I have a 2002 Mazda Tribute. The battery light flickers and the car cuts out (and it drains the battery). We have (over the last 2 1/2 years) replaced the alternator 4 times. My husband, who is a mechanic, just replaced it again this week. But, for some reason, the alternator is still not charging fully. He has asked the people at the generator places, and we have even had them look at it, to see if they can see what the problem is, but they do not have a clue. It charges at about a 12 with nothing running, and even less if you have the lights or the a/c on. Any suggestions?
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Re: I have a 2002 Mazda Tribute. The battery light
Check the grounds for the alternator and the battery. Low charging can be loose belt or that the grounds are loose, dirty or broken. If everything else checked was fine I would check all grounds this is a commonly overlooked problem. Also check for a draw on the battery. Use a test light for this between the neg. cable and the neg. post of the battery. You want to use a test light not a volt meter, for the test light will light if there is a draw. If you use a volt meter it will read voltage even with no draw, you need to be concerned with amperage not volts.
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you mentioned new alternator and battery, but it seem that the alternator is not charging, when you install the new battery the car started and run and after hours of running specially if head light is on the car shuts down. this is an indication that the alternator is not charging. (factory defect) have it checked or return part to auto supply.
if alternator is good and you have the car jumped and run it will not shut down even if your battery is dead because the charge of the alternator is enough to power the electrical system of the car until you turn it off. this applies to all cars
When that light comes on, it is indicating charging system problem which could mean alternator not charging for one reason or another like loose belt, faulty alternator, or yes, bad battery or connection at battery, for example. First & easiest thing to do is check all your connections to battery, which you've probably done, and make sure they're tight & clean. Make sure belt driving alternator is good & tight, and in good shape. Now boost the vehicle to get it going & test voltage at battery, after you take cables off. My guess is in your case, the voltage will begin to go down, indicating a bad alternator, that will need to be replaced.