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Check Charging System


Well-Known Member
July 25, 2009
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City, State
Year, Model & Trim Level
2005 Limited
I have a situation where the check charging system beeps on accelerations.

It started a while back on just very hard wot accel. Now its down to moderate highway entry ramp type accelerations.

Battery is 1 year old and checks fine.
Alternator checks fine with the diagnostic checker as well as how they say to check it - output at 2000rpