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Check charging system" light came on this morning while the…

Quot;check charging system" light...

Quot;check charging system" light came on this morning while the vehicle was warming up. when I shut it off and restarted - no light. what does this mean?

Mechanic's Assistant: Just to clarify, what are the exact lights you're talking about?

Battery icon lit up and dash said "check charging system:

Mechanic's Assistant: What is the model/year of your Ford?

2005 Ford Explorer

Mechanic's Assistant: Are you fixing your Explorer yourself? What have you tried so far?

Just happened this morning about an hour ago. no, I will not be fixing it. have a fried (former ford mechanic) who will do it for me. Does this mean battery, alternator.....?

Mechanic's Assistant: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?

Check fuel cap light keeps coming on

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Answered in 5 minutes by:
3/15/2018
Ron Z.
Ron Z., - Ford Tech -
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 20,060
Experience: 18+yrs experience. State Inspector & Ford Diagnostics/Repair
Verified

Hi! Welcome to JustAnswer. Thanks for coming! I'm Ron and I'll be working with you on your question today. Please give me a moment to review your question and type out my reply. Sit tight one minute... I'll be right back!

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Thanks for holding!

When the battery icon and check charging system warning come on, this will be the case of a faulty alternator or a weak battery. There is a quick easy test for this, with the use of a voltage meter. With the engine running (if you need to jump-start the vehicle, make sure to remove the jumper cables before testing), take a voltage reading at the battery terminals. If the voltage is not between 13.2-14.4v, or fluctuates in and out of this area, the Alternator will need to be replaced. If the Alternator passes this test, turn the engine off and wait 15min. Take another reading at the battery terminals, this time with the engine off. If the voltage is anything less than 12v, the battery may have a "bad cell" and is not accepting the alternator's charge. If you do not have access to a voltage meter, most local "big chain" parts stores, like AutoZone, will run these tests for Free right in their parking lot. Make sure to also check the battery cables to make sure they are tight, making a good connection and are free of any corrosion and that the serpentine belt is tight around the alternator pulley at this time. Please be kind enough to leave a rating for our Q&A using the 'stars' at the top of the page or click 'Accept' when I have answered all your questions. A 5-star rating is very much appreciated! Rating or accepting my answer does not cost you extra.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Best case scenario it's the battery. Worse case it's the alternator.
What about the "check fuel cap" indicator?

Correct- best case battery, worst case Alternator. Unfortunately, more times than not here.... Alternator.

Check Fuel cap can be a loose or faulty fuel cap. Check the underside of the fuel cap for any cracks or signs of defects that may keep the cap from sealing correctly. If there are any doubts about the inspection of the cap, replace it. Keep in mind, you will need a cap that meets OE Specs. Those "universal" or "locking" fuel caps sold at after market parts stores do not meet OE specs, and will not seal the system correctly. If the new fuel cap does not solve the problem, then there is a leak in the EVAP System. The EVAP System will then need to be "smoked". Thi s is where a machine forces smoke through the system and any leaks can then be more easily found and repaired.

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Were there any other questions I could help you with today?

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
one last question. I get really pitiful gas mileage (13.0 - 13.3). would it help to have the wires changed or a "tune up" performed?

Yes. Spark plugs, air filter and fuel filter would be the best place to start.

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Were there any other questions I could help you with today?

Ron Z.
Ron Z., - Ford Tech -
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 20,060
Experience: 18+yrs experience. State Inspector & Ford Diagnostics/Repair
Verified
Ron Z. and 87 other Ford Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
No, Ron. Thanks so much for all your help! Have a great day!

You're welcome! Glad I could be of some help today! Have a great day!

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