Ask Bob: Electrical Ghosts
by Bob DeP.
I have a 1997 T-100 that has been regularly tuned up and fully serviced. It has 53,000 miles on it. After driving around for 45 minutes in 96° heat I stopped somewhere for half an hour and the battery was dead when I returned. The battery voltmeter read only about 7V and the electrical would barely work. I had the battery recharged for 90 minutes and I still had the same problem. I push-started the truck and noticed that my oil level would rise as I would speed up, and as I slowed down the oil level gauge would go down also. When I turn on my headlights the radio would blink off at the same time the headlights were turned on. This is my second battery, and it's only 11 months old. I hope that you can help.
I would say that you have a bad alternator. Your gauges fluctuate with speed because the alternator is putting out more voltage as you rev up the engine. Now, it may be as simple as a bad voltage regulator, but I think on that car the regulator is inside the alternator.
Bob, The Auto Answer Man
If you have a question for Bob send it to: AskBob@stretcher.com. He's able to answer many of them personally and we'll include the best questions in future issues of The Dollar Stretcher.
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