An ammeter gauge is a devise that measures the electricity flow and current whether it is positive (charging) or negative (discharging), in an automotive vehicle. When the ammeter measures a positive flow, it is measuring the current flow to the battery. On the other hand, the ammeter records a negative flow when the battery is discharging electricity, which is a signal that the alternator is experiencing a system failure. To obtain an accurate reading using the ammeter gauge, all the alternator output used to recharge the battery is first routed through the ammeter, under the dash. This requires a heavy-gauge cable,in order to prevent the possibility of a fire in the engine, or overheating. The ammeter measures the amount of current output to the battery for recharging purposes. Therefore, when the alternator recharges a low battery, the ammeter indicates a high charge rate; when the battery is full, the voltage regulator reduces the alternators output, and indicates a low charge rate. Most automotive ammeter gauges present readings between -60 to 60 Amperes. Ammeters were most often used in the early 1970’s, and many now have been replaced by the voltmeter.
To install an ammeter gauge, first, the wire connecting the positive terminal of the engines battery to the alternator charging terminal needs to be disconnected. Second, a gauge wire is run from the positive terminal of the engines battery to one of the terminals on the ammeter. Third, another gauge wire is routed from the other terminal on the ammeter gauge, to the charging terminal on the alternator.
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