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Lou P.
Lou P., ASE Certified Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 3730
Experience:  Have been working on Ford GM and Chrysler for 15+ years and ASE master certified.
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NEW NEGATIVE BATTERY TERMINAL, NEW OPTIMA BATTERY (INSTALLED

Customer Question

NEW NEGATIVE BATTERY TERMINAL, NEW OPTIMA BATTERY (INSTALLED TODAY), NEW ALTERNATOR (INSTALLED TODAY), CAR WILL STILL DIE WHILE IDLING WITHIN A FEW MINUTES........BUT IF I HOOK UP JUMPER CABLES IT WILL RUN ALL DAY!!! WHAT ELSE SHOULD I CHECK OR CHANGE?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  Lou P. replied 1 year ago.

Hello. Do you have a volt meter to check the voltage of the battery and also a few other spots to see what may be happening to the voltage ?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
NO I DONT, I AM ASKING MY NEIGHBOR VIA TEXT RIGHT NOW TO SEE IF HE HAS ONE, BUT I DOUBT IT
Expert:  Lou P. replied 1 year ago.

Ok also it's possible you are on the right track but even a new part like the alternator is bad. So never think cause it's new that it's ok.

Expert:  Lou P. replied 1 year ago.

Also is your battery top post or side post ? I know optimas have both but which one are you using ?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
MINE ID THE #D34/78 QITH BOTH TOP & SIDE BUT I AM ONLY CURRENTLY USING THE TOP POSTS ( STILL WAITING FOR RESPONSE FROM MY NEIGHBOR )
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
IF I NEED TO I WILL JUST RUN 1 BLOCK TO THE CORNER AND GET ONE FROM THE STORE
Expert:  Lou P. replied 1 year ago.

Ok. And don't take offense but you did remove both top battery terminal covers right ? Most times the negative lead comes with a cover on the post. Some over look this Cover.

Expert:  Lou P. replied 1 year ago.

Well we need a meter so do what you have to do :)

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
LOL .............YEA BOTH PLASTIC CAPS WERE REMOVED
Expert:  Lou P. replied 1 year ago.

Ok :) just had to ask man.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
ok got the meter in hand
Expert:  Lou P. replied 1 year ago.

Ok do you know how to use one ?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
only how to check for basic battery voltage
Expert:  Lou P. replied 1 year ago.

That's good enough.

Expert:  Lou P. replied 1 year ago.

Meter set to DC volts if you have more than one setting out it near 20 volts so we have 2 spaces before the decimal point and hook red to pos and black to neg see what voltage is right now with no jump.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
ok, 1 sec
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
11.77
Expert:  Lou P. replied 1 year ago.

Ok will it start ? If so start it and see what the voltage is

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
ok 1 sec
Expert:  Lou P. replied 1 year ago.

If need be start it with jumper cables and let it run for a minute or so , remove the cables and check voltage then

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
started with no jump, volts started at 10.96 and dropping one point every 2 seconds
Expert:  Lou P. replied 1 year ago.

Ok alternator is not charging.

Expert:  Lou P. replied 1 year ago.

Now put red lead on the meter on the power wire from the alternator while the black lead is still on negative and see what the voltage is

Expert:  Lou P. replied 1 year ago.

What engine do you have I am going to check a diagram

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
about v9.86
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
6.8 v10 engine
Expert:  Lou P. replied 1 year ago.

Ok alternator is not charging.

Expert:  Lou P. replied 1 year ago.

Give me a few minutes

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
ok
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
truck just died
Expert:  Lou P. replied 1 year ago.

Ok what color wires are on your alternator

Expert:  Lou P. replied 1 year ago.

Yellow , brown and light green ?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
will check
Expert:  Lou P. replied 1 year ago.

Actually brown should be orange. Sorry

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
if you have a email i can send pics
Expert:  Lou P. replied 1 year ago.

That would be a up charge. I have the answer providing we have the same color wires

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
looks likegreen with red line
white with back line
and last one looks orange
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
current battery voltage after truck died, is 7.8V
Expert:  Lou P. replied 1 year ago.

ok power should be on white and also orange. Check those with meter same as we been doing

Expert:  Lou P. replied 1 year ago.

It's on to use jumper cables on the battery to get the voltage back up. So no worries

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
ok one sec
Expert:  Lou P. replied 1 year ago.

Also the big terminal should be the yellow wire with white stripe. So you will only need to check that wire and the Orange wire for battery voltage.

Expert:  Lou P. replied 1 year ago.

Here is the test so you can see it

Expert:  Lou P. replied 1 year ago.

I am guessing no power on the Orange wire. If I am correct you have a bad fusible link.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
orange wire is about 12.5Vwhite wire is 0.01V
Expert:  Lou P. replied 1 year ago.

Ok now what about the big wire on the alternator it is yellow yes ?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
its coved by plastic so i can't see the color but, if the one your speaking of that runs all the way to the positive battery terminal, it appears to be red near the battery post
Expert:  Lou P. replied 1 year ago.

Well it appears in the diagram it does not go straight to the battery. There is a junction block that it goes to. So we need to verify power on the wire at the alternator per the test I sent you. Did you click the link ?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am going to do the test now, do i need to cut the truck off to disconnect the plug and test the pin in the connector?
Expert:  Lou P. replied 1 year ago.

You should be able to unsnap the plastic cover on the wire or just poke the test lead through the wire insulation.

