were tach quit working and engine barely ran. Replaced alternator with Autozone Dura last model 18420 (55 amp), charged battery to 13 volt, got 14 volt at battery with engine running, turned on lights and wipers, voltage dropped to 10. Troubleshot lighting, replaced headlamps, cig lighter, radio, dash lamps, and checked all brake and marker lamps. Could find no problem with chassis wiring to lights or in the engine compartment. In process found the alarm system had long red wire disconnected by previous owner, looks like it ran to battery through firewall, I put a on/off switch on red wire from fuse box and alarm box so I could disable alarm when parked. If not it would alarm when closing the door and I have no key baub to turn it off. Had Autozone test battery and alternator, said regulator was bad. I suspected I damaged alternator by removing the battery from the circuit while engine was running to check for 14 volts from alternator. Replaced alt with Autozone model 18420, got 14 volt and seem to hold with headlight and wiper loading system. Two days later, battery down to 10 volts. Replaced alt with Advance Auto Remi model 18420, charged battery to 12.6 volts, as soon as I started car, voltage dropped to 10 volts. Noticed pulley on front of alter extremely hot after running, two days later, battery below 8 volt, disconnected alternator while running and engine shut down. Finally dawned on me that I am not getting “Battery” or “Check Engine” lights on the dash when the voltage drops. I am suspecting the ECM is not working, but from what I understand the engine wouldn’t run if the ECM is bad or disconnected. I read on line that some “later” models use the ECM to control the alternator output, can’t find that in the 1994 manual. I think I’ve got multiple problems, the Remi Alt was bad out of the box, the ECM isn’t working right, and there might be a wiring problem I can’t find.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  sgm11155 replied 2 years ago.

sgm11155 :

hi i am shannon i will help on this issue.

sgm11155 :

yes it sounds like you may have more than one problem

sgm11155 :

and you will need to do some testing

sgm11155 :

i can help with diagrams and testing

sgm11155 :

do you have test light?

sgm11155 :

do you have a volt/ohm meter

sgm11155 :

?

sgm11155 :

you will need both to fix this problem

sgm11155 :

so just post your answer when you are ready.

sgm11155 :

i mainley work in the evenings

sgm11155 :

but will be hear tomorror am.

sgm11155 :

gone noon to 5pm

Expert:  sgm11155 replied 2 years ago.
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Expert:  sgm11155 replied 2 years ago.
just post your answers in the box below .thanks shannon
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have a volt/ohm/10amp meter.
Expert:  sgm11155 replied 2 years ago.
ok what is the battery condition now? fully charged or dead?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
fully charged
Expert:  sgm11155 replied 2 years ago.
with every thing off . keys out, doors closed, hood oped. use your amp meter. remove the negative battery terminal . measure the amperage between the negative terminal and the negative post on the battery.( do not go near the positive battery terminal) you will fry your amp meter. let me know the amp draw after 2 minuets, then 5 minuets, then 15 minuets
Expert:  sgm11155 replied 2 years ago.

you 94 should not have mush over 1.5 amps to start. and then drop to less than 0.10 amps. any thing under 0.20 amps is good. if it stays higher than 0.20 you will need to start removing fuses one at a time. whale looking at the amp meter. (remove ,look, reinstall ) one at a time. untill you see the meter fall below 0. 20amps

this will identified the bad circuit thats drawing the battery dead. over night.

 

but first remove the red or big wire from the back of the alternator .if that makes the draw go down . replace the alternator its bad

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I'm not working on the vehicle right now. I'll start this afternoon, could you give me a list of the steps? I plan to disconnect the alt, disconnect all fusible links and remove all fuses from the fuse block, until I get down to no current draw with the key on. I'll reconnect one circuit at a time and check current draw or volt drop for each leg of the circuit as I reconnect them. Here are few question you could help with; 1. Does the alarm system need to be connected for the ECM to function? 2. Could the auto transmission control module or transmission solenoids be causing the problem? Neither the alarm or tran contol module are in the Haynes schematic I am using.

