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Kenny Z.
Kenny Z., Ford Senior Master Tech
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 5452
Experience:  Auto Trans, Drivability and Electrical Specialist
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Previously have had 3 alternators replaced on 2003 Ford

Customer Question

Previously have had 3 alternators replaced on 2003 Ford Escape XLT. Last one by Ford just over 2 yrs ago.have new AAa battery. Past 2 months on starting car the battery light comes on then goes out after driving 4 blocks,doesn't come back on. I don't use my car for 3-4 days but this is all it has done, no problem starting. Yesterday drove over 30 miles I noticed light came on. I was running A/C, radio, & headlights. I turned off A/C after a few mins light went off. I was driving up an incline at the time. I got over incline I turned on A/C with no problem & reached my destination. Car was off 3 hrs. I came back the same way up &over the incline, no light coming on. After 20 miles on level ground light came back on. Turned off everything and light went off. Drove 10 miles then turned on A/C, 5 mins turned on radio, 5 mor mins turned on lights, drove another 25 miles, everything on with no light coming on. Fuze? Corrosion on battery posts?
Hope you can advise me. Thanks
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  Kenny Z. replied 2 years ago.

Unfortunately its more than likely the alternator again. Repeat alternator replacement is very common on these.

Ford never published a bulletin or recall but they should have. In my opinion the alternator is susceptible to failure due to the proximity to the exhaust manifold and fails because of the heat that its exposed to. I have also seen multiple failures of aftermarket alternators as compared to Ford units. There is venting ductwork on the back of the alternator which is crucial for alternator cooling. It is difficult to remove and install the duct work during alternator replacement and I have seen technicians leave it off to save time, not knowing that by leaving the ductwork off the alternator is even more susceptible to heat failure from the manifold.