Alternator and/or Voltage Regulator Issue?
I leave my Escort radar detector on the voltage display setting since my '15 V6 Equinox doesn't have a volt gauge. Noticed something odd this evening and need to figure it out before it gets worse or leaves me stranded...
At start up, it's usually showing high 13's / low 14's volts on the radar detector meter and then usually tapers off to the mid 12's while driving. It's still doing that, but now when I'm cruising on the interstate, I noticed the volts are now dropping to around 11.6 and actually dipped to 11.2 at times while cruising at 70ish and the RPM's are just a tick below 2K. When I got in my driveway just now, to just let it sit an idle, it jumped back up to the mid to high 12 volt range. I pulled my volt meter out to verify what I'm reading at my radar detector is accurate, and it seems my radar detector is reading almost exactly 1 volt lower than my digital volt meter, but it's still mirroring how my electrical system is behaving. So that may mean than when I'm cruising and my radar detector is showing 11.2 volts, I'm actually at 12.2, which may also explain why my battery light hasn't come on yet, but that still seems low for cruising down the interstate...
I've already stopped by the auto parts store and had the battery load tested to eliminate it as the culprit and it tested just fine. It's a Duracell battery from Sams Club with free replacement until March of next year. With the way my electrical system is acting, I'm leaning towards the voltage regulator, which still means I need to replace the whole alternator.
One other thing I want to mention is it's now gotten HOT in GA already. It was 93 degrees when all this was going on and we're due to be up to 100 at times this weekend already! My volt meter has always read lower in the summer months than winter.
My '15 Equinox has 107.5K miles on it. It's looking like my next step is to just remove the alternator and have it tested, but that's not really how I wanted to spend my weekend!
Anyone have anything else to suggest? Anyone already done the alternator on your 3.6 V6? It doesn't look to be too bad of a job since it's at the front, not firewall side at least. Any tips if you have replaced yours already? Any thoughts and/or suggestions are welcome! Thanks!
-2015 Chevrolet Equinox SS 301HP V6
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-2011 Mazda RX8