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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,
Sorry if this has been answered already but I tried to search and I get nothing on the 2013 Taurus 3.5l alternator removal.
Can anyone help?
Problem:
I have after market Sylvania Pixed LED DRL installed. They turn on when the car starts, this is achieved by the Sylvania control unit that senses the voltage, when the voltage goes over 14 volts the lights come on. Well I have notice two things lately:
1. most of the time when I shut off my car i get a message on the MFT screen stating "shutting off car to save battery power" Battery is new and measures 12.5-12.7 volts.
2. My DRL are not coming on, measured the charging voltage and it is now 13.7 volts. I measured it when I installed the lights and it was 14.4 volts.

I have 111,555 miles on my 2013 Taurus Limited.
So I figured i should change out the alternator before it fails completely.

I am looking for a 'How-To' removal of the alternator.
Can someone point me in the correct direction?
Thanks in advance.
 

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Definitely get the charging system checked. There may be no issue, it is possible that with the new battery the charge rate is fine but never gets high enough to trigger the DRL
 

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well if you do need it, I have the repair manual. I posted it but apparently its against the rules to post a zip file...... message me if you want it
 

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Normal observed charging voltages for the 2013+ Taurus can range between 13.5-14.5 volts. The PCM will modify the load depending on ambient conditions and demand.

In certain specialized conditions, the Body Control Module and PCM may decide to let the system voltage drop to as low as 12.7 volts. This is by design as if the battery is at a certain charge level, it will essentially shut down the alternator to save fuel economy and preserve the life of the battery in hotter temperatures. When charge is required, it will restart seamlessly without any notice to the driver.

If the alternator were having issues, you would likely (although I can't guarantee) a message regarding load shedding while the vehicle is running, receive a "check charging system" message, or see the red battery light while the vehicle is running. The MFT message itself is a load shed mode, however, in my experience if the running voltage is acceptable (sounds like it is) but that message immediately comes on when the car is off, the vehicle is probably detecting a low state of charge on the battery, but not a charging issue.

If I were you, I would begin investigating for a parasitic draw when the vehicle is turned off--that control unit may be using quite a bit of amperage when the ignition is off. Did you wire it to a switched circuit or an always-hot one? If you have FORScan, scan the PCM and BCM for codes to see if they are indicating charging faults or low states of charge. With FORScan, you can also query the BCM to see what the perceived State of Charge is on the battery. If it is below a certain percentage--I believe 40% or so--you will see load shed when the vehicle is turned off (the MFT message.) My battery when properly charged generally held between 70-80% SOC.

Additionally, if the battery is new, you will also want to perform what is called a Battery Management System reset--the BCM needs to be notified that the battery is new in order to recalibrate the Hall Effect sensor that tracks State of Charge. The vehicle will automatically recalibrate after a certain amount of hours undisturbed (I feel like the number is 8?), but I would perform the manual reset anyway. It can be done with FORScan or Ford IDS. Most dealers forget about the system when changing the battery on these newer vehicles.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Normal observed charging voltages for the 2013+ Taurus can range between 13.5-14.5 volts. The PCM will modify the load depending on ambient conditions and demand.

In certain specialized conditions, the Body Control Module and PCM may decide to let the system voltage drop to as low as 12.7 volts. This is by design as if the battery is at a certain charge level, it will essentially shut down the alternator to save fuel economy and preserve the life of the battery in hotter temperatures. When charge is required, it will restart seamlessly without any notice to the driver.

If the alternator were having issues, you would likely (although I can't guarantee) a message regarding load shedding while the vehicle is running, receive a "check charging system" message, or see the red battery light while the vehicle is running. The MFT message itself is a load shed mode, however, in my experience if the running voltage is acceptable (sounds like it is) but that message immediately comes on when the car is off, the vehicle is probably detecting a low state of charge on the battery, but not a charging issue.

