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Fman

volt meter/alternator question

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Fman

I noticed yesterday my volt meter was reading 13.6-13.8 volts with engine running. I don't look at it often as I probably should but I recall my other boats showing 14.2-14.3. Will voltage change from alternator throughout the day with different loads put on the boat? We did use the stereo all day. I'm hoping my alternator is not on the verge of taking a dump. Boat is a 2015 vlx and has 115 hours on it.

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wdr

Granted mine is a '10 with a 90 Amp, but I am seeing the same thing when under way or at idle. I checked it at the alternator earlier this year thinking the same thing and it was spot on steady at 14.71 volts.

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shawndoggy

I noticed yesterday my volt meter was reading 13.6-13.8 volts with engine running. I don't look at it often as I probably should but I recall my other boats showing 14.2-14.3. Will voltage change from alternator throughout the day with different loads put on the boat? We did use the stereo all day. I'm hoping my alternator is not on the verge of taking a dump. Boat is a 2015 vlx and has 115 hours on it.

FWIW, mine says 14.8-15.1. I also have another (cheapo) meter on my stereo battery bank which is on the other side of my VSR, and it was reading 14.8 yesterday. I feel like this is really high, personally. boat also threw a couple codes, so it's in to the shop on Monday.

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Fman

What would be considered normal range? 14.0-14.2?

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GreenMan

Assuming your volt gauge is reasonably accurate, your alternator is likely OK.

A simple indicator is if the voltage increases some when you raise engine rpms above idle - if you see an increase at that point it verifies that the alternator is doing something. If you don't see a change with that test, compare the key-on / engine-off voltage with the engine running voltage. You should definitely see a change between those two conditions.

As wdr noted, the best place to check is at the alternator output terminal and typically you should measure 14+ volts there above idle. There will always be some voltage drop as you move further from the alternator and this is more pronounced when you have higher loads on the system like a whopping stereo or recharging a significantly depleted battery.

A reasonable, simple test to verify the accuracy of your volt gauge might be to measure the voltage at, say, the cig lighter socket and compare with the volt gauge. I would expect the voltage at those two points to be very close (assuming there is not a heavy load connected to the cig lighter at the time).

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Fman

Granted mine is a '10 with a 90 Amp, but I am seeing the same thing when under way or at idle. I checked it at the alternator earlier this year thinking the same thing and it was spot on steady at 14.71 volts.

Assuming I would also have a 90amp?

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wdr

I would imagine it is a 90A. The sticker on mine was in plain siight once I shined a light on it.

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