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Troubleshooting the Niehoff Alternator

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Elreg is an American employee owned company and they make high end Neioff Ignition Parts for several different markets, these parts are designed for the high demand needs of emergency, bus, and marine vehicles. Not only do they cover passenger vehicles but they also make huge alternators for the American military, the train industry, agricultural machines and last but not least mining equipment.

This tutorial will help you to check the alternator to be sure it is or is not the culprit. What’s Needed: A multi-meter and a good set of eyes.

1. Make sure your vehicle is parked level and has adequate lighting and ventilation. Pop and prop your hood up.

2. Find the alternator. The alternator will always be towards the engine’s front side even if the front is not at the forefront of the vehicle. To find the Niehoff alternator look for your belts. It will be an aluminum cylinder with a belt around its pulley. It will have a fan that you can see behind the belt and pulley. Upon closer inspection you should also find a label that will identify it as the Niehoff alternator.

3. Be sure to check for any signs of rust, corrosion, or damage to the alternator. Make sure that the belt is tensioned properly and has very little play. Double check you battery connections at the battery and at the alternator as these are a common cause of “alternator problems”. Having corroded terminals will cause your alternator to push twice as hard and it may not even give you a quarter of the energy potential it is meant for.

4. To check the voltage of the alternator gets out your voltmeter. Be sure your voltmeter is setup for checking DC voltage and that the probes are plugged in properly. Attach the voltmeter’s red probe to your positive terminal on your battery and the black probe to the negative terminal. Start your car, check the voltmeter and note the voltage. You can refer to the owner’s manual to find what the specific voltage is that you should be achieving with your Niehoff.

5. With someone else cranking the engine or while it is running listen and watch the alternator closely. Listen for all the little noises that could be coming from it. If it is making noise then it could be a shorted out diode or even worse it could be the mechanics of it wearing out because of friction.

Also check for movement and vibration, either could be because of loose bolts or because of an improperly tensioned belt.

Tips:

To better hear the alternator you can also use a screwdriver, the longer the better. Make sure you have your hair tied back and nothing dangling from you when doing this. With the vehicle running place the tip of the screwdriver on a solid spot on the alternator rest your ear on the handle and you will be able to hear any noises amplified. To make sure the voltmeter is properly setup you can test it on a AA battery, a good double A will show about 1.5 volts DC. Make sure you test your battery to be sure it is not part of or causing the problem. Do as I said in step 4 with the voltmeter except do not start the car. The most common vehicle battery is the 12 volt and it should show a voltage around 12.5 up to 12.8.

Featured images:
  •  License: Creative Commons image source

Angela Legacy writes on behalf of Elreg. It mainly deals with niehoff ignition parts. Anyone looking to buy ignition parts. If yes then visit our official site.

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