There are tons of elements in your car’s charging system. However whereas the battery and the alternator get all of the love, one other essential element is the voltage regulator.

However should you’ve by no means heard of a voltage regulator or don’t understand how they work, you run your self in circles making an attempt to determine what’s unsuitable together with your car.

On this complete information, we’ll break down every little thing you might want to know to verify your voltage regulator and get your car again on the street working like new!

6 Dangerous Voltage Regulator Signs

Due to the significance of a superb voltage in your car, a voltage regulator may cause many various signs.

The most typical signs of a foul voltage regulator are excessive voltage, dead car battery, verify engine gentle, battery light, or dimming lights.

Under we’ll spotlight the six commonest signs of a foul voltage regulator.

1. Too Excessive Voltage within the Battery

Measure Car Battery Voltage

There are two methods a voltage regulator can fail. First, it may cease directing sufficient voltage to the battery. Second, it may direct an excessive amount of energy to the battery. If it’s sending an excessive amount of energy, you’re going to run into issues sooner somewhat than later.

A totally charged battery has 12.6-volts, nevertheless it’s not unusual for them to sit down at 13.7 volts whereas the alternator costs them. Something extra that may trigger harm. You’ll discover the battery is getting far too heat, probably warping, and if left alone lengthy sufficient, probably cracking or exploding.

2. Useless Battery

Dead Car Battery

You’ll get an excessive amount of voltage if the voltage regulator isn’t diverting energy when it ought to. If it’s not sending sufficient voltage to the battery, it’s going to continuously be lifeless.

It may be one of many extra irritating elements to troubleshoot since you don’t often begin your voltage regulator when your car isn’t beginning because it ought to.

It’s fairly simple to measure the charging voltage from the alternator with a multimeter although.

Associated: Alternator Not Charging – 6 Causes & Diagnostics

3. Battery Gentle or Test Engine Gentle

Battery Alternator Light

Whether or not your voltage regulator is neglecting to cost your battery or it’s overcharging it, varied sensors may pop both a check engine light or a battery gentle. When you’ve got both of those lights pop on, it is best to cease driving your automobile instantly.

Both your car may die altogether, or the battery may overcharge and explode. Both approach, nothing good goes to return of it.

4. Inconsistent Operation of Electrical Parts

Dashboard Warning Lights

In case your voltage regulator is working intermittently, {the electrical} elements round your car will function that approach too. Whether or not it’s your radio, dashboard lights, or extra vital elements like your fuel pump, you’ll discover inconsistent operation.

When you’ve got lots of unusual electrical issues it might be too low or too excessive voltage brought on by the voltage regulator.

5. Automobile Dies Whereas Operating

Car Stop After Road

In case your voltage regulator isn’t directing sufficient energy to the battery whereas the engine is working, your car will shut off as you’re driving down the street.

Your car wants voltage to run, so if it’s not getting any, you’re going to run into issues. This can sometimes solely be an issue if both the voltage regulator or the alternator utterly fails.

Associated: 6 Causes Why Your Car Shuts Off While Driving

6. Dimming/Pulsing Lights

Dim Headlights Car

In case your car’s voltage regulator is working inconsistently, you then may discover that your lights are “pulsing” as they get brighter and dimmer. This occurs when your voltage regulator is unable to keep up a constant voltage prefer it’s imagined to.

Nonetheless, in case your voltage regulator is beginning to fail and doesn’t keep the correct quantity of voltage, you may discover that you’ve got lights that aren’t as shiny as they need to be.

Voltage Regulator Operate

Voltage Regulator

On the danger of sounding redundant, your voltage regulator regulates your voltage. If that doesn’t make sense, maintain studying, and we’ll break down precisely the way it does it.

All the voltage begins in your alternator, however because it’s belt-driven, it’s creating voltage at any time when your engine is working. However your battery can solely deal with as much as 14.5 volts at a time (12.6-volts is a full cost). If the alternator saved dumping all that voltage into the battery, it will blow up!

Your voltage regulator screens your battery’s current-voltage and sends voltage that approach when it begins to dip too low. When the battery has sufficient voltage, the regulator diverts all that extra energy to the bottom, successfully eliminating it from the system.

When every little thing is working accurately, it’s a particularly environment friendly system that retains every little thing working the way in which it ought to.

Voltage Regulator Location

Alternator Voltage Regulator

More often than not, the voltage regulator is positioned on the alternator’s again or contained in the alternator.

Nonetheless, some automobiles could have the voltage regulator mounted off to the aspect of the alternator, however it’s fairly uncommon.

If the voltage regulator is positioned contained in the alternator, it may be difficult to find relying on the alternator kind. Whereas some manufactures put them in simple to entry places, others bury them.

As a last twist, many more moderen automobiles are beginning to incorporate the voltage regulator instantly into the Engine Control Module (ECM). It runs off a separate circuit in these methods, and you may’t exchange simply the voltage regulator.

Voltage Regulator Substitute Price

A voltage regulator prices 20$ to 200$ and the labor prices 50$ to 200$. You may count on a complete alternative price of 70$ to 400$ for a voltage regulator alternative.

Relying on which car you drive, changing the voltage regulator can imply changing your complete alternator or simply the regulator.

If you might want to exchange your complete alternator, it often prices between $200 and $500 for the half alone. From there, it’s often a fairly simple job for a mechanic, so you may count on to spend between $50 and $100 in labor.

A Voltage regulator sometimes prices between $20 and $200. Whereas it’s a giant value vary, they often price rather less should you drive a smaller car. Labor prices fluctuate as effectively, relying on how simple the regulator is to entry.

Due to their various places, voltage regulators can price as little as $50 for labor, however for some automobiles, it’s attainable to spend nearer to $200.

For those who’re mechanically inclined, you may exchange each an alternator with a voltage regulator and a standalone voltage regulator with out an excessive amount of of a problem.

Want extra automobile restore assist?

For those who want extra assist together with your automobile restore, you may ask your automobile questions in our neighborhood without spending a dime. You’ll find our community here.