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Tony2005
Addicted CEG'er

Reged: 06/19/05
Posts: 5345
Loc: Virginia, USA
Re: 99% Sure Its My Alternator, Help with other 1% new
#990246 (Re: dstock) 07/05/05 03:56 PM

I weould start by cleaning the terminals.

Also, how old is your battery, did you charge it and test it again per earlier post suggestions. If your battery is 5 years old or so, maybe it is time for a new one.

You may want to leave the terminals disconnected for this. Then check the the black (negative) to see if it is frayed with wire exposed, all the way to the ground (body of the car) and if the connections are loose. Then check the red (positive) all the way to the alternator. Again if the connections are loose or wire is frayed.

And before you do that, do a search on Troubleshooting and put "alternator wire", and all post. You should find a ton of useful information that might help you.

Good luck.

--------------------
"Always do the cheap and easy ones first."

1996 V6 ATX 96K miles


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dstock
CEG'er

Reged: 01/30/04
Posts: 60
Re: 99% Sure Its My Alternator, Help with other 1% new
#990263 (Re: dstock) 07/05/05 04:13 PM

My friend has the same car with a newer battery. I'll take his battery out and drive abouve 70 for 30min. If it doesn't act up I'll assume its my battery. I hope its my battery

Still open to suggestions

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Tony2005
Addicted CEG'er

Reged: 06/19/05
Posts: 5345
Loc: Virginia, USA
Re: 99% Sure Its My Alternator, Help with other 1% new
#990268 (Re: dstock) 07/05/05 04:17 PM

If you are going to take out your battery, might as well clean the terminals and check the wires first before putting in the good battery in. It might save you a few steps down the road. Also charge up the old one and put it in the trunk (with the tools) while you are driving. Just in case you need another battery to get home.

Good luck.

--------------------
"Always do the cheap and easy ones first."

1996 V6 ATX 96K miles


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dstock
CEG'er

Reged: 01/30/04
Posts: 60
Re: 99% Sure Its My Alternator, Help with other 1% new
#990273 (Re: Tony2005) 07/05/05 04:23 PM

Pardon my ignorance on the specific manner of "checking the wire" I've look at them and they appear to be ok. Where do I need to follow them two to make sure they are 100%, and is it just the positive and negative cable wires you are referring too?

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Tony2005
Addicted CEG'er

Reged: 06/19/05
Posts: 5345
Loc: Virginia, USA
Re: 99% Sure Its My Alternator, Help with other 1% new
#990279 (Re: dstock) 07/05/05 04:36 PM

"Then check the the black (negative) to see if it is frayed with wire exposed, all the way to the ground (body of the car) and if the connections are loose. Then check the red (positive) all the way to the alternator."

You may have to drive the car up a ramp or put it on jackstands for the red (positive) to the alternator part.

"Disclaimer. Never work under the car with just the temporary or hydraulic jacks (that you buy from parts store). Serious injury could result if the jack fails and the car falls down".


--------------------
"Always do the cheap and easy ones first."

1996 V6 ATX 96K miles


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dstock
CEG'er

Reged: 01/30/04
Posts: 60
Re: 99% Sure Its My Alternator, Help with other 1% new
#990343 (Re: dstock) 07/05/05 06:20 PM

If I put in my friends battery and its good above 70 for a while is it safe to say its MY battery? Do I have to have the battery in longer, why?

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Tony2005
Addicted CEG'er

Reged: 06/19/05
Posts: 5345
Loc: Virginia, USA
Re: 99% Sure Its My Alternator, Help with other 1% new
#990360 (Re: dstock) 07/05/05 06:44 PM

Okay, just so there is no misunderstanding. It is 70 miles (distance) not 70 mph (unless you drive for one hour, then it would be 70 miles distance). I think the previous post (about a week ago) was to show how far he could go on a good battery/bad alternator combo.

You are trying to determine if the alternator or wiring is bad. If the "new" battery holds charge and continues to be charged while being driven, then the "old" battery is the problem. If the "new" battery doesn't hold the charge, then maybe it is the wiring or the alternator.

Of course, if you drive for an even longer period of time and the car is still fine, then it is probably a problem with the "old" battery. Like I said earlier, you may want to put the "old" battery (fully charged) in the trunk with tools so that you don't get stranded if the "new" battery gets completely drained so that you don't get standed by the side of the road.

Incidentally, you probably read that Masscontour posted today that his problem was the negative cable. We can hope that it is the same for you. A cheap fix if you do it yourself.


--------------------
"Always do the cheap and easy ones first."

1996 V6 ATX 96K miles


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dstock
CEG'er

Reged: 01/30/04
Posts: 60
Re: 99% Sure Its My Alternator, Help with other 1% new
#990448 (Re: Tony2005) 07/05/05 07:58 PM

CORRECTION: Sorry for the confusion, it is 70MPH, not 70 miles.

Once I go 70MPH or faster for over 20 minutes it starts to have problems as described before.

Hope this clears things up. Thanks.

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FavoriteMystaque
Hard-core CEG'er

Reged: 10/17/04
Posts: 1456
Re: 99% Sure Its My Alternator, Help with other 1% new
#990675 (Re: dstock) 07/05/05 11:53 PM

If you need to do more troubleshooting after trying the battery substitution, try borrowing or buying a digital voltmeter to measure voltage and resistance, very handy working on cars, or almost anything else.

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dstock
CEG'er

Reged: 01/30/04
Posts: 60
Re: 99% Sure Its My Alternator, Help with other 1% new
#990848 (Re: FavoriteMystaque) 07/06/05 02:38 AM

UPDATE:

Got home and worked on it after work tonight.

- Volts when car was off and sitting for 4 days was 11.5
-Charge for 30 mines, turned on fine, battery light was flickering volts were at 10.65!
-Turned it off, volts still low

Friend brought his over with Motorcraft batt that is 1 year old. His volts were 13.0 off
- 13.5 at load, and 13.0 idle

Checked my wiring as much as I could, everything looked fine. I will put it up on jack stands tomorrow night to double check.

Here's my thinking:

Swap batteries from my car to his
1. If MY batt in his car is fine, batt is fine, probably my alt.
2. If MY batt in his car is crap still, could be either my batt or alt, but probably which one?

3. If HIS batt in my car is crap volt readings, its my alt.
4. If HIS batt in my car is fine, probably my battery.

Does this seem like a logical process, comments suggestions?

i do have a voltimeter. Thanks for everyones help.

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