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Unread 01-29-2013   #1 (permalink)
Firecracker215 is offline Rookie


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Default 2002 mustang v6 charging problem and battery cable replacement

I have a 2002 V6 Mustang and am having an issue with the battery light coming on. It all started a few months back with the light coming on a few minutes and then going off. Then the gauge would start to go down when I would be stopped or let off the gas. I automatically thought - alternator. The one on it is a refurbished one that has been on labour a year and half. The light and gauge carried on about a week until one day it dies at a stop sign. I replaced the battery, battery terminals and tested the battery and alternator with a multimeter and they read good. It was still doing the same thing, light, gauge, dying. Without A/C, radio, lights etc. it will drive longer but eventually would die. I've had it sitting for several months and yesterday I removed the alternator and took it to AutoZone to be tested again. It tested good. That was my best guess. I heard it could still be the alternator and they just didn't test it with a high enough load so I took it to Pep Boys where they ran a different one on the alternator, starter and battery. All were good. They then tested the ground wires with a ohm meter. They said they couldn't simulate the problems I was having though so couldn't find anything. Their next suggestion was replace the terminal heads because they are painted and cracked. I've already replaced them and had the problem before I had the painted terminals. So next guess is the battery cables. I'll be replacing those myself tomorrow since they are highly worn, with this ill replace the terminals as well. Does anyone have any other ideas on possible issues? I drove the car today and the gauge never moved but the light would come on and off over and over again. Also, can I get a walk through on how to replace those cables? Does the positive hook to a junction box or the starter? I appreciate any help. I'm going through a divorce and fixing it on my own. I handled the alternator and terminals myself and am confident I can do this too with the right steps. Thanks!!
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Unread 01-29-2013   #2 (permalink)
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Looks like you're on the right track with your troubleshooting. Battery cables are definitely worth a check. They can corrode beneath the insulation where you can't see. I'd just replace them altogether since they're fairly cheap. If they don't fix the issue, at least you know they weren't the problem and they won't cause issues down the road.
Battery cables are easy fixes. Just follow where they go and unbolt them. Clean the surface before attaching the new cables. Use anti-corrosion grease if u like. Do all this with the battery unhooked, of course.
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Unread 01-30-2013   #3 (permalink)
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Auto Zone said I'd need to offer them from Ford for around $300 each.... I think it's BS, am I right? Why couldn't the cheap ones most parts stores carry work?


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Unread 01-31-2013   #4 (permalink)
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$300 for what??
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Unread 02-01-2013   #5 (permalink)
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Cheap isn't in FORD's vocabulary. You could use aftermarket ones but they still need to be fitted type to work properly. Not an easy fix for the positive cable as you will have to remove a couple of brackets that hold the cable in place as it routes it's way down to the starter. Tight fit in starter area and need to be properly routed for long life,. I would recommend doing voltage drop test on the cable before spending time and $ replacing. Get a good manual and follow test steps for symptoms first. Good manuals have diag steps and symptom charts. Ck online manuals, they are fairly inexpensive for subscription and the neighbor can't borrow and forget to bring it back. And the ex can't throw it out!LOL!
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alternator, battery cables, battery gauge, battery light



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