Expert:  Lou P. replied 1 year ago.

It is ok to remove the wire to test but if you can access the nut to remove it then I don't see why you can't use that as the test source

Expert:  Lou P. replied 1 year ago.

I'm having trouble locating the junction point and the fusible links locations. So this may take some physical inspection. Need to follow the red wires off the battery terminal. Do they go to a starter solenoid or something ?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
11.17 big wire th bolts on to alternatorsmall wire in connector 11.12v
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
will check, I have 3 red wires that come off my positive terminal will try to see where they lead( i will connect the jumper cable back so truck doesn't die again)
Expert:  Lou P. replied 1 year ago.

Ok man. Sounds like tests are good. Alternator is faulty. First thing I would do is remove it and have the parts store test it. BUT does the battery light come on in the dash ? Does the dash work fine ? The instrument cluster is what I'm talking about

Expert:  Lou P. replied 1 year ago.

The wire that activates the alternator regulator is the light green wire with red stripe and that comes from the instrument cluster so we need to verify cluster is ok and fuse 45 is ok

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
big wire was yellow, ( removed some plastic)
Expert:  Lou P. replied 1 year ago.

Ok. I'll send over the wiring diagram hopefully you can make sense of it

Expert:  Lou P. replied 1 year ago.

Here

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
from battery terminalwire 1 = red that turns to yellow at alternator
wire 2 = goes to otter side of engine bay to a small box that looks like it goes in to cabin, probably to main fuse box ( volts at junction in engine was 11.4V )
wire 3 = look like it runs down under under the engine , can't see where that on leads
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
battery light is on on the dash, but it was on before I changed the alternator and still hasn't turned off
Expert:  Lou P. replied 1 year ago.

Ok and what about fuse 45

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
all fuses were good but i will go check it again
Expert:  Lou P. replied 1 year ago.

Ok also check the light green wire with the truck off and with it running to see if the voltage changes on it that will be the nail in the coffin.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
fuse 45 is a 10 amp fuse and it is good
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok also check the light green wire with the truck off and with it running to see if the voltage changes on it that will be the nail in the coffin."I should do this test with the car running and disconnected from the jumper cables, right?
Expert:  Lou P. replied 1 year ago.

Jumper cables won't matter in the test so no worries. They can stay on

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
ok, with truck still connected to cables and running.....green wire from alt , with truck running 0.01
green wire from alt , with truck off is 0.00
Expert:  Lou P. replied 1 year ago.

Ok sounds like problem is with that wire. That comes from the instrument cluster.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
i dont understand, so the alternator is good?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
or that wire is just regarding the battery light on the dash being on
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
i personally don't care about the actual "battery dash light" being on, i just want the truck to start & charge as normal
Expert:  Lou P. replied 1 year ago.

From my information. When the car is started the power comes from the cluster to power the battery light and then to excite the regulator to allow it to function. So if we have no voltage on that wire then that is a issue why the alternator is not charging. I am going to check another test.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
ok, so just curious could I replace the cluster with a used one?
Expert:  Lou P. replied 1 year ago.

Yes but mileage won't be the same. Let me confirm the issue is with the cluster though

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
yea, I know, i would care about the milage if i needed to, its a work truck
Expert:  Lou P. replied 1 year ago.

Ok I am correct. The cluster powers the wire. So here is what we need to do. By we I mean you :) , you need to remove the cluster and we then check the wire at the cluster if the wire is ok at the cluster you will run your own wire from the cluster to the alternator and it will be fixed. And we forget where the failure is at cause it won't matter. All we do know is that the issue is with that wire. So we need to remove the cluster and check pin 12 it will be that wire. Hopefully there is only one connecitr. If not let me know but that wire will be specific so you shouldn't find more than one of the same color. Hope this makes sense. Let me know what you find !! Please take a second and click the box and rate my service GOOD OR EXCELLENT SERVICE if you feel I have been helpful and please request me in the future. If you feel I have not been helpful please DO NOT RATE BAD OR POOR AND WASTE YOUR MONEY , I will opt out to see if another expert can provide more or better assistance so you're not wasting your money!!. Thanks for choosing just answer. Lou. also , if you feel i deserve one , BONUSES are GREATLY APPRECIATED ! ūüėČ Keep in mind then when you rate it does not end our conversation. you can still return here to me for follow up information if needed, Lou.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
ok, will do... the back of the cluster has 3 connectors so i will look through those bunch of wires and check for the same color wire going to the alt, right? then I will test the cluster at pin 12 right?
Expert:  Lou P. replied 1 year ago.

Yes the wire should match in pin 12 of one of the connectors I'll see if I can get a breakdown

Expert:  Lou P. replied 1 year ago.

Ok it's a corner pin of the black connector on the cluster

Expert:  Lou P. replied 1 year ago.

And shoot me in the foot lol but there are two of the same wires in pin 11 and 12 so it will be the corner wire the pins are numbered 1-6 on the part near the connector release and 7-12 on the bottom.

Expert:  Lou P. replied 1 year ago.

Let me know what you find but this should be the fix once you determine the wire is ok at the cluster. If it is run a wire from the cluster to the alternator. If it's not you need a cluster. Let me know what you find and done order to rate :)

Expert:  Lou P. replied 1 year ago.

I have taken my time to answer your question the best i could and i will continue to help if you need follow up information , all i ask is that you PLEASE take a second to rate my service so i may recieve my credit for assisting you. Thank you.

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