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Scott
Scott, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Kia
Satisfied Customers: 1638
Experience:  Kia owner since 1999, Kia repair since 1995. Have up to date Kia info
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2002 kIA SPECTRA: Alternator..IT WILL ONLY START CHARGING if I..RPMs

Customer Question

2002 kIA SPECTRA Alternator WILL NOT CHARGE ON STARTUP, IT WILL ONLY START CHARGING if I give it some RPMs
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Kia
Expert:  Scott replied 3 years ago.

Scott :

Hello, I am Scott and I will assist you with your vehicle concern.

Scott :

1. Are you using the same belt?
2. If not, is the new one "Banjo string" tight?
3. If the old belt, is ir glazed or cracked?

This is where w estart first.

Scott :

Also, I have had many problems with rebuilt alternators, and may of my Asians and Europeans don't do well with them. If you are returning to the Parts store, and they check the Alternator, and it is charging o.k., get one from KIA Reman. I have been down this road with KIA, Honda, Toyota's and 3.8 Chrysler Vans newer than 2001.

Scott :






Diagnostic Chart





























































step



Inspection



Action



1



Check battery voltage
Specification : Above 12.4V



Yes



Go to next stop.



No



Check battery.



2



Start engine and check if generator warning light goes out.


 



Yes



Go to step 4.



No



Go to next step.



3



Check if voltage at generator terminals are correct


 


 



Yes



Check wiring harness between battery and terminal B.



No



· Check wiring harness
· Replace generator.



4



1. Connect an ammeter (80A minimum) between terminal B and terminal B harness connector.
2. Start engine.
3. Turn all electrical loads ON and depress brake pedal.
4. Check if output is 65A or more at 2,500~3,000rpm


 



Yes



Charging system nornal



No



Go to next step.



5



Check drive belt tension OK?



Yes



Replace generator



No



Adjust drive belt tension



Customer:

"If you are returning to the Parts store, and they check the Alternator, and it is charging o.k., get one from KIA Reman."

Customer:

Are you saying that the alternator that kia remanufactures is set more correctly to their vehicles and that is why I should buy from them???


Also, I've seen this information that you are posting from the kia website. And the only thing I haven't done is connecting to the ammeter. But I did replace the belt and it functions. Replacement of the battery, which I did after the third alternator failed, does make the vehicle much more energetic. It's just that when I start the engine, the alternator does not turn on unless I give the engine some RPMs. I don't think that this is normal. But it does charge just fine once I apply the RPMs. The generator light does not come on, it doesn't even work. I tested it and the light bulb is okay. But the generator light doesn't even light up on startup.


The last alternator I replaced, the voltage regular failed, that's why it didn't work (it only lasted a few weeks). The one before also failed, but I didn't test to see how it failed.


I suspect that the car can't tell the alternator to turn on. I do get voltage from the wiring to the wiring when both the ignition is set and and when the engine is running. B L S all get voltage on the wiring. The only thing that is different from the kia is the amount of voltage I get with the ign on for terminal L is not 1 volt as stated on their site. L is the same as S. This is a little confusing because I'm not sure if this is measurement of the wires going to the generator or the measurement of the terminal generator themselves. Or is it meaning when the wires are connected to the alternator. These measurements below are of the wiring going to the alternator when L and S are not connected, but of course I don't have to disconnect B to measure that.


Kia web site manual
Terminal Ign: ON Idle (V)
B Approx 12 14.1-14.7
L Approx 1 14.1-14.7
S Aprrox 12 14.1-14.7


Actual reading on car
Terminal Ign: ON Idle (V)
B Approx 12.27 15.34
L Approx 11.86 14.22
S Aprrox 12.26 15.22


Car computer system fried???

Expert:  Scott replied 3 years ago.

The B wire sends the voltage to the battery, as far as the voltage at the terminals, looking at what you have I see some widely varying numbers.

Looking at the schematic below, you will see that this alternator is not ECM controlled. Now Honda, for example, is directly wired to the ECM and will call for charging when needed. I have had issues with batteries causing odd charging problems due to a bad cell, but since you covered that base, we can ignore that.

 

graphic

So for lack of a better term, this is a "self regulating Alternator" If it does not see a need to charge, it will not, as is why all the testes and done with a load on to force a charging situation.

Scott, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Kia
Satisfied Customers: 1638
Experience: Kia owner since 1999, Kia repair since 1995. Have up to date Kia info
Scott and 6 other Kia Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for you answer. I believe that you cleared up some doubts in my head. The idea that the alternator is self regulating is confirmed. It still doesn't clear up why the battery light doesn't light up on startup . Also the low gas light has never worked. Perhaps that's a separate issue to the alternator. But I'm satified with your help. thank you.
Expert:  Scott replied 3 years ago.

Meter head. Have had issues with those for some time.

If you have voltage at the required pins {see diagram} you can call the number below and ask Gene if he can handle this for you. They do pretty much all makes and models.

 

http://www.genesspeedometer.com/

Oh, and thank you for the accept. Now a days, it is really needed.

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