Took alternator about 30 seconds to start charging on startup?

I started my car the other day after the snow storm, and the volt guage did not move up to its proper volt reading for about 30 seconds after I started it up. It hung real low while the car was idling, and eventually went up to what it should be. Is this a sign of anything bad to come? I just cleaned the car off since it had snowed piled all over it. I am coming home for Christmas break on Weds(1.5 hour drive), and I don't want anything to happen on the ride home. I also need the car over the break to get myself back and forth to work.

What do you guys think? Anything wrong with it at all?

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I dont think you have anything to worry about while you are away. The alt. will only give back to your gage what it is getting from the battery, so check your battery at Autozone before you take off and make sure it passes the load test. Other than that look into getting the g3 conversion to a 130amp unit. I sure am!
ill second the 3g alt.

i had a 110 amp in my car from the previous owner. i had no problems until i installed 2 rockford fosgate amps. i couldnt drive with my heat on past the first notch with my stereo on or the volts would drop down to about 10.

was even worse at idle, then i started having dead batterys.

i just installed my 3g 200 amp tonight, and i have have stereo on, heater up all the way, high beams, and my tach light on and be right at 12-14 volts sitting at idle.

good luck
I'll also recommend the 3G alternator upgrade. I've done it on both of my foxes and have no regrets. Best money i ever spent on them.

As for your problem, it could have been caused by simple belt slippage. If the belt was wet it could have just been slipping for a few seconds. Check your belt for wear and cracking and replace if necessary. Make sure your tensioner is working properly and isn't sticking.
I know I should do the 3g upgrade, but I don't have the money right now. It is on my list of things to do though. I am just wondering if I will be fine for the ride home. It just seemed odd how it didn't charge at all for about 30 seconds before the guage started moving. If it were the tensioner, wouldn't it have stayed not charging? The only thing I could think of was that maybe the alternator got wet, or the belt was slipping or something.

Thanks for the help,
The alternator conversion can be a really cheap mod. I purchased an alternator off of a 94 mustang from a junkyard for $20, and it worked just fine. The only labor involved is splicing the wiring harness to fit and slightly cutting the bracket mount. I later wired in bigger gauge wiring for the alternator, since I figured there might be more juice moving through it, but I did not have any trouble with the stock wiring. It helps if the junkyard will leave the wiring connectors on the back of the alternator and simply chop the wires when they remove it, then you can just splice the stock wiring into those harnesses.
5.0GT said:
I know that the conversion can be relatively cheap. All I want to know is if I will be fine on the ride home? Anything I can check before I start my trip tomorrow?

If you want to be sure, get your battery checked. It might be weak. It sounds to me like the battery was taking all your alternator output for the first 30 seconds.

Batteries lose a lot of efficiency in cold temperatures. If your battery is kind of marginal, it may have taken a while for the stock alternator to charge it up. If you had your HVAC fan on, that would take A LOT of amps from your stock alternator -- at idle, almost all of them if the fan is on high.

It could be a bad alternator, but I'd start with the battery. It's the simplest and most likely problem, if a problem really exists.