Reader Question: Hi,
I have changed the alternator of my 1995 Chevrolet Lumina Minivan 1.8L engine but the battery still will not charge. The car dies and the voltmeter reads low.
Could it possibly be a broken wire and how do you test for that?
Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Thank you very much,
You really need to get a complete charging system test to see what it happening or not happening.
This test should check the following:
1. Load test the battery – does the battery have a bad internal cell and cannot hold the charge?
2. Check the alternator output – is there a problem with your new alternator or the connection at the alternator?
3. Check for a voltage drain – is there something draining the battery of the charge?
4. Check battery cables and alternator connections – is there corrosion build up preventing a clean tight connection?
There could be a chance that you have a wiring issue, but I would say it would be rare. Sometimes with older vehicles that really can have broken wiring or rusted wiring somewhere, I will make up my own set of battery cables and connect the battery directly to the alternator, which will by pass any possible inline wiring issue you might have.
Before you do this though, get the items I described above checked out first.