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Old 04-16-2014, 10:13 PM   #1
Focuslu86
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does it mean that the alternator is bad?

I own a ford focus 2001 zx3, and today the battery light (red light on dash) lid up a little bit and then disappeared. I had a feeling it was something to do with the battery or alternator; therefore, I took it to an auto parts place to test the battery, starting system and alternator. The guy gave me a paper with all the results, and the alternator showed a high charge of 15.6 V. So does it mean that I have to replace the alternator? or could a bad drive belt cause this problem? I checked the connectors and everything seemed fine. also, what can cause a alternator to go bad?


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Old 04-16-2014, 10:51 PM   #2
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So you've had and overheating situation, a growling situation and now an alternator situation ... to me it seems there's something in common there.
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Old 04-17-2014, 08:46 AM   #3
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So you've had and overheating situation, a growling situation and now an alternator situation ... to me it seems there's something in common there.
which is? bad alternator? I am trying to figure out whats wrong, if not I would take it to a mechanic and pay a lot of money. f%^& that.
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Old 04-17-2014, 09:57 AM   #4
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You need to get a cheap multimeter
Harbor Freight is your friend

Also you need to understand how to test your battery / alternator

YouTube is your friend here

Type in alternator battery multimeter into YouTube search , there will be many videos of varying quality that will instruct you how to do it and what to watch for

BY THE Way If you disconnect your battery while the car is running you are likely to burn up any number of 'black boxe$'
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Old 04-17-2014, 10:56 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by mikeeshaq View Post
You need to get a cheap multimeter
Harbor Freight is your friend

Also you need to understand how to test your battery / alternator

YouTube is your friend here

Type in alternator battery multimeter into YouTube search , there will be many videos of varying quality that will instruct you how to do it and what to watch for

BY THE Way If you disconnect your battery while the car is running you are likely to burn up any number of 'black boxe$'

Yes I have the manufacture repair manual for a ford focus, and I tested the fuse, power, ground, connector, etc. I just want to know if a bad tensioner or a bad pulley can cause the alternator to go bad
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Old 04-17-2014, 12:52 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Focuslu86 View Post
which is? bad alternator? I am trying to figure out whats wrong, if not I would take it to a mechanic and pay a lot of money. f%^& that.
The three issues you reported all have the serpentine belt or tensioner in common as the most likely culprit.
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Old 04-17-2014, 01:18 PM   #7
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The three issues you reported all have the serpentine belt or tensioner in common as the most likely culprit.
Well the car overheating was due to a bad CHT that was reading the coolant temp wrong. The growling sound coming from the front end was more of a crackling sound, which came to find out that the stabilizer link bar was bad. I checked the serpentine belt and no cracks or anything to that extent. How can I test the tensioner?
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Old 04-17-2014, 08:15 PM   #8
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You could move it as if taking off the belt & see if it springs back properly.

Belt or tension aren't going to make an alt. overcharge. They'd only be involved in undercharging if they were so bad the belt was slipping under load.

Wiring problems are the only cause I can think of outside of the alt. itself. Control & sensor wires at the "pigtail" connector are a common problem area.

Luck
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Old 04-17-2014, 09:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailor View Post
You could move it as if taking off the belt & see if it springs back properly.

Belt or tension aren't going to make an alt. overcharge. They'd only be involved in undercharging if they were so bad the belt was slipping under load.

Wiring problems are the only cause I can think of outside of the alt. itself. Control & sensor wires at the "pigtail" connector are a common problem area.

Luck
thanks for the input! I will look into the wiring, maybe that could be the cause of the alternator going bad.
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Old 04-21-2014, 06:09 AM   #10
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Completely missed the part about overcharge.

However, have you checked the voltage while it is actually on the car running with the red battery warning light on? The PCM monitors a signal wire and a return wire from the alternator. They are called Gen Mon and Gen Com. The PCM is looking for them to match. So I usually jump the Gen Mon to Gen Com wire and see if the light goes out to test the signal and return wires. A common fault on alternator issues in the 3 wire connector to the alternator. Either the pins get damaged or the wires break.
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