Use a Voltmeter Re: <VV> lights brighten sporadically

FrankCB at FrankCB at
Mon Dec 31 16:54:47 EST 2007

    Attach a cigarette lighter adapter plug to a  voltmeter and plug it into 
the cigarette lighter socket.  Now you can tell  if the occasional brightening 
of the lights is due to a higher than normal  voltage on the electrical 
system.  Normal should be about 14.0 to 14.5  volts after the engine is warmed up 
and perhaps a 1/2 volt higher on a cold  engine/alternator/regulator.  If the 
regulator is periodically  malfunctioning (sticking points) the voltage can 
increase by a full volt or even  more which will tend to burn out the light bulbs 
if it lasts very long.  If  that's the problem, then getting a solid state 
(transistorized) regulator like  all modern cars have will solve it.
    Let us know what you find.
    Frank "measure before replacing" Burkhard
In a message dated 12/30/2007 8:34:19 PM Eastern Standard Time,  
kovacsmj at writes:

Standard  Corvair has alt and volt reg separate. First check the tightness of 
the belt.  Under a heavy electrical load, and a loose belt, the belt may slip 
around the  alternator, too tight a belt will burn bearings out. The alt is 
easy to  replace, but the three isolating screws are a royal pain in the 
@#%@#$. You  really gotta get the maint book, its all in there.
Ray Rodriguez  <reray at> wrote:   The lights (headlights, dash  
lights etc.) on my 65 Monza sporadically get drastically brighter, then go  back 
to normal or slightly below normal brightness. This seems most common  when the 
car is cold and the brightness sometimes is affected by RPM and  sometimes is 
not. I suspect the voltage regulator is the culprit (I dont think  a bad 
ground would give me extra bright lights, only dim lights). What are  your 
opinions, and how do I fix it? Is the voltage regulator in the alternator  or 

Thanks in advance!

Ray Rodriguez  III

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