Question about 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt

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The battery is good..how can i tell if its the alternator

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Most auto parts stores offer testing for free. A volt meter can also be used to check alternator output. Connect the meter leads to the battery. The voltage should be at least 12 volts. If it isn't, then find out why. Just because a battery is new does not mean it is fully charged. If the battery voltage is OK, then start the engine and observe the meter. It should now read approx. 13.5-14.5 volts. If it does, then the alternator is charging. If it isn't, then the alternator should be tested. While your at it, you might as well check your belt tensioner for proper operation.
1. leave the engine running and the meter connected.
2. Turn on your lights and other accessories. (heater, radio, high beams)
3. Observe the meter reading.
The voltage should remain between 13.5-14.5 volts. If it doesn't, then determine the cause and repair as needed. If it does, then the tensioner and belt are probably OK. I hope this information is helpful to you and thanks for using FixYa.

Posted on Jul 29, 2011

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Nicole; check the alternator belt, loose,worn, is it still there and on.
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First I would have to ask who is "they" that say your alternator is good? If you are talking about parts store counter people, they probably wouldn't know a bad alternator if it bit them in the face. Also, has the alternator been tested on the vehicle? Or are you removing it and taking it somewhere to get it tested? If you are removing it, this is NOT a good test.
It may tell you if the alternator can produce voltage, but does not tell you how it is going to act under actual (load) conditions. It also does not test the circuits in the car that are required to make the alternator work.

If the battery light is staying on, the alternator is not charging...PERIOD!
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My 2006 honda odyssey won't start...2 days ago I replaced the battery thinking it was this issue...The van won't click over to start...the VSA and ABS light comes on faintly..could it be an alternator?


it sounds like that, if after installing the battery, it ran and started good, then this tells me it run until it drained the battery, so this tells me theres a charging problem, make sure the belt is on and then take a good look at the alternator and battery connections,then check the alternator output to see if its charging, it should put out 13.5 to 14.5 volts with engine running, if it doesnt then replace battery,you can also check for power at the alternator and other tests but i dont want to confuse you, a good thing to do is when removed just to double check have the parts store test it for you, it sounds like a bad alternator, hope this is helpful, good luck.

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