So the original lasted almost 5 yrs, AFAYK, then replacements fail.
5 years is about the life of a battery, aint it? Did you by chance replace
the battery within 6 months of the first failure?
Couple thoughts... The alternator MUST have a good source of cooling air...
Has anything changed that might affect airflow? in front, over and around
the alt and grill area and underneath?
Also, a spark jump between plug wires or intermediary conductor can kill a
diode bank... make sure there's no way...
If you can rule out all the above, I suggest a Used Alternator... SOME
actually last the life of a car.
According to the dealer, there are no TSB's or recalls specific to this
failure. That's what I'm being told anyway.
Nothing has changed in regards to the cooling or airflow for the alternator.
The battery is original and I think I'll change it anyway. I agree, it's at
life end. I'll also check over the plug wires carefully and check for any
Well, after that many failures, i think you have a problem in
your car. But what? It would be interesting to know how your
alternators are failing. I see two scenarios here. When its groaning,
its under overload. So, the real question is is it because of the
bridge diode pack shorting out in the alternator, or because of a
intermittent short in the wire harness somewhere. I junked a Taurus
once and took off the air box. Much to my surprise, i saw where the
harness sawed itself raw to bare wires on some metal. Who know
how long it was this way, or how if affected the car. These sort of problems are
a bear to find. Harness go places that are hard to see
A current meter to monitor alternators output current would
tell you if its a short internally, or in the cars wiring when
you sense the problem is happening. Another issue is lose of
grounds. You might want to take off the batteries and firewall
grounds and clean and retorque them. Check all the hot wires
from the battery too while your at it.
Did anyone check the Voltage regulator.. did anyone make sure the battery
was fully charged before starting the van after installing the
alternator...? Ruined a new alternator once by starting the car with a half
charged battery after putting in the alternator..!
I was told the voltage regulator is integrated in the alternator. I'd better
check on that again to make sure. I did check the battery and charge voltage
after the alternator was replaced and it seemed reasonable. I'm replacing
the battery this morning anyway.
I did check on the regulator. There are apparently two styles - an older
style that is attached to the alternator and can be unscrewed, and a newer
style alternator with an integrated regulator that cannot be easily removed
without complete disassembly of the alternator. I just installed the newer
style alternator this time with a new battery as well. We'll see what
happens this time....
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