My 2003 Taurus is on the 6th alternaror in the past year!

85

Asked by May 12, 2012 at 10:43 AM about the 2003 Ford Taurus SES

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

The symptoms are the battery failure light on the dash comes on and the car loses power. Before if I shut the car off and try to restart it the battery is too weak. Now it will restart and everything checks out fine until the next time. This alternator is less than a month old. The others lasted a few months before they went completely out. The battery and starter are both new. Any ideas on where to look for a problem?

6 Answers

95

Its sounds like you have a short in a wire grounding it out. Trace all the wires coming off your alt and make sure they are all corrosion free and no breaks. Also another thing to look at is the ground from the alt to the block, make sure there is no paint in between and it is also corrosion free.

85

Thanks, Tim. I've done everything you recommend and the wires, grounds and everything are all clean. I did notice that the terminals and wires on the starter were wet and covered with oil. Could that cause a short condition? The prior oil filter was evidently leaking. I cleaned everything there with Brake Kleen and made sure the current filter isn't leaking. I'm stymied...

95

if the oil made a circuit from the main power lead to ground or if the oil got inside the alt, eather could be your problem

85

Thanks, Tim. Yes, the oil made a circuit to the main power lead that goes straight from the battery to the starter. No, no oil anywhere near the alternator. I cleaned all traces of any fluids everywhere around the wires and starter. I've driven and restarted the car several times today already and no problems. I keep the engine very clean and don't know how I missed the oil leak in the first place. I usually do my own oil changes, but had it done the last time it was changed. Never again!

85

...and the problem has resurfaced. I've replaced the alternator 3 times since the original post. The last time was a week ago and it's failed today. Same symptoms. Everything is new. Starter, battery and alternator. I'm glad I bought the lifetime rebuilt from Pepboys but this is ridiculous. I can't feel secure driving anywhere for fear that it will fail and leave me stranded. Any ideas?

Have had similar issues with having oil change leak damage the starter several times. Mechanic was suppose to have fixed the issue after replacing the starter several times, the alternator has also been replaced several times, battery was replaced. Still having to jump start the car and now that isn't working so is probably the alternator again! Frustrating for sure!

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