Idles rough, lights flicker, battery light off and on - Page 2 - 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 04-06-2013, 07:49 PM   #11
InfraredZTW
Focus Enthusiast
 
InfraredZTW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Fan#: 15867
Location: Canada, Canada
What I Drive: 2002 Infra-Red ZTW

Posts: 57
FF Reputation: 1 InfraredZTW Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
Great success!

I installed a 100% NEW Bosch alternator - lifetime warranty - model AL7572N ($216 at Lordco).
IF YOU DO INSTALL A NEW ALTERNATOR - NOTE: You will need to measure your alternator bracket from the car on both bolt positions and manually press the threaded inserts in the alternator flanges until the distance between flanges matches the bracket on the car.
NEITHER BOSCH nor the seller will mention this as a requirement, so word to the wise.

If you don't you will end up like me with a cracked alternator flange upon tightening the alternator bolts. One more trip to one more angry-looking Lordco associate (what's the story dear associate?, ever heard of customer service and words like empathy?)

The Bosch alternator quality is awesome (apart from the threaded insert issue)

I also had to replace the top idler pulley (at a whopping $11) for the accessory belt.

After having fun for about 6 hours trying to put in the first Bosch, i learned my lesson and completely removed the 3 bolts holding the black motor mount bracket and supported the engine a bit, while moving it as far forward as possible. The alternator fit thru the top like a glove.
Record time install: 1hr !!!

I noticed in the process, one of the shops that installed my alternators in the past used the timing belt cover bolt (!!!!!) as a prying point to remove the old alternator. Wires were not attached back and a whole lot of pop pins cracked. (tarzan angry!)
Other things to note: make sure you KEEP YOUR EXISTING POSITIVE TERMINAL FROM THE OLD ALTERNATOR as the new bosch has a larger thread. Also, you will need a flexible head ratchet, a tiny flat screwdriver (for the 3 pin terminal), and 2 inch long socket for the alternator bolts (standard ones or an extension will add 5 minutes of ratcheting)

Car runs great now.
The only thing i noticed is:
- upon a COLD START only - all lights will go from dim to bright about 3 times, then the smart charge kicks in (as shown by the handy batt/alternator tester plugged in the cig. lighter) and slowly comes up to perfect alternator voltage output
- on HOT START - car starts perfectly with no light flicker
- after engine heats up, if i turn accessories on (ac, defrost, etc) the alt voltage drops and stays down at idle.

SO, as a precaution i went to Ford dealer an purchased a Motorcraft original batt (hoping it would be their famous calcium-lead or calcium-silver). It was actually worse (meaning that turning on the ac at hot idle would totally lose alternator output) - ANY THOUGHTS?
I am considering an optima yellowtop, but not sure if it would help my cold start flicker issue, nor confident it will fit without additional bracket kits.

TOTAL cost: $227 + 10(learning)hrs :)
__________________
Just keep driving...
InfraredZTW is offline  
    Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 04-06-2013, 08:05 PM   #12
InfraredZTW
Focus Enthusiast
 
InfraredZTW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Fan#: 15867
Location: Canada, Canada
What I Drive: 2002 Infra-Red ZTW

Posts: 57
FF Reputation: 1 InfraredZTW Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
testing new profile :)... works
__________________
Just keep driving...
InfraredZTW is offline  
    Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2014, 06:20 AM   #13
Tiger-Heli
Focus Addict
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Fan#: 12379
Location: Georgia, United States
What I Drive: 2002 French Blue SE Sedan

Posts: 608
Points 703, Level 14
Points: 703, Level: 14 Points: 703, Level: 14 Points: 703, Level: 14
Level Up 3% Completed
Level up: 3% Level up: 3% Level up: 3%
Forum Activity 7%
Activity: 7% Activity: 7% Activity: 7%
FF Reputation: 4 Tiger-Heli Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (1)
Old thread, but ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by InfraredZTW View Post
Car runs great now.
The only thing i noticed is:
- upon a COLD START only - all lights will go from dim to bright about 3 times, then the smart charge kicks in (as shown by the handy batt/alternator tester plugged in the cig. lighter) and slowly comes up to perfect alternator voltage output
- on HOT START - car starts perfectly with no light flicker
- after engine heats up, if i turn accessories on (ac, defrost, etc) the alt voltage drops and stays down at idle.
Did you ever find a solution for this? My car is having pretty much the same issues. More info:

- Problem was first noticed about a week ago.

