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Old 07-24-2012
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1997 Ranger Troubles

Hi,

I was on my way to work this morning and I look down at my instrument panel and notice the ABS light is on which I thought unusual because I have never seen it on before. Then I watch as the speedometer needle drop to zero. Following that, the voltage gage drops to zero. I immediately start looking for a place to pull off the road and I hear an alarm coming from somewhere over by the glove compartment. I coast into a pull off area on the side of the road and the truck is still running, not very good, but still running. I shut off the engine. After a few seconds I try to restart my truck and I get the rapid "click, click, click" sound that normally would indicate to me that I have no juice. I checked under the hood; the serpentine is fine. I am assuming it is either the battery or the alternator.

Any advice or expertise would be appreciated. Does anyone know what the alarm was about? 1997 Ranger 2.3L.

Also, not sure if this is of any concequence, but I just had the timing belt break and had it replaced 1 week ago. Drove for a week solid, 70+ miles per day with no issues.

Thanks.
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Old 07-24-2012
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that's what happened when my alternator went, but i didn't get an abs light or any alarm. can you describe this 'alarm?'
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Old 07-24-2012
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Thanks for the response mac.

The alarm was a "beep or ding" sound. Like the beep/ding sound you hear when your door is ajar. I think it was a pattern of 3 beeps then a pause, 3 beeps then pause, and etc. I was focusing on trying to get off the road, so I may be mistaken about the pattern. But it was definitely coming from the passenger side of the cab, by the glove box.
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Old 07-24-2012
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that's where all the dings come from, the GEM i believe it's called. i didn't have any of that though. sounds like you might have 2 separate issues. when my alternator went the i lost electronics and the truck just started to sputter and died. someone else will chime in.
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Old 07-24-2012
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More then likely dinging/chiming due to low voltage. I know when it gets very cold (-20F) my truck will do some strange stuff while starting and immediately after start up due to low system voltage.

Sounds like you need to

A: make sure the alternator and battery doesn't have a loose connection
B: inspect fuses for charging system
C: load test the alternator/battery to verify issue.

Charge the battery so you can start the truck and test it.
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Old 07-24-2012
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x2 on the cold, when it gets to like 0 here once or twice a winter before it warms up my turn signals won't work and other odd behavior
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Old 07-24-2012
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Thanks for the advice rolsmojave3.

My truck is currently parked about 10 miles / 15 minutes from my house. If I fully charge the battery do you think the truck will make it to my house even if the alternator is shot?
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Old 07-24-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chode1973 View Post
Thanks for the advice rolsmojave3.

My truck is currently parked about 10 miles / 15 minutes from my house. If I fully charge the battery do you think the truck will make it to my house even if the alternator is shot?
Maybe but there is no telling. The battery being charged won't effect the alternator issue.

On my old 98 the alternator went out and I pulled over because I wasn't sure what it was but as I tried to drive the backroads home it would cut in and out and become jerky so I had to stop. Called AAA and ended up getting it towed to my buddies shop so I could fix it.
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Old 07-24-2012
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If you get a full charge on the battery, start the truck with the charger on it and the battery is in good condition, you should be able to drive it about 15 minutes. Don't use anything electrical.

I recently had an alternator go down the drain on me, but I have strong enough battery that I was able to charge it 20 minutes and drive it another 20 minutes home. I had AC on too!
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Old 07-25-2012
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Well, I managed to get the ol girl home late yesterday evening. It took us about 45 minutes to go 10 miles on the back roads. Had to jump start 5 times but made it home. Truck ran fine until the battery began to drain, then same deal as before. First the ABS light came on, then the spedo drops, then the voltage gage drops, and finally the alarm goes off and the truck dies. Weather premitting I'll be removing the alternator this evening and getting it tested. Its supposed to be 100+ degrees today here in Indiana.
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Old 07-25-2012
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let us know how it goes. my alternator was not bad at all to change.
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  #12  
Old 08-02-2012
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OK folks, the issue was indeed the alternator. Pulled the old one out last Saturday and went to get it tested. It tested bad. Put a new one in, charged up the battery and I've been driving it all week back and forth to work with no issues.

It wasn't bad at all to change out. I only had to move a couple small things out of the way. 20 minute job.

Thanks for everyone's input.
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Old 08-06-2012
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Good to hear. Same thing happened to my '07 F150. Alternator went on the way home. lights went dim, ABS light came on, lots of weird noises. I pulled off and shut er down and got the click click click. Truck only had 50k miles on it.
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