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Discussion Starter #1
got a constant flicker on all lights in an ext of the car engine ground alternator ground starter ground an battery to chassis. Ground all corrosion free can't find the source of the problem
 

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w/ my magic bag
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Whats the alternator putting out? Possibly add a couple more grounds? What'd you do to get this flickering?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Car is practically new with 50,000 mile only thing that I've done was spark plugs because the original owner had 3 different brand plugs in it... But the electrical issue doesn't seem to be related to that alternator output not sure but as far as I've been reading from the battery reading I start everyday at around 12.7v once I get to work it's up to 14v
 

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got a constant flicker on all lights in an ext of the car engine ground alternator ground starter ground an battery to chassis. Ground all corrosion free can't find the source of the problem
It would help you TO HELP US if you took the time to give a better description of your car engine-electrical problems with better use of descriptions and punctuation in your post.

I am not the punctuation or grammar police. Your OP words are English broken, and very hard to read. If you want my help, please give us your time to explain what is going on... with some added details of your car situation.

If you re-read your OP you might see or understand my confusion.

Please take some time to re-post with better descriptions of what you have done and/or what the car maintenance history is. I will return-post with the same time, or more time, to help you further.

In the mean time... Please take your car to a local car part store to have them do a (free) electrical system check. When doing this test, please make sure your car lights and AC systems are turned-on full blast.

My first guess is that your Alt is dying, or on its' way out. Other ideas tho. TBD.

Gd Luck
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Alright so I bought the car about a month ago with 48,000 miles and it's been garage kept all it's life till now. Everything on the car works an after a bit of visual inspection there is no signs of wear on the electrical components in the car but as previously stated the lights on the interior and exterior of the car flicker while at idle once the car is in motion the flickering goes away. I understand the idea the alternator could be going but under load, example(radio on high,heater blowing, windshield wiper on) there is no flicker at any point untill I'm at a light idleing. Now there is no dimming of the lights an I've tested my battery on many occasions in which I start each day at 12.7v an it goes up to 14v so there is no point in which the battery has dropped below that so that also makes it seem that the alternator should be just fine.

I should include I've had alternator fail in the past on a few other vehicles , again this car (2004 Ford focus) it is old but in like new condition. There should be no issue with the alternator.

Hope this description is a bit easier to rap your minds around, I will work on my Grammer an punctuation.
 

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Have you load tested the battery? The battery is like a capactor, it smooths out the ups and downs from the alternator. If the lights are flickerin at idle I would either say the battery is on it's way out, or possibly the positive terminal on the alternator has corrosion and the voltage is not making it to the battery smoothly. (Just my 2 cents worth)
 

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Got the alt an battery checked an found out my battery was 10 years old well easy mistake that I clearly overlooked
Good that it was found.

Next? Did you replace the battery? Did you ask them to perform the same test/s after the battery was replaced? Do you have any light flickering after the new battery?

The new battery may not be the final cure. Let us know please.

Cheers!
 

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Great you figured it out......not good for the alternator thou......
 

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Had a '00 zx3 that had pulsing at idle, it was the voltage regulator that is built into the alt

the alt was working just fine, the voltage regulator simply couldn't put out a solid current anymore at idle, so all the lights pulsed at idle
 

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Actually, alt flickering at idle is commonly a diode dead and what happens when you run it on a dead battery, this guy may not be done yet. Worn brushes can do it too and both situations will speed up with rpm to not happen then.

OP needs to study alternators, he doesn't have a clue. Running a dying battery against one of these delicate alts is a whopping good way to kill them.

A car with only 48K miles and 3 different plugs in it??? Screams the PO was just as out of it if not more. Oh well, chalk it up to the 40%.............
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I'm a lil lost on what you mean "AMC" when you said
(A car with only 48K miles and 3 different plugs in it??? Screams the PO was just as out of it if not more. Oh well, chalk it up to the 40%.............) Want to elaborate.

And if I knew the battery was in need of replacement when I bought the car I would of fixed it sooner.

The original owner was brain dead putting diff brand Sparks plugs in which I'm glad I switched then out right when u got the car
 

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@OP - Drew

Quote below is a repeat of post#8. Please answer these questions when you have time.

...Did you replace the battery? Did you ask them to perform the same test/s after the battery was replaced? Do you have any light flickering after the new battery?

The new battery may not be the final cure. Let us know please.

Cheers!
 

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'The original owner was brain dead putting diff brand Sparks plugs in which I'm glad I switched then out right when u got the car...'

