Alternator works randomly - Ford Focus Forum, Ford Focus ST Forum
Ford Focus Forum
HomeContact UsAbout UsGalleryDiscussion ForumsMarketplace


Go Back   Ford Focus Forum, Ford Focus ST Forum > Ford Focus Tech Discussions > General Technical Chat

General Technical Chat This section is for technical discussions relating to general maintenance, electrical issues, engine trouble, and recalls.

Search This Forum | Image Search | Advanced Search    
Ford Focus Tire & Wheels FocusFanatics Merchandise

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-10-2013, 10:18 PM   #1
braineatingalien
Focus Jr. Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Fan#: 67815
Location: Austin, MN
What I Drive: 2007 Silver ZX3 SE

Posts: 35
FF Reputation: 1 braineatingalien Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
Alternator works randomly

I've done quite a bit of research, but I wan't to make sure I don't waste my time. My 2007 ZX3 hatchback Focus recently is having charging problems. The alternator seems to be working on and off at times. While driving and when its not charging sometimes I can rev the engine up to 5k+ and it will kick the alternator back in gear and start charging again for a while. Does that sound like an alternator problem. And why would it work randomly. I'm worried I will take it in to have it tested out and they will say its good when its really not. What should I do?


braineatingalien is offline  
    Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 01-11-2013, 07:18 AM   #2
mikeeshaq
Focus Addict
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Fan#: 72526
Location: Sugar Land,TX ex MN, TX
What I Drive: 2010 Transit Connect

Posts: 1,042
FF Reputation: 15 mikeeshaq Great Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
Assuming that your battery connections are TIGHT and will not move at all sideways

Then maybe it is your three prong connector that controls the alternator function that is plugged into the alternator. Lots of instances of that connector going bad or perhaps the wires leading up to it.
mikeeshaq is online now  
    Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2013, 07:29 AM   #3
focusmaniaczx3
I need BOOOOST!!!!!!
 
focusmaniaczx3's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Fan#: 55157
Location: conover, NC
What I Drive: zx3 turbo, kia soul, 71 chevy c/10

Posts: 5,983
FF Reputation: 35 focusmaniaczx3 Great Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (14)
had a similar issue with mine a few months back. turned out that the post that the main power wire screws onto on the alternator had somehow become partially disconnected. and i dont mean the power wire was trying to come loose from the alternator. i mean the post itself was trying to fall off the alternator. get a hand on the main power wire on the alternator and see if it wiggles at all. also check all of the connections going to the alternator to make sure they are firmly connected, there should be no wiggle room at all, everything should be very snug. also check the power wire where it connects to the battery. if that connection has come loose it could be the cause of an intermittent issue.
__________________
focus-power P&P head $1100
focus-power DIY turbo kit $1495
tom's first time in Vegas? PRICELESS!
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1turbofocus
I love this big little city HOOTERS !
Every time you drink a beer somewhere an ugly woman becomes beautiful, so get to it!
focusmaniaczx3 is offline  
    Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2013, 07:57 AM   #4
rambleon84
So mote be it
 
rambleon84's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Fan#: 51521
Location: columbus, OH
What I Drive: 2007 Dark Toreador Red ZX3

Posts: 5,292
FF Reputation: 23 rambleon84 Great Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (15)
My 2007 started doing that last year. The car would actually shut off once or twice at stops but revving it kept it alive long enough to get home. Then the next few days the car was back to normal. The telltale sign that it is going out altogether was when electrical things started not working right, even got a message on the stock head unit. Then it died on me while driving, all electrical shut off; gauges, lights, everything. I had the alt and battery tested, the alternator wasnt doing its job. Ended up having to replace the alternator, since then everything is back to normal 100% and happy again.

Similar issue happened with my sisters '07. Her shop said it was the battery only for the new battery to die on her while on a trip. Replacing the alternator fix the problem and she had been issue free for the past year.
rambleon84 is online now  
    Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2013, 10:32 AM   #5
braineatingalien
Focus Jr. Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Fan#: 67815
Location: Austin, MN
What I Drive: 2007 Silver ZX3 SE

Posts: 35
FF Reputation: 1 braineatingalien Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
Okay, thanks guys. I am working on it today. I guess I will check connections and if everything looks good. I will pull the alt.
braineatingalien is offline  
    Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2013, 10:40 AM   #6
whynotthinkwhynot
Captain TMI
 
whynotthinkwhynot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Fan#: 18416
Location: the armpit of TN, Memphis, TN
What I Drive: 05 ZXW; 02 Windstar; 13 C-Max SEL