If I were you, I would begin investigating for a parasitic draw when the vehicle is turned off--that control unit may be using quite a bit of amperage when the ignition is off. Did you wire it to a switched circuit or an always-hot one? If you have FORScan, scan the PCM and BCM for codes to see if they are indicating charging faults or low states of charge. With FORScan, you can also query the BCM to see what the perceived State of Charge is on the battery. If it is below a certain percentage--I believe 40% or so--you will see load shed when the vehicle is turned off (the MFT message.) My battery when properly charged generally held between 70-80% SOC.

Additionally, if the battery is new, you will also want to perform what is called a Battery Management System reset--the BCM needs to be notified that the battery is new in order to recalibrate the Hall Effect sensor that tracks State of Charge. The vehicle will automatically recalibrate after a certain amount of hours undisturbed (I feel like the number is 8?), but I would perform the manual reset anyway. It can be done with FORScan or Ford IDS. Most dealers forget about the system when changing the battery on these newer vehicles.
Hello thefranchise713,
Wow that is very informative.
The battery was replaced by me about two months ago and I did not know about the reset. But the DRL problem started before I changed the battery.
Also let me give you some more details of the problem.
First start up of the day my DRL come on and stay on until I shut off the car (this can be 6 hours when I drive to NJ). But once I shut off the car and restart it the DRL's do not come on unless I let the car sit for about 4-8 hours. I was thinking it was some kind of heat issue because the DRL's were coming on fine for the past 14 months (every time I started the car they came back on). I first went to the manufacture of the DRL's and they sent me a new controller but did not fix the problem. Strange- I put them on my daughter's Buick and the work fine every time. I checked her alternator's output and she had 14.45 volts constant even with acceleration. I know when I first bought the DRL's that I checked the output of the Taurus's alternator and found it to be 14.4 volts

I believe the trigger to the DRL's is over 14 volts and as long as it sees a voltage greater than 13 they stay on until the voltage drops below 13v.
I will see about having the BCM reset and have a load test done on the system.

I will post my findings.

Thanks for your input and information on this subject.

/quadcells
 

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I have a feeling that when you're starting the car for the second time of the day, the system voltage is not getting above 14.0v at all--it's probably in the high 13s as the battery is adequately charged.

Can you change the trigger voltage?

This setup seems needlessly complex... it's a shame it's just not tied directly to ignition on/switched power instead of this voltage monitor.
 

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Agree that a system voltage of 13.6 to 13.7 volts is not cause for concern especially in warmer weather. The warmer the ambient temp the lower the charging voltage. Any voltage over 13.2 V at the battery means the battery is being charged.

Just because a battery is nearly new does not mean it is good. The web is littered with stories of virtually new batteries failing. I once had a new Diehard fail internally after 3 days use.

I also agree the DRL system is needlessly complex.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks guys.
There is no way to change the trigger voltage.
I guess I have two options with that:

1. make my own control unit that is controlled by the ignition and headlights ( for dimming)
or
2. make a dc to dc converter(step up voltage) that is controlled by the ignition.

I still going to have a load test done when I get the time and see about the BCM reset.
/quadcells

BTW: I still don't understand why it work flawlessly for 14 months.
 

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Me neither.

Tell me more about how this thing is wired in... I watched the install video, it has the installer connect the lights straight to the battery, which is a no-no on this vehicle as that will defeat the purpose of the hall effect sensor for the battery State of Charge monitor. (And heavens, I hope it's fused somewhere too, that said I didn't watch the entire full length video.)

I still have a feeling there's a parasitic draw issue here. It may not be the DRLs, even, but something's not powering down when it should. That MFT "save battery" message is giving me concern. I echo Jeff's sentiment as well--just because is new ≠ good.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Me neither.

Tell me more about how this thing is wired in... I watched the install video, it has the installer connect the lights straight to the battery, which is a no-no on this vehicle as that will defeat the purpose of the hall effect sensor for the battery State of Charge monitor. (And heavens, I hope it's fused somewhere too, that said I didn't watch the entire full length video.)

