1999 Ford Windstar



January, 17, 2006 AT 3:50 PM

I recently bought my son a '99 Cougar. It's got a 124,000 miles on it. I replaced the water pump as it was starting to leak and also replaced the serpentine belt. My question is after about 24 - 36 hours the battery goes dead. It will take a jump but apparently is not staying charged. I think it could be the alternator but want to know if anyone else has any ideas before I take it off.
The other problem I'm having is the seat belt motor on the drivers side comes on when either of the doors is opened, however the belt does move. Not a problem just an annoyance. Is there any way to disconnect this?

Thanks everyone for reading this.


2 Answers



January, 18, 2006 AT 11:25 PM

It sounds like the alternator. To be sure, use a voltmeter across the battery while the car is running. The reading should be 14.4 volts, which means the alternator is working properly, and the battery is not holding the charge, in which case the battery should be replaced. If the reading remains 12volts or lower while the car is running, it's the alternator.

As for the automatic seatbelt, it sounds like the belt inside the retractor may have broken. The switch that indicates an open door also feeds the automatic seatbelt unit. I'd live with the noise rather than disable the unit.



January, 19, 2006 AT 4:04 AM

Most autoparts stores will check your alternator free while it is in the car if you can get the vehicle to the store.
Most Fords are equipped with an alternator that has an regulator that can be replaced instead of replacing the entire alternator you may want to explore that option as well.
Disabling any kind of restraint item in certain vehicles can also affect airbag function.

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