Bought a used Troy Bilt/Bolens GTX16 with the 16HP VanGuard Engine. All was well until I degreased and washed out the engine and engine area a few days after I had it, and even though I blew it completely dry with my compressor, I didn't start it, just stored it for a few days....probably a mistake. Now I am getting a steady and sometimes flickering BATTERY charging light. I have tested the stator according to the B&S Alternator manual and I am only getting about 8-9 Volts AC at full throttle at the double connector.

I am wondering what could have occurred after I washed it and what could have gone bad on the alternator? (It's only magnets and wound coils) Should I take it apart? Maybe some slight rust on the magnet surface?

Also, there is a blue wire attached to a white plastic-based screw terminal just above the spec plate of the motor near the regulator and is reading about 20 volts ac....what is this lead for and why is it reading this much voltage if the stator is indeed bad?

The model # of the engine is a 303447 1216-A1...... I appreciate anyone's input on this mater. Mark