Jim Grant's Tech Tips
98 Ford Explorer, Multiple Lemon Alternators
I have a Ď98 Ford Explorer that I bought new. It has been a money pit ever since. Last summer the alternator failed so I had it replaced. The replacement alternator was making some weird ticking noises so they gave me a new one two weeks after it had been installed. It has been six months and suddenly the battery light came on and the service station replaced the alternator again. Are all these alternators lemons like my car, or is there something in the system that can go wrong that causes an alternator to malfunction?
- Cindy Johnson
It does happen that way from time to time. A bad battery can cause repeated alternator failures. Even though the battery is good enough to start the engine, it just loads the alternator too much resulting in alternator failures. So be sure the battery is tested thoroughly. But, weíve had some vehicles that we just could not keep an alternator on. We even changed brands before it was all said and done. I know itís not the answer youíre looking for, but it happens. Itís just the way cars are.