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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2 years 4 batteries 1 alternator

2003 Ford Escape Limited V6

A year a go I changed the alternator, with new battery too, a bunch of problems went away, but I always felt some low voltage, then notice that the A/C stopped working (warm air) between 2500RPM and 3000RPM. 6 months later battery went dead and got a new one. all was fine just the same problem on the highway, (no AC 2.5k-3k RPM) sporadically I notice RPM bouncing while Idle and lights dimming, and on long red lights the ac blower and accessories will slow down and it was getting worst.

My voltage tests yesterday were
14v--engine off
14.5v--engine idle, no accessories
13.5v--engine idle, A/C, stereo hi beams
11v--engine idle, A/C, stereo hi beams (after 5 min on)
14v-- engine at 1500 rpm
8.9v --engine idle, A/C, stereo hi beams and radiator fan.

I juts put the 4th battery and I still can see light dimming and slow AC blower at IDLE.

Tomorrow I'm changing the battery cables just to rule out any problem there.

Any experience on this? could it be a bad alternators sending low amps? radiator fan using too much current? bad batteries from autozone?

I'm really tired of going to shops and telling the whole history and they do the regular test and say its fine. I have been trying to test my self but don't have the equipment. I haven't test any current, most multimeter are rated only for 15 AMP.

Any comment, help, tip, will be very appreciated.
 

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I wouldn't worry about the battery cables per se, check the connections for corrosion, but you mentioned you had problems with the AC, but didn't say if you corrected the issue. I think you said that you replaced the battery and the problem with the AC just went away. But all the voltages look good except the 11V reading and the 8.9V readings.
To me with those issues you have had with it not working in the past and now would say to me you have a problem with your AC Compressor. I suspect the bearings are failing and putting undo drag on your engine, making the engine work harder.
So I would have the AC compressor checked out.
Also depending on if you got a remanufactured Alternator vs a new one, these more than always have issues, and the alternator might be suspect as well.
I don't think the battery or batteries are the problem.
Good Luck.
 

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One of those AutoZone rebuilds? I've had nothing but bad experiences with their reman parts. My brother went through a few of their alternators on his car. Lasted less than 2 years. I had one of their water pumps go bad in 2 months. Sounds like the regulator is dying or a cold solder joint.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
thks for the replies, I though I had email confirmation on the replies...

I bough a volt monitor (the ones plugged din ti the cigarette lighter) every time the engine is idle and A/C and radiator fan are running the volt will drop below 12.v. at a new shop they told me to change the alternator again.

I found a common problem for the tribute 2001 where the radiator fans were consuming more power than the alternator can produce, but I guess all comes down to be able to test the alternator current and if that turns ok then look in to the fan problem.. the sad part is I get charged $100 just to remove the alternator... I hate that design..
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I had it,,, i need an auto electrical GURU.. I change my alternator again... and is the same, or worst because the new alternator is noisy as hell and the fist miles I drove, the battery warning turned on and light dimes,, I took it back to the shop and the car didn't show anything... its been 2 days with the new alternator and no warning lights but I still have the same problem... voltage drops below 12.2v when radiator fans are on at engine IDLE... I notice too that the voltage drops even more when I push the window elevator with the windows already closed.

Also the voltage drops when I start to move fast, for 2 seconds then it goes back to normal..

Could it be the computer not sending the necessary power?
 

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I answered another question about strange electrical problems with another member.

Take a look at the wiring harnesses near the master cylinder and along the driver-side fender. Some 2001-2004 Escapes were recalled for burned and/or shorted wiring near the ABS module, and I've heard a few people say that the recall fixed all sorts of electrical weirdness.

If any of that wiring appears burned or frayed, take your Escape to the dealer and ask them to perform recall 07V156000.

http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/probl ... mmary=true

Hope this helps!
 

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the sad part is I get charged $100 just to remove the alternator... I hate that design..
$100 is cheap, here in Canada to have the alternator changed is $300 + 13% tax. I am now looking at having a third alternator put in after only owning my 2001 Escape for 2 months!! This time, no remanufactured parts. It looks like DNS armatures in Montreal QC has a bad batch of regulators and my lights dim, go bright, dim........

