I have replaced the altenator for the third time and AutZone just checked the last one and I took off and said it was good and that I have an electrical problem. Any ideas or suggestions I am at my wi

80

Asked by Jul 23, 2013 at 04:15 PM about the 2002 Ford Escape XLT 4WD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

!4 days ago when driving home the radio volume would go drop when I applied my brakes then it started running rough I did make it to my driveway. The next morning the battery had charged enough on its own to start the car but as soon as I turned on the headlights it died. I was told the altenator must be bad. I paid a mechanic $100 to replace it with an altenator I got from a junk yard. After it was installed it happened again. This ttime I went and bought a new altenator and had it put on last night again the same thing I took the old altentaor to Auto Zone and they tested it and said it was fine. Then they tested the new one I put one last night and told me I have an electrical issue. The battery and altenator are fine but its not charging my battery from the altenator. Can  someone please give me some advise of what to try next I am at my wits end.

4 Answers

77,895

Check the voltage at the battery it should be around 12.7 to 13.2, then start the engine and check voltage with it running ,it should be around 14.2 to 14.7, if the running voltage is not that high then you need to start checking main fuses located inside the main power distribution box under the hood, if those check good then you are going to have to trace out your charging system wiring, I would recommend getting a shop manual with wiring diagrams, it might be a little pricey for a good one, but if you plan on keeping the vehicle then it is money well spent. You may have an open circuit in the charging system wiring.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
21,765

PS: Don't try to charge a dead battery with the Alternator - you will damage the Alternator. Check continuity between the positive (large) post on the alternator and the positive side of the battery. There is a 100A fuse.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
5,955

Disconnect the battery before doing any electrical work on the car. Then make sure your battery is fully charged before hooking it back up. You can burn out the diodes in the alternator within minutes if your battery is completly dead. alternators are only made to work with a good battery not to recharge one. It's too much strain on a new alternator. Also make sure you are grounded when changing out alternators. Static electricity can burnout an alternator in seconds. Did your mechanic do all of the above and correctly? Is it a qualified shop or a backyard mechanic? It could make a big difference. double check. Good Luck, Kenny/MrBlueOval

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I got it fixed today I bet the altenator was not the issue from the beginning the wiring harness that went to the altenator had shorted out and the two wires had fuzed together. I replaced that and everything is fine. After $500 plus in parts and labor messing with altenators a $32 part took care of it. Thanks for all of your suggestions.

8 out of 8 people think this is helpful.

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