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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been searching through past threads and it seems like a lot of people have had issues with alternators. I replaced a seized alternator a little over a month ago with a new one from NAPA. A week and a half later, battery light comes on. Autozone test unit points to the voltage regulator. Skeptical of that, because it was new, I take it to my regular shop. They say the same thing. So I take it out and get it replaced at NAPA under warranty. This one works fine for 2 weeks, then same thing - battery light comes on, diagnosis is a failed voltage regulator. It's only putting out between 10-12 volts while running. Is it possible that I've got 2 bad NEW alternators in a row from NAPA? What else could be causing this?
 

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Moved to General Tech Chat, you'll find more info. here.

We see this all too often, one reason having your old one rebuilt when possible is often better than buying a rebuilt (better quality work & parts from a local rebuilder).

Yes, checking for contributing factors is always good (battery/wiring condition) but it's nothing new to have bad luck with a replacement or two. I whined when that happened years ago, and it's gotten a lot worse.
 

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Look hard at the battery and do a loadtest if any question, if battery dragging it will overwork these alts to spit out the regulator quicker than spit. Problem is exacerbated by the idiots rebuilding the parts choosing to usually use the low dog regulators even on their premium alts, they just cannot free up enough to pay $10 more for the heavy duty regulators. They care more about company CEO's bonus pay than they do you. Hint: the low dog regulators will fail like 10 to 1 over the better ones.

When I sold alts it was not unusual to fail 25% of them right out of the box, it's a much bigger problem than most realize. Bad enough we were forced to pretest simply trying to not look like idiots selling bad ones. Still didn't really work, they commonly fail like a week or month later. I went to rebuilding my own to get away from the problem and since then not one bad one yet, and I'm an idiot LOL. Pretty damn funny.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the replies. It's an SE sedan Zetec.

Autozone said battery is good. I don't know how to test it otherwise.

I could understand getting bad alternators if they were re-manufactured, but these were both brand new alternators. That's what has me confused. My original alternator seized. So I replaced it with a new one to avoid having any issues. It goes bad, so I get another new one. It goes bad. If it was a wiring issue, wouldn't that present itself sooner than a week or two?

I took the second replacement out this morning and got my money back from NAPA. I'll be getting the motorcraft reman one from the dealer. I didn't see an option for a new one on the Ford parts site, but it sounds like Motorcraft is properly rebuilding these...
 

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The wiring harnesses are a weak point on these cars. Check for any damaged casing or bad grounds tha could cause the alt to be overloaded.
 

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Just what IS the difference in RE-manufacturing a second time and brand new a first time if the place of making is the SAME??? And it will be even for the Motorcraft re-manned units. China, don't kid yourself. There are different degrees of crap in China too.........

If you use same crap regulator unit then it matters not how much of the rest they rebuilt, the part will still fail.

I've seen the horror of a mix of rebuilt and new and FIVE in a row failed one after another. Not all at my store, we started calling out and the other store ones failed too when put to the tester. We had to order the one needed eventually from the main vendor through the warehouse. They called wondering what we were doing and eventually all alts under that number got recalled back to vendor nationwide. That guy (Chinese of course) was vetted to produce units under the store brand name and he was only one of many that we had endless trouble with. When your rebuilt or 'new' (pretty damn funny) comes from unnamed sources you got no idea at all of the quality other than the lies the counter guy gives you. They cannot tell either as they do NOT KNOW. Duralast or Master Pro product can come from as many as 50 suppliers of whatever part you are thinking of. Most of those suppliers provide garbage for parts. What globalization got us, more money for the rich and endless issues for us.

Just chatting with someone else, we've broken like 4 can openers in the last month, they can't even make can openers any more. They break into pieces in less than ten cans...........damn good price though. HHHHMMMMMMMMMMMM..............
 

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I agree with Rhowe. I had the same problem with my alt. I changed the positive cable and bam she runs very well no issues at all.
 

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When your alt DOES fail, and it WILL, and you have already changed the main cables you'll have fun then............why I learned to rebuild the alts for pennies long ago. Best thing ever, my alt problems have been gone for a good while now.
 
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