1999 Other Mitsubishi Models Alternator is hot?

Tiny
TIMBOMBADHILL
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 MITSUBISHI
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • MANUAL
  • 80,000 MILES
In the middle of a 2-hour drive, my maintenance free battery started smelling strongly of sulfur. Upon inspection, I found all 6 cells to be bone dry and the battery to be hot. I added water and drove home another hour. Battery tested good at Autozone (so did the alternator supposedly), but I replaced the batt. Anyway for fear it would die soon. The next day, after spotting liquid on top of the brand new battery, I removed the alternator and this time, the alternator tested bad (bench test).

Took me a couple hrs to get the old alternator off, and the autozone guy said, "wow, that's hot". I mention all of this because I still think something is wrong. I'm not sure how hot an alternator is suposed to get, but the new one seems to be getting hot too, and there is a strange sound that comes from the engine when the engine is under load. Best way I can think to describe it is a high-pitched electrical sqeal. The sound may be the "gator belts" I was talked into at autozone. It's an ugly noise.

I just tested the battery voltage with my trusty multimeter per the manual and got possibly strange readings -

13v when off
14.3v at idle
14.3v at 1500rpm or 2500 rpm (holds steady)
when I let off the throttle voltage drops to 13.5v and then back up to hold at 14.5v

Is this normal? Does it sound like there's something wrong other than the alternator that may have even cause the previous alternator to go bad?

On a related topic, I've owned the car for a little over a year, and ever since I bought it, the radio cut out randomly. The problem got worse recently to where it would cut out when I started off to work in the morn, and wouldn't come back on until I was just pulling into work. Very frustrating. Now that the alternator and battery are replaced, the radio is working like a champ - has not cut out at all. Also, I last night I noticed the lights dim a little and there has always been a sort of surging to the engine that is not cool. It sort of cycles slow to fast at random. A lot of cars I have had done this and this has always nagged me.

please help!
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Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008 AT 7:23 PM

4 Replies

Tiny
TIMBOMBADHILL
  • MEMBER
I always think I'm getting bad gas mileage, so maybe I'm just paranoid, and the car doesn't get that great. But it is a '99 Mits Mirage 1.5L, and I'm getting close to 25mpg. It seems like before all this I was closer to 30.
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Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008 AT 7:40 PM
Tiny
MASTERTECHTIM
  • MEMBER
Wow. First of all your battery overheating and boiling out the water was caused by a faulty alternator. Your radio cutting out was also most liekly caused by your bad alternator. Your alternator will get hot, thats normal. Its charging perfectly from the readings you are showing. Recheck tension on the belt for the squeeling noise and also check the ac compressor and see if that is cycling causing the surge, you may be low on freon causing that to cycle.
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Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008 AT 8:01 PM
Tiny
TIMBOMBADHILL
  • MEMBER
You were right about the alternator. It seems better.

I loosened the belt, and it seemed to lessen the noise, though it's still there when I down shift. Seems like I loosened it as far as it would go. There's no slippage tho. The belts seemed tight to me right after I put them on even before I adjusted the alternator and power steering pump.

I haven't checked the ac - need to check the manual on how this is done. The compressor squeaks every now and then so it's probably next to go, but for now, the ac works pretty well.

Thanks for the quick response!
I do still worry about a possible short somewhere that may have caused the problems. I wonder if you could tell me how to check the ground on my battery with the voltmeter.

Thanks again.
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Friday, September 5th, 2008 AT 8:09 PM
Tiny
MASTERTECHTIM
  • MEMBER
You cant check the ground at the battery with a voltmeter but you can check the rest of the grounds with a voltmeter. Connect one end to battery ground side and other end of volt meter to a suspect ground and if you show a reading of over.5 volts then the ground is bad.
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Thursday, September 11th, 2008 AT 5:29 AM

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