2005 Chrysler Town and Country Voltage regulator

Tiny
NITEFATE
  • MEMBER
  • 2005 CHRYSLER TOWN AND COUNTRY
  • 3.8L
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 86,810 MILES
Show me where voltage regulator is located in this vechile, van all sudden went wacko gauges jumped around van stalled, would not start, replaced terminals, battery, plus cables, drove to my home about 3 miles nothing on such as radio aircondisoner or, lights, parked and van shut down would not start, tried another battery started up drove to auto zone, New battery registered as needs recharged andvthey tested it and voltage regulator showed at 12. Amps, clerk auto zone said I needed replace alternator, I was told else where voltage regulator is not in alternator/voltage, regulator is located elsewhere either power train module, or computer, so get another test and opinion. Please show me location , how to repair vans problem and cost of, thank you very much, from 2005 Chrysler, town&country ;drained&short fused.
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Tuesday, July 28th, 2015 AT 5:23 PM

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Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
The voltage regulator has been in the Engine Computer since the late 1980s and has been an extremely trouble-free circuit. That should be way at the bottom of the list of suspects.

No test showed the voltage regulator to be at 12 amps. If someone told you that, you need to find a mechanic to perform a professional load-test on the entire charging system. You can start the preliminary test yourself with an inexpensive digital voltmeter. With the engine running, you must find between 13.75 and 14.75 volts across the battery terminals. If you do, the voltage regulator is working.

The next step is to measure full-load charging current, (amps), and "ripple" voltage. Those values will tell us if the alternator is working properly. Depending on which alternator you have, you should be getting close to 140 amps or more at full load. If you are, it is working too. If you can only get exactly one third of that, there is a failed diode inside the alternator and it must be replaced. With a bad diode, ripple voltage will be very high.
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Tuesday, July 28th, 2015 AT 7:52 PM
Tiny
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Oops, your right, the nobody that did test was at AutoZone, it didn't read 12. Amp it started at 10.4, stopped at 11 then on meter. It Read voltage regulator failed, went in store he looked in the computer, looked up price for voltage regulator it came up with NA, Mr auto zone looked up alternator stated volt reg installed /in alternator-200.$ Center of problem draining battery.. ** So where exactly is location & what does voltage regulator look like, consist of. Any repair ever needed ****., So now. Mr heart attack go.. First your right? Your left your left right left, MaRch. Answer question originally asked, ** is it wrong to start vexhile remove negitige tcable from battery and if vechile shuts down it is the alternator if car stays on it is not alternator /battery, will doing that burn out computer in vechile.?&. Or that a 1970 & over type of test for a faultyalternato. Battery..R
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Tuesday, July 28th, 2015 AT 11:43 PM
Tiny
NITEFATE
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Is Crystal town an country nrgitive ground or positive ground, Just asking
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Wednesday, July 29th, 2015 AT 7:18 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
I can't follow your reply. I can't tell if you're asking a question or if you're stating something tat someone else asked you.

What I WAS able to make out is your question about removing a battery cable with the engine running. Don't you dare do that, EVER! If you do, I'm done here because I don't want to be involved in the damage you could possibly cause. Rather than retype everything, here is a copy of my reply to someone else on this subject:

AGGGGHHHH!

DO NOT DISCONNECT ANY BATTERY CABLE WITH THE ENGINE RUNNING!

Every year I did a demonstration on the generator test bench for my students to show what can happen when you do that. It was real easy for the voltage to reach over 35 volts. That WILL destroy any computer on the vehicle, the generator's internal diodes, the voltage regulator, and any light bulbs that are turned on.

The thinking is that if you disconnect either cable and the engine stays running, the generator must be working but a lot of them will stop working due to the voltage regulator responding to the dips in the "ripple" voltage being produced. That will make a perfectly good generator appear to be bad so that test is not valid.

If a mechanic is caught pulling this stunt he will typically get one verbal warning. For the second offense he will be fired. It's that big a deal.

Some generators respond to the high points in the ripple. That momentary higher voltage goes right back to the field winding and creates a stronger magnetic field. That stronger electromagnet creates a higher output voltage which again creates a stronger electromagnet. It's a vicious circle and voltage can keep on rising until something gives out. The main thing that smoothes out that ripple so it doesn't affect the voltage regulator or the generator is the battery.

Three things are needed to generate the output current. They are a magnet, (electromagnet, in this case), a coil of wire, and most importantly, movement between them. That's why the belt needs to make it spin. One thing that can save you from doing damage by removing a battery cable is not raising engine speed. Generators are relatively inefficient at low engine speeds and their output voltage is less likely to rise to dangerous levels, ... As long as you don't raise engine speed.

One other thing to keep in mind is batteries give off explosive hydrogen gas. Regardless if your generator is working or not there is going to be a big spark when you remove a battery cable with the engine running. Either the generator's current will be recharging the battery, and that can be up to 20 amps, or the battery is going to be supplying the car's electrical systems, and that can easily be over 30 amps. That kind of current is going to create a big spark when a connection is broken or reconnected. Small arc welders run as low as 40 - 60 amps and look at the sparks they create. The reason we don't hear about more battery explosions is because people are careful to not disconnect the cables when there is current flowing through them. It's also why there are huge warning labels on all battery chargers to be sure they are turned off before connecting or disconnecting them from the battery.

Another common generator problem is one defective diode out of the six. You will lose exactly two thirds of the generator's capacity but system voltage will remain normal or it could even be just a little high from the voltage regulator responding to the greatly increased dips in the ripple voltage.

It's always a good idea to wear safety glasses when working around car batteries, but if you still insist on removing a cable while the engine is running, a face shield makes more sense, and have plenty of water on hand to wash any acid off the vehicle's paint.

Ford used to have a really nice generator design that allowed testing right on the back of the unit. Only Chrysler alternators are easier to diagnose. Unfortunately the engineers don't really care about ease of service on GMs and many other brands.

The way you tell if the charging system is working is to measure the battery voltage while the engine is running. It must be between 13.75 and 14.75 volts. There still could be a bad diode though. You need a professional load tester to test for that. Ripple will be very high and the most output current you will get will be one third of the generator's design value. That is not enough to meet the demands of the electrical system under all conditions so the battery will have to make up the difference, until it runs down. You still could have a generator problem. Either have it load-tested or use a home battery charger to fully charge your battery at a slow rate for an hour, then see if it is dead again the next day.

Okay, I'm back. As I said earlier, your voltage regulator is inside the Engine Computer and rarely causes a problem. The van uses a negative ground system.
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Thursday, July 30th, 2015 AT 4:05 PM

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