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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

First of all I would like to say thank you to everyone who posts here! I just found this site and there's so much great information for Focus owners! The stickied thread on transmission issues was particularly good because I think I was bit by that before!

Anyway, at about 100,020 miles my 2003 Focus ZX5's battery light came on. I had just moved to Portland, OR and was busy with all that entails, so its been this way for a week.

Although last night the light didn't come on. I drove to NAPA today, and their test tool said the battery was fine so the alternator probably was at fault.

So my question is: should I try to replace the alternator myself? While I'm an avid Car Talk listener, the only car repair I've done is changing the oil of old Taurus's in high school a decade ago! I have a friend who's willing to help. He's done a little bit of work on his Honda Civic, but not an alternator.

Since I'm new to the area, if I can't do it myself I think I'm going to head to the nearest Ford dealership. It needs an oil change soon, and I know theres regular maintenance to be done at 100,000 miles...

Thanks in advance for any advice!
 

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Aurelius Pardus
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26,535 Posts
ah well........ welcome to FF [:D]

it shouldn't be very hard...... I think one of the best things you can get right now is a shop manual.... such as Haynes and I know there are a few others, but I can't remember them and that's the one I have.... that and FF have really helped me like, so much.... cause I had no idea about half the stuff I know now.

anyway, as for the alternator......I'd say if you don't really have any experience....err might want to have it done. I was reading the instructions and it looks to be a difficult job for an unexperienced person to do..... so I guess give me a couple hours (unfortunately I am a bit slow :B) and I'd have it changed...... then of course it'd be easier to do again, having the experience. but that's my opinion [thumb] oh just remembered this....I've installed an exhaust, but I've yet to do a simple oil change. how screwy is that? lol.

[welcome]
 

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Not too hard i would do it myself, it was my first car project i didn't even know how to change oil before i did this myself haha. Took me a while to figure out how to get it out though, it's a tight fit. What i did was put a jack with a 2x4 on it to take some pressure off, stuffed it under the oil pan unbolted my passenger side mount and lifted the engine like 5'' came out perfect. It's easy save some money and do it yourself. I'm here if you need a hand.
 

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Youll be able to do it with a repair manual, even without one all you have to do is take the tension out of the acc. belt by detensioning the tensioner pulley, take the belt off the alternator, unbolt the alternator, replace with the new one, then once again untension the tensioner pulley, and place the belt back over it.

Like said above though, spend the 12-15 bucks on a repair manual it will walk you through step by step with pictures.
 

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I just did my duratec 2.3L st alt. it was not fun at all not real bad but i had fallowed the directions of a site i found and the only thing i found diff. was i removed mine from the bottom not the top. i do not wanna do another one for a long while..
 

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ya know united battery is off of 109Ne columbia in portland they can do that for a good deal, about an hours labor perhaps 1.5 if the portland store wont do it, bring it the longview united battery store where i work and well do it cheap, like 75$

we'll also test and diagnose your problem correct the first time, probably, and sometimes arnt in the vocab there..
 

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Aurelius Pardus
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awesome..... I guess in other words there's also the point of: If you have time, then do it yourself. if ya don't..... well don't do it yourself.

if I ever needed to though, I'd do it myself cause i have the time. I guess it's just about how much effort you're willing to put into it
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the great advice guys, but I've screwed up. The battery light turned off so I figured "Hey! My alternator magically started working again, lets pretend that never happened."

Oops.

Now my cars dead in a Walgreen's parking lot. A repair shop that will put in a new alternator for about $300 (parts & labor) is 4 miles away...

...think a jump from a friend will get me that far? What if we let it charge for 15 minutes or something?

Thanks again ... sorry I suck at this stuff.

Update: I should have mentioned when it died, a quick jump allowed me to drive it to a safe place to park it (about 100ft.). Nowhere near 4 miles, but at least the battery can hold a charge.
 

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Hmmm... if it is totally dead your battery won't have enough charge to travel that far. You can give it a try though :))
It sucks to pay for a 4 miles tow.
 
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