How to Check a Chevrolet Camaro Alternator for Problems
The Chevrolet Camaro alternator is responsible for charging your car's battery. Without it, the battery will not work, and your car will not start. Should this happen to you, follow these tips to find out the cause before planning out your next steps.
Charge the battery
Before troubleshooting, you must first make sure that the car's battery is fully charged in order to confirm that the alternator is indeed the problem. To do this, you will need a digital volt/ohm meter. Set the device to volts D/C, then attach its test leads to the positive and negative post of the battery. If the voltage is below 12.5 volts, then you need to charge the battery. If the result reads 12.7 volts or higher, this means that the battery is fully charged. Take note of the indicated voltage.
Test for battery voltage
When the battery is fully charged, it's time to test the large wire that's attached to the back of the alternator. Attach the volt/ohm meter positive test lead to the post that the large wire is connected, and the negative lead to the engine. If the voltage reading is more than 300 Millivolts (or 0.3 volts) lower than the battery's voltage, then clean the battery terminals and do the test again. Write down the readings as well.
Check for battery voltage while the engine is running
Start the engine and attach the meter test leads to the battery again. The voltage when the engine is running should be 13.5 to 15 volts. If it's lower than 13.5, then the alternator is not charging; if it's higher than 15, then the alternator is either overly charging or the battery itself is undercharged. However, since you already tested the battery's charge, the first cause is more likely. To confirm this suspicion, have a spare fully charged battery on hand to test which one is the real problem.
Other troubleshooting tips
Aside from the battery itself, test the electrical connector for power as well. This component is found at the alternator's side. You will need a circuit tester for this. Also check for blown fuses in the fuse block.