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Discussion Starter #1
I bought a 93 3.8 bird a week and a half ago. Everything worked fine on the car and the volt gauge sat at the "M" in NORM. After a few days it worked its way down to sitting at the "N" and a little below. The other day the car died while heading home at night, and had to have a friend give me a jump. Got about 4 miles before it died again and needed another jump. Since the gauge has read around the "N" my turn signal,rear defrost, and A/C controls dont work.

Thought for sure it was the alternator since it didnt seem to charge at all. Replaced the alternator two days ago, after testing it in car and the battery tested fine, but the alternator was putting out low voltage. The volt gauge didnt move from the lower reading and my signals,defrost, and A/C still doesnt function. With the battery charger on the car the volts read higher on the gauge, but as soon as the cables are off it drops back down. I replaced both battery cables, and even swapped in my battery from my mustang.

Also had a volt meter on the car and with just the car running it was low 12's and with the lights on it was med 11's for volts.

What could be the issue, I have no idea and this is supposed to be my daily driver, but it is having more issues than my stang...I am getting really frustrated.
 

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You got a bad alternator. Bring it back and get another one.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I got it tested today again, and it tested fine. I am really confused. Got it at Advance, should I hit another place like AutoZone to get it checked?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Okay, so I went and got my alternator tested in car at Autozone. Said it tested fine, but showed an open circuit, and the only way to rule out the alternator was to test it on the stand. Did that today and it tested fine. So I am at a loss as to what the issue is. Maybe something in the wiring harness?
 

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you have either a dead short somewhere, or a power leacher. how old is the battery?
 

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look through all of your fuses, and relays check them all, if something is blown replace it and see if it happens again. This might help you narrow down the circuit so it doesn't take forever to fix. Check all your grounds, clean your ground points with some sand paper, these are some places to start with , electrical shorts are a ***** to trace down sometimes.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Battery is less than a year old. Fusible links leading to the starter solenoid looked good. Does the alternator have a fuse that may have popped? Only one under hood I saw that would be big enough looked fine. was an 80amp in the fuse box.

Edit: Car can sit for a few days and have enough power to start. seems to have a big issue when my lights are on. Volt gauge sits low though even during the day. Doubt I am getting a charge.
 

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take the alt back and tell them you want a different one. try doing the big 3 and see if you have bad alt wires
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Could be the frustration and lack of sleep, but big 3? Alt, batt, and ?.
 

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go to the tech articles and look for the one for the "big 3". all it is is that you run bigger wires from your alt to the battery, and from the battery to the engine and the body. hence the name. simple to do.

take at least 4ga wire from hot post on alt. to the pos. side of the battery.
also run one from the neg. post of the battery to the engine. (i used the top bolt for the alt.)
last, run one from the neg. battery post to a good spot on the body. be sure to sand the paint first.

this is only a suggestion. i don't know if it will fix your problem, but if your alt wires are bad it will work.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Car is fixed. Went back to Advance Auto this morning, and tried to exchange it. They took it, and when they tested it they grounded it on the case, despite my pointing where it says "Ground here to test". Tested it and said it was fine, but it would have failed if it were done right. Then the guy proceeds to tell me its fine so he wont do anything. At this point I am pretty pissed. I leave and get a voltage regulator from Checker. Box was kind of beaten up and I could tell it had been mounted before. Swapped it in and made zero difference.

I called another Advance at this point because I am mad, and I know this is the issue. Spoke to the manager of another one and went down. She was cool as hell and exchanged it for me with zero hassle. Told me if I had any issues at all to let her know and she would take care of me. Got back, threw it in and the volt gauge spiked right up to about 15volts, and it is running great.

I used to really like that Advance, and go there for everything since they opened about a year ago near my house. Now after this, I am not sure I ever want to go back to that one again, and they were pretty good about getting me parts and the correct ones.
 

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sounds like a customer service issue. call the headquarters and complain
 
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