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We have a discussion once a day on batteries, alternators, and starters. And once a day someone tells another person to disconnect the battery to check the alternator. While this was a good "test" with a pre 80's car, this can cause major problems with newer cars, as many other people have already stressed many times. If you want to check the alternator or voltage regulator, do like we did at Interstate Batteries. Invest in a cheap little voltmeter, connect it to the battery and watch for more than 13.8 volts....I'm sure someone knows exactly what a Toyota alternator puts out. If you have any large fluctuations then it could be the regulator. I'm betting that you need to take the battery out and give it a nice little charge overnight at 2amps works great. Allow the battery to stablize for 3-4 hrs if you want to get an accurate voltage reading. Otherwise stick it in, it should be fully charged.
Batteries are used to crank the starter, dampen the voltage coming from the alternator to prevent voltage spikes and we use it to power the car when the engine is off. Alternators power the whole electrical system with the engine running and recharge the battery, keep in mind it takes a long time to recharge not just a 20-30 min drive. I've said this before but 50-60% of the batteries we recieved as cores were indeed good batteries. Which in turn we sold as used batteries. One of the best tools to use when checking yoru battery is a 3 dollar hydrometer, and its simple to use.

Jeremy
 

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We're not ganging up on you, but listen to what you just said......Ghetto. And he;s not stuck on the side of the road with no other options. Lets try to get people to do it the right way first, it may cut down other problems. Not trying to start anything, I just want people learn the right way.

Jeremy
 

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90% of these problems you could solve on your own, go buy a voltmeter like I said earlier and Shawn echoed. Its very simple.

Load testing is a very usefull way of testing the cold cranking amps that the battery can put out. But, the only way of test the battery to the fullest, i.e. every individual cell, is with a hydrometer, no if,ands, or buts. Matter of fact, you can have a battery with a "dead" cell and still
test good on a load tester. I've seen it a hundred times. Thats why the "professionals" hydrometer check batteries first, then complete a 12-24 hr charge, allow it to stabilize, and then load test it for cold cranking amps.

Does the quality of batteries make a difference? Of coarse, plate design makes a huge difference. And the quality of the paste used on the plate, determmines how effectively it can complete the chemical reaction that produces voltage. Exide, the same battery that Junked is using, is among the worst batteries on the market. Its a huge company, that spends millions on marketing, but their batteries hardly every put out the cold cranking amps advertised. Remeber that when you buy batteries they can advertise cold cranking amps, cranking amps, and hot cranking amps. These different ratings make a huge difference in power output. Sorry, i'll get out my soapbox now.

Jeremy
 
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