I have a 78 Trans Am which has had a recurring issue with the charging
I'll start the car and drive off, and find that the alternator is not
charging. Voltage gauge at ~12 volts, turn signals slower than usual,
lights dimemr then usual, etc. Then suddenly, the gauge will read
13.5 volts and everything is OK.
I had this issue in the past, and over time, the amount of time before
the alt started charging would take longer and longer, until finally
the alt no longer worked and I had to replace it. This after making
sure the belt was tight and the battery was OK.
The new alt started out OK, but eventually, it too started this same
strange pattern again over a few thousand miles or so until it too
I thought it was just a poorly made remanufactured alt, so now I am on
the third alternator. It has been fine for a year. Now I just
noticed the other day that it started off at 12 volts again for about
10 minutes of driving, then suddenly went up to 13.5 volts.
I don't know what is wrong or what to look for. The problem must be
originating from somewhere other than the alternator, but it
ultimately becomes affected. The belt is tight enough, the battery is
Has anyone else had a problem like this, and if so, what caused it?