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Old 03-10-2013, 01:29 PM   #1
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Voltage fluctuations on dash voltmeter

My voltage goes back and forth when I start coach. It goes to 13 to 14 volts every 1/2 second. Anything to worry about or do I have a bad voltage reg? Alternator? Is regulator in alternator? I have a Country Coach with a 400 cummings.
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Old 03-10-2013, 01:40 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bosshawg View Post
My voltage goes back and forth when I start coach. It goes to 13 to 14 volts every 1/2 second. Anything to worry about or do I have a bad voltage reg? Alternator? Is regulator in alternator? I have a Country Coach with a 400 cummings.
Goog question!
Mine has done that while cruising at highway speed, (55-65 mph), for the last 70 k miles, no one seems to know the answer.
BTW, when/if the headlights are turned on, the voltage swing increases.
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3126 Cat, Delco 21SI alternator.
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Old 03-10-2013, 02:16 PM   #3
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Hi bosshawg,
My coach has done this, at startup, since it was new. It settles down after the chassis is aired up to travel height. My GMC ENVOY XUV (rear air bag suspension) does the same thing. My only thought is that when the coach is started, there is a lot of stuff becoming operational. All of it is drawing power all at once. I don't worry about it.
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Old 03-10-2013, 11:02 PM   #4
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I asked you some questions on the CC Yahoo group that would help trouble shoot your problem but you never answered.

1. Does it fluctuate just on startup and then settle down to a steady number?
If so, it could be the air intake meter cycling.

2. Does it fluctuate while driving down the road?
If so, you could have the beginnings of an alternator failure. The regulator is built into the alternator so if you remove it, might as well rebuild the alternator

3. Do you see a bunch of black deposits on the belt pulley?
Most likely alternator.

BTW I doubt you have a cummings. Most likely it is a Cummins
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Old 03-11-2013, 12:29 AM   #5
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All of my diesels (have three of them) have the same function on start up. For mine it is the heater grids cycling on and off. Once the engine is up to temp this stops and all is good. When they DO NOT cycle, then it is time to be concerned.
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Old 03-11-2013, 07:20 AM   #6
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yes it is a cummings. thanks
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Old 03-11-2013, 02:12 PM   #7
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Could also be one of the new 'soft start' alternators, common on newer diesels. They either charge at a lower rate for the first few minutes or do as yours does, hi/lo/hi/lo charge rate.

It's supposed to help both the batteries and alternator last longer.

Has it just started doing this?
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Old 03-14-2013, 07:35 PM   #8
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It could also be the B.I.R.D. bringing the house batts online for a moment or two before all of the voltages stabilize in a charge mode.
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