I've had a dead battery for a few days and have read lots of good stuff on the forums about flat batteries, parasitic drains, etc. since then. I bought the car a couple of months ago and over the last month or so have had a few occasions where it would take a few attempts to start but it always did. Oddly, this time, the battery died quite rapidly after a normal driving day and then leaving the car overnight. The next morning the battery was completely dead (car wouldn't even crank). The car would jump start fine which suggested to me that it was more than likely just a battery problem.
I attempted to charge it up through the mains last night (it topped out at about 12.35 V) and then left it overnight to see if it lost any voltage. This morning it had dropped to about 12.18 V and I noticed the black 'recharge' disc was in view (no doubt it always had been). After taking it to a local auto leccy's this morning they confirmed it was pretty ropey (voltage OK but only charged to about 40 % of capacity). I duly bought a new one this morning, plugged it in and the car started perfectly as expected.
Now, here's the problem! Out of interest I measured the voltage across the new battery with the engine off (12.3 V ish). Then I started the car and, idling it showed less than this - about 12.0 - 12.1 V. I got my helper to rev and hold the engine at about 2000 rpm for 30 seconds or so and the voltage showed around about 12.0 V. Not what I was expecting if the alternator was doing it's job
There's no battery discharge light on the dash and everything else with the car seems fine but I'm quite concerned about the alternator with those readings...
I'm not particularly mechanically-minded/equipped other than knowing how to use a voltmeter and the basics of what I should see but would appreciate any 'next steps' advice...
Just moved house, it's mid-month and I'm broke too - bloody typical