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Jim Grant Tech Tips Jim Grant Tech Tips
A collection of helpful articles based on reader submissions
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  Jim Grant's Tech TipsJim Grant's Tech Tips
Below is a collection of Jim Grant's Tech Tips sorted by Vehicle Make. These Tech Tips were answers to questions submitted to Jim by ALLDATAdiy.com users over the course of many years.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email us.
 
 

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  Jim Grant's Tech Tips

85 Ford LTD, Charging System
Q: I own an '85 ford LTD with a 3.8 liter engine. The charging system is not charging the battery. I have changed the alternator and voltage regulator. Still, I have no charging light and the system is not charging. What is the problem?

A: It sounds as if your alternator is not being told to charge. The reason for your problem could very well be related to the Charge Light on your dash. The charging system on your vehicle needs to know when the ignition switch is on. When the ignition switch is on, electricity from the switch travels through a wire to the Charge Light on your dash. From the Charge Light, the wire continues out to the voltage regulator, which completes the circuit, to light the bulb. This electrical signal also cues the voltage regulator to activate the alternator, once the alternator's charging the light goes out. It's a reasonably simple electrical circuit.

A non-functioning Charge Light indicates the following possibilities; a defective voltage regulator, a bad electrical connection or broken wire to the voltage regulator, a failed Charge Light bulb and resistor (the resistor is a backup in the electrical circuit in case the bulb fails) or there is no electrical power from the ignition switch.

Have your technician determine if the electrical signal to activate the charging system is present at the voltage regulator with the key on. If the activation signal is present then there's a problem with the voltage regulator. If not, then you'll have to check the wiring.

 
     
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