not sure if my alternator is bad

James Pintor

Asked by Dec 20, 2015 at 07:30 AM about the 2003 Ford Explorer Limited V8 4WD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I think my alternator is bad not sure please help.ive
been having to get a jump to start car ,good
battery.and when it starts and I turn anything else
on such as heat or radio the lights go dim and the
heater starts to slow down and my check battery
light come on also my odometer and other gauge
stop working

3 Answers


All that is a very good indication of a bad alternator. If you have a volt meter you could check while it is running, at the battery, for 14.5 DC volts. If there is 12V or less, the alternator is not charging.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

Sounds like a bad alternator...

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Definitely sounds like the alternator. First make sure the connections to the battery are good and clean. You can remove the alternator and bring it to a place like autozone and they will check it for free. Before installing the new alternator, fully charge the battery if below 12.4 or so volts. Trying to charge a severely low battery by jump starting it then going for a nice long ride can damage the electronic components inside the new alternator. The alternator is designed to "maintain" your car battery at the proper charge, NOT charge a dead battery.

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