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Old 01-02-2012, 08:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 2007 SEL Alternator going out?

Got home from being out of town for 2 weeks. Cranked the 2007 Taurus SEL with 124,000 miles. Cranked a bit rough. Let it idle a bit and took off a few minutes later to get gasoline and food.

On the way to get gas and food, I noticed the dash lights were a bit dimmer than normal. I tried adjusting them / nothing improved it. After getting food and gas en route to the house, it got a bit worse. Even the air bag light came on.

The battery was replaced by Ford in Aug. 2010 and has a 5 year warranty. In the old days, this sounds like an alternator problem. I was not having any issues prior to returning from 2 weeks out of town however.

Any ideas out there or confirmation of my thoughts?

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Old 01-02-2012, 08:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SUP View Post
Got home from being out of town for 2 weeks. Cranked the 2007 Taurus SEL with 124,000 miles. Cranked a bit rough. Let it idle a bit and took off a few minutes later to get gasoline and food.

On the way to get gas and food, I noticed the dash lights were a bit dimmer than normal. I tried adjusting them / nothing improved it. After getting food and gas en route to the house, it got a bit worse. Even the air bag light came on.

The battery was replaced by Ford in Aug. 2010 and has a 5 year warranty. In the old days, this sounds like an alternator problem. I was not having any issues prior to returning from 2 weeks out of town however.

Any ideas out there or confirmation of my thoughts?

SUP
Sounds like the alternator.

Mine did that, but the battery light had been on for several hundred miles before it did this. Once it did start showing the symptoms you say, it only had maybe 25 miles before it died. It was the alternator, $250 for a new one from a local shop.

I would take it to a shop ASAP to have it checked...otherwise you may end up stranded.
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Old 01-02-2012, 08:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SUP View Post
Got home from being out of town for 2 weeks. Cranked the 2007 Taurus SEL with 124,000 miles. Cranked a bit rough. Let it idle a bit and took off a few minutes later to get gasoline and food.

On the way to get gas and food, I noticed the dash lights were a bit dimmer than normal. I tried adjusting them / nothing improved it. After getting food and gas en route to the house, it got a bit worse. Even the air bag light came on.

The battery was replaced by Ford in Aug. 2010 and has a 5 year warranty. In the old days, this sounds like an alternator problem. I was not having any issues prior to returning from 2 weeks out of town however.

Any ideas out there or confirmation of my thoughts?

SUP
If you have the electronic message center you can check you alt voltage by entering the Engineering test mode.
hold the reset button and turn key to on ETM should come up on display. the first test will be the instument guage test. your guages will shake for a few then go all the way up and back down. you can start the car and toggle the reset switch until you get to the battery voltage. If the alternator is good you should have at least 14v with car running.
if not you have bad alt.

hope this helps

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Old 01-02-2012, 08:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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If you can, pop the alternator out and go get it tested.

I replaced a friends alternator on his 2007 Ford Taurus. Easy job, but sad that at 68K miles it had bad diodes.
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Old 01-02-2012, 09:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Looks like an easy replacement. I think I will just take it out in morning and run it down and have it tested. If it starts fine, I may run the check that Truck 55 describes as aI do have the electronic message center.

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Old 01-02-2012, 10:31 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Get a multimeter and test voltage at the battery after starting. It should be 14.2v+. If it's not, the alternator is bad or the belt is slipping due to a bad tensioner or something else.
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Old 01-04-2012, 07:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Well I took out the alternator and took it to be tested. It was barely kicking in any volts. Bought a new one, put it on and it works. I also charged the battery while I was away and while I was doing the work. All is well and the indicator lights have gone off.

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Old 01-04-2012, 09:04 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SUP View Post
I also charged the battery while I was away and while I was doing the work. All is well and the indicator lights have gone off.

SUP
You did good that you charged the battery before starting the new alternator. See below why.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bull Geek View Post
Easy job, but sad that at 68K miles it had bad diodes.
Usually those go out when the alternator tries to charge an empty battery - the current is too high for them in that case.
When the car sits for a long time, especially in cold temperatures, sometimes an old battery discharges too much. Or if a light is left on inside the car. And that empty battery takes down the alternator with it...

Last edited by SoNic67; 01-04-2012 at 09:08 PM.
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Old 01-05-2012, 07:51 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Did not know that. The battery was only a year old but the car set up for two weeks without being used. It was garaged however. My other vehicle cranked right up as did the Taurus but the Taurus did not hold the charge.

I just felt it would be better starting off with a recharged battery and new alternator. Glad I did!

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