Posts: 20,128
FF Reputation: 270 whynotthinkwhynot Outstanding Standing Member whynotthinkwhynot Outstanding Standing Member whynotthinkwhynot Outstanding Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (1)
I agree, it's time to start planning on replacing the alternator. So far, the 05+ Focis don't seem to have alternator plug-in connector problems that are fairly common on the earlier Focis. I do not know why this is, and as those cars age it will surely become more common. There are ways to watch alternator output while driving, but it's more for curiosity at this point. You just need a new alternator. Here's where I make my plug for you finding a local rebuilder- because that's a trademark of mine. You support your local small businesses, also in my experience it is much cheaper, and more reliable. Local automotive electrical rebuilders are in every municipality. These businesses might disappear as parts swapping DIYers get wooed by lifetime warranties, so reap the savings and benefits while you can. I got mine rebuilt for $80.

To double check your alternator problems use the electronic odometer method and monitor voltage while you drive. This will tell you if you're having problems with losing voltage via the alternator while driving, low battery voltage before starting, or high alternator voltage while driving. High voltage can kill your battery, and is not good for the rest of the electrical system either.
__________________
Be eclectic.
---The Complete How-To Archive--

Moderating everything now, let me know if I can help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by the user formerly known as ZX3_Chick View Post
You're special aren't you.
whynotthinkwhynot is offline  
    Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2013, 10:41 AM   #7
whynotthinkwhynot
Captain TMI
 
whynotthinkwhynot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Fan#: 18416
Location: the armpit of TN, Memphis, TN
What I Drive: 05 ZXW; 02 Windstar; 13 C-Max SEL

Posts: 20,128
FF Reputation: 270 whynotthinkwhynot Outstanding Standing Member whynotthinkwhynot Outstanding Standing Member whynotthinkwhynot Outstanding Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (1)
Wow... talk about two seconds too late.
__________________
Be eclectic.
---The Complete How-To Archive--

Moderating everything now, let me know if I can help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by the user formerly known as ZX3_Chick View Post
You're special aren't you.
whynotthinkwhynot is offline  
    Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2013, 11:08 AM   #8
1turbofocus
FF Affiliate
 
1turbofocus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Fan#: 1123
Location: Belmont, NC
What I Drive: 2000 ZX3 / 2002 SVT Turbocharged

Posts: 21,778
FF Reputation: 153 1turbofocus Excellent Standing Member 1turbofocus Excellent Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (28)
The 2005 started a new type of ECU alt control at idle the ecu only shoots for 12 volts depending on load , engine temps and batt temps etc

Low voltage warning wont come on till 11.8 , proper working voltage is only 12.8

Then there is a timer that allows low voltage at idle then after a given time voltage comes back this time can be as high as 255 seconds so be careful testing the alt at idle

If at idle the voltage does not look right but at higher idle (above 1800-2000) voltage is correct this would be normal

Now saying all this the Alt has the ability to charge as high as 14.69 depending on load , engine temps , rpm , batt temps etc

Tom
__________________
Focus-Power: Your #1 Source for Ford Focus Speed, Tuning & Performance!

Customer Support
AIM: hpdyno
Email: hpdyno@aol.com
Phone: 704-249-3745
Site: focus-power.com

Elder 1turbofocus
1turbofocus is offline  
    Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2013, 11:31 AM   #9
braineatingalien
Focus Jr. Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Fan#: 67815
Location: Austin, MN
What I Drive: 2007 Silver ZX3 SE

Posts: 35
FF Reputation: 1 braineatingalien Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
I have been monitoring the voltage through the cluster test mode for the last week and it works randomly while driving. I tried to wiggle test it and doesn't seem to make a difference. I am getting a few tools now to pull the alternator today. I will keep you all updated and thanks for the help.
braineatingalien is offline  
    Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2013, 03:09 PM   #10
braineatingalien
Focus Jr. Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Fan#: 67815
Location: Austin, MN
What I Drive: 2007 Silver ZX3 SE

Posts: 35
FF Reputation: 1 braineatingalien Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
Well the alternator was really easy to remove, but I made a mistake. I forgot to disconnect the battery and blew the fuse to the alt. Is that fuse replaceable or can I wire my own in? I don't really want to buy a whole new wire.
braineatingalien is offline  
    Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks & Social Networks
-->
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:13 PM.


Copyright 2002-2014 FocusFanatics.com. All Rights Reserved : Terms of Use : Privacy Policy : Advertise Information

Focus Fanatics Ford Focus Forum offers many fun ways for you to engage with other Ford Focus Owners from across the world. Whether it be about the aftermarket performance modifications, technical how-to's, European tuned suspension or awesome fuel economy similar to the Acura TLX or Fiesta ST. You can find all Ford Focus and Focus ST related information here. Join our Ford Focus discussion forums and chat with local Focus enthusiasts in your area.