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Old 06-24-2015, 10:15 PM   #1
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2003 Wagon Zetec Alternator Problems

So my battery light came on while driving today, turns out I left my negative terminal loose. Tightened it, but it's still on. Got the alternator checked and it's apparently shot. What sucks is it was replaced about a month ago. Anyone know of what else I might check before I write off the alternator? And what might cause it to burn out? I assume that it's the fact that I left the battery not properly grounded, but any other things I should look for?


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Old 06-24-2015, 10:49 PM   #2
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Common for the part store rebuilds to go bad all on their own.................
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Old 06-24-2015, 10:57 PM   #3
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See the link
That loose connection is the same as disconnecting the battery while the engine is running

Don't Disconnect the Battery with the Engine Running
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Old 06-25-2015, 12:23 AM   #4
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Sadly he may well be right.
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Old 06-25-2015, 07:02 AM   #5
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Well.. that all makes sense. Ugh. Just sucks. Hopefully this alternator is under warranty and I don't have to buy a new one.
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Old 06-25-2015, 07:40 PM   #6
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Don't mention leaving that cable loose, theoretically that's a cause to reject a warranty.
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Old 06-25-2015, 11:39 PM   #7
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I'm not going to. I know better than that. I did find a corroded cable as well though. So it's not the pigtail, but the one that bolts on. A friend of mine said it goes to the starter. You have any idea on how to replace it and or where to get one?
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Old 06-25-2015, 11:41 PM   #8
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Factory part for the whole official assembly, battery to starter to alternator.
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Old 06-26-2015, 10:09 PM   #9
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hope you havent changed the alt yet, if my memory serves, when you took the wire off the alt you might not of noticed it but you created a spark.. there is a fuse, that blew;; i think its a 10 amp, or is number 10 in the box,, anyway this fuse is in the fuse box thats under the hood, its there just for that reason, to protect the voltage regulator in the alt... look for number 10.. if thats not it you will have to check all, but i know thats why your bat. lite is on.... good luck, get back and let me know;;
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Old 07-04-2015, 09:49 AM   #10
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So just to update, this is what happened. Whoever I got the car from obviously messed with the battery cables and wires. The thick guage wire that leads from starter to the alternator was basically spliced with about a 18 guage wire to actually bolt on to the alternator. The splice was terrible as they just twisted the little wire on and put some tape on it.
Long story short, my alternator was under warranty. It got rebuilt for free. I did not want to order the new battery cable because it's too expensive and I didn't want to wait for shipping. Basically I got 4 guage wire and connected my own battery leads onto it. Wrapped everything up with wire loom and wired it up. Probably not the best solution, but it works and it cost me about 20 bucks just because of all the battery leads and the wire loom. Car has been running just fine for a week now.
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