2000 Dodge Neon alternator

Tiny
BONES691027
  • MEMBER
  • 2000 DODGE NEON
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 94,000 MILES
What tools do you need to change and alternator on a 2000 dodge neon highline and how do you change that alternator?
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Saturday, May 9th, 2009 AT 4:31 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Are you sure it's defective? Chrysler alternators give extremely little trouble, but when they do, it's usually worn brushes. On most models, they can be replaced without removing the alternator from the engine.

94,000 miles is too soon to have worn brushes. Have you actually done any diagnosis or are you just guessing the alternator is bad? What is the symptom?

Caradiodoc
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Sunday, May 10th, 2009 AT 1:54 AM
Tiny
BONES691027
  • MEMBER
At first the car wouldn't start then we got it jumped and then disconnect the negative connection from the battery then the car shut off. After that, we charged the battery and we drove it to auto parts store then when we drove it back, it had died. Battery is new, Febuary of 09.
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Sunday, May 10th, 2009 AT 12:06 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Sorry for the long delay. You are extremely lucky the engine shut off when you disconnected the battery. Doing that while the engine is running was a test used decades ago by people who didn't understand how charging systems worked.

If your alternator is NOT defective, removing the battery cable removes the cushion that helps regulate system voltage. The voltage produced by a good alternator varies between around 8 to 16 volts. The battery smooths out those pulses and gives the voltage regulator a steady voltage to watch. Without the battery, the regulator sees the pulsing drops to 10 volts and tries to increase output voltage to 13.75 to 14.75. If you increase engine rpm while that is happening, the output voltage can very easily exceed 30 volts. Any guess what happens to the engine computer, body computer, remote keyless entry computer, air bag computer, anti-lock brake controller, and electronic radiator fan relay when system voltage goes too high? On older, more reliable cars, the worst that would happen was you'd burn out any light bulbs that were turned on at that time. On newer cars, you can easily do thousands of dollars worth of damage in a few seconds. Please don't do that test again.

The best way to tell if your charging system is working is to measure battery voltage while the engine is running. With the engine off, battery voltage should be near 12.6 volts if it's fully charged. With the engine running, it must stay between 13.75 and 14.75 volts. Lower than 13.75 volts and the battery will never fully charge. Over 14.75 volts and water will start to boil out. Don't panic if your voltage is a little out of that range. If the battery was run down, the system voltage will likely be less than 13.75 volts, but you will see it rise as the battery recharges.

Caradiodoc
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Monday, June 1st, 2009 AT 3:51 PM

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