New battery, but not charging


Asked by Jun 20, 2009 at 12:54 AM about the Ford Explorer

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Ok, this problem started when I used a small air pump to inflate a pool. The air pump was plugged into the cigarette lighter. The engine was running for quite a long time at idle. Following this obviously dumb mistake, I drove it home to find that the battery indicator light came on and the battery showed no charge. Then the engine died. I tried starting it and it just clicked.
Frustrated I waited until morning and it started up, so I took it and had the battery checked, As soon as I got to the auto center it died... dead, wouldn't start. The auto center checked it, and it was dead. Got a new battery, and they also replaced the end connectors that attach to the battery because they were corroded.
I started the engine, drove home and again the battery light was on and showed very low charge on the instrument panel and the engine stopped again. Ok, I think I need to check the battery cables, alternator, and possible fuses for the problem. What if anything can I do other than this?
Also, I have heard that you can check the alternator by starting the car and disconnecting the neg. terminal to see if the engine continues to run or quits. Have you heard of this method and will it work? I need some advice.

13 Answers

Mike Bonnell

People just call a REAL technician and 9/10 they will offer advise. You Need an Alternator A Bad battery will NEVER turn on a Alt Light. The extra pump as a load burnt out the alternator as it is NOT desinged to do it for extended periods of time. I am not saying it could not do it ... If you propped a screw driver against the gas pedal and kept the RPM 's up to about 2000 RPM it wiould have handled the extra load. As far as remove the cable while the engine is running is the quickest way to DESTROY an alternator as it need the battery as a load to the rectifier and Diodes to work properly With out that there it will burn up in no time.

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.
A Facebook user

Everything that you have explained sounds like it is leading you in the direction of the alternator, it could be weak where as it gets heated up its going to not produce the voltage needed. try jumping it (if battery is dead) after removing your jumpers if it dies right away its your altenator or if it does stay running turn on all your acc.(ac fan, lights, stereo) if it dies then its your altenator. check your connections on the altenator first, at last you need to keep in mind that there are probally a couple of applications (depending on year) for altenators so have your numbers ready. the negative cable does work its the altenator that keeps the motor running the battery is for acc. this does not apply to all vehicles though. i dont reccommend it cuz a slip of the wrench or the wrong move and your going to eat battery acid. the gut is saying altenator.

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.

I want to thank you for your help, got my explorer to local autozone, they tested the alternator and it was very weak, almost dead. Got new alt and put it on today and it is doing great. Shows battery charged and running. I also want to thank Autozone for great customer service. Thanks !

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.

I am having the same problems, I have replaced the alt.,twice, and a new battery. Things worked great for aboaut three weeks,yesterday it died again,I put the battery on charge and it starts but shows that it is not charging to the full capacity, at least on the gauge. I hope some one can help me!

30 out of 30 people think this is helpful.

I have a 06 explorer, ever since I changed the alternator and ever since then its been running hard, like I'm going up hill or its in a low gear. would it be my alternator or maybe my transmission? it has approx. 186,000 miles.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

The same thing happened to me this week with my '96 Explorer . Battery light came on, would not go off. But my amp meter is showing that my alternator is doing its job. I left the lift gate open for about 2 hrs and when I went to start it the battery would not turn the engine over. Jumped it and didn't have a problem...but that battery light was still on. If the serpentine were slipping enough to cause the battery light to stay on it would also be squealing non-stop, so I never thought that. I disconnected the negative battery cable and drove it for about 4 miles with no problems, I figured the alternator was not the problem. Installed a new battery from another vehicle, battery light still stayed on. I then got a piece of scotch brite and die-electric grease and disconnected every ground wire and strap I could find including batt cables. Battery light still on. I then had my son sit in the drivers seat and instructed him to let me know if/when the battery light flickered. With the truck running I started wiggling wires and connectors, when I got to the back of the alternator he told me it blinked. I shut it off, disconnected the neg battery cable, popped the connectors off the back of the alternator cleaned and greased all the connectors. Started the truck the battery light was off and has stayed off.

6 out of 6 people think this is helpful.

disconnecting the alternator on new vehicle can blow the computers in vehicle also

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.

i have a 2002 ford expedition and the battery sign came on and the abs light came on to and my radio turned off what does that mean

21 out of 21 people think this is helpful.

i have a 2002 ford expedition and the battery sign came on and the abs light came on to and my radio turned off what does that mean

12 out of 12 people think this is helpful.

I am experiencing the same kinda thing here. I just bought a 1991 ford ranger with a 4.0. Drove fine from apple valley. Hopped I. It to go to work and it started to studded going up hill. Made it to a light. As soon as started to take off it died. Wouldn't start just clicked. Started with a jump but died rite away. Tow truck driver put a ohm reader on it and said its the altimeter. So replaced that. Jump it ran fine hooded up and then as soon as I take the cables off it died a minute or so later. Anything out there that would help

10 out of 10 people think this is helpful.
Charles Crowson

Mine is a 2002 sport trac. I replaced the power steering hose and 2 days later, battery wont charge. Started it without jumping but when the rpm get high, it acts like someones pumping the gas petal ansd the ac compressor started smoking?

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

I have a 2001 Ford Sport Trac, I went through the same type of things I was going up hill and it bogged down and there has been nothing but issue since. It would bog down driving on a flat room every time I tried to start it the battery had to be charged to the point of having to buying a battery and then having to getting a new one. We have put so many parts in this Truck, and now it is just setting. :(


check altenater, and all of it`s wire connections

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