Expert:  sgm11155 replied 2 years ago.

question 1: no 2: yes

 

please do the test in the other way. have every thing connected. then remove one thing at a time .and if no amp change . put it back on before going on to the next circuit. the reason for this is the computer will hold some circuits live after the key is turned off .you may even see this happen. when you reconnect a circuit.the amps may go up . but the computer will put it back to sleep after its wait time . thats is why i had you test the battery draw over 15 minuets. when you find a circuit that reduces the draw but it still not below 0.20. note the amp change but put it back on .. and kept going. its good to test feasible links but they kill a lot of circuits at once . and you need to find the one bad circuit.

just to remind you i ll be leveing for the track at 10.00 am in 3 hours . be back at around 5.00 pm.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Worked on the car yesterday. Here is what I got. Performed “Check Engine” test, got code “12” No Faults. With everything connected, no key in ignition, doors closed, checked current between battery Neg lead and Neg battery post, initial reading -.19 amp and then drops to -.03 amp. Turned key to “On” vehicle not running, current ready –7.5 amp then drops to –2.75 amp. Disconnect alternator wire from 60 amp FL, current stayed same. Removed one fuse at a time till current went away, fuse “IG Coil” and “F1” removed current reading was -.01 amp. Installed IG Coil fuse current reading was –1.5 amp, installed F1 fuse current reading was –7 amp then dropped to –2.5 amp. Followed out F1 wire (Black with Red strip) through harness it goes to auto transmission connector 1 or 2. Disconnected connector, current reading of –1.5 amp. Attempted to start car with connector disconnected, starter would not engage. Reconnected auto trans connector, car started. With alt disconnected from 60 FL, started car and monitored voltage at cigarette lighter, 12.0 volts. Turned on headlights volt reading was 11.9 v, then turned on wipers voltage reading was 11.8. Turned off lights and wipers voltage reading of 12.0 volts. Test drove car for thirty minutes while monitoring voltage, transmission shifted normally, and the only time the voltage dropped below 12.0 volts was when I turned on turn signals or any other circuit, never dropped below 11.7 volts. With everything working with 12 volts available and no fuses or Fusible Links tripping, there is nothing wrong with the wiring, just a bad alternator. I have ordered another Autozone Duralast 18420 alternator, is there any test I can do on it after I install it to check its output before connecting to the vehicle wiring?
Expert:  sgm11155 replied 2 years ago.
the best test would be loaded amp test. this is where a amperage load is put on the battery. and the amperage is monitor coming from the alternator. but the best you can do is look at the voltage with every thing in the car on . increase the rpm too 1500 the voltage should not drop below 13.00 volts
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I troubleshot the alternator Field Regulator circuit. There is 12.6 V on pin 2 directly from the battery and 12.3 V on pin 1 from the instrument cluster Battery indicator lamp. The Battery indicator behaves normally with switch on, it turns on until the engine is started then goes out. However, as the battery 12.6 volts drops down below 11 volts, the Battery indicator does not come on. Which tells me the alternator regulator circuit is not working. I conducted the Hack Saw Blade test, using a steel hacksaw blade held near the alternator when running and watch for magnetic field being developed. At idle, 500 rpm, I can see the blade moving towards the alternator then stop, looks like the field is on for 1 sec, then off for 1 sec. At 2000 rpm, the blade is not attracted to the alternator; witch tells me the alternator regulator circuit is not developing the field. Replaced the Remi alternator with a new Duralast 18420. Same symptoms, no 13-14 volts from alternator, hacksaw blade test the same. Any suggestions?

Expert:  sgm11155 replied 2 years ago.
I am out of town for about six more hours .I will need to look in my manuals to try give some thing too test. If you need an answer before that please feel free to realist this question. Thanks Shannon I just need to know if you measured the out put voltage from the back of the alternator. Please do it there and not just at the battery.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The names Buddy and I checked the output at the back of alternator, nada. I just tried an expermint by pulling the FLs to the lights, noticed the Battery light is now barely on, may have been on earlier and I didn't notice, but I don't think so. Take your time, I'm about ready to give up and take it to a shop.
Expert:  sgm11155 replied 2 years ago.
if nada means zero volts then the fusible link between the alternator and battery has blown. If you have battery voltage at the back of the alternator, then I will need to check my manuals.
sgm11155, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 587
Experience: i have worked on all models and makes of bus cars for over 25 years
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