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Old 07-20-2019, 01:09 PM   #1
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Exclamation Charging Issues at Idle/Questionable Cluster?

I have recently purchased a beautiful 2004 Focus SVT 4 Door for a steal of a price, naturally it has all the signs of neglect but seems to be in great condition excluding the few issues, my problem is, the battery is discharging (only at idle) and system voltage seems to bounce around 12.9-14.8 volts. I used a scan tool right before buying and saw low voltage codes in every module but was told they just replaced the battery. this was confirmed it is brand new however, upon getting it home (2 hour drive) I noticed the dash was a bit dim while stopping at lights and the HVAC fan would slow down a bit. it picked right back up as soon as you move and all is well, fast forward a few weeks and i pull of to a light and as usual dash dims but this time it comes with an ABS light the radio shuts off etc. Every thing that happens when the battery dies while driving. (as this being the 6th 2nd gen focus of the family I am way to familiar with the signs of a bad alternator) so i limp it home and shut it off and sure enough completely dead battery. Other than idle it charges perfectly so i dont want to condemn the alternator just yet but im unsure what to do and how to test. Now for the Cluster, I noticed very quickly after buying the car that sometimes (very inconsistent) as soon as you turn the key off 5-20 seconds later the FUEL and TEMP gauges very quickly sweep to exactly 50% usually i notice this is happening more as the battery starts to get low on charge (when doing a lot of city driving so because alternator dosnt charge at idle the battery very slowly discharges over time)


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Old 07-20-2019, 01:31 PM   #2
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Plug at the back of the alternator is bad.
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Old 07-20-2019, 03:28 PM   #3
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I will give that a check thank you
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Old 07-20-2019, 04:02 PM   #4
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Cracked diodes and what they all do. Then it checks as good part of the time and bad the rest and comes and goes. 12.9 volts is NOT charging, they need a minimum of 14.0 even or more to be up all the time. If you get a new alt be SURE to charge the battery up FULLY before starting car up or you will shell the new alt too. They are very delicate and running a low battery on them is the best way to shell alt there is. When loaded like that they crack a diode then the regulator burns up trying to replace the lost charge.

The plug like said too.
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Fix the driver first, then fixing the car becomes so much easier..........
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Old 07-22-2019, 10:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CocoTaco View Post
I have recently purchased a beautiful 2004 Focus SVT 4 Door for a steal of a price, naturally it has all the signs of neglect but seems to be in great condition excluding the few issues, my problem is, the battery is discharging (only at idle) and system voltage seems to bounce around 12.9-14.8 volts. I used a scan tool right before buying and saw low voltage codes in every module but was told they just replaced the battery. this was confirmed it is brand new however, upon getting it home (2 hour drive) I noticed the dash was a bit dim while stopping at lights and the HVAC fan would slow down a bit. it picked right back up as soon as you move and all is well, fast forward a few weeks and i pull of to a light and as usual dash dims but this time it comes with an ABS light the radio shuts off etc. Every thing that happens when the battery dies while driving. (as this being the 6th 2nd gen focus of the family I am way to familiar with the signs of a bad alternator) so i limp it home and shut it off and sure enough completely dead battery. Other than idle it charges perfectly so i dont want to condemn the alternator just yet but im unsure what to do and how to test. Now for the Cluster, I noticed very quickly after buying the car that sometimes (very inconsistent) as soon as you turn the key off 5-20 seconds later the FUEL and TEMP gauges very quickly sweep to exactly 50% usually i notice this is happening more as the battery starts to get low on charge (when doing a lot of city driving so because alternator dosnt charge at idle the battery very slowly discharges over time)

I had this very same issue. Mine ended up being the main pulley tensioner failed giving an inconsistent charge. All the symptoms were the same.
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Old 07-25-2019, 03:47 PM   #6
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Sorry guys, haven't had time to check anything as a storm came through and took out power for a bit, hopefully will have time to check things soon as it died on the way home from construction. still haven't a clue whats going on with this cluster though, any ideas???
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Old 07-26-2019, 06:42 AM   #7
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The cluster dims with the no/low charge state of the alternator. Fix the charging, either with an alternator, or a pigtail as pbfoot mentioned. Or possibly both. My daughters 01 wagon went thru the same thing. Alt tested great 3 different times, then failed the 4th. Replaced the pigtail and alt at the same time. All has been good for 2 years now.
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Old 07-26-2019, 08:00 PM   #8
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pig tail looks great! and even passed a wiggle check. the thing im refering to in the cluster is erratic gauges with key off. to put it into perspective, key on cluster works flawlessly, key off however the TEMP and FUEL gauges move to exactly 50% causing the cluster to recalibrate those two gauges the next power cycle, i will attach pictures to better explain.
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Old 07-26-2019, 08:11 PM   #9
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alright guys the pigtail is looking good and has passed my wiggle check, so im just going to replace the alt as even the scan data looks good for generator communication. for the cluster im going to have to provide pictures to explain better.
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Old 07-26-2019, 08:17 PM   #10
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put images on google drive to share, the pictures are named as to what my goal is for showing, https://drive.google.com/open?id=1SZ...e02bIgw82at-Eo


please let me know of any link issues and i will try to resolve.
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