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Old 09-27-2008, 03:45 PM   #1
darkcloud
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battery light came on, extremely long day of headaches over my car

basically my light came on last night as I was driving home from school, a lot of traffic and a few friends in the car so the environment wasnít ideal for the car, probably a good 5 hours driving.

So about a half hour from home the light goes on, I open up the hood, alternators turning everything seems alright. So i get home, test the battery, battery is perfect, but the alternators making a weird noise like its overcompensating. So next stop is autozone, they check battery again, perfect, cant check alternator cause of its location. So next stop is my local mechanic who i usually trust, hasnít ripped me off yet. Does the estimate, 265 for the part, 136 for the work. Now i asked him if he ever changed the alternate on my type of car before because I know its hard to do which he said yes to(2001 focus zx3). What made me skeptical was that after I put the car in the shop, he wanted to test the alternator. So i turned my car on and it died 2 seconds after every time i started it up, so I knew if he was ever going to try to rip me off this was the time. So I call up my dads favorite mechanic and after explaining the situation he quotes me at 190 with the parts n labor, re manufactured but a 1 year warranty. So i knew I had a "fun" drive ahead of me, not able to stop.(I have an automatic unfortunately which meant that I couldnít come to a dead stop at any stop sign, and red lights i had to brake in neutral while giving a bit of gas cause the next time it died could be the last)


Sorry for the long post, basically my question is what do you guys think a fair price for the labor would be.


Thanks to anyone that reads this whole thing and double thanks to anyone that has any experience with this and could post their estimate price!!


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Old 09-28-2008, 03:49 PM   #2
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Well the alternator can be tested through the battery as well as off the car. So I'm not sure why they couldn't test that.

Easy way to test the alternator your self is to pull the positive cable off the battery while it's running. If it dies the alt. is not charging or charging a little but not enough.

Also try and check the plug for the voltage regulator, 3 wire plug.
http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/s...rnator+pigtail

and some other info for you:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Team Focus
WARNING:
Keep batteries out of reach of children. Batteries contain sulphuric acid, avoid contact with skin, eyes or clothing. Shield your eyes when working near the battery to protect against possible splashing of the acid solution. In case of acid contact with the skin or the eyes, flush immediately with water for a minimum of 15 minutes and seek prompt medical attention. If acid is swallowed, call a physician immediately. Failure to follow these instructions may result in personal injury.

WARNING:
Batteries normally produce explosive gases which can cause personal injury, therefore do not allow flames, sparks or lighted substances to come near the battery. When charging or working near the battery always shield your face and protect your eyes. Always provide adequate ventilation. Failure to follow these instructions may result in personal injury.

WARNING:
Always observe all manufacturers instructions when using any charging equipment. Failure to follow this instruction may result in personal injury.

WARNING:
Connect the charger to the battery before switching the charger on. Failure to follow this instruction may result in personal injury.

WARNING:
Switch the charger off before disconnecting the charger from the battery. Failure to follow this instruction may result in personal injury.

CAUTION:
Batteries should not be charged in the vehicle.

CAUTION:
Do not rely on the generator to recharge a discharged battery as it would take in excess of eight hours of continuous driving with no additional loads placed on the charging system.

� 1. Note:
The maximum level mark is approximately 40mm below the top of the battery.

Place the battery on a level surface and check the electrolyte level through the casing, reaches the indicated maximum mark.

WARNING:
It is important not to overfill a battery, as this can cause acid leakage and corrosion damage to the vehicle. Failure to follow this instruction may result in personal injury.

2. If the level is below the maximum mark, remove the vent covers and top up the cell(s) to the correct level.

3. Cold batteries will not readily accept a charge. Therefore batteries should be allowed to warm up to approximately 5�C. (41�F.) before charging. This may require four to eight hours at room temperature depending on the initial temperature and the battery size.

4. A battery which has been completely discharged may be slow to accept a charge initially, and in some cases may not accept a charge at the normal charger setting. When batteries are in this condition, charging can be started by use of the dead battery switch on chargers that have this facility equipped.

5. To determine whether a battery is accepting a charge, follow the manufacturer's instructions for the charger, for use of the dead battery switch. If the switch is the spring-loaded type, it should be held in the ON position for up to three minutes.

6. After releasing the dead battery switch and with the charger still on, measure the battery voltage. If it shows 12 volts or higher, the battery is accepting a charge and is capable of being recharged. However, it may require up to two hour of charging with batteries colder than 5�C (41�F) before the charge rate is high enough to show a charge on an ammeter. It has been found that all non-damaged batteries can be charged by this procedure. If a battery cannot be charged by this procedure, a new one should be installed.

7. A rapid recharger procedure has been developed for recharging batteries that have passed the Load Test and only need a recharge. This can be due to in-service no-start battery failures (vehicle will not crank due to low battery state of charge) or battery discharged in vehicle due to key-off loads.

8. With the cables then disconnected, the battery can be rapidly recharged by using either of the following methods:

Carry out a two hour charge using 20A constant current (manual setting on charger).

Carry out a two hour charge using a constant potential (automatic setting on charger).
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Old 09-29-2008, 07:28 PM   #3
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Yeah, I did unplug my battery and it ran for a little while off just the alternator, but the sound was like a squeeling fast type that Im pretty sure was the alternator working harder to try to charge but like it was about to die. I think the bearing was the problem.


Thanks for the information
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Old 09-29-2008, 08:33 PM   #4
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Um, use a simple digital multimeter on the battery while the engine is running. If the alternator is functioning properly, it should read somewhere above 13v as high as 14.4. If the alternator is not working correctly, you will see 12-10v. You can also have a problem if there is more than 14.4v.
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Old 09-30-2008, 02:56 PM   #5
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for the alternator, fair price for labor on a focus, would be 100$ its roughly 45 mins of work at a shop with customers comming and going. 150-170$ for a brand new lifetime warranty part

my shop charges on most focus's depending on the mood and the pace of the shop that day, 75$ - 100$ labor. if your paying anyone over 200$ for any focus alternator i do belive your being shafted imho.
even our re-mans come with a lifetime warranty.
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Old 09-30-2008, 03:01 PM   #6
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this just happened to me 2 days ago as well....im doing it myself though, and i got the motorcraft alternator coming from ford at cost because my friend works in the parts dept. =) gonna be a beach switching it out tho
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