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Hey. Over a long period of time if anybody remembers i've been trying to pin point the problem to my vibration and dimming lights and so on.

I did the BIG 3 (grounding) but that did not help. I came to a conclusion that it is my electrical system and most likely the alternator.

Now, what i did is test the battery using my volt meter. With Car off it reads a bit over 12V, but bellow 13V. With car running it is 13.7-14 V. Now when i put a load on my car, such as braking or turning A/C or heater, the voltage drops and goes back up to the same mark. That's when the dimming of the head lights, dome lights, odometer display happens.

Is this normal ? I don't think so. Should the alternator keep up the consistent voltage when a load is introduced ?
I would also like to mention that the voltage drops slightly, not a whole lot. It doesn't not go below 12V when a load is introduced.

Any ideas ?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Maybe 1V. So it goes from around 14 to 13 or something. Not a huge dip i can tell you that. I just cannot remember the numbers from the top of my head.
 

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Yeah that's nothing to be alarmed about. I'm not to familiar with older Foci so I can't be sure if this dimming is normal or not. I know that on both a Tempo and Cavalier I have owned this happened and the charging system was perfectly fine. If your still concerned I would have a shop run a full electrical check (Battery, Starting, and Charging System). This service is not that expensive. I believe Pepboys does them for around $25 in my area.
 

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It sounds like a weak alternator.....which you need to have checked with more than a volt-meter. Lot of different places could do it.

You should not notice a dimming of any lights while the engine is running around 1000rpm. At an idle a slight dimming is fairly normal.
 

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Sounds to me like the alternator is wearing out inside, have it tested.

It's one thing to produce proper voltage, but something entirely different to maintain that voltage output under a heavy load (high amps). The alternator is old, these things die with age. Depending on what other means of transportation you have, you might consider having your alternator rebuilt at a local shop instead of purchasing a rebuilt alternator from a parts store. There should be electrical rebuilding operations locally- there are here. When I had issues with my old Aerostar's alternator, I became tired of changing it out. The parts were free after the first one, however the parts they used to rebuild the alternator were just crap, and wouldn't survive my audio component abuse. After I had it rebuilt by a local motor rebuild shop that did alternators, and had no more problems after that.
 

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I have a 2003 Focus ZTS with the 2.3L Duratec PZEV engine. My alternator starting making a loud whining sound and it smelled burned. I had the Ford dealer replace it with a Ford Remanufactured alt with warranty. They had checked the electrical system and it indeed was failing.
 
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