Focus Fanatics Forum banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I hope I'm posting this in the right place. I have an 03 ZX3. I have replaced the battery, the thermostat (no heat), the alternator, and the wheel on the tensioner pulley. I thought I was set after the alternator but half way home the battery died AGAIN. The belt seems VERY loose and I am getting a slight burning smell from the heater vents. Would a loose belt or bad tensioner cause the battery to die? After putting in the alternator I went to autozone to have it tested and it started at 11.7 but then went up to 14.8 output and the guy said it should eb fine. Could a belt slipping cause that much of a difference? If anyone can hel it would be AWESOME!!! Thanks in advance!
 

·
Registered
2004 Focus Wagon, Zetec DOHC, Auto
Joined
·
1,590 Posts
...belt seems VERY loose and I am getting a slight burning smell from the heater vents. Would a loose belt or bad tensioner cause the battery to die?
Yes, a loose belt can cause the battery to die. It just depends on how loose it is.

Do you know how to check the tensioner?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
44,595 Posts
Belt should definitely not be loose, and tensioner pulleys are seldom replaced without doing the whole tensioner.

Tensioner needs to move smoothly & put good tension on a properly sized & run belt.

Better charge that battery, trying to recharge one by alternator alone can potentially kill a good alternator.

Pick up a cheap voltmeter or at least use the test mode of the odo. to see what you are getting for voltage in the system.

Once the obvious belt problem is solved, you still need to watch voltages & do a check of cables/connections as needed. (don't know what has been done)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,182 Posts
DON'T use the alt to charge the battery, the paperwork clearly says the warranty is voided doing so. It blows the alt out.

The voltage ramps up in the first 15-30 seconds of engine running and normal. The guy at parts store is supposed to be smart enough to know that, you wait and take the high figure. The 11.7 says your battery has no charge in it. Have the parts store charge it AND load test to make sure you don't get stranded again.

If belt is loose the tensioner itself is shot, pulley alone won't touch that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the info! I replaced the tensioner and the belt last night. It was WAY tighter. I replaced the alternator I had with one from a junk yard but had the old one tested at autozone. It failed the first time they tested it then passed the next 3 times so I think even my old alternator was OK. I took your advise and left the battery on the charger overnight and made it to work this morning. I have an hour drive so we'll see. After replacing the belt I have no more squeaking or rough idling at start up so i think that may have been the problem. I was able to remove the old belt without even loosening it at the tensioner I just pulled it off.
 

·
Registered
2004 Focus Wagon, Zetec DOHC, Auto
Joined
·
1,590 Posts
An alternator that tests "good" is not necessarily good.

Mine tested good, but it was definitely bad. Replacing it solved my issue.

Anyway, glad to hear you are up and running again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,182 Posts
X2, that one fail would worry me, but then I would demand to know why it showed failed, or look closer at the tester-it will tell you but most parts guys don't care about that.
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top