Question about 1996 Ford Explorer

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Battery doesn't charge replaced everything and light is still on

The battery light is on all time and is there something else that can drain the battery i replaced alternator and battery but it seems not to be charging it

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  • Richard Scordino May 11, 2010

    Have you put a volt meter on it and checked to see if it's charging? have you checked the alt wires to make sure you put them all back on? have you checked those wires for continuity?

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Is the altenator functioning right if you take of one terminal if its started the engine musnt die if it die it is the alten

Posted on May 20, 2009

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I doubt the actuator, but not positive. I think it would be buzzing or clicking if it were drawing current.
So new battery and alternator. Assuming no problems in the charging system, you may be right about the drain. Here's how to check for the so-called parasitic draw, or unintended drain: Having just gotten home or having run the engine a good time to assure the battery is fully charged (about 30 minutes at least), shut off the car and open the hood. If there is an under hood light, take out the bulb. Now let the car sit for a good half hour, key out of ignition, everything off, to make sure the engine computer has gone to sleep, and all systems are shut down.

Take off the negative battery terminal and hook up a test light or voltmeter between the negative cable end and the negative battery post. If there is a drain, the test light should be bright, or voltmeter will register voltage. There is always a very small electrical draw on the battery from the keep alive memory for clock, radio pre-sets, computer memory, and the security system. But this should only be milliamps (less usually than 100 milliamps-not enough to drain a battery for a long time, less amperage than a glove box light bulb would draw). The test light should not be lit, or if affected by this milliamp draw, would have a very, very dim bulb glow.

If the tester lights up bright, there is an unintended drain. To find it, start pulling fuses one at a time, watching the test light. When a fuse is pulled and the test light goes out, you have found the problem circuit. Check a wiring diagram to see what all is on that circuit to find the problem.
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It wouldn't be the starter. It will not draw current when not engaged. Could be a light left on, a trunk light, glove box light, under hood light-an unintended drain, somewhere. Sometimes a penny or something gets stuck in cigar lighter and keeps that circuit on.
You should check if alternator is fully charging up the battery after it has run, and then turned off. But if you don't have a voltmeter handy, try this: When you shut if off to sit overnight, take the negative battery terminal off the battery. When you get ready to start it, hook up the battery and see if battery is no longer weak. If battery is now good, you do have an unintended drain. If battery is weak again, check charging system, battery cables and connections, alternator connections-a loose connection will prevent battery from charging.
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