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
Have a car care question? Visit our automotive center and see if we've already answered it or a similar question.
Also in Home
- DIY spider control Video
- A burglar reveals 15 trade secrets
- Cutting back on tree trimming costs
- Ways to save money in your workshop
- How much does it cost to run appliances?
- Cleaning engineered hardwood floors
- Keeping winter utility bills manageable
- 5 ways your house can make you go broke
- 5 simple and affordable luxuries for your home
- Does staging really raise a home's price?
- 5 home renovation can raise your insurance rate -- or lead to discounts
- The right way and wrong way to pay down your mortgage
- 6 cheap, effective home security solutions
- 3 ways (and 1 reason) to refinance a HELOC
- 6 home projects that don't pay for themselves
- Should I refinance my home equity line?
- Find the best mortgage rates in your area
- 3 ways to use a mortgage calculator
- Mortgage calculator: Calculate your payment and more
- Home equity calculator: HELOC vs. line of credit
- Mortgage refinance break-even calculator
- How much money can I borrow for a mortgage?