Question about 2001 Ford Explorer Sport

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Alternator not charging

Just installed a new alternator in my vehicle and I'm still not getting any charging out of my system. I'm wondering if there is a alternator fuse/relay that I'm overlooking which could be causing the problem and if there is where is it located.

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  • chaospanther Jan 02, 2009

    I've checked the voltage drop across the positive cable nothing significant to cause a charging problem. So the battery light is inline with the charging circuit somehow. I guess I'll take out the instrument cluster and check that. I just need a wiring diagram to help move this process along.

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Check the wiring very good. THE LIGHT IN THE DASH HAS TO WORK TO MAKE THE ALT. CHARGE.

Posted on Jan 01, 2009

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Check the help links mentioned below.This will help you to get the alternator tested and confirm the problem :----

Click the link :----
--------------

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http://repairhelpcenter.blogspot.com/2011/11/how-to-test-and-replace-alternator-on.html

---------------


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http://repairhelpcenter.blogspot.com/2011/11/how-to-inspect-vehicles-alternator.html

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1 Answer

Alternator


Vehicles: any failing to keep its battery charged.

A vehicle unable to charge its own battery has one of 4 problems:
(a) alternator failure
(b) voltage regulator failure
(c) battery failure
(d) wiring problem between battery and alternator/voltage regulator.

One most modern vehicles (including 2002 Lexus RX300 - 2WD and AWD), the voltage regulator is an integral component of the alternator and is not separately serviceable.

In the US, one can get a free "charging system diagnosis" from the popular auto parts chains: AutoZone, Advance Auto Parts & Pep Boys. You needn't remove any parts from the car to get this diagnostic, since they can attach a diagnostic meter to the charging system in the parking lot. This diagnostic aid will tell you exactly which component has failed - battery, alternator or voltage regulator.

In case the vehicle is immobile, one can DIY (do it yourself) the diagnosis.
(a) inspect the wiring for corrosion/loose connections/loose connectors/etc.
(b) check alternator belt/pulley - if drive belt is properly turning the alternator pulley (no slippage/misrouting/etc.), then the mechanical tests are complete, and you'll need to continue testing the electrical performance of the charging system components.
(c) first component to test: battery
DIY test 1: remove battery from car and put battery on a 120VAC automotive battery charger and charge it fully (or just check it in the car with motor off, since the car's charging system is a type of automotive battery charger).
test parameter: a fully charged lead-acid automotive battery should read 12.45 volts on a VOM/DMM
DIY test 2: disassemble battery out of car after driving it to one of the auto parts chain stores (Advance/AutoZone/Pep Boys) for a free battery test. These testers will test the battery under load, which is not possible with just a DMM.
(d) if wiring is good, and battery tests good under load, then
the failed component is the alternator/voltage regulator - by process of elimination.
(e) DIY test 3: direct alternator/voltage regulator test (car must start and idle successfully to perform this test)
Start the car, and put a VOM/DMM across the terminals of the battery. Since the car is running, you'll be reading the output voltage of the alternator and not the output voltage of the battery. The acceptable ranges for alternator/voltage regulator output are:

ALTERNATOR CHARGING VOLTAGE

Most alternators that are charging properly should produce a voltage of about 13.8 to 14.2 volts at idle with the lights and accessories off. Always refer to the vehicle manufacturer's specifications. Many Asian vehicles, for example, have higher charging voltages of around 15 volts.

When the engine is first started, the charging voltage should rise quickly to about two volts above base battery voltage, then taper off, leveling out at the specified voltage.

The exact charging voltage will vary according to the battery's state of charge, the load on the vehicle's electrical system, and temperature. The lower the temperature the higher the charging voltage, and the higher the temperature the lower the charging voltage. The "normal" charging voltage on a typical application might be 13.9 to 15.1 volts at 77 degrees F. But at 20 degrees F. below zero, the charging voltage might be 14.9 to 15.8 volts. On a hot engine on a hot day, the normal charging voltage might drop to 13.5 to 14.3 volts.

Here are the full specs for installation of the 2002 Lexus RX300 alternator - you may be able to check these specs yourself (with a torque wrench), or pass them along to your mechanic.

Note: the VIN 8th digit should be "F" for the 2002 Lexus RX300 (2WD & AWD)

2002 Lexus RX300 (2WD and AWD) - 3.0L Engine, VIN "F" SFI DOHC

Alternator

Drive belt. Tension the belt to 170-180 lbs. for a new belt or 95-135 lbs. for a used belt.
Adjusting alternator lockbolt. Tighten the bolt to 13 ft.-lbs. (18 Nm).
Alternator pivot bolt. Tighten the bolt to 41 ft.-lbs. (56 Nm).

Glossary of acronyms
--------------------------------
DIY = do it yourself
DMM = Digital Multimeter
DOHC = Dual Overhead Cam
SFI = Sequential Fuel Injection
VOM = Volt Ohmmeter

References
----------------
How to test a Car Alternator - todayifoundout.com

Alternator & Charging System Checks - aa1car.com

Dec 26, 2011 | 2002 Lexus RX 300

1 Answer

Two new alternators on and the car still will not charge and it kills alternator. Need to know what to look for in the wiring harness. Auto Zone tested alternators before installation. Still won't...


Go to web site WWW.HMASERVICE.COM and register your vehicle by VIN #. You'll then have access to shop manuals, wiring diagrams, technical service bulletins, illustrations, etc.
Provided there is no problem with the vehicle's wiring, find out what the charging current is to the battery. I've seen batteries which TEST good, but when under a CHARGE short out internally.
Example: Tested a battery & charging system on a Hyundai Elantra, the battery tested "Healthy" but indicated there was a CHARGING SYSTEM PROBLEM. I checked the battery voltage while the engine was running and found the battery voltage at 14.3 VDC (which was normal). I then used a Digital DC Clamp meter arount the positive (+) battery cable & found the battery was charging at 70 Amps!.. it was supposidly already fully charged (should have only been taking 4 to 6 amps when fully charged).

Best guess without looking/diagnosing the vehicle myself

Maybe this will help.

Jun 30, 2011 | Hyundai Elantra Cars & Trucks

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