Question about 2002 Ford Escape

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I have a 2002 Ford Escape V6. When I first had the car in 2006 the battery light would come on when I would start the car and would stay on for approx.10 mins. My car would always need jump starts. I had the battery replaced that year. In 2010, a few months ago, I noticed the same issue reoccuring. When I would start the car, the battery light would cut on and last approx 10 mins and then go off. Also, if I were to go to the store and be gone for hours, I could restart the car and the battery light would NOT appear. My car stalled in 2010 and I had the battery replaced. The light was not on. The next day I go to start my car and the battry light came on and would last a few minutes. I could restart the car and the light would not appear. Could this be an altenator issue? I am questioning why the batterty light only stays on for a short period of time and doesn't consistantly come on. What could the problem be?

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The battery light usually comes on when the alternator is not putting out sufficient voltage equal to or above the battery voltage. Sometimes the alternator can be generating enough voltage to make the light go out but not enough current to recharge the battery properly especially when driving at night with lights etc on. Eventually the battery will not have enough charge left to start the engine. The most common cause of low output is worn brushes but your description tends to suggest that the electronic regulator inside the alternator has an intermittent fault. An auto electrician will be able to diagnose the problem fairly quickly and probably offer to fit an echange unit.

Posted on Sep 13, 2010

  • Andrew Sutton
    Andrew Sutton Aug 03, 2011

    I have the same issue with my 2002 Ford Escape XLT 2WD 3.0. I have the light on about half the time I am driving and has been the case for about 3 years now. I have not replaced the battery. I checked voltage at the battery and it is 14.25 and up all the time. Clearly this rules out a problem with the Alternator.
    I have some friends at the local Ford Garage. I was told by a Ford Master Tech that there is a known but rare issue with the wires t the Alternator. The Alternator has one lead that tells the onboard computer the current output of the alternator and one large lead that goes to the battery for supply current. The problem is corrosion or breakage on the small lead that informs the computer. Therefore the computer thinks there is insufficient current but the battery is fully charged.
    I simply ignore the light because it is not causing any trouble and the Alternator is buried under the engine from the top and obscured from the bottom. I can see about 2 square inches of the alternator from under the car. Not at all from the top.

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I have the same problem (except the stalling part), and found this. It's worth checking out!

"I had the same problem with my 2002 Escape XLT. Another website suggested (and it worked for me) to check the coolant overflow reservoir. Apparently the signal for "low coolant" shows up as "check battery".

Posted on Oct 28, 2010

  • Andrew Sutton
    Andrew Sutton Aug 03, 2011

    I have seen those postings too. I wondered if people mistook the low coolant light for the battery light as they look similar. If the computer gets the signals wrong there needs to be an update done on the computer. Interesting, I will research that one...

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