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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone want to help me replace my alternator? I live in Barrie, Ontario. I'll buy you a case of beer or whatever. lol I'm not 100% sure it's even the alternator but I'm pretty sure. When I was driving today all my gauges went to zero and the radio shut off and the airbag light came on. I love working on cars but I'm really not confident enough to do it myself but I'd love to help someone who knows what they're doing. Please help I don't want to pay $600 at some shop.
 

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Where in Barrie are you?

I havent done an alternator on the Focus so I dont know how much help I would be (from what I just read I looks like a pain) but I could loan you some tools if you need something or maybe just a hand/moral support for an hour or so sometime this weekend.

Do you know anyone at Bay Auto on Anne st? They run a fleet of Focus wagons and might be able to offer some suggestions
 

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Pop your hood and wiggle / inspect the battery cables whil its running. My car used to do that all the time and it was the two positive side cables had melted together about 10 inches from the batt terminal inside the plastic loom.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
So I ended up replacing the alternator myself i had no other choice. Lol I checked the volts before I replace it to make sure that was the problem. Everything was fine then battery light has been going on and off so I got battery checked. They said it was on way out so I replaced it. Now the battery light is still going on and off What next? I don't have the money to take it to a garage so what can I check myself? When the alternator was going the battery light didn't come on but gauges were screwy and radio went out etc. only AFTER I installed alternator did the light come on and off? HELP
 

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Have you checked all the main grounds? For the battery, engine, and ECU... I'm no expert but might be able to help out, I'm in Barrie as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I took off a ground wire when I was in there working. So this morning I took the ground wire back off and took a wire brush to the metal are where it's connected. Also under the rear hatch the brake light and tail light we bare in some spots. So i taped those up and so far the battery light hasn't came back on. I drove 20mins out of town then around town for about a half hour and it still has not came back on. So i hope that fixed the problem. :~) If not then i'll be posting another message on here after I cry. lol Thanks soooo much for everyone's help. :~)
 

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If it comes back you should check the positive cables in the loom as I mentioned above. The two positives melt together. It is a common problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
it was off all day then came back on tonight. I stopped at a stop sign and it came on then the car wanted to stall but didn't. Could the belt maybe be slipping or would it still be a bad connection somewhere? I also test the volts again when the light was on and they were fine so the new alternator is good.
 

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Nah check those cables. Start at the positive terminal and follow the two positives until they go into a plastic tube loom. The loom is sliced in half it's whole length, so just get ahold of the cables and start pulling the loom off of them. They only go a foot or so in the loom. Once they are fre from the loom enough for you to inspect them, look for them to be melted together. You have a good chance of that being your problem. Alternators rarely go bad these days. Alts and starters are much better than the 80s, so the problems are usually cable, connector failures, but ppl blame the alt mistakingly. When troubleshooting a car without 90% certainty of the problem, never start with the most expensive thing. Start with the basic cheap parts that are more likely to have been what failed, then logically work your way up to the more expensive components. ;)
 

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Any update on this? Did you get it figured out?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well I'm not sure if it's fixed yet but I'm hoping it is. When the light was on I had someone sit in the car while I wiggled a bunch of wires and it still stayed on. Then I went back under the car and pulled on the tensioner to see if it would release back all the way. It seemed to have a little bit of slack still when I released it. So I pulled back on the tensioner a bit to tighten the belt more. Now I've been driving my car for 2 days and the light has NOT came back on. So i'm hoping that I either fixed the problem when I wiggled wires or by tightening the belt. It only seemed to come on when I was idling at a stop sign or red light. That's what made me think to check the belt too because it slows down when in idle. I don't want to start tearing the loom on the positive battery cable apart just yet. Right now the light is off lol if it comes back on then I'll get right in there and check the wiring more in depth. So everyone say a prayer that I fixed it somehow. lol If it comes back on I'll be posting again, hopefully not though. :~)
 

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That loom is only 12 inches long and comes off very easy. (It's split the whole length). It'll take you 5 mins to remove, inspect cables, and put back. But Im glad your ride is running for now bro!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'm pretty sure I figured it out. I pulled back the tensioner to see if it would release all the way back. It seemed to not spring back all the way. So I pushed it a centimeter back so the belt was pulled all the way. Once I did that the light has not came back on since. I did that about 2-3 weeks ago so I guess that was all that was wrong, just the tensioner didn't spring back the whole way. :~) Now I think my catalyic converter is screwed. My engine light has been on for 1-2 yrs cuz of the cat. I never replaced it because it always ran fine. But now the car seems to be chugging when you accelerate. You step on the gas and it doesn't want to go or take a second to kick in. So I think it's finally pooched. I'm trying to figure out if I can take the cat off and drive without it on for a month or so until I can afford to fix it. If anyone knows or knows how to remove it i'd appreciate the info. Thanks for everyone's help. :~) I'm sooooo grateful to the creator of this website.
 
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