Alternator Question

Paladin1001

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My daughter had to go to Reno from the area around Tucson last weekend so I went with her and we took her 98 GT. First long road trip on the car since I bought it a couple of years ago. I was really happy with the overall performance, comfort and fuel mileage, 30 MPG was the high 25 was the low. These are highly under-rated cars, I enjoyed driving it and it did everything I asked of it with ease and style.

My question involves the ammeter on the car, which has always read low, at the top of the "o" in "Normal" even though a volt meter shows the running voltage is where it should be, is around 14 with a load. I noticed that from time to time it would slip to between the "N" and "o" while running down the road, AC on but fan on a low speed, RPM's around 2200. Other times, with the same load same RPM's it would read above the "o". I was curious if this was a normal thing or if it is a symptom of a failing alternator. The car starts right up, the gauge reads on the "N" if at idle with a high load like AC with radiator fan, blower, headlights and fogs, and radio (Mach 460 system) all on, with no load other than the engine related it always sits at the to of the "o".

Can anyone tell me if I should look at putting an Alternator on it as a preventative measure so my little girl doesn't break down somewhere or am I looking for trouble where none exists? The car has 130K or so on it and the alternator looks original but I don't know the history beyond two years or so. Do these alternators tend to last a long time?

Thanks for reading!
 

ttocs

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It could be the alt, or it could be the battery, it might just be a bad connection at the gauge somewhere. IF your showing 14v then there should not be anything to worry about.
 

RAU03MACH

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They do make high output alternators
But they are a little bit higher price
Mine pretty much do the same I have had mine for 8 years now
I have checked all my connections even ran the battery in my trunk with new connections and new cables and a lot of ground
 

Paladin1001

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OK good thanks for the replies. I was curious if it was a common theme with these gauges or if folks had seen alternators failing at that mileage.
 

ttocs

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and if its still starting regularly I would just suspect the gauge. But with that being said its easy enough to get a volt gauge to plug into the cig lighter to be able to really monitor it.
 

Paladin1001

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and if its still starting regularly I would just suspect the gauge. But with that being said its easy enough to get a volt gauge to plug into the cig lighter to be able to really monitor it.
That's a good idea, I will pick one up before we take it on another long trip. For two people traveling it is a really good car so I am sure it will go on more road trips.
 

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