I still have a feeling there's a parasitic draw issue here. It may not be the DRLs, even, but something's not powering down when it should. That MFT "save battery" message is giving me concern. I echo Jeff's sentiment as well--just because is new ≠ good.
Hi,
The control unit is wired thru a fuse to the battery. The DRL's are connected to the control unit. From what you are telling me I should wire the control unit thru a relay to the battery with the relay coil connected to the ignition power like fuse #18 or 19(not sure of the number right now) under the hood.

/quadcells
 

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I am at the far limits of my limited electronics expertise, but yes, if you can safely wire the control unit to a different point, that would be preferable.

If you have the connection at the battery before the hall sensor, it can confuse the car as to State of Charge and nuts up the BCM and charging strategy. This is also why Ford suggests jumping the car at a metal point rather than the (-) terminal directly (although there are other good sense reasons for that as well.)

See if you can safely get a connection that is hot in run only. You may need to chase down some wiring diagrams.
 

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I just went thru sort of the same thing with the alternator. I have a 270 amp mechman and after replacing the battery, I also found out that the alternator was only putting out 13.3 VDC at the battery. Being PCM controlled stator this threw me off a little bit being an after market alternator. After a long phone call with mechman tech support, we have determined that it is working properly even at such a low voltage. You can't install a external voltage regulator aor a self exciting stator to bypass this and get the 15VDC I was expecting. I also have to apparently rest the BCM as I was unaware of that.Huge props to thefranchise713 for the useful info. Welcome to technology I suppose.
 

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Additionally, if the battery is new, you will also want to perform what is called a Battery Management System reset--the BCM needs to be notified that the battery is new in order to recalibrate the Hall Effect sensor that tracks State of Charge. The vehicle will automatically recalibrate after a certain amount of hours undisturbed (I feel like the number is 8?), but I would perform the manual reset anyway. It can be done with FORScan or Ford IDS. Most dealers forget about the system when changing the battery on these newer vehicles.
thefranchise:

Can you please elaborate on the above statement? I had to change out a battery only a few weeks after buying my bull used. I've put nearly 20K miles on it since then but this is the first that I'm hearing that a system would need to be reset after a new battery has been installed. However, this is my first newer bull since my 2001 Taurus which died and caused me to purchase this one.
 

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well if you do need it, I have the repair manual. I posted it but apparently its against the rules to post a zip file...... message me if you want it
I would love it it you could send that to me! I have been having problems with my 2014 V6 limited and will probably replace the alternator this week...I may try just the voltage regulator, either way I have to get it out. My problem is the alternator will not charge on start up, the charging light comes on and until the car is warmed up it drains the battery, and getting worse...the other day it was down below 10v before all of a sudden kicking on. Once it kicks in it runs perfectly though out the day.
 

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The first step is to use a GOOD scan tool, like Forscan, that can read all series of codes (P, C, B and U series) and see if anything comes up.

You alternator does not have a stand alone voltage regulator like alts did in the "old days". Charging is controlled by the BCM.
 

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Works for Ford but my Buick lucerne has it in the body control module on the firewall. The only wires to Alt go directly to the brushes. I could change the Alt in 15 mins including finding my tools.
But I drive the Buick maybe once per 2 weeks, but my 3 Bulls go every day. I like my Sable wagon.
-chart-
 

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I
The first step is to use a GOOD scan tool, like Forscan, that can read all series of codes (P, C, B and U series) and see if anything comes up.

You alternator does not have a stand alone voltage regulator like alts did in the "old days". Charging is controlled by the BCM.
I used Forscan and did not get any codes, but the car was already warmed up...I bought this car 18 months ago and it had this problem from day one...but I noticed it had a brand new NAPA battery when I bought and they probably didn't do battery re-set which I did 3 days ago and on the first day it came on briefly on start up; the last two days it didn't happen...never since I bought it has it gone two days without happening. Only a couple of days did it not happen on start up. Hopefully that did the trick. I was reading about testing the output from the alternator to the PCM and back; and I will be very glad not to have to go through that!
 
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