Bad Battery or Bad Alternator? - 2004 Matrix XR - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums

Corolla 9th Gen/1st Gen Matrix (2003-2008) 9th generation Corolla and 1st generation Matrix discussion.

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post #1 of 44 Old 03-20-2017, 05:04 PM Thread Starter
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Bad Battery or Bad Alternator? - 2004 Matrix XR

My Matrix is running like new and getting great mileage.
The only issue I have noticed is when the car is up to temperature and idle is around 750, it gets dim and the blower motor even slows down until I barely give it gas.

Battery is at 12.7V with car off, 13.5V with it on.
Once I turn on all the accessories the Battery goes to 12.2V and down to 11.8V when in gear.

The Alternator is at 12.6V with the car running with all accessories on (while battery is at 12.2V).

The Alternator measurement was documented by measuring from positive to negative on the alternator itself.
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post #2 of 44 Old 03-20-2017, 07:55 PM
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They're both okay... Which battery is it exactly, and how old is it?
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post #3 of 44 Old 03-20-2017, 08:09 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by invader View Post
They're both okay... Which battery is it exactly, and how old is it?
Its an AC-Delco 500CCA 35F made in 2011.
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post #4 of 44 Old 03-20-2017, 08:12 PM
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12.6 volts is a good strong battery.
Anything below 14.0 volts while running indicates a bad alternator.
Clean both battery terminals/connectors and retest.
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post #5 of 44 Old 03-20-2017, 08:18 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MR2Jedi View Post
12.6 volts is a good strong battery.
Anything below 14.0 volts while running indicates a bad alternator.
Clean both battery terminals/connectors and retest.
That was the reading I got after cleaning and tightening.

If I rev the engine to 2,000RPM-3,000RPM it will run around 14.1V but that is the only time it will, And that is if nothing extra is on.
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post #6 of 44 Old 03-20-2017, 08:24 PM
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6 year old battery rated at only 500CCA?... I bet you'd see a higher charging voltage with a newer and more powerful battery. The exact charging voltage will vary according to the battery's condition and state of charge, the load on the vehicle's electrical system, as well as ambient temperature.

Last edited by invader; 03-20-2017 at 08:48 PM.
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post #7 of 44 Old 03-20-2017, 09:29 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by invader View Post
6 year old battery rated at only 500CCA?... I bet you'd see a higher charging voltage with a newer and more powerful battery. The exact charging voltage will vary according to the battery's condition and state of charge, the load on the vehicle's electrical system, as well as ambient temperature.
Is it still normal for an alternator to get down to 12.6V at any time?
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post #8 of 44 Old 03-20-2017, 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by HighlanderMatirx View Post
Is it still normal for an alternator to get down to 12.6V at any time?
Maybe it is considering the condition of your old 500CCA battery under such loads... I'd start with a new 650~800CCA battery and see what happens. Which state are you in?

Last edited by invader; 03-20-2017 at 10:13 PM.
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post #9 of 44 Old 03-20-2017, 10:04 PM Thread Starter
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Maybe it is considering the condition of your old 500CCA battery under such loads... I'd start with a new 800CCA battery and see what happens. Which state are you in?
Tennessee.

800 seems to be a little much considering the OEM battery is rated at 550CCA.
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post #10 of 44 Old 03-20-2017, 10:09 PM
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Originally Posted by HighlanderMatirx View Post
Tennessee.

800 seems to be a little much considering the OEM battery is rated at 550CCA.
My original 2004 battery was a Delphi 320CCA. I now run an 800CCA battery, as many do... You said it's an ACDelco "35F"?
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post #11 of 44 Old 03-20-2017, 10:13 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by invader View Post
My original 2004 battery was a Delphi 320CCA. I now run an 800CCA battery, as many do... You said it's an ACDelco "35F"?

I believe its a 35A now that I think about it.
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post #12 of 44 Old 03-20-2017, 10:15 PM
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If lights are dim and blower motor slows then suspect battery/alternator problem.
Replace 6 year old battery and then measure voltage "at the alternator". at idle.
If lower then 13.5v engine running with lights/blower etc on, then suspect alternator.
Verify alternator case to ground zero voltage drop

"Is it still normal for an alternator to get down to 12.6V at any time?"
Could be with newer charging systems at certain times of light loads.
Don't believe 04 Matrix is of this type.
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post #13 of 44 Old 03-20-2017, 10:25 PM
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post #14 of 44 Old 03-20-2017, 10:50 PM
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You don't have a battery problem - it's your alternator. First thing to do is to check the BELT TENSION. on the alternator... especially since you can rev it back to ~14 volts... a slackened belt will give you those symptoms... double check the belt tension and see where you're at...



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post #15 of 44 Old 03-20-2017, 10:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighlanderMatirx View Post
Is it still normal for an alternator to get down to 12.6V at any time?

No. One expecption might be ALL accessories on INCLUDING the wipers going on blast... this means high beams, blower on blast, wipers on blast, and a turn-signal on... with all of this going on it might read 12.6 when the turn signal flahed for a split-second... then come back higher to normal range.. then back down to 12.6 when it flased again..

13.5-14.5 is normal alternator range under load or static... anything less, check the belt tension on the alternator then suspect the alternator itself if that don't work..



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