Got stranded last night...battery light - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 07-09-2014, 06:52 AM
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Got stranded last night...battery light

Well let me start off the story and I'd like some feedback as to how I should handle it and what else to look at.

First off, my battery light came on on my way to Auburn for my orientation at Auburn University. When I got there I parked it at the hotel and it sat for 2 days. When I got back to it, it started over much slower than normal. I had the truck tested and they said it was the alternator. I bought a new one and installed it...that belt was a B**** to put back on. After I put on the new alternator; I had drained the batteries trying to start it before replacing the alternator and i had to jump it off. It started up and the battery gauge went up to its normal spot. I start my way home down 280 and the light came back on and I just kept driving hoping it wasn't anything and I could make it back home. About 45 min into my drive the radio turned off and everything died. Luckily I had enough juice to pull into advance 5 min before they closed. Bought 2 new batteries thinking I had drained them from the bad alternator in the beginning plus they are 2 and a half years old. I put the new ones on and it starts fine and battery gauge goes up to normal. Battery light is still on so I asked if they would test everything so I wouldn't get stranded on the side of the road after all the parts stores are closed. He checked the alternator and it was bad off the shelf!!! They didn't have one in Stock so I had to leave it there and wait until 12 for my brother to come get me. Should autozone be held responsible for my 2 batteries I had to replace or just the alternator? Also is there anything else I could check? I checked the ground that comes off the passenger side battery and it's good and I cleaned all the terminals. I can't see where the ground off the drivers side battery goes so any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-09-2014, 08:06 AM
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I replaced three alternators on my 01 before I read on here to not even attempt to start without fully recharging both batteries. Low batts will kill an alt on startup. The last alt I put on my old 01 actually tested bad on Vatozones tester but it lasted three years before I wrecked it.
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Old 07-09-2014, 08:08 AM
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1. Yes an alternator and battery can be bad off the shelf
2. When you know the batteries are dead you should always charge batteries before throwing a new alternator at them so you don't burn up the new alternator
3. There is some blame on your end but I would think they should warranty the alternator
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Old 07-09-2014, 09:56 AM
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Ya I didn't hold them to the batteries but i got the new alternator and threw it on and I'm currently driving the rest of my trip home now with no battery light. Thanks for the help guys!
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Old 07-09-2014, 10:01 AM
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ive heard that getting a bad alternator off the shelf is probably more common than getting one that will work off the shelf (from autozone, advance auto parts etc..) I bought a ford alternator to the tune of 275 bucks i think, lasted 13 months, went to advance and had to try two alternators but the second one was a winner.
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Old 07-10-2014, 09:12 AM
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Yep, autozone was the only parts store with it in stock. Trust me I never go to anyone besides NAPA and O'Reillys. This is exactly why and I had them check the 2nd alternator before I left, thankfully it checked out and I haven't had any problems so far after 200 miles of driving
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Old 07-14-2014, 05:36 PM
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I only buy starters and alternators from places that can test them while I watch. Changed out a starter in an old ford of mine, lying on hot pavement in the middle of summer. To say I was p***ed when the starter was DOA was an understatement. Took it back immediately, had them test the next one and it too was DOA! Third one was fine.
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