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      08-19-2016, 12:42 AM   #1
antennahead
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intermittent battery charging issue

I'm experiencing an intermittent battery charging issue and wanted to see if any of you have experienced this. I replaced my alternator in January 2016. I also replaced the battery at that time as well. Since then, on about 4 different occasions, the last one happening two days ago, I have driven the car and experienced what appears to be a failure of the battery to charge. This is not a case of the car not being driven for days, and jumping in to find the battery voltage low, but a case of the car being driven for a reasonable period of time, turned off, then when I go to restart the car, I have a low voltage warning on my Escort. This last time, I drove the car approximately 40 minutes from far across town. When I got close to home, I stopped at the store for about 10 minutes. When I attempted to start the car, the battery showed 11.8 volts. It was as if the battery failed to charge on the 40 minute drive. When I initially got in the car for the 40 minute trip, voltage read 12.3. This (12.3) is what it usually remains at between drives. This scenario has happened, I think, 4 times now since I replaced the alternator and battery back in January. On every occasion, the battery was showing 12.2 or 12.3 at the start of the drive, and when I cranked it to leave my destination, it was in the upper 11 range. It would seem to me that a parasitic drain is not the fault, as that would cause the battery to drop below the 12.3 norm when sitting for a few days. Am I correct to assume that this is an intermittent failure of the battery to charge under normal driving conditions? Thanks for your input.

John
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      08-19-2016, 11:08 AM   #2
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Was the alternator new? If not maybe you got a bad one? The voltage regulator on the alternator can also be an issue and can be replaced separately, but your whole alternator should still be under warranty.
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      08-19-2016, 04:16 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chickdr View Post
Was the alternator new? If not maybe you got a bad one? The voltage regulator on the alternator can also be an issue and can be replaced separately, but your whole alternator should still be under warranty.
New as in "refurbished", which I think is all you can buy these days. It is still under warranty. I guess it's possible for the voltage regulator to fail to do it's job on an intermittent basis.
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      08-20-2016, 11:55 AM   #4
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Believe refurbished means tested and it was working so cleaned/repackaged and sold...

Agree with the voltage regulator being a likely cause. I replaced my voltage regulator on the alternator and it's not a hard thing to do.

What I did though was get one of the plug into the cigarette/power socket voltage displays from eBay to monitor the voltage to ensure it was installed and working correctly. I could monitor the voltage output in real time....

Alternatively you have a battery with an issue...

Need to measure the voltage output of the alternator to see which...battery or alternator is causing the issue...
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      08-20-2016, 04:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clearancediver View Post
Believe refurbished means tested and it was working so cleaned/repackaged and sold...

Agree with the voltage regulator being a likely cause. I replaced my voltage regulator on the alternator and it's not a hard thing to do.

What I did though was get one of the plug into the cigarette/power socket voltage displays from eBay to monitor the voltage to ensure it was installed and working correctly. I could monitor the voltage output in real time....

Alternatively you have a battery with an issue...

Need to measure the voltage output of the alternator to see which...battery or alternator is causing the issue...
My Escort remote monitors voltage output real time as well, which led me to believe it was a charging issue. "Most" of the time, while driving, the voltage reads 14.3 to 14.5 ........ battery charging ....... but occasionally it reads down in the 13's ....... and this is when I usually experience the "low voltage" alert when I crank up the car again after a trip. So other than a loose wire somewhere, I think you're correct, most likely the voltage regulator. Are these things known to have intermittent issues?
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      08-21-2016, 12:22 PM   #6
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I know I have read about refurb'ed alternators having issues right away. Could just be defective.
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      11-20-2016, 12:56 AM   #7
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Happened to me again today. Is it possible that the voltage regulator is experiencing intermittent failure? I've read of issues involving a bad battery cable, but it would seem to me that issue would be an all the time thing once it goes bad, versus this intermittent failure. Damn I hate electrical issues.
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      11-21-2016, 01:46 AM   #8
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Check for a bad grounding strap from engine to frame.... it could be contributing to the issue... Easy to replace to eliminate that possibility....
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      11-21-2016, 02:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clearancediver View Post
Check for a bad grounding strap from engine to frame.... it could be contributing to the issue... Easy to replace to eliminate that possibility....
Thanks!
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