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Anthony, Ford Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 11808
Experience:  ASE Master Automobile Technician with over 20 years exp.
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1997 Ford F150: solenoid, and new relays and it

Customer Question

I have a 1997 Ford F150 4.2l V6 that will not keep a charge. I put a new battery, new alternator, new megafuses, new solenoid, and new relays and it still will not keep a charge. Is it possible that I messed up the battery from charging and draining it too many times so now it wont keep a charge? Anything else that could keep it from maintaining a charge?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  jimchill replied 7 years ago.
it is posible that you could have damaged the battery. how long does it take for the battery to go dead? overnight, while driving it drains? you might have a draw on the battery draining the battery. could you give me some more info on this please. jim
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

When I charge the battery and put it in the car, the dash says its fully charged. Within 15-20 minutes it is drained completely. At first I thought it was the radio because the guy I got the truck from had wired it all wrong, but i traced all wires, reconnected them the correct way, and found out that both radio fuses were blown. It will drain when sitting or driving.

Expert:  jimchill replied 7 years ago.
how old is the battery? have you taken it to get tested? usually a parts store has a battery tester to check and rule it out. if your truck has a battery draw it is highly unlikely for it to kill a battery in twenty minutes. is there a factory radio or does it have a big system ie amp sub woofers etc?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I bought the battery approx. 2 weeks ago. I havent gotten it tested since, but it has been charged and drained approv 4 times. This truck had a system prior to me purchasing it, but not when I bought it. After the new battery I drove the truck for about 4 days, approx 250 miles before it died while i was driving. It does have an after market stereo in it, and I did run the wires and fix what the other guy did. He had cut all speaker wires and ran different speaker wires.
Expert:  Anthony replied 7 years ago.



It looks like the new Alternator isn't putting out enough power. I would return it and get an original Motorcraft replacement part. YOur Alternator isn't completely bad but I believe its not putting out 100 percent.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Ok, I will take the alternator back tomorrow morning. Thanks everyone for all the help. I'm not going to close this out until tomorrow so if it doesn't work I can get some more ideas. Thanks again


Expert:  Anthony replied 7 years ago.

Sounds good. Let me know what happens.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Does know by chance how many amps the alternator should be pushing out? I wanted to make sure I bought the right one before I go change it out. I have a 95 amp in it right now

Expert:  Anthony replied 7 years ago.
The standard is 95 amps. The optional is 130 amps. Both fit the same. Get the 130 and you will be much better off.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Ok, I will let you know if it works. I will talk to you soon. Thanks again
Expert:  Anthony replied 7 years ago.
No prob. Ill be here.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
It was not the alternator or the starter lol.
Expert:  Anthony replied 7 years ago.
What was it?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Still no idea, I went and had the starter and alternator tested, and the battery tested and recharged. Ran great for about 3-4 hrs until the battery drained again.
Expert:  Anthony replied 7 years ago.

Ok, so you had the Alternator tested?


Apparently its no good or the battery wouldn't have died in 3-4 hours.


Get another one like I said before.


This isn't my first rodeo. I have diagnosed thousands...let me say again....thousands not hundreds but thousands of weak alternators.


You have a weak Alternator thats letting your battery go dead.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

ok I will take it back again tomorrow and get the 135, they were hesitate due to the fact it tested good. Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX let you know as soon as I get the new alternator in

Expert:  Anthony replied 7 years ago.

Ok, let me know but the Alternator is your problem. I don't care what anyone else says.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I definitely hope so, this is getting painful. Thanks again
Expert:  Anthony replied 7 years ago.
No prob. If all else fails, get a Motorcraft Brand 130 Amp unit.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Went and got the 130 Amp unit, will not fit in my truck. The two bottom brackets match but the top bolt does not match. I appreciate your help but I just took the truck into a shop, I have no idea what else to do lol.