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Most likely a bad voltage regulator--on any vehicle. The regulator is supposed to control alternator field current for a charging voltage of 14.5 volts more or less, and may have up to 16 volts. More than 16 volts is hazardous to the electrical system (viz boiling the battery dry or burning out other components). (A fully charged 12-volt battery should show 12.6 volts at rest, the charging voltage with engine running is higher in order to push electrons back into the battery against that.)

Unfortunately, voltage regulators are virtually never owner-fixable (epoxy-encapsulated invisible mystery circuit board with no adjustments!) except to replace with a new one. The only good news is that they sell for around $10, compared to an alternator at about $200!

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โˆ™ 2008-09-16 11:56:56
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Q: What causes the alternator on a 1986 Dodge Lancer to overcharge?
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