Does this sound like a bad alternator?


Umbra

Hobbyist & CA Tenderfoot
Sep 26, 2013
673
0
Long Island, NY
I don't know how often people visit this subforum, but since I don't have any accounts at any car repair forums I'll give it a shot.

I was driving a 2002 Ford Windstar (automatic) locally the other day and it cut out while moving. I was going about 40 in town and the battery, check engine, and oil lights all came on. I think the engine cut out (or at least I couldn't accelerate) and I lost power steering. I moved it over to the side, turned it off, and turned it back on. It came right back up and I drove it home. Didn't touch it 'til this morning. Checked the battery voltage it was a high 11. Turned it on and checked it again and it was 15.3 at idle (didn't have someone around to check it while revving). I have very limited mechanical expertise, but it sounds like a shot voltage regulator (hopefully the thing in the alt, I think in some cars there's an ECU component). I asked a salvage yard if they sold this, they don't, but they can get the alt in within a day for $50. Checking online I could get a used one for about that price, maybe a little more, or a new alt with a 1 year warranty for $80 (just have to wait on shipping).

I've never replaced an alt, but there's a lot of information online. Apparently it's not terribly difficult on this model and I know a lot of people here swap out their alts for HO models.

Firstly, does this sound like a bad voltage regulator? Secondly, what would you do, get a new/used alt and hope that's the fix or bring it to a shop for further investigation?

 

dev199505

CarAudio.com Elite
Jul 5, 2015
817
0
US
15.3 is kinda high for a stock alt to be chargibg at could be bad voltage regulator of you plan on doing a system in it i would invest in a HO alt if not stock should be fine

Sent from my LGMS330 using Tapatalk

 

Boomin_tahoe

Hurtin' feelings errrday.
10+ year member
Jul 24, 2005
15,275
137
WA
Replacing alts isn't a diff job. I just replaced mine in my s10 p/u not too long ago. Remove battery cables from the battery if you attempt to replace it. It's easy and wll save yourself $$ vs. having a shop do it for ya.

Sounds like something else going on not the alt but I could be wrong. So many components in the alt that could go bad making other things around your vehicle seem like something else is going on.

Remove it and have an auto parts store test it before spending any $$ on something you may not need.

 

dev199505

CarAudio.com Elite
Jul 5, 2015
817
0
US
Replacing alts isn't a diff job. I just replaced mine in my s10 p/u not too long ago. Remove battery cables from the battery if you attempt to replace it. It's easy and wll save yourself $$ vs. having a shop do it for ya.
Sounds like something else going on not the alt but I could be wrong. So many components in the alt that could go bad making other things around your vehicle seem like something else is going on.

Remove it and have an auto parts store test it before spending any $$ on something you may not need.
It sounds like the voltage regulator is bad if its charging that high. If ik not mistaken that vehicle has an internal regulatot. But yes having it tested wouldnt be a bad idea

Sent from my LGMS330 using Tapatalk

 
OP
Umbra

Umbra

Hobbyist & CA Tenderfoot
Sep 26, 2013
673
0
Long Island, NY
I'll try to get it out and take it to auto zone. There's also a starter/alternator rebuild shop nearby. They might be able to help. Thanks

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk

 

tymoto21

CarAudio.com Elite
10+ year member
Apr 15, 2008
1,007
0
wisconsin
If it was cold that could be normal

My gm alt charges at 15.2/3 then when it warms up it drops to 14.7/8

check the voltage after it warms up a bit

Usually electronics don't act up until the alt is charging around 16v. And the alt wouldn't have **** the car off it would be something that was not working if the voltage was too high

Drive it around and try to make it happen again

My wife's car randomly shut off and it was a bad ignition control module (3 mechanics couldn't find it) but my friend was is a mechanic drove it for a week then it finally messed up for him

 

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