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Discussion Starter #1
Wife's 2006 ZX5 died the other day while driving. First indication that something was wrong was ABS light coming on followed by rough running, shortly followed by gauges zeroing out, and then complete engine stop. There was no Charging System light (battery symbol) or CEL(all lights work) prior to this event. Took six month old battery back to Walmart for test. Battery tested sat and was successfully recharged. With engine off, measured 12.5 volts at the battery and then 12.2 volts with engine on. Obviously alternator was not charging. I'm used to seeing 13.5 volts or a little higher with engine running. The car is really clean and garage kept. I checked for any loose connections or obvious corrosion topside and did same underneath. Everything looked good. Alternator looks like a PITA to change out but doable. I'm a total amateur and am wondering if there is anything else to check before I order new alternator. It just seems really odd, I had no warning lights or anything prior to this happening. Thanks in advance for any ideas.
 

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Alternator is not a bad job, really. Unbolt the lower engine mount, then use a ratchet strap to pull the bottom of the engine forward. It will still be supported by the two upper mounts. Then you can drop the alternator out the bottom. Not as bad as it sounds.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the input folks. We'll jump on it tomorrow. Last alternator I changed was on my '93 Explorer which took about 15 minutes. Looks like this one will take a wee bit longer.
 

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Make sure to have the new alternator tested before you walk out of the store.
 

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Thanks for the inputs. Old alternator failed bench test at O'Reily's, remanufactured one (lifetime warranty) passed. Made the mistake of trying this on ramps which made rocking engine difficult after unhooking rear mount which looked a little worse for wear. Finally jacked up front end which made it easier. Duh. Ended up putting in new mount and belt. Tensioner seemed fine. Car only has 82K miles. I'll replace two other mounts later. Less vibration at idle with new rear engine mount and system charging properly. Still a PITA to do, but I suppose there are a lot of cars out there that are even more difficult. I'm still at a loss as to why I didn't get a charging light warning before old alternator failed. Thanks again.
 
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