Is the alternator the cause of my truck dying


Asked by Jul 14, 2016 at 07:37 AM about the 2004 Ford Explorer Limited V6

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I was driving home when the battery light started to flicker and then the truck
all of a sudden lost all power but I was able the drive the short distance and
parked then it died.

3 Answers


It could be something else but the alternator is the most likely cause. Have alternator voltage tested.

Bob Beaman

If you have a volt meter you can check the alternator output by measuring the voltage at the battery terminals with the engine running. It should be 13.5 to 14.7 volts. If the voltage is in the 11 or 12 volt range something is wrong with the alternator or the wiring from alternator to the battery. It would be necessary to charge your battery to start the vehicle.


Sounds like the alternator went out and the vehicle was running off the battery until it went dead, then naturally, the vehicle stops. The idiot light for the battery could indicate your alternator went out and was not charging. First check the voltage of the vehicle's battery. Should be 12.5 volts or so (multimeter). If you can jump start the car then it dies as soon at the jumper cables are removed, then your culprit is probably the alternator. NOTE: If you have to change the alternator, do not run the vehicle in an attempt to charge the battery. Alternators today have electronic components. The alternator is intended to maintain a battery, not charge a dead one. You can destroy an new alternator by attempting to charge a dead battery.

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