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Charging System Tests

  • Tutti57
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28 Jan 2019 17:56 #26642 by Tutti57
Charging System Tests was created by Tutti57
What is your diagnostic procedure when you suspect the system isn't charging or you want to rule out battery or alternator?

It seems like the last two times I got my butt kicked they were both charging system issues. One of them is in my bay now and I want to get it out in the morning!

I'll start a repair thread on that one in a min

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30 Jan 2019 11:32 #26692 by Tyler
Replied by Tyler on topic Charging System Tests
Sorry I missed out on your Express, sir. :( Glad to see it got fixed! Bad parts happen to good techs.

I'd thought about doing an alternator testing sticky at one point, but it's so tough to generalize with all the various systems out there today. :silly: Internally regulated systems are pretty straightforward. But, even then there are variables, like Honda's low charge rate setup.

I can tell you that a lot of it comes down to product knowledge. Scan data can be extremely helpful, but only if you're halfway familiar with it. If you have a scanner handy, I suggest picking out some known good vehicles and getting familiar with their charging PIDs. I can provide some basic theory and known good data if you're interested.

As far as ruling out a battery - if I genuinely suspect the battery is the source of a system problem, I'll just swap it with one off the shelf. :lol: Or rig a jumper pack in.

I dunno if I answered any of your questions? :blush:
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30 Jan 2019 15:50 #26695 by Matts Auto
Replied by Matts Auto on topic Charging System Tests
Known good data is ALWAYS useful. I'm always interested in that. Basic theory is always good for a refresher as well

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30 Jan 2019 17:49 #26699 by Tutti57
Replied by Tutti57 on topic Charging System Tests
Yes, that was helpful. I will look at some pids on different designs.

I guess I'm just running into how to interpret some of the data. For example, the express van. Engine running, the L terminal read 14.4v when the spec was like 2-11v. I didn't know what to make of that. Also, with the hz being 130 instead of 200.



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30 Jan 2019 18:03 - 30 Jan 2019 18:20 #26700 by Tyler
Replied by Tyler on topic Charging System Tests

Tutti57 wrote: I guess I'm just running into how to interpret some of the data. For example, the express van. Engine running, the L terminal read 14.4v when the spec was like 2-11v. I didn't know what to make of that. Also, with the hz being 130 instead of 200.


Where did you get the 2-11V spec? That sounds like a reasonable value for an RVC system (variable charge rate based on loads/temp/whatever), because those systems pulse the L terminal voltage to command a varying charge rate.

But, I believe your Express is just a good ol' internally regulated system. :lol: The L terminal voltage goes high (the 14V you saw) to command charging, and the alternator figures it out from there. When the alternator fails internally, it grounds the L terminal to signal a problem. The F terminal is just a feedback about how hard the alternator is working.

Someone correct me if I've got it backwards. :silly:

EDIT: Went back and read your other thread. You saw the 14V reading on the brown wire, which is the F terminal, not L. My bad!

A steady reading of 14V on that wire is either 100% or 0% duty cycle, I can't remember which. :silly: This Remy bulletin explains it better than I can:
https://www.remyautomotive.com/dam/jcr:5d7303a6-36a2-4ec8-9335-f1d81bce2d24/2)%20Technical%20Service%20Bulletin%20-%20June%202015.pdf
Last edit: 30 Jan 2019 18:20 by Tyler. Reason: Herp derp

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31 Jan 2019 03:09 - 31 Jan 2019 03:10 #26707 by Andy.MacFadyen
Replied by Andy.MacFadyen on topic Charging System Tests
Yes so many different systems that are so over complex, the method for testing Ford alternators is at least simple and well documented
I have tried to get my head Honda system and can't see an easy way to test it other than by-passing it.
On BMW the IBS failure at least is easy to diagnose.

The only solid rule is you need to get a handle on the battery condition and charge level before testing, the charge level especially with modern batteries that often are difficult or impossible to get to accept a recharge if completely drained.

"It is the nature of every person to error, but only the fool perseveres in error." Marcus Tullius Cicero
Read more at: www.brainyquote.com/authors/marcus_tullius_cicero



Last edit: 31 Jan 2019 03:10 by Andy.MacFadyen.
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31 Jan 2019 11:59 #26714 by Tyler
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Andy.MacFadyen wrote: On BMW the IBS failure at least is easy to diagnose.


I've never heard of this. :blink: Tell me more, please!

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31 Jan 2019 13:57 #26724 by Matts Auto
Replied by Matts Auto on topic Charging System Tests
Tyler, thanks for posting the remy link it'll be a handy quick reference in a pinch.

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31 Jan 2019 15:04 #26725 by Andy.MacFadyen
Replied by Andy.MacFadyen on topic Charging System Tests
Basically is a smart battery earth cable with a microprocessor that monitors not only battery voltage but the current going in and out and the battery temperature. Unlike the Honda charging system which is an economy & emissions the BMW system is aimed at extending the life of the battery by estimating state of charge and battery health. The IBS processor frequently fails usually due to water ingress. Problem usually shows as parasitic drain. BMW have revised the part several times, often the module is simply disconnected to fix the issue, many guys on the BMW forums disconnect or completely remove the IBS while the system and battery is still healthy to avoid future problems,

bimmerscan.com/bmw-intelligent-battery-sensor-ibs/
Keith Di Fazio has a good YouTube video on one

"It is the nature of every person to error, but only the fool perseveres in error." Marcus Tullius Cicero
Read more at: www.brainyquote.com/authors/marcus_tullius_cicero



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03 Feb 2019 20:45 #26766 by Tutti57
Replied by Tutti57 on topic Charging System Tests
We actually might be dealing with this exact issue out our shop with a 525. Having a heck of a time finding the draw. Pulled every fuse we could find on the things with no change on a 6 amp draw.

I believe the tech working on it did get it to drop after unplugging the dme. He also noticed a buzzing sound near the throttle body.

Worth looking into!

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04 Feb 2019 09:30 #26771 by Tutti57
Replied by Tutti57 on topic Charging System Tests
Yep, that was it!

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09 Feb 2019 07:32 #26896 by Noah
Replied by Noah on topic Charging System Tests
6 amps!

"Learn, apply, repeat."

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10 Feb 2019 10:24 #26936 by Andy.MacFadyen
Replied by Andy.MacFadyen on topic Charging System Tests
It really dosen't take much to stop the modules on a BMW from going into sleep mode -- they are a pita to find parasitic drains on.

"It is the nature of every person to error, but only the fool perseveres in error." Marcus Tullius Cicero
Read more at: www.brainyquote.com/authors/marcus_tullius_cicero



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