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CincyFin

Alternator - Check Charging System

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So I got a message on the dash to check charging system. It's a 2014 Sport with 100,000 miles. The battery is a 3 year old Motorcraft that tests fine so I figure maybe it's the alternator. Not out of the question given age and mileage. But when I run a voltmeter test while running I get 13.7 volts. Would this be low enough to warrant the dash warning? I know ideally it should be 14 or higher. Anyone with any experience on this? I plan on taking to get looked at next week and will probably just end up replacing the alternator and belt for piece of mind.

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You're correct to suspect the alternator - the charging voltage should be around 14.2v

 

Don't be tempted to purchase the cheap refurbished ones from Autozone.

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Check the battery cable connectors for corrosion. 

Test the battery running a LOAD test (test the actual CCAs).

Check for DCTs. (Anything that turns on the IC warning will set a code).

The voltage being output to the alternator can be controlled by the PCM. Codes will tell you if either of these are involved.

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