How to Check the Charging System on a 1994 Honda FourTrax 300

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The charging system in your 1994 Honda Four-Trax 300 consists of an alternator and a voltage regulator that combine to produce a specified level of electrical current. The voltage regulator receives current from the alternator, and automatically adjusts the level of output to accommodate demands of the battery, the ignition coil, and any lights you might turn on. With a fully charged battery, problems are confined to either the alternator or voltage regulator. A voltage meter is used to check the output and capability of your 1994 Honda Four-Trax 300 charging system.

Things You'll Need

  • Service manual
  • Metric tools
  • Voltage meter
  • Electrical contact spray

Voltage Regulator

  • Park the four-trax and allow the engine to cool completely. Voltage readings are more accurate when the bike's components are cool. Remove the rider's seat to access the battery.

  • Open your service manual to electrical system section. Refer to the diagrams and locate the alternator and voltage regulator on your ATV. Depending on your body kit, it might be necessary to remove sections to access these parts. Remove the necessary fairings or covers using your metric tools.

  • Connect the red voltage meter wire clip to the positive battery terminal. Connect the black wire clip to the negative battery terminal. Set the voltage meter on the next scale, up from 12 volts. This might be 20 or 24 volts, depending on your meter.

  • Start the ATV engine and look at the reading on the meter. It should read between 13 to 14 volts with a fully charged battery. Watch the meter and twist the throttle grip until the engine speed is at 1,600 rpm. A rise in voltage indicates a faulty voltage regulator. Proceed with the check when the voltage remains constant between 13 to 14 volts.

  • Allow the engine to return to idle speed. Turn the headlight on and observe the voltage reading on your meter. A drop in voltage indicates a faulty alternator or a problem with the circuit wiring. Disconnect the meter clips from the battery and turn the engine off.

Alternator and Wiring

  • Allow the engine to return to idle speed. Turn the headlight on and observe the voltage reading on your meter. A noticeable drop in voltage indicates a faulty alternator or a problem with the circuit wiring. Disconnect the meter clips from the battery and turn the engine off.

  • Look at the wiring diagram in your service manual and locate the wire connectors for the alternator. Pull each connector apart one at a time and inspect them for dirt, dust or corrosion. Clean a dirty or corroded connector using electrical contact spray. Reconnect each wire connector as you go.

  • Connect the voltage meter clips to the battery as before. Start the engine and repeat the check of the charging system. A constant voltage reading of 13 to 14 volts during the test indicates the problem was a dirty wire connector.

References

  • Photo Credit Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images
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