2002 Ford Escape Changed alternator, now won't start

  • 2002 FORD ESCAPE
  • 2.0L
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • 150,000 MILES
Alternator was tested and was bad. I changed the alternator, hooked up the jumper cables, and started the vehicle. I let it run about 30 seconds and disconnected the cables. It continued to run about 30 seconds then cut off. I hooked the cables back up and got back in the vehicle to start it up. I smelled a burnt smell inside the cab. I tried to restart the vehicle, but now it won't turn over. Everything else will work, lights, radio, power windows, etc. (That is with the jumper cables hooked up), but the engine won't turn over. I took the battery out and charged it. I put it back in and it showed 12 volts. The engine still wouldn't turn over. After trying for a few seconds, I checked the voltage again and it was 6 volts. I looked under the hood at my connections and about 10 minutes later the voltage was 0. Is this a short in the charging/ignition systems? How likely is it that the plug to the alternator, being 12 years old, is the culprit? Possibly being brittle, was damaged when I removed it.
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have the same problem?
Wednesday, January 15th, 2014 AT 5:19 PM

1 Reply

Sounds more like you have a bad battery. When it is fully discharged, you'll still read 12.2 volts. To draw a good battery down to 6 volts you would have to have such a huge load on it, like a wrench dropped across the posts. I think it's more likely you weren't making good contact with the meter probes. I've been fixing tvs for 40 years, and that has happened to me all the time.

What I would try next is to get a good battery / clean the connections / or use jumper cables to get voltage on the battery cables, then measure the voltage on the output terminal on the generator. If you find 0 volts there, a fuse or a fuse link wire is burned open. The generator may be working but the current can't get back to the battery. Sometimes Ford likes to tap off that terminal to feed other circuits, and that could explain the no-crank problem.

You didn't say how the old unit failed. If it had two shorted internal diodes, that would have burned open the fuse, but if that was a fuse link wire, there would be a carbon track left behind. It's also possible for those wires to corrode and just partially open up. Either way, the strong current from the new generator trying to charge the battery would finish the job. Usually you won't smell that though.
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Wednesday, January 15th, 2014 AT 5:56 PM

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