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Old 02-13-2009, 05:06 PM   #1
C. Mills
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Charging system problem please help!!

Ok so I have a 2005 zx4 with the D20. While driving this past week I noticed the battery light on the dash kept coming on. Twice this light came on while at a red light and the car died but started right back up. So I took it in to Ford and they tested the alternator and the battery and told me that the alternator is good but the battery is bad because it is not charging at an idle, it only charges when the rpm's are higher. (That sounds like an alternator problem to me.) So they offered to replace the battery for 70 bucks and see if that would fix it. I said no and took it to Advance Auto to get the battery and alternator checked. They said the battery is fine but their machine couldn't test my alternator for some reason. So I took it to Autozone to see what their machine said, and they told me everything was fine. When I got home my dad and I did the old start then unhook positive terminal trick to test the alternator and the car died so that tells me the alternator isn't charging right? If anyone can help me it would be greatly appreciated and i'm not afraid to hit that rep button lol.


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Old 02-13-2009, 05:22 PM   #2
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Good old tricks work. Alternator my friend. Get a multimeter and test the battery for voltage. Should be around 14.x volts If it is less, that is another proof of the alternator failing.

However good old trick is solid and points to the alternator.
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Old 02-13-2009, 05:28 PM   #3
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The battery is above 14 volts. Does this mean the alternator is only charging at higher rpm's and it's running off of the battery at lower rpm's?
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Old 02-13-2009, 05:41 PM   #4
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Damn......first......NEVER, NEVER disconnect/reconnect the battery with the ignition switch ON, engine running or otherwise. It's a good way to kill your ECM, or alternator for that matter. A "good" battery voltage reading should be about 12.5 volts with the Ign. sw. OFF. At warm idle it should be over 13 volts, indicating that the alternator is putting out. Do you have aftermarket amps.?
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Old 02-13-2009, 05:45 PM   #5
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Yea I have a full stereo system. The only thing is that when all this happened the subs and amp were sittin in my garage. I had them all installed from June until about a month ago and this problem started just a few days ago.
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Old 02-13-2009, 05:55 PM   #6
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First check that the battery posts and cable clamps are clean and tight. A good alternator will normally give you a voltage reading at the battery from something like 13 -13.5 volts at idle like I mentioned above, to something like about 14.7, maybe 14.9 volts max. at higher RPM.
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Old 02-13-2009, 10:36 PM   #7
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Its all clean and tight. It seems like the alternator is only charging at higher rpms. It died on me 3 times tonight and I had to hold it and 1500 rpm at red lights just to keep it running.
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Old 02-14-2009, 03:22 PM   #8
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any one else have any input??
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Old 02-14-2009, 03:27 PM   #9
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http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=104396

maybe.
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Old 02-14-2009, 03:49 PM   #10
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I can't get to the alternator to check that right now but i did notice this piece broken and maybe it has something to do with my problem. I'll attach pics.
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