Need help with my 94, can't run heat and lights together - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource

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Old 01-22-2013
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Commerce, MI
Posts: 21
Need help with my 94, can't run heat and lights together

I love my 1994 Ranger. That being said I'm having a bit of trouble with it and thought I'd see what the forums thought. Last week I started having a peculiar problem. Whenever I run my heat and my headlights at the same time there is a significant drain on the battery, which is apparent on the voltage gauge, and also can be identified by a dimming of the headlights, dash lights, and accessories (led floor lights, radio, etc.). I can drive it around running my heat with no issues, and I can also drive it with the lights on without any problems, but when I run them together, I'm losing a ton of voltage. So much in fact, that my turn signals wont even blink. When this is occurring, and I have minimal voltage, simple things like hitting the brakes show even more drain on the battery, pushing the volt gauge nearly into the red zone. same with the turn signals, and my power steering feels stiff. Revving the engine pulls even more power, opposed to giving more juice! There is usually a squealing sound that accompanies this, although the condition still happens without the squealing noise sometimes. The battery tests good, and so does the alternator, although my testers maybe not the best. the alternator is pumping a little bit high, and one of the connectors at the alternator the plastic clip has broken. I have ruled out the connection because when I kill the lights and heat at idle the battery goes right back into the normal zone. Indicative that the alternator is pumping. If I shut the truck off while there is drain on the battery I have to jump it to get it running again. If i run the heat at full blast and turn my brights on, It sucks so much juice that I start losing my gauges. My temperature gauge has been acting weird recently also, it goes up to the top end of normal then drops back down real quickly. Don't know if that may be related or not. Tonight on my way home from work it was 4 degrees F and I decided to heck with it and ran my heat and my lights. when I turned on the turn signal and hit my brakes to make a turn with the heat and headlights on, it was too much and she died. Me and my coworker pushed it the couple hundred yards to his place. we jumped it, and i drove it home without the heat on and just the lights with minimal problems. What in the world is going on with my truck? Any and all help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Art.
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Old 01-22-2013
Ardy's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Windsor NS
Posts: 276
I'm not certain of the exact answer to this but what I would do first is check your batteries voltage with the engine not running, then start the motor (idle it) and check the voltage then. Could be a battery/charging system problem.
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Old 01-22-2013
Scrambler82's Avatar
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: SoCal
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Get both the battery and the Alternator LOAD Tested; I think most auto parts stores will do it.

If the belt is squealing check the the belt tensioner or adjust the belt tighter.
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