GL1500- Do I have an OverCharging Issue
I'm wondering at what voltage I should start to worry about too high an output from the alternator, causing damage to Radio, CB, Lighting and other electronics?
I have a 1999 GL1500 with a Comp-U_Fire 90 amp output alternator. The alternator was installed about 10 years ago. I'm using an AGM battery that is about 5 years old. The battery has been load tested and found to be in good (Acceptable) range. The bike when parked has a Battery Tender Plus attached to keep the battery fully charged.
My experience over the years has been the Air Rider Digital Shift Indicator/Volt Meter reads about 14.2 to 14.3 volts output from the alternator. On rare occasions it may read as high as 14.5 volts, but only very briefly. The bikes volt meter has been verified correct/ accurate with 2 other quality DVMs.
I am now seeing when I start the bike that the alternator output is 15.0 to 15.1 volts. Even at Idle. Eventually after riding it it settles back to 14.2 to 14.3 volts. I have never, (in past years) seen the alternator output that high.
I have read in posts that the service manual states that 15.1 is acceptable, but also read in posts that the Honda Service Manual is not always correct and they disagree with that high an output voltage.
What are your thoughts? Has the voltage regulator started to breakdown and put out too high a output voltage, that would be damaging to the bike. Could the battery test OK, but actually be in need of the high charge level?
I'm looking for a little help on this one. Thanks, DJ
Follow up Question: If my battery was in need of a charge after being taken off the Battery Tender Plus and started, shouldn't the Alternator voltage regulator limit its output at about 14.5 volts and just take longer to top off the battery.
I have also swapped out to a different Battery Tender to see if it made a difference. No change.
I just think your battery is going.
15.1 is a bit too high if it lasts for very long, a couple of minutes would be okay.
the regulator should drop to 14.3-14.4 very soon after engine starts up cold.
once the engine is warm, and the battery has equalized to about the same temperature, the voltage should drop to 13.6-13.8
my 1800 however, stays at 14.1 all the time which is a tad bit high, but I am not going to try and fix what is not really broken. been that way for years, going to leave it alone.
If the battery turns the engine over fast, and it starts while pushing the starter button, the battery is okay.
If, it won't actually start until you release the starter button, then I suggest that you get a new AGM battery.
A good battery will hold the charging voltage down where it should be normally.
but, with a 90 amp alternator, it is really going to depend on the regulator working properly.
I have gone back and read both of your posts, and want to agree with Dennis.
I think it is time for a new battery.....
I would save the one you have to use for hobby stuff.
as for the CB and other electronics, they will survive continuous voltages up about 16 volts..... but, I would not be comfortable at that level if it were mine.
My thoughts are, if it stays at the 15.1 level for more than a couple of minutes, a new battery is needed.
The battery should always be topped off completely with a Battery Tender on it, it will not need to be heavily charged...
however, my battery tender seems to stay at around 13.6-13.8 on my 1800.
on my RV which has a 1,000 CCA Deep Cycle Marine battery, that Battery Tender seems to stay at about 12.8-12.9
I would check the charging voltage using a quality voltage meter connected to the battery terminals. 14.5 volts is about right. A steady 15 volts isn't right. Maybe a visit to the auto-electrician to check using their equipment would put you at ease.
I really suspect your meter is reading high, and...
the battery is getting old so it loses a bit more juice when it cranks, so...
the charging system pumps out a bit more juice (½~¾ volt) to top it off, then settles back to what is normal for that meter.
So, again, the battery is going.
5 years is a good run for a motorcycle battery.
My 1800 starts out at 14.7-14.8 cold then settles down to 14.4-14.5, yours isn't far from that.
Dennis, I do agree with you that I'm also leaning toward the battery. It does start up fine, and does so very quickly with full choke. That's why I was putting off replacing the battery.
My bigger concern was with the 15.0 to 15.1 volt output causing damage to electrical components. I'm not sure how much voltage is too much for the Radio, CB, Garmin GPS or other bike components with short term high output from the alternator.
I disagree with it being the meter reading being HIGH though. The on bike meter has now been verified with 3 different digital voltmeters, two of them being known good, high end, Fluke meters. The readings have only varied by .1 to .2 volts from the meter on the bike.
as I already said, if it never goes above 15.1 you have nothing to worry about.
the radios and electronics will be just fine.
15.1 is only 0.7 volts higher than normal anyway
most electronics stuff can handle 100% overload for a short while.
Automotive electronics are spec'd "nominally" at 13.8V (14 really) and not 12 volts, so you are only 1.3 volts over when reading 15.1 volts. Sensitive low voltage internal circuits will have built-in voltage regulation which is necessary because the input voltage can vary so much. Your electronics will tolerate up to 17 volts all day long.... and if your voltage is THAT high you DO have a problem.
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