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

4 Answers

6,585

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!

4 of 4 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.
260

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

5 of 5 people found this helpful.

Your Answer

Add photo

Related Questions

Elantra

Looking for a Used Elantra in your area?

CarGurus has 52,575 nationwide Elantra listings starting at $1,499.

ZIP:

Search Hyundai Elantra Questions

Hyundai Elantra Experts

#1 pittgirl
pittgirl
Reputation 1,990
#2 Carrie Shelton
Carrie Shelton
Reputation 1,370
#3 tenspeed
tenspeed
Reputation 1,080
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Hyundai Sonata
779 Great Deals out of 51,051 listings starting at $1,400
Used Honda Civic
656 Great Deals out of 88,603 listings starting at $995
Used Toyota Corolla
785 Great Deals out of 73,830 listings starting at $1,995
Used Toyota Camry
1,011 Great Deals out of 90,917 listings starting at $650
Used Honda Accord
813 Great Deals out of 84,287 listings starting at $1,050
Used Hyundai Accent
188 Great Deals out of 12,506 listings starting at $1,295
Used Nissan Altima
1,033 Great Deals out of 81,564 listings starting at $1,200
Used Kia Optima
462 Great Deals out of 29,998 listings starting at $1,995
Used Ford Focus
546 Great Deals out of 57,171 listings starting at $1,095
Used Mazda MAZDA3
231 Great Deals out of 31,863 listings starting at $1,495
Used Nissan Sentra
480 Great Deals out of 54,266 listings starting at $900

Used Cars For Sale

2017 Hyundai Elantra For Sale
48 Great Deals out of 36,067 listings starting at $9,510
2016 Hyundai Elantra For Sale
185 Great Deals out of 4,418 listings starting at $8,900
2015 Hyundai Elantra For Sale
62 Great Deals out of 1,990 listings starting at $8,347
2014 Hyundai Elantra For Sale
82 Great Deals out of 2,367 listings starting at $6,500
2013 Hyundai Elantra For Sale
147 Great Deals out of 3,742 listings starting at $4,900

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.