Large terminal on alt goes to battery pos, small wire on alt goes through bulb to ignition switch feed. When alt is not turning the ignition feed goes through bulb to small term, which is earthed through alt hence light is on when ignition on but engine stopped. When engine starts the alt creates 12v volts on small which breaks earth and turns light out. Alt will not work without 12v ignition feed to small term as power is required to start charging process. Tried to simplify it down, hope it helps.
The alternator does not hold a charge. It charges the battery. If it will not charge the battery then either the alternator is defective, battery is defective, or the connections are corroded or loose. You should read 13.5 to 15.5 volts at the battery with the engine idling. Check it with a DC volt meter. If you get less the alternator is defective. If you get much more the voltage regulator is defective.
Yes, a loose battery cable will prevent the alternator from charging the battery. The drain on the battery is not caused by the engine not running unless an accessory is left on. Most likely, the drain is caused by accessories (radio, lights, etc) while the engine is running due to the battery not receiving its charge from the alternator and then not having enough charge left to start the engine.
If the battery is fully charged and the starter is working properly it will turn over and start. The alternators sole purpose is to supply voltage to the vehicle and battery when the engine is running. When the engine is not running the alternator has nothing to do with starting the engine. If the alternator went bad and the battery was discharged then you will have to charge the battery before it will be able to start the engine. Do not jump start the engine with a dead battery if you can avoid it. This puts a strain on the alternator trying to recharge a dead battery and can damage the alternator, even a new one.
I am assuming you mean with the auto engine running. Yes, that is possible but you are putting a strain on the alternator of the car. An alternator is not designed to charge a dead battery. It is designed to keep a charged battery fully charged. as long as the ATV battery is the same voltage as the car battery, usually 12 volts, you can charge it, or jump start the atv and let it charge the battery itself.
Should really charge it then test it with a proper battery load tester. All you can do on your own is get a multimeter and check the voltage. Without it running and having sat for a 1/2 hour or so the voltage should be approx 12-12.5 volts. Start the engine and if the alternator is good the voltage at the battery terminals should be 13-14 volts. If without the engine running the battery voltage is 12 or less this may indicate that the battery is not holding a charge. Even then the voltage should go to between 13-14 volts when engine is started showing that the alternator is working to charge the battery. If when started the battery voltage stays around 12-12.5 volts or less I would suspect the alternator. Just to double check there is the main power out terminal on the back of the alternator. With the engine running check the voltage. If 13-14 volts is present at the alternator but not the battery the circuit in between the alternator and battery is suspect. If the voltage at the alternator is the same as at the battery (12-12.5 or less) the alternator or voltage regulator may be defective.
Yes. A fully charge battery will read 12.6 volts with engine not running. A 75% charged battery will read 12.4 volts. At 50% charge, it will read 12.2 volts. At a 25% charge it will read 12 volts, but that will not be enough to even start the engine in most cases and unless the alternator is bad the battery is defective. With the engine running you should read 13.5 to 15.5 volts at the battery. Any less and the alternator is defective.
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