Diagnosing alternator problems

3 Alternators in 3 Years

courtesy of Bob, The Auto Answer Man

Hi Bob,
I have a '91 Ford F-150. I've had it for a little over three years. During this time, I have had to replace the alternator three times with the last time being about three months ago. Yesterday, I noticed that the voltmeter is jumping around yet again. I have had the battery load tested and was told that everything is fine. I have also had the alternator tested every time before I replaced it. The only electrical thing that has been added to my truck is a CB radio, which I didn't think would have any impact on my alternator. The CB was added after I already had to replace the alternator for the first time. Do you know what could cause my alternators to continue to go bad like this?

I would check for improper grounding. Make sure that the battery to chassis and engine to chassis grounds are all good. You might want to replace the braided lines with new ones as sometimes they become corroded.
Good Luck!
Drive Safely!
Bob, The Auto Answer Man

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