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Old 04-25-2011, 08:06 PM   #1
maxwedge
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battery light staying on

battery light came on - scanned code of 1246 came up - replaced alternator and battery light still on - with engine running, pulling 14.9 volts accross battery - engine off, 13 volts accross battery - code 1246 says Fault Location - alternator; Probable Cause - alternator, drive belt, wiring, ECM - has anyone had this problem


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Old 04-25-2011, 10:16 PM   #2
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Check the electrical connector on the back of the alt and the associated wiring for broken wires (intermittents. opens and shorts).

P1246 - Generator Load Input Failed
The PCM monitors generator load from the generator/regulator in the form of frequency. The frequency range is determined by the temperature of the voltage regulator where 97% represents full load, below 6% means no load.
Generator circuit short to GND
Generator circuit short to PWR
Generator circuit open
Generator drive mechanism
Damaged generator/regulator assembly
Damaged PCM
Verify battery voltage is 14.5V.
Verify generator/regulator has the correct part number.
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Old 04-25-2011, 11:51 PM   #3
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i registered for the exact same problem but found this post. After the car is started the battery light comes on. Verified voltage is 14.5 volts and have driven like this for several weeks now. Also, check engine light comes on/off at random (not flashing, just random on and off) No obd2 codes are set, and sometimes the engine light comes on,very dim and then goes out. seems like an electrical issue. Any ideas?
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Old 04-26-2011, 01:40 AM   #4
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Any time the battery light illuminates while driving, it's an indication of a fault in the charging system: check the alternator, voltage regulator, battery and/or associated wiring. The mechanical drives and belts seem to not give problems too often - or if they do - they make enough noise to draw attention to themselves.

Judging by others' experiences on FF, the alternator on the Focus seems subject to failure at two specific points: the voltage regulator - a non-serviceable part within the alt itself - fails or starts acting "strangely" or the electrical connector to the back of the alt fails due to heat/vibration and then allows shorts and opens (intermittent or not). A replacement wiring repair "pig tail" is available.

This seems to result in two obvious problems and sets of symptoms: 1) undercharging, in which the battery fails to charge properly, headlights dim (or pulse at idle) and subsequently the car won't start or even turn over (relay clicks) or 2) overcharging, in which a wide array of "odd' electrical conditions appear (like erratic instrument panel warning lights) due to sensitive electronics not expecting extremely high output voltages perhaps i.e. 16V+.

Ideally the battery should be removed and load tested to eliminate it as a possible problem source. The output of the alt can be checked with the car running with a multimeter providing the problem isn't intermittent. The general consensus seems to be that if a new alt is required, replacement aftermarket alts are of hit and miss quality and getting the original rebuilt locally is preferable. Failing that, buying an alternator from a reputable source with a warranty works.

Another area worth examining when there are problems (which probably should be done first because it's cheap to inspect and fix) are checking the battery post terminals for tightness and cleanliness. Ford also attaches one or two critical wiring connectors directly to the battery terminal clamps as separate wires. These may get brittle and can break. Wiring grounds can also corrode and may require a thorough cleaning. (There are four grounds in the engine compartment, IIRC, the two most important ones being one by the rear engine lifting hook and one on the inner fender below the battery tray.) There have also been instances of wiring rubbing up against the hot EGR tube and melting and causing shorts.

Wiring diagram attached below as a reference:

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Old 04-26-2011, 03:22 AM   #5
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Had the same code it was the alternator pigtail and the regulator (on a new alt) was loose.
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Old 04-26-2011, 10:27 AM   #6
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As stated already, check out the alternator pigtail. Mine didn't appear visibly worn but once clipped out of the car one of the wires easily pulled out.
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Old 04-26-2011, 11:03 AM   #7
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is the pigtail replacement a Ford item or parts store - will also start checking wires - explained my situation to parts store (where I bought the replacement alternator) and they said the alternator may be bad, but my question is, it is charging
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Old 04-26-2011, 11:30 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxwedge View Post
is the pigtail replacement a Ford item or parts store - will also start checking wires - explained my situation to parts store (where I bought the replacement alternator) and they said the alternator may be bad, but my question is, it is charging
It is a Ford part, comes with everything you need. Some replacement alts will turn the light on, ECU is very sensible to regulators.
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Old 04-26-2011, 11:50 AM   #9
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Alternator Pigtail
Part # 1U2Z-14S411-TA

my dealer wanted $46, Tousley had MSRP of $39 and "your" price of $26. I was able to get my dealer to give it to me for the $26.
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Old 04-26-2011, 05:05 PM   #10
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it appears that the "new" alternator ( a rebuild) is bad - the grounds and the pigtail check out ok, no cracks - now pulling 16-17 volts accross the battery and, like BC_ZX3 said, the instrument panel went bezerk
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