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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
1987 Ford Escort GL 1.9L 4cyl. Few weeks ago, car began overheating on freeway. Pulled over right away, opened the hood to let car cool down. I believe it overheated from low engine oil. Added oil, waited a while longer to let it cool down more. Forgot I had my hazards on. Car wouldn't start. Jumped it, but it wouldn't stay on. Had it towed. Battery is 6 months old. Alternator was 4 months old. Autopart store did a test with alternator in the car and said it failed. So I replaced it for a new one. Car still dies after driving for a few miles. Replaced the alternator plug because it looked old. Replaced both battery cables. Still no luck. Battery shows reading of 12.6v while idling. I don't believe it's a parasitic draw. My best guess is a fusible link. Any help is much appreciated.
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Motor vehicle Electrical wiring Hood Cable Gas
Wheel Tire Car Land vehicle Vehicle
 

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New or rebuilt alternator? Where was it purchased?
You need to drive round with a voltmeter installed. A plug in voltmeter should tell you everything that you know.
Something like this (Walmart and HF carries them as well)
Innova 3721 Battery and Charging System Monitor


12.6V with the car off is fine, maybe even a little on the high side. With the car idling it may not may no be, but if getting a voltage reading at idle even with the accessories off 12.6V might be OK, but you really need to take the voltage reading at 1500RPM. Now with a better alternator (really better voltage regulator inside the alternator), yeah something higher even at idle is what I would expect.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's a new alternator from O'Reilly. Same one I had put in about 4-5 months prior and was running fine. I will look into getting one of those plug in voltmeters. I have a multimeter only. I think my problem might be a blown linkable fuse, but am not positive.
 

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well first, autozone and orileys ultima pro alternators are junk, i would recommend getting a much higher quality alternator. next thing you need to do is test for continuity from the alternator charge lug to the battery positive post. if that is good. then it should be working.. when I am forced to use ultima alternators, I ususally order 3 because 2 will be bad out of the box. no joke.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
My best guess is a short/fusible link not passing current to and from alternator and battery. I just picked up a charging system monitor, as previously suggested. I will plug it in and test it tomorrow. Please let me know if and when you come up with any solutions.
 

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I am not sure where the ground wire hooks up or goes but that can be an issue. A bad ground will prevent the alternator from giving the proper volts.

Otherwise I don't have a clue but the alternator should be putting out about 14 volts while the car is running.

I buy all of my alternators off of Ebay. Yes, they are made in China. Also you could get one from a junkyard and have it rebuilt if there is someone who can do that locally. I have also had good luck in just replacing the brushes in the alternator. A cheap fix at that. As long as the commutator (the brass ring) is not worn too much.

BTW, the alternator really needs to be tested out of the car, not in it.
 

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My phone charger has a voltmeter built into it. So last time my alternator went out it was very apparent because those voltage values started to get wonky. It was still putting out 14 volts but then would suddenly drop. Replaced the alternator the very next day. If you keep driving with a bad alternator it can take out a good battery.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Is the white wire meant to go from one connector to another? Its the only cable not showing power. 12v cigarette lighter tester is not showing power for the alternator.
 
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