I thought it was a different electrical problem so I brought it into the Ford dealer and they charged me $130 for labour to tell me it was the alternator!!

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
after having more problems fter 1 week with my 3rd alternator. Im out od town in a big city so I went to look for an "auto electric guru" after 2 shops, the guy on the 3rd one told me he has a bunch of clients with exactly the same problem, he told me the problem will be fixed if and only if I isntall an OEM alternator with a good battery, and never drive it on the rain..

so I'm going for my 4th alternator,..... just a cuestion.. is Motorcraft the OEM brand on fords?
 

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Yes, Motorcraft is the OEM brand for Ford.
No, it is not rain or water the problem.It is heat from the engine because of its location.The problem gets worst in hot climates and slow traffic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Can you belibe it, I installed the motorcraft alternator last night, and this one is even worst its not charging at all, after paying $440 for a re manufactured motorcraft alternator (I did not know I was getting a re manufactured until I saw the label on it)

I ask they guy at the counter to test it, but he didn't listen, and stup1d me I didn't insist because I was think,, "well this is the real deal the good one, the solution"... now.. I need to wait 2 working days to get my 5th alternator... Fkin unbelievable, or try an other aftermarket brand. but every try its worth $100 in labor like some said here, that is very cheap but I'm already $400 in "cheap" labor

In the top of thet I need to rent a car to pick up my family out of town.
 

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Hey, did ya get the problem fixed? I had to install 3 alternators before I got it right. The rebuilds I was getting were junk....eventually went and got a genuine ford rebuild and works perfectly. If all else fails, try and get a ford rebuild....
good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I bought original rebuild and didn't work at all, had to go back to the store to test it. and it worked, so I went back and change the cables (even the continuity test was fine) after putting the original for the second time, finally its working.. but still the same failure, back to square one... the voltage drops below 12.6 w/ A/C and radiator fan on HI w/ IDLE engine.

my next move is an INTER ESTATE battery, then change the A/C compressor ( I need to) then the radiator fan.
 

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litleboy said:
I bought original rebuild and didn't work at all, had to go back to the store to test it. and it worked, so I went back and change the cables (even the continuity test was fine) after putting the original for the second time, finally its working.. but still the same failure, back to square one... the voltage drops below 12.6 w/ A/C and radiator fan on HI w/ IDLE engine.

my next move is an INTER ESTATE battery, then change the A/C compressor ( I need to) then the radiator fan.
It is not abnormal the charging values you mention for this car.When the engine gets warm in this car the alternators' output falls considerably, especially under load and with the engine at idle, like at a traffic light.As soon as you start moving this 12.6 climbs up above 13.In your case I would not proceed with changing anything to improve the alternator's figures.Unless you know for sure that some part is failling or malfunctioning.
My last Alternator change was two years ago and with my scangauge I monitor carefully the generator's output which is what I described above.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well you are the first one to told me that that is "normal" in that car, so far no manual or dealer has told me the expected values during normal functioning.

I haven't test it on the road since I put the motorcraft... its not that hot anymore, I need to test it on the road at +140F, 75M/Hr for more then 3 hrs.. thats when the a/c was failing...

I guess I will have to wait to see if my battery start to die, but I cane see already on my cigarette voltmeter, the battery is not fully charged, its on 12.3V so I want to put the interestate to see if that improves, I was told from one of the electricians, that If I don't put a quality battery on that car, I could expect to change the battery once a year and possible damage the alternator .. again..

also the a/c compressor looks bad it has some movement on the front piece, I can se the wear around the bolts and is leaking..(in going to change it not because of the electrical problem it self)
 

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I just gave the exact figures while monitoring carefully the battery charge.I wish it were a little higher.A quality battery is worth the investment.As for the AC compressor do something soon to avoid any belt problems.Good luck.
 

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I'm curious.....did any of the mechanics/electrical gurus, bench test the alternator and voltage regulator?

The A/C is one problem.

The varying voltage readings sound wonky.....and my guess would be either the alternator and/or voltage regulator. Have a bench test done and see if they pass.

Good Luck.
 
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