I REPLACED THE BATTERY IN MY VAN ABOUT A MONTH ...
2001 Ford Windstar
February, 28, 2013 AT 10:13 PM
I replaced the battery in my van about a month ago. The first 2 weeks the car started right up. The 3rd week I would have to jump start the car in the morning after the car had sat all night. Now I have to jump start the car everytime I start the car up. The alternator was replaced in July. What could be causing the battery to not stay charged?
Measure the battery voltage with the engine running. It must be between 13.75 and 14.75 volts. If it is low, replace the generator again. If it is within that range, have it professionally load-tested. If the generator can only produce exactly one third of its design current rating, it has a bad internal diode. 30 amps from the common 90 amp generator is not enough to run the electrical system under all conditions, so the battery will have to make up the difference.
Are you just jump-starting the vehicle, then driving off right away? If there is a bad diode in the generator, you aren't letting the battery charge up nearly long enough. The engine may start but you're still running on an almost-dead battery. It will take at least an hour at a slow charge rate to fully recharge the battery.