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Here's a long story, but I'll try to get to the point.

My 2001 SE Focus died on my wife six weeks ago. She had it towed to the local Ford dealer. They said the battery was bad and replaced it. They also tested the charging system and everything was okay. Car has run "normal" since then.

Started to notice a slight hesitation when cruising. Got a CEL and a P0401 code. Took it to the Ford Dealer and they replaced the DFPE sensor under warranty. Might not be relevant, but want to make sure,

Now the problem. As I was driving out the dealer, I noticed the charge light was on. Took it right back and they said they didn't cause the problem and the battery was okay. The charge light goes out when the car is started, but comes on after about ten seconds.

I removed the alternator and had it tested at Autozone. It passed their test twice. I decided to replace the alternator and installed a NAPA rebuilt unit. When I started the car, it ran for about 20 seconds before the charge light came on. I used my multimeter and started the car. The voltage did not increase after the car started and the charge light came on after ten seconds. No measured voltage change. [?|]

Seems to me I have a wire that is broken. When the system is cold, the wire is still making contact. When the charging system turns on, the wire heats up and causes an open circuit and the charge light turns on. Any idea of what wires to look at??? I plan on taking it back to the dealer and have them trouble shoot the problem for me.

Dave
 

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You should get about 12.6 volts or so with the car off, upon statup you should get at least 13.5 at least, any less than 13 and the alternater is not sending current and you are running right off the battery. Just follow the leads off the back of the alternator. Also, check the battery connections for corrosion inder them.
 

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if the it iis above 13 it is fine, but you might want to check the contacts and look at one of the several power relays....i think that that can be a source...if you give me the number i can get a cross reference number for you if you need to replace it....hope this helps, and if i siad anything wrong, i am just a newwbie at working on cars...
 

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There are three wires that plug into the alt. Chek that the Blue one (in the middle) is making connection. This is notorious for our cars and the same for the coil pach harness as well. If the blue wire is not touching or pulled out slightly what you are explaining is probably the reason. I had the exact same problem but found it before I had to pull the ALT.
 
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