Ranger not charging and chime not working
I've run into a problem with my 2007 Ford Ranger 2.3L over the last week and I've been searching the forums for several hours but can't find a solution to my problems.
Last week, I accidentally left my headlights on for about an hour, but the truck ran fine. The next day I left them on again for about 5 minutes and it occurred to me that the reason I kept leaving the lights on was because the light reminder and key in ignition chimes no longer function. Sunday night, the not charging light came on the dash and the lights dimmed, but it only lasted about 30 seconds and everything returned to normal. Yesterday, after driving about 1 mile, the not charging light came on and has stayed on ever since. I have a ScanGauge II, and the voltage reading while the truck was running was 11.4 volts.
I took my battery in today for testing and it tested bad, so I got a replacement. Now my ScanGauge reads 12.2 volts, but the charging light is still on and I believe I should be seeing about 14 volts if everything was working.
I would assume my alternator is bad, but why would the headlight and door chimes quit at the same time? If there possibly a fuse somewhere that could be blown? I looked at all the fuses I could, and didn't find any problems, and I did a quick scan for corroded wires or wires that might be grounding out, but couldn't find any of those either.
Any suggestions? I would prefer not to buy an alternator unless I'm sure that's the problem.