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Help with power issue

1615 Views 20 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  dirtbrown
Hello folks & Happy Thanksgiving;
my 2004 Focus ZTS 2.3L engine has been acting funny.. the light inside the the car is a little flaky (dims when the car starts and not stable).. Also sometimes when i start the car, it won't crank and i have to repeat it few times until it starts.
I went to Autozone to test my battery, the guy said my alternator generate too much power and i may need a new alternator.
I read few article online and some of them says it could be the voltage regulator and also that could be causing the starter issues and some other article said it could be the battery that needs to be replaced.

I don't want to go buy alternator & starter & new battery which is a lot of money. I need some help on what could be causing the light to be flaky and do i really need a new alternator??
Is the voltage regulator inside the alternator or is it a separate device that can be replaced separately??
DO i need a new starter or not cranking is related to the battery/alternator issue?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!![wave]
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· Registered
4,562 Posts
Maybe the autozone guy said too much voltage?

Yes, voltage regulator (VR) is inside the Alt.

Starter should be fine, no worries.

Bad Alts will often damage a battery, so replacing both Alt and Bat is often done.

My guess is your Alt is toast. Having an OEM Alt re-built is often preferred, compared to replacing it with a new/rebuilt one purchased at big name car part stores. Before taking further action I would suggest you make your battery terminal lug connections super clean and happy. Some cables get corroded inside/behind the lug, -not just on the battery. Also follow the black cable down to the car frame (on drivers side wheel well) and disconnect & clean that connection too.

· Registered
4,562 Posts
.. do i need to replace the battery as well?? I hope not.
Nobody knows.

I have never owner a battery tester, so all I have ever done is basic voltage tests. I have owned a couple trickle chargers though, very helpful. This however, does not tell you too much. The few times I have had a battery tested, I had car part stores do it.

Want to know more? -here is a link.

Don't forget about those visual inspections and clean-up of connections comments I made earlier. You need a have some decent mech skills and tools to replace an Alt on the 2.3. Lots of info here about that, so use the SEARCH box to find addl info.

Please watch the first 30 seconds of this video->
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