The battery light has started flickering on on my Taurus, a 99 with 140k
miles. One would assume it's the alternator but, might it be the
corroded battery terminals? If the alternator is going, is there an
If it were the battery terminals it would be more likely effect the starting
of the car. With the flickering I would check the wires on the alternater
for any loose connections and if it is the alternator remove it, take it to
Auto Zone let them check it. Unless you have the proper tool to work on
alternators forget the kit and buy one.
A flickering battry light is an early warning of imminent
failure of the alternator in most cases. 140k miles is
about the average of my Ford's alternators failing over the
years. Many parts stores do free testing of the
starting/charging system in hopes you buy the replacement
parts from them.
You CAN replace ford brushes. You can also replace the regulator -
but my experience has been that sometimes eventhough the brushes are
bad, even replacing the brushes and regulator doesn't fix it. Then
again, the first 2 rebuilt alternators I got for my FORD were no good
either. I ended up getting an "experienced" one from the wreckers.
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corrosion and poor connections can cause your problem - remove wires
and connecors one by one clean them with a wire brush or sand paper
reattatch and see if that works,
If not check to make sure your belt tensioner is good I have replaced
a lot of them on fords! and belt is good!
Once the connections are good and belt is snug if problem still occurs
replace the alternator.
First, thanks to all with helpful information!
I fixed the alternator and learned some things too. The Haynes book was
wrong again. You can't get the belt off with a 15mm wrench. You need a
special tensioner wrench because of the limited space, and it's 16mm.
I bought brushes in holder for $13 something. Once the alternator is
out brush replacement is easy. However, one brush was worn way down and
the brass rotor is badly scored.
My advice for others keeping an older car going on a budget is this: At
about 100k miles, replace the brushes as preventative maintenance. If
your car is like mine you need to invest $22.00 in a tensioner pully wrench.
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