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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Maybe someone has had or seen a similar scenario to the one I am having. I tried to look through past threads but could not find anything specifically so figured to ask it here. I originally assumed the alternator but something doesn't feel right about that being the cause. Maybe just a gut feeling or maybe as it just does not seem to add up to a typical alternator issue.

My car is a Maserati Coupe Cambiocorsa -2004. It is not my main vehicle, just something I drive on occasion.

Scenario: The battery voltage on dashboard never gets above 1/4 voltage. I have replaced the battery two times and have a trickle charger on it constantly, however, the voltage never gets above 1/4 and always has the warning light on.
I can drive it for stretches of 5 to 10 miles, than the voltage starts dropping and drains the battery.

Some information that may or may not be helpful.
The current battery, purchased last Summer/Fall is an Odyssey (was recommended on a thread on this site).
Battery always shows 99% when on charger.
The car starts up fine, with no issues.
The Oil gauge on the dashboard, shows max (70) when car is on but it has always said that (not sure if that matters).
Everything else on the car seems to operate fine when driving.
I live in Southern New Jersey, USA.

Question: Has anyone had any or heard of any similar issues of the voltage only getting to 1/4 reading.

Thanks in advance,

Steve
 

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Also verify that the battery clamps are fully on and tight. I've seen this cause charging issues on these cars(and others!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
My apologizes for the late reply, my wife was out of town & I was watching my kids.
I will get these readings, both cold & warm this week and relay them.
I will also check the clamps. I know the clamps were never as tight as my other vehicles, but they are newer / run of the mill family vehicles. But it seems like an unrelated issue. With that said, with the new Odyssey battery an prior Optima battery, maybe the terminals are slightly smaller.

Thanks & appreciate the help,

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I just tested the battery reading:
Cold- 12.52
Car running - 11.82
i will test the alternator shortly, not sure if this information would be helpful.
 
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Yeah, that isn't gonna work..A fully charged battery is 12.6 volts...With the engine running and everything off look for something like 13.2 -14.0 volts.....It look like the alternator is bad...Jason
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
anyone have suggestions on where to buy a new one. I can DIY it, well let me clarify, DIY with my neighbors help.
 

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You almost certainly have a problem with the Alternator...

We have a rebuilt alternator here and can usually source a new one very quickly as well. Let us know if we can be of help. We agree a rebuilt isn't the best way forward compared to new but it does offer a solution if they are not easily available or out of reach from a cost perspective.

Best Regards,
 

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I don't know where you are located, but I am outside of Baltimore and have an alternator and starter repair place in town that I have used for some other cars. They are very reasonable and very quick. Let me know if you would want their contact information.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It's been awhile but wanted to update everyone who posted. I ended up ordering an alternator from scuderia (thank you Jason) I ordered the belt as well.
Some background, the extend of my car repair has never been more than changing tire, air filters, or an oil change. But I figured to give it a shot as a DIY, I'm intelligent enough to figure out how things work and there is a great DIY procedure broken down on this forum. I was able to follow that, not to a tee, but enough to get this conceptually and I took pictures/wrote down every step as I progressed so I did not miss anything during reassemble. Pretty straight forward job with one major exception. The new alternator was not as beveled one the front edge (center and right side looking at engine) so the manifold was hitting it during attempted reinstallation and not going down far enough. I must have looked at the way I put the alternator in about 100 times, and compared the exact size of the old one to the new one and it was about centimeter to 2.5 centimeters bigger at certain spots due to not being as beveled. I could have returned the alternator but I'm rather stubborn so there was enough metal on this part of new alternator that I could shave it down without adversely affecting the structural integrity of the new alternator. That was my diagnosis anyway and worse case I ruined the new alternator and threw $850 away. Long story short, I was able to make it fit and reassemble the engine. The engine now reads 12.6 cold and 13.6 when running. I've still only taken it for short trips/test drives less than 5 miles but all seems to be well and the power to car has returned as well.
Another minor issue was the plug that connects to the back (not the starter connecting cable) on my current car, when removed broke apart a lot. It was easy to pull out and there was not excessive pressure it was just worn out a bit that it started to crumble. I was able to align it just right to be able to make sure all three spokes were connecting. Although I was worried about it. I will order this part new though and replace as a future project.

In conclusion;
  • New alternator vs repaired alternator. I'm a little torn on what I think was the better call. It is nice to have brand new, even if having to overpay a bit and even having to shave it down. The shaving down was nominal so I can see how it could be missed by new parts manufacturers. However, a repaired alternator I would not have had this problem as it would have been removed from a car it was already proven to fit into.
  • The job was pretty straight forward, and even if a novice it can be done with some patience, stubbornness, and research.
  • A side benefit, is my auto tools (sockets, wrenches, bits) was kind of embarrassing before this job. I purchased all new sets, as an additional cost for this job, and now my garage tools are much more respectable.

Thanks everyone for the insight.

Steve
 

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You also mentioned oil pressure gauge. It should drop to about 1/3 scale when idling with engine up to temp. If it stays full scale the sender is bad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It is dropping some when running, however, I think that may be due to the last oil change. I took it to my mechanic, who is great, and did the AC repair, tires on the car in the past. However, I do not know if he followed the oil change, than run car than check dip stick procedure since he is not used to working on these cars.
The dropping of oil pressure since alternator replacement, could that be as simple as possibly be due to some of the oil leaked/came out when taking apart the engine. It was not a lot of oil, maybe a half a pint glass worth. (not sure how that correlates to liters but figured everyone knows what a pint glass looks like).
 

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The alternator issue is frustrating and that is why I prefer and volunteer to anyone needing a starter or alternator to be rebuilt a local place near me in Baltimore that is about $150. I have had one done on a Ferrari and a Lotus Esprit and an old 928 S Euro model not to mention other cars. Never an issue and done in 24 hours normally. Thanks Mark
 
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