2002 Ford Taurus alternator

Tiny
GREEN6637
  • MEMBER
  • 2002 FORD TAURUS
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 140,000 MILES
Is there any truth to the claim that if you allow a vehicle to idle more than 20 minutes, that the alternator will stop charging the battery? I have never heard of this before and would like a professional's opinion of this.

Thank you in advance for your answer!

J. Green
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Friday, June 19th, 2009 AT 12:45 PM

2 Replies

Tiny
BMRFIXIT
  • EXPERT
Not true
NO WAY
having charging problem alternator can be tested and checked
good luck
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Saturday, June 20th, 2009 AT 6:26 AM
Tiny
JGAROFALO
  • MEMBER
Not really. As the car idles for an extended period of time, there are several things happening. The alternator is less efficient at lower RPMs, and therefore is generating less current. This has nothing to do with the length of time that the engine has been idling. As the battery approaches a full charge, it will accept less current from the electrical system. At some point, the battery and alternator will reach a balance. At the same time, there are electrical loads from the vehicle that are also drawing current from the alternator. These loads have priority, and will draw from the alternator and battery as required. In a case where the lights, climate control (heater, a/c, and fan), heated windows, etc. Are all running, and the engine is at idle, the current draw could exceed the output from the alternator. In this case, the battery could be discharging as the engine idles.

In short, there is no hard and fast "rule" or time limit on how long the alternator will operate, or for how long or how much it will charge the battery. Load versus output will determine whether the alternator is charging the battery, regardless of time.
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Saturday, June 20th, 2009 AT 6:34 AM

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