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2000 C2 6 speed - How to test alternator/starter cable

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My car starts as the battery was low, when the engine is hot. When the engine is cold, the car starts normally.

I read that this could be caused by a faulty alternator/starter cable. Is there a way of testing or at least inspecting this cable without removing it from the car?


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Voltage drop testing is the best way to find the problem because it is dynamic. Your testing the actual components with out disturbing any connections that might be the issue. I have attached two videos that shows how to pinpoint with voltage drop testing. Hope this helps.



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Thanks for the links to the videos. To gain access to the starter in the 996 it is necessary to remove the intake distributor hose and possibly other parts. I wouldn't crank the engine to do the dynamic voltage drop testing with those components removed , unless ignition, fuel pump, etc. are disabled. Any suggestions about how to do that?


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Did this work, what you did above ?

I think I have the same type of problem ? ( I have a 2002, 911/996 ) Especially when the motor warms up. Upon initial start up, my volt meter in the cigarette lighter reads between 13.40 -13.60 volts (still lower than what it should be) As I drive it gets less, and less, especially with the a/c and lights on, within about 5 or 6 miles the meter goes from green, to yellow (meaning it drops to 13.10 to 13.20 volts ) then it goes to red, or about 12.70 - 12 90 volts or lower(my meter has green , yellow, and red lights . as well as showing the voltage)

The battery is new,and checked out ok, the alternator was bench tested, and ok, and the alternator shop, put a new improved regulator in it as well. Hence I think it's that **** long positive cable that runs from the + of the battery to the rear, and I'm assuming it attaches to the solenoid ,on the alternator ? Any thoughts or suggestions on this situation where the battery gets low voltage and the alternator can't recharge it like it's suppose to ?

And if my suspicions are correct , is it easy to remove ,service , and install one of these long cables through the body ? :help:

Edited by britdave
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Hi Dave, that y cable between the alternator and starter is more likely the culprit. Also possible your alternator is bad after it warms up. Only way to verify is like I told you before in post #9 here http://www.renntech.org/forums/topic/44471-voltage-regulator-affected-by-heat-hence-low-voltage/#entry240001

To access the +ve terminal at the back of the alternator, check out post #15 here http://www.renntech.org/forums/topic/44652-alternator-terminal-b-access/

By the time you take things apart, cables will have cooled down and the voltage drop may not be there anymore so it's best to test things at the moment the symptoms are showing.

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Is that one super long cable that runs from the + terminal of the battery directly to the starter solenoid., or does it connect elsewhere before that terminal ? I hope I don't have to rip the whole cable out, and I'm hoping it's just a bad connector,or connection, that I can wire brush, and apply some electric grease to it, to prevent future episodes.

Unfortunately, it's beginning to sound like a job for Orland Por$he ,<--- thats not typo $$$, LOL, and knowing them they will try to sell me a new alternator etc. I'm totally with the belief that it's that main long (how long ? ) wire cable, who knows ? This has been going on for over 2 years now, and I've changed everything but that. Hence I always carry my 'Jump start ' box with me in the boot/ trunk. I hope this is not that difficult or costly $$$$, when its a simple corroded connection ? Thanks Dave.

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