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Running out of electricity

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Hi all, I have taken the plunge and picked up my 1981 S3 N/A yesterday. It is alot of fun.

However, I seem to be running out of electricity on it - by that what I mean is when in heavy traffic, with the lights on and cooling fans running, my voltmeter slowly drops from above 13.5 down into the red and I have to periodically switch of the fans / lights and wait from the voltage to creep back up - the idle also gets pretty rough at this point as well. Is this because the Esprit does not like being stuck in traffic (perfectly understandable) or do I have an alternator / voltage regulator issue? NB the car idles at 1000rpm when warm (rather lumpily).

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It does sound as though you you have an issue with the charging circuit, and it could be the alternator as you suggest. As the dial on the dash can be a little bit inaccurate, I suggest you put a meter across the engine without running and with the engine running, you should get approx 14v when running, if not it could be the alternator itself, or a slipping belt, or maybe a corroded terminal somewhere.


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