I would have thought that my words in regard to that were self-explanatory.
 

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Actually, alt flickering at idle is commonly a diode dead and what happens when you run it on a dead battery, this guy may not be done yet. Worn brushes can do it too and both situations will speed up with rpm to not happen then.

OP needs to study alternators, he doesn't have a clue. Running a dying battery against one of these delicate alts is a whopping good way to kill them.

A car with only 48K miles and 3 different plugs in it??? Screams the PO was just as out of it if not more. Oh well, chalk it up to the 40%.............
I have this same problem. I bought a new battery and it didn’t go away. The alt keeps the battery charged but all lights flicker at idle. Would my only option be to replace the alt?
 

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When you run the battery dead any length of time at all, it's common to shell out an older alt and it can even ruin a brand new one.

The reason why is that these alts put out a whopping amount of amp for the size and that creates a lot of heat. They are only intended to charge that much for a very few minutes or the regulator then overheats to fail, and often after at least one diode has failed first. The diodes are very crappy mounted and then heat plus vibration commonly cracks the diode lead. Then the alt can check as good on a tester but when it gets hot the diode comes and goes in working correctly as the lead vibrated to touch/not touch. As soon as diode goes away the regulator ramps the charge way up trying to recover lost charge and then the regulator fails next. Flicker is caused when the bad diode shows as missing in the power flow. I have rebuilt alts with as many as 6 of 8 diodes cracked. If the alt is not working right almost guaranteed to have at least 1 bad one in there. I look for 14.0 minimum charging at warm engine and all electrical off except engine at idle, 13.6-13.8 volts says 1 is dead.

Why on one of these you NEVER recharge the battery from dead with the alt alone, best way to shell it out there is. Ford also states it takes 8 solid hours to bring a dead battery back up, 30 minutes of running will not cut it there, the battery then never comes up fully and alt ruins again. ALWAYS fully charge the battery to give the alt a decent chance at life when you change one. Before you so much as start the engine. I used to sell these alts OTC and I can't tell you how many new alt warranties I voided over this, the alt paperwork specifically calls that out, VOID if battery was not FULLY charged.

These alts will last a long time if you let them do what they were designed to do, charge a lot for only a minute then they drop way off until it is needed again. Put a bad battery on one that never does 'fill up' with charge due to being bad and you have as good as shot the alt with a shotgun.
 

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Thanks for all the information. Would you mind helping me pick out a new one to buy? Is New/re-manufactured a big deal? I looked on RockAuto and found a few different Motorcraft Alts at varying prices. Just not sure which is the one I should get. Thanks again for the time to answer so detailed. I’m really learning a lot since joining this forum.
 

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Note - the OP (Drew0427) did not reply with an update yet.


I have this same problem. I bought a new battery and it didn’t go away. The alt keeps the battery charged but all lights flicker at idle. Would my only option be to replace the alt?
No, that is not your only option. There are several options as DIY troubleshooting, or hire a pro. The Alt is the likely problem, but other options & problems & solutions are possible.

Maybe start with the FREE option, to have a car part store test your car electrical charging system while all car systems are turned on HIGH. Also, ask them to check for AC ripple.

When you run the battery dead any length of time at all,...
I cutoff your post-17 quote.... to ask if your are talking to the OP or duffmane? -or both?


Thanks for all the information. Would you mind helping me pick out a new one to buy? Is New/re-manufactured a big deal? I looked on RockAuto and found a few different Motorcraft Alts at varying prices. Just not sure which is the one I should get. Thanks again for the time to answer so detailed. I’m really learning a lot since joining this forum.
Duffmane,
Do you have your own car problem thread here at FF?
If no, please start a new thread, your own thread.
Please ID your car model info, and include transmission type, and is your car a PZEV? ((CA emissions car))?
Alt replacement info (for your car, my car) is near impossible to figure out online based on my experience. This subject is sadly not a simple CHART of info.

Alt replacement is confusing when looking at RockAuto or other online retailers. Alternator incompatibilities & compatibilities are confusing. Unless doing a near direct part-number & same manufacturer replacement.

The alternator replacement guide and "chart of info" you are looking for is not available due to many factors. These are not the droids you are looking for. :)

Gd Luck
 

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Honestly I felt if I made a whole thread asking what Alternator to buy I would get told that the info was already on here and to look harder.

Sorry I just went to a thread with the problem I was having. Thought it would be easier to ask people that were currently talking about it. I did find out it is PZEV.
 
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