Question about 1996 Ford Taurus

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New battery and alternator and the battery wont stay charged, i allready checked the connections and cant figure out why its still not charging

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If it is going down after it is parked ,then it has a draw on the electrical system,or if it is going down as it is driven,then the large output wire on the back of the alternator is not getting to the battery,if needed,run a wire ,along with the original wire from the back of the alternator,to the battery to get it to charge.Other wise ,the system has a draw,pulling voltage from the battery with the car not running.

Posted on Feb 01, 2010


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Sounds like alternator if the battery is not staying charged or the output from alternator the big red wire is lost connection to battery +.
a voltmeter you can check with across battery and it should show minimum 13.8 volts minimum to be charging.
if the battery is low it should show 14.7 volts if it shows 12 volts or less with lights heater etc running then alternator is not charging.
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One is that your battery might not be making a good connection somewhere, like a bad ground or corrosion at one the cable ends, positive or negative. A bad connection will prevent the battery from ever charging fully.
Also make sure no connections are loose.

Another possibility is that you may have a light or other accessory stuck "on" after you leave the car, like a trunk light, etc.

The third possibility is that there is a short somewhere in the electrical system, in the form of a bare wire or malfunction of some accessory which is draining the battery. Sometimes this can be very difficult or time consuming for us non-mechanics to figure out.

If you still have trouble after the battery and connections check out okay, it's probably a good idea to have a mechanic isolate the problem.
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You may want to check the output of the alternator with a voltage meter. While running, the voltage at the battery should be about 13 -14.7 volts. While the car is off, the battery should be about 12.6 volts but no lower than 12. This may vary a little with the outdoor temperature.
Make sure the water level in the battery is correct -- always use protective eye wear and use extreme caution any time you work around a battery.
A good local mechanic won't charge much to do a basic check up of your charging system and this might be well worth it. He can also verify in fact if the battery is being discharged and how much.
If there is a short somewhere, he is probably your best choice for diagnosing and fixing that.

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