Question about 1994 Ford Ranger Supercab

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Washed engine alternator gauge jumping and stopped putting out voltage to battery

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Lesson learned the hard way...don't wash your engine...likely you blew the diodes in the alternator. They heat up while running and shatter if hit with water. Or, if yoou are lucky you have a poor connection somewhere and when wet it disconnected...but I doubt it.

Posted on Jul 18, 2009

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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It could be a faulty alternator. This would cause a battery drain since the alternator would not be recharging the battery and supplying operating voltage to the vehicle. Once the battery dropped to about 8 volts then the gauges, A/C, radio and other electronics would start acting crazy. Eventually the car would have shut down, but since you stopped at the post office, that didn't happen. With the battery being so low in charge, that would not allow the car to restart, as there would not be enough current to engage the starter properly. Check the battery voltage. If it seems ok (12-13 volts), try checking it again with someone trying to start the car. A normal battery will see some voltage drop, but a drained one will fall to almost zero with a starter load. Since you have gauges and not warning lights, a discharging battery may have gone unnoticed. If you determine the alternator is bad, be sure to have the battery charged, or if necessary, replaced before using the new alternator. A low battery can cause a new alternator to fail and most alternator warranties will not cover this type of failure.

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The sticks? Some kind of voltage gauge?
Test the alternator with a voltmeter, make sure its output is good. If using the windows kills the engine, I think the alternator is weak or you maybe have a short in the power windows. But shuts off coming out of park, too? Does it not move, then?

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SOUND LIKE DEAD BATTERY.HAVE BATTERY CHECKED AND REPLACED.MAKE SURE ALTERNATOR CHARGING BATTERY.WITH ENGINE IDLING BATTERY VOLTAGE OUTPUT AT BATTERY SHOULD BE 13.5 - 14.5 VOLTS. IF NOT CHECK ALTERNATOR BATTERY FEED WIRE AND VOLTAGE REGULATOR WIRES FOR DAMAGE OR LOOSE CONNECTIONS,CHECK ALTERNATOR FUSE AND MAKE SURE ALTERNATOR DRIVE BELT NOT LOOSE SLIPPING OR BROKEN.

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If you havent replaced the battery I would start there. If the battery has a dead cell in it then it will effectively remove the charge that your alternator is putting out causing your vehicle to stop running because it has no power. I would jump start the car without the battery hook up and remove the cables and see if it runs that way. If it does you have a bad battery.

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With Ign. off what is your batt.voltage reading than take neg. cable off and take another reading 5 min. later. It sounds like a intermitten short, try to isolate voltage drop when acting up. Gauge circuit would be a good start. Schematic would be helpful.

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