How can I tell if my alternator is not charging my battery?

Asked by Oct 12, 2012 at 03:42 PM about the 2004 Hyundai Elantra

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

5 Answers

6,755

There are two accurate ways but both require a multimeter. I will tell you the most accurate way first -- If you own a multimeter and you can safely access the terminals usually located on the side or back of the alternator, here's what to do! First turn the car's engine on. Now turn your multimeter to the 20V setting. Locate the red (positive) terminal on the back of the alternator. If there is a plastic/rubber guard over the terminal, push it back so you can see the exposed metal on the terminal. Now place the red (positive) multimeter probe on the terminal and ground the black (negative probe) to another steel part of your car (NOT THE ALTERNATOR ITSELF) -- preferably the engine heads. You should now see a reading on your multimeter display. If not, your alternator is not working. The second way is a little bit less accurate but works just as well. Instead of placing the red probe on the alternator terminal, now, with the engine running, place the red probe on the positive terminal and the black (negative) probe on the negative terminal. If your alternator is working properly, you should now see a reading of between 13 and 14 volts. That means it is working. If you are seeing anything less than twelve, your alternator probably isn't working. If these are out of your means, a bad alternator will not charge your battery and drain the battery while the car is running. What I would recommend is idle the car for ten minutes, then turn it off, Try to start it back up and see if the starter motor cranks at the normal speed. If it sounds slow or it just makes a click like it can't crank the engine, it means your battery is not getting charged by the alternator... Or the battery is dead. Good luck!

5 of 5 people found this helpful.
10

It's the alternator

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
40

Your car won't start, driving lights dash display/interior lights won't come on. My car played up just 2 days ago and I am still waiting for a call from Hyundai to say that they have replaced the alternator....

4 of 4 people found this helpful.
300

I have a 05 Kia Optima an I put a reman akternatir from O'Reillys an I got a new battery .Now I check to see it the alternator is charge the battery an it's not.What can it be an fuse or what

8 of 8 people found this helpful.
20

I have 2004 Hyundai Elantra .My check engine light came on and my gauges on the dash were moving back and forth rapidly..my odometer reading went out as well as the dash light went dim ..immediately after my car just died while I was driving..Can anyone tell me what this could be ?

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Your Answer

Elantra

Looking for a Used Elantra in your area?

CarGurus has 41,766 nationwide Elantra listings starting at $795.

ZIP:

Hyundai Elantra Experts

  • #1
    pittgirl
    Reputation
    1,990
  • #2
    Carrie Shelton
    Reputation
    1,370
  • #3
    tenspeed
    Reputation
    1,110
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Hyundai Sonata
751 Great Deals out of 47,177 listings starting at $199
Used Honda Civic
828 Great Deals out of 78,168 listings starting at $900
Used Toyota Corolla
931 Great Deals out of 65,938 listings starting at $1,995
Used Honda Accord
996 Great Deals out of 62,552 listings starting at $999
Used Toyota Camry
1,070 Great Deals out of 72,796 listings starting at $1,000
Used Hyundai Accent
156 Great Deals out of 13,252 listings starting at $1,995
Used Nissan Altima
1,128 Great Deals out of 74,485 listings starting at $999
Used Ford Focus
751 Great Deals out of 53,086 listings starting at $1,299
Used Mazda MAZDA3
364 Great Deals out of 27,170 listings starting at $1,059
Used Kia Optima
492 Great Deals out of 28,724 listings starting at $2,200
Used Nissan Sentra
542 Great Deals out of 50,318 listings starting at $2,000

Used Cars For Sale

2018 Hyundai Elantra For Sale
13,262 listings starting at $10,617
2017 Hyundai Elantra For Sale
72 Great Deals out of 14,923 listings starting at $9,998
2016 Hyundai Elantra For Sale
105 Great Deals out of 2,731 listings starting at $7,795
2015 Hyundai Elantra For Sale
79 Great Deals out of 1,812 listings starting at $7,995
2014 Hyundai Elantra For Sale
92 Great Deals out of 2,194 listings starting at $6,730

Content submitted by Users is not endorsed by CarGurus, does not express the opinions of CarGurus, and should not be considered reviewed, screened, or approved by CarGurus. Please refer to CarGurus Terms of Use.