Got a problem charging a 95 ford escort wagon. I have switched the alternator out, test to see if it is sending a current, it is. I have checked the wiring and everything seems to be okay. What am I missing, seems like it is a pretty simple system. Thanks
While running I have done a couple tests on it.I have a battery charger that will test the alternator current. While hooked up to the battery (and running), the charger gives an error light on the alternator test. I leave it hooked up and let the engine run. The battery percentage runs down as the engine runs. Okay, so I turned the engine off. Hooked the charger up to the alternator positive to see if I could see the battery voltage ( I coulld, got 12.6 volts). Turned the engine on with the charger still hooked at the alternator and I got a 100% on alternator test of current. All the wires appear to be properly connected. Last thing, If I run the engine long enough it will run the battery completely down and the engine will die (which is how I noticed the problem to begin with). Hope that helps with the creation of a solution.
July, 15, 2006 AT 2:17 PM
Ok, you should have a Charge Indicator lamp on your instrument cluster. Does this light come on?
Either way, it sounds like your altenator is not producing enough power to run the systems on your car. If no major current draw items have been added to the car, like subwoofers and amp, or special lighting, then I would say it is time for another altenator. With the engine running, the altenator should put between 13 and 14 volts on the battery. If it is only putting 12.6 like you said, then it may be charging enough to turn off the charge light, but not enough to runs the car systems and keep the battery charged.
Also check the ground cables and engine grounds for corrosion and loosness.
July, 15, 2006 AT 2:33 PM
Thanks for the advice. I will have to check the grounds. That has to be it. There is no after-market add-ons. I have swapped out the alternator with a salvage (The yard tested it, I know that isn't proof positive, but I am getting 14.6 from the alternator postive terminal) I kept thinking I was missing something. But I will check the grounds and let you know. Again thanks for the advice, It is thoughtful and timely.
July, 16, 2006 AT 8:49 AM
Thanks for the advice, It worked like a charm (with a lot of sweat and grease), but it worked all the same. The main ground to the engine looked okay, but went to pull the bolt, snapped right off, it was so corroded. So after a little testing to find a new place to attach it, I have a full charge getting to the battery. Thanks YOU ARE THE MAN!