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Discussion Starter #1
I first want to say that this is a great site I've looked around here for a couple days trying to find info to help me but didn't. While doing so was impressed with the site and knowledge you all have collectively.
Now my problem, I have a 2000 focus se with the 2.0 (non-ztec) and auto trans. The battery light is on and only goes off once in a while when I first start the car and stays off for about 20sec. then comes back on.
What I've done so far is replaced the wire between the alt. and the battery, replaced the ground wire from the bat. the the inner fender on driver side. I've also replaced the battery and alt. After all of this the bat. light is still on and the car will suddenly lose all electrical power inside(radio, gauges, ect.) and shortly after that the engine will die and usually not crank. Any help will be greatly appreciated !!
 

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I.S.A.I.K.I.
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I'm sorry for asking but you said you replaced the wiring harness on the back of the alternator, correct? Could be the alternator itself wanting to take a dirt nap.
 

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You have replaced the alternator...right? When the engine dies and won't crank over.....is the battery actually dead? You can buy a battery load tester at places like Harbor Freight fairly cheap.

If the battery tests ok, and it still won't crank over.....wiring/connection problem somewhere.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yes the battery and alt. have both been replaced also the wire leading from the alt. to the bat. has been replaced also. When it cuts out it acts as tho the electrical to the whole car just goes away. AND BAT. LIGHT IS ON ALMOST ALL THE TIME. GRRRRRR
 

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2017 Focus 1.0 Ecoboost 2003 Focus ZTW
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I'm not sure about the SPI but on the Zetec system the charging signal comes from the pcm. From what you're describing I don't think that's the problem but just thought I'd mention it. Have you tried moving the key a little when the symptoms appear? Maybe the ignition switch has some bad contacts. I know you checked and replaced some wires but is there a ground wire from the engine to the frame somewhere?
 

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I know you changed your alternator but it sounds to me like it is just not working. The best thing you could do to start is take it out and take it somewhere to be bench tested. If it works on the bench you now know you can look elsewhere. I had to replace the alternator on my 02 superduty and the first 2 where DOA rite out of the box. I purchased one rite from Ford (actually competitive price with aftermarket) and have not had a problem since.
Good Luck
Ken
 

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Sounds like your new alternator is to blame. If the charge light stays on, the battery is not getting charged and will go dead. Check the battery voltage while the car is running at a fast idle.....should be around 14V.
 

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^exactly. i would use a multimeter and test dc voltage on the battery when the car is off. it should be around 11.8-12.8 vdc. then crank the car, now test the battery again. this should read from 13.2-14.2 vdc. if the car isnt reading around these parameters you know the alternator is not putting out like it should.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
After the alt. and bat. install I had a freind of mine check w/the machine at autozone. The bat. had 12.6v (car off) then with the car engine running bat. had 14.0v and the alt. was putting out 105 amps. By simple testing the charging systen seems to be fine but the bat. will not go off and it intermittantly cuts power to just about everything. Could the engine to chassis ground be an issue here? I'll be getting under the car tomarrow and checking the connections at the starter and any grounds I can find. Any other suggestions?? Thanks to all that replied.
 

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C2H5OH
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If all tested good, which it appears to be sufficient, I would say you're on the right track with a connection issue -> loose connection or poor connection somewhere.

I'm guessing you did all this already but just so we know, check the connections at the battery, clean them and make sure they are tight, use dielectric grease; clean the grounds and use more dielectric grease; check the alternator pigtail and make sure it's not corroded and causing a false negative from raised resistance.

If all that passes it may be a frozen battery, it's not been warm lately and batteries can freeze. If you shake it you should hear liquid sloshing in it, and generally the sides will bulge if it has frozen in the past. Short trips generally will not warm the battery enough to thaw it, room temp and battery charger over night can help.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I have cleaned and "greased" the battery terminal connections. I will examine the alt. pigtail closer and add some elec. grease to it also. Then move on to the starter connections and grounds. Something has to be causing this.
 

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it may be worth while to get on ebay and order one of those cheap grounding kits. this way you know everything is grounded good. you can get one shipped for about $20.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Can anyone tell me how many main ground wires there are and possibly where they should be? I know there is one from the bat. neg. post to the inner fender, there should be one from the engine to the body somewhere. Are there any more I may be missing?
 

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There was a list of all the grounds posted here someplace- I can't find it now. Lemme look around a while...
 

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Discussion Starter #16
OK, had some time to work on it today. I put on a new ground wire from the engine block to the neg post on the battery so it now has a new grond wire from neg to block and neg to chassis, also a new wire from the alt. to battery. I should be getting a good ground now and plenty of power from the alt. to the battery but the stupid bat. light is still on. I've worked on cars for a while now and have not ever run into a problem like this. Did ford do something a$$ backwards here??? I'm getting frustrated with this thing now. Any other help would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I thought of that yesterday when I was working on it and tried to pay close attention to the belt while under the hood and revving the engine and it gave no indication of slippage. It doesn't help that the problem is intermitant. It could run fine (bat. light on all the time) for awhile and then for no apparent reason the radio will shut down first then the gauges go nuts and shortly after that the engine will spit and sputter then die. I don't get it.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Someone told me it could be a bad ecm/ecu . Could this be possible? And if so, is there a way to test it short of buying a new one and trying it?
 

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ok this is going to sound very weird but i came across a possible fix for your problem

A common problem is the cylinder head temperature sensor and ignition cables touching. This will cause a number of electrical gremlins including the speedo, wipers not working, electric mirrors, interior lights coming on etc. The solution is to re-route the cylinder head temperature sensor around the ignition cables and secure in place.

try it
 
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