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Old 08-04-2005, 03:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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My 2000 Ford Taurus has the battery light coming on while driving.
Tried a different fully charged battery which I know is good and the same thing happens - battery light comes on and turns off after driving a few miles.

I believe I can eliminate the battery as the problem.

The only other thing I can think of is that the alternator is bad.

I'd appreciate your comments.

Thank you for your time.

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Old 08-04-2005, 03:10 PM   #2 (permalink)
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perhaps the voltage regulator is bad, maybe taking longer to respond than it should.
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Old 08-04-2005, 03:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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you might want to check your alternator wiring harness
sometimes they rot away and will ground out or something like that

then youll get a light (obvious)

wouldn't the light give you a code as well?
cant you get them read in a situation like this?
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Old 08-04-2005, 05:52 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kolcun@Aug 4 2005, 03:28 PM
wouldn't the light give you a code as well?
cant you get them read in a situation like this?


never heard of this
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Old 08-04-2005, 07:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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There is no code for that. The alternator is not connected to the PCM. (well, not directly). The light is triggered by a circuit in the alternator itself. And, as Robert L said, it really should be an alternator light, not a battery light.

This could be caused by a failure of the alternator, or a wiring problem in the car. It might also happen if the battery had a serious internal short (very unlikely though). At this point you should determine if the warning is accurate or not. That is, find out if the alternator is charging properly when the light is on. To do that, use a voltmeter or one of those charging system tester things plugged into the cigarette lighter.
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Old 08-05-2005, 02:54 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thank you all for your comments.

Here is what I did after reviewing the archives on this problem:

1.Removed battery cables and one altenator cable, cleaned cables and battery posts and replaced.

2. Insured engine mounts were ok. ( Car has 50,000 miles) Some archives mentioned the twist of an engine with a broken mount could pull the harness away from the alternator.

3. Took car to Auto Zone in town, approx. 3 miles - no battery light came on. Told employee at Auto Zone what was happening and they wheeled out their machine for testing the battery and alternator. Cables from the tester were hooked up and right away he was able to tell me the battery voltage was good - started the car and held for a few minutes at 2000 rpm then shut the engine. The readings showed the battery and the alternator were good . I remember he stated the alternator was putting out about 65 amps which was supposed to be ok under this type of test load. He also mention sometimes the voltage regulator is built into the alternator.

I have no affliation with Auto Zone but must say Auto Zone does a tremendous free service for the public with this test. They also can do this test with the battery and alternator out of the car in their store with another test machine. I certainly will buy my auto needs from them.

Here is what I will do now:

Nothing , until I get some sign that there is a problem with another dash light or other indication that something is wrong. Then we'll start the process again to determine what is wrong - hopefully all is ok , if not, I will provide another post.

Thanks again to all for your comments.

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Old 08-05-2005, 09:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Was the "battery light" on while they did the test? If not, it means nothing.

Some voltage regulators are attached to the back of the alternator and can be easily replaced (if you can find a replacement). Others are inside the alternator itself. I don't think any new cars come with external voltage regulators anymore (external meaning it is bolted to the car and attached to the alternator through a wiring harness). The 1991 model was the last Taurus to come with this type.
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