Check charging system and battery light on

Asked by Jul 26, 2017 at 10:00 PM about the 2004 Ford Taurus SE

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

My 04 taurus  se with the ohv engine. Keeps throwing the
check charging system and the battery light. The battery is
not charging.  I replaced the alternator twice. I replaced the
battery. I check the alternator fuse which was good. As well
as fuse 26 in the under hood block it was intact.  I also
checked for a bad engine to body ground. I made one and
moved it to several place with no effect. I also tried to run
the car off the alternator by disconnecting the battery while
it was running and the car turned off every time. The
alternator passed three  test on the test machine. It just
keeps dying. Idk what else to try or what it could be. I am
gonna take to a shop but any ideas or solutions would be
helpful thanks

6 Answers


Well you did a big no no by disconnecting a battery cable with the engine running, had the system been functioning you could have fried every electronic componet in the car, as a customer of mine learned, cost him dearly to get his car running again, anyway onto your problem, this vehicle has a computer controlled charging system, so if the computer doesn't see everything it should with regards to proper voltage, correct inputs from ignition and battery plus any current load demands it will not turn on the alternator, so a shop is going to have to test the system out, hopefully it is just a bad reading and not the computer itself as that can get expensive fast. HTH

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Tennishoes, do you know if the 1998 Taurus has a "smart charging" system as well? Or is this one like the old days? On at all times? Thanks!


No it has the voltage regulator on the back of the alternator, not inside the PCM.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Thank you. Just wanted to make sure. I think the wire from the ignition switch is bad and am thinking of just running a new conductor in its place. At this point, the car is almost 20 years old with 156k miles...... Not looking to win any car shows! Just continue getting from a to b!


Make sure it not just the ignition switch, Ford switches do still come apart over time.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

I jyst wanted to be sure the alternator is supposed to have a constant voltage on both wires (one at all times and the other with the key in the on position) before I look into it further. Had to ask about the pcm. Hopefully I'll get some time today to mess around with it and see what I can find!

Your Answer


Looking for a Used Taurus in your area?

CarGurus has 15,573 nationwide Taurus listings starting at $1,900.


Ford Taurus Experts

  • #1
    Tom Demyan
  • #2
  • #3
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Chevrolet Impala
370 Great Deals out of 27,543 listings starting at $1,499
Used Ford Explorer
878 Great Deals out of 64,708 listings starting at $1,200
Used Ford F-150
2,535 Great Deals out of 221,934 listings starting at $1,222
Used Ford Mustang
294 Great Deals out of 38,678 listings starting at $1,995
Used Chevrolet Malibu
635 Great Deals out of 48,775 listings starting at $1,500
Used Honda Accord
565 Great Deals out of 92,859 listings starting at $1,495
Used Chrysler 300
320 Great Deals out of 19,234 listings starting at $1,999
Used Toyota Camry
853 Great Deals out of 72,897 listings starting at $1,400
Used Ford Focus
400 Great Deals out of 70,443 listings starting at $999
Used Nissan Maxima
223 Great Deals out of 18,273 listings starting at $1,500
Used Buick LaCrosse
243 Great Deals out of 12,963 listings starting at $1,800
Used Ford Escape
966 Great Deals out of 105,733 listings starting at $550

Used Cars For Sale

2017 Ford Taurus SE For Sale
102 listings starting at $16,995
2016 Ford Taurus SE For Sale
68 listings starting at $12,500
2015 Ford Taurus SE For Sale
13 Great Deals out of 307 listings starting at $9,299
2014 Ford Taurus SE For Sale
3 Great Deals out of 97 listings starting at $6,999

Content submitted by Users is not endorsed by CarGurus, does not express the opinions of CarGurus, and should not be considered reviewed, screened, or approved by CarGurus. Please refer to CarGurus Terms of Use.