- On a cold start (cold is not cold outside - maybe 60-65 ambient Fahrenheit), when first driving (night, headlights, HVAC Defrost, Rear Window Defrost On), lights will alternately dim down heavily. Most noticeable with the instrument cluster lights, but you can tell the headlights and HVAC lights are dimming also.

- This is not a mild dimming issue - cluster goes from bright to almost unreadable, lights are obviously much dimmer than normal.

- There doesn't seem to be a pattern to the dimming. Lights DO NOT vary with RPM. I've seen the lights go dim as the RPM is increasing and vice versa. No real time pattern either - sometimes they will dim for 2-5 seconds and then be normal before repeating, sometimes for only a 1/2-second or so.

- Once the engine reaches normal operating temperature (190-200 degrees), the problem goes away and won't happen again until the next morning (that I know of - I don't usually drive at night.)

Troubleshooting info:

- Car is a 2002 Ford Focus SE Comfort ZETEC Automatic Sedan with 143K miles. (It's blue.)

- Alternator was replaced 4-months ago. Autozone alternator replacing defective older Autozone alternator.

- Battery is Autozone 40R-72, 30 months old, 24-months free replacement, 72-months pro-rate.

- Yesterday evening, I checked battery terminals: tight, cleaned off minor corrosion; and fluid level (at bottom of split ring but above plates, added a slight bit of water to bring level to top of split rings), battery surface voltage was 12.71 to 12.35 - but this was warm temp after driving the car home. No real change in the morning - duration of dimming might be slightly less, but still occurred. Did not check alternator connections.

- About a month ago, I replaced the dome, trunk, HMSL, and license plate bulbs with LEDs. Likely unrelated, but that is the most recent semi-major change to the car.

Theories:

- The battery could be going out, it's about time (just after the free replacement period), but the post above said a new battery made the issue worse, so ...

- I suppose something could be drawing the battery down overnight so that it still had enough juice to start the car, but was loading down the alternator - but I would expect the dimming to vary with RPM, then.

- Possibly something with the new alternator - It is lifetime parts warranty and I think still within the labor warranty (a shop changed it, it died away from home four months ago).

Thanks in advance for suggestions!!!

Last edited by Tiger-Heli; 09-23-2014 at 10:46 AM.
Tiger-Heli is offline  
    Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2014, 10:50 AM   #14
Tiger-Heli
Focus Addict
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Fan#: 12379
Location: Georgia, United States
What I Drive: 2002 French Blue SE Sedan

Posts: 608
Points 703, Level 14
Points: 703, Level: 14 Points: 703, Level: 14 Points: 703, Level: 14
Level Up 3% Completed
Level up: 3% Level up: 3% Level up: 3%
Forum Activity 7%
Activity: 7% Activity: 7% Activity: 7%
FF Reputation: 4 Tiger-Heli Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (1)
Did some checks at lunch and didn't see anything out-of-the ordinary.

Battery voltage was 12.65 after 4-hours of inactivity. Turned the headlights on for about a minute and read 12.1 or so at the battery.

Started the engine and turned on the headlights, defrost, and rear defrost and read 14.1 constant at the battery.

The only odd thing is there was a "clicking" from the passenger side of the engine about every 15 seconds or so. It sounded like the AC Compressor clutch cycling on and off, but I didn't have the AC switched on, so I wouldn't expect it to do that.
Tiger-Heli 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 10:12 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.