Alternator? or loose wire? - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 02-16-2006
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Alternator? or loose wire?

My latest dilemma: The battery light comes on and the battery gauge reads low. I shut the truck off and restart. This time the light does not come on.
Drive down the road and the light comes on but blinks occasionally. I tested the battery (7yrs old) and replaced it but the symptoms continue. Should I wait for full failure or just assume the alternator is bad? I hate to replace parts to diagnose a problem, especially since the alt is about $250.
Got any ideas?
Thanks a lot
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Old 02-16-2006
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Alternator is $250? Is that new or remanufactured? I got a remanufactured one for $160. o.O
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Old 02-16-2006
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Is the truck 7 years old as well? The alternator should still be good, but it sounds like it's letting go.

The symptoms you're seeing (low voltage and charging system light) may be due to the alternator no longer supplying enough current to run the truck and charge the battery at the same time. If the alternator is not putting out enough power, the ignition system will start to draw power off of the battery.

Once the system senses a voltage drop, it kicks on the battery light. If the alternator is truely dieing, then the repeated deep discharges of the battery (without fully recharging it because the alternator is not putting out enough power) will prematurely ruin the battery. DO NOT WAIT FOR A TOTAL ALTERNATOR FAILURE!

First thing's first... I'd go to AutoZone and have the alternator tested. If that's the case, you can get a remanufactured alternator for a lot less than $250 while you're there.

EDIT: I don't know if a code is only thrown with a check engine light, but there may be a code with the flashing charging system light. Ask AutoZone to diagnose the flashing light. Your owner's manual may also tell you what a solid and a flashing charging system light are indicative of.
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Old 02-16-2006
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check all of your connections in your charging system...ford alternators aren't bad for going out...not saying that they don't, but i'd check all of your connections first, personally
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Old 02-16-2006
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It could very well be an alternator. When they get old the parts inside start having intermittent contacts. $250 is steep for an alternator though.
http://jusnesmodified.com/store/inde...th=155_182_257 This might help.
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Old 02-17-2006
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So I'm going to remove the alt and take it down to NAPA for a test/replacement. Any good service websites that do the step-by-step on r&r alternator? I can figure it out but I like to read someone else's version first, ya know?
Thanks - this group of guys on this website are so helpful when it comes to repair ?'s
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Old 02-21-2006
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Took the alt to AutoZone and it failed the test - got a new one for $155 and it took about 15 minutes to install. Now no problem - thanks for your help.
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Old 02-21-2006
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Not to Hijack the thread but, I have been having a problem with my alternator, truck is 9 years old. My batter keeps reading low and eventually after some driving around I cant get it to start and have to get a jump, guessing thats the alternator ?


Also only time i had the problem was in the rain, and my belt was squeaking BIG TIME, worse then any time i've heard, even after going through swamps.
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