My dash battery light came on yesterday and the battery level was normal on the battery meter in the vehicle, and I drove it most of the day. There were times where things seemed a little sluggish, but not really bad. We drove it at night and the car died within about 2 miles. The dash lighting was really dim and the battery indicator on the dash was reading really low. We charged the battery and it started the vehicle and it began to draw down the battery especially when I turned on the headlights. Do I need a new alternator? Someone also mentioned a regulator... Any thoughts?
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Re: battery being drained on 2000 Expedition
You should remove your alternator and take it into an auto parts store and they can test it for you.
this alt had an internal regulator which can be replaced easy.
your auto parts store will be able to full feld your alt to bypass the regulator. this is how you test it to see if the regulator is bad.
you didnt say how many miles are on this truck .
most of these ford alt will last 120,000 or more
on the back side of the alt you will see the replaceable regulator.
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You need to run a parasitic drain test. This is done by unhooking one battery cable and putting a DC amp meter in series. The meter needs to be able to read at least 10 amps. When you hook it up with the engine and the key OFF see what it says. It should be under 1 amp. DONT OPEN THE DOORS OR TURN ON THE KEY when you run this test. If the amp reading is high, start by taking things off that you recently put on. If it does not drop, start removing fuses till you find the problem.
This is normal operation for this vehicle, the air in the air ride suspension system is designed to do this. After the vehicle sits, the air ride suspension will slowly release the pressure in the system until the vehicle is started again, and the air ride will level itself out again.
The battery light is telling you that you are running off the battery,and you have a problem with your charging system. An easy way to check your alternator is to get a volt meter, and measure the voltage of your fully charged battery. with your expedition not running, it should read about 12.6 volts. When you start your expedition, it should read approx 14 volts if your alternator is working properly.
Of course, check all of your connections first, and most auto parts stores will check your alternator out for free, so they might have a chance to sell you one!
The alternator has semiconductor diodes to change the AC it generates into DC for charging and operation of the electrical system.
These diodes can fail 'a little' meaning that their reverse resistance falls below its normal level, which is very high and will only allow a few microamps to flow, a level of discharge lower than that your other electronics such as clock and digital odometer functions draw and insignificant to the battery's health.
If you have a multimeter with a 10 Amp range, something very common even on the cheapest digitals via a separate unfused jack, you can remove your negative battery clamp, insert the meter (set for that separate range), black lead on the clamp, red on the battery terminal, and measure current draw with the engine off.
Note: Fasten one lead firmly and the other, tap only until you can see whether the drain is greater than 10 Amps.
If is much greater, it will destroy the meter bbut briefly connecting shouldn't hurt it.
These meters can be had in auto parts stores, Radio Shack (in the US) or other electronic suppliers.
If in the US, you might check for Harbor Freight tool stores in your area; I have bought several of these handy meters for $3 US there.
I read on another site that if the indicator on the dash is malfunctioning and there's a fault code in the system, the beeping is a secondary indication that there's a need for service. I've had my air bag light blinking for some time now. Yesterday my gauges went out, Oil Pressure, Gas Level, Temp Level, and the Battery Charging Meter, all went dead. After starting the vehicle, it beeps 5 sets of 5 beeps. Since the dash obviously has problems, (Including the Air Bag blinking thing not working), the beeps I now hear are what you are experiencing. However, if you still see the air bag light blinking, maybe your situation is a bit different than mine.