Question about 1996 Ford Windstar

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Electrical new battery altenator belt battery drains when running

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If the alternator isn't putting out as it should be the first thing that needs to be checked is the battery because it really has an influence as to how the alternator charges. Since you have a new/good battery...hopefully the cables where they attach to the battery are corrosion free...and the alternator has been replaced several times and tested the problem shouldn't be with those 2 components.

The next place to look is the AIR pump belt because it drives the alternator belt. It has a tendency to loosen up and when it does the alternator doesn't turn as fast because of the belt slipping on the AIR pump pulley. To verify this with the engine off place your thumb on the fan blade of the alternator and try to push/turn it. It shouldn't move at all and if it moves easily then you have probably found your problem. There is 1 bolt in behind the AIR pump that you will need to access from below and loosen otherwise the pump will not move when you turn the tensioning bolt as well as 2 in front.

There is another possibility and that is that the idle speed is too slow to allow the alternator to charge properly with everything on. If you raise the idle speed up by pressing your foot on the accelerator and your voltage returns to the 14 volt range then try checking the adjustment of the minimum air/idle screw, throttle position sensor/TPS and the air gap for the idle speed control/ISC motor and maybe you can get the charging voltage to a normal range that way.

Posted on Jun 23, 2008

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