How to Test Alternator: 2010-2015 Camaro 3.6L/6.2L

The Camaro’s alternator is a generator that works in conjunction with the battery and voltage regulator to produce an alternating current throughout the vehicle’s electrical system. And when the flow of electricity stops, a series of inspection procedures should be followed to establish whether or not the alternator, or its related parts, is malfunctioning. Use this guide to understand how to test the Camaro’s alternator.

Test Battery

Test the batteries state-of-charger with a voltmeter. With the vehicle turned off, connect the black voltmeter probe to the negative (-) terminal on the battery. Then connect the red probe to the batteries positive (+) terminal and record the volts. If the battery is fully charged, the voltmeter should read no less than 12.6 volts. If the voltmeter reads less than 12.6 volts, recharge the battery. Also, check the alternator belt tension and ensure it’s tight. 

Use a voltmeter to test the open circuit voltage of the Camaro's battery.
The voltmeter should read 12.6 volts or more when the engine is off.

With the battery fully charged, start the engine and test the battery voltage again with the voltmeter. The measurement should fall between 13.5 to 15 volts. If the measurement is more or less than the specified parameters, the voltage regulator is most likely faulty. If the electronic voltage regulator is faulty, the alternator will need to be replaced since it’s not a separate or serviceable part.

Bench Test Alternator

Remove alternator and have it bench tested. Most local auto parts stores have an alternator bench tester on site. An alternator bench test is the most definitive way to establish the performance of the generator. If the alternator is bad, replacing it should fix the problem.

Under no circumstances should you ever remove the negative terminal from the battery when the Camaro is running to test for a bad alternator. Testing in this way can damage sensitive and expensive electrical devices.

Reinstall Alternator

If the alternator tested good during bench testing, reinstall the alternator. Then turn the key to the ON position without starting the vehicle. The instrument panel lights, including the charging system light, should illuminate.

Next start the vehicle, if the charging system light doesn’t turn off, something is wrong with the charging system and need further investigation. At this point, it would be recommended to have the Camaro dealer serviced or examined by a qualified repair shop.

NOTE: These alternator testing procedures are based on the 2010-2011 Camaro 3.6L V6 engine (LLT), 2012 2013 2014 2015 Camaro 3.6L V6 engine (LFX), 2010-2015 Camaro 6.2L V8 engine (LS3, L99, LSA), and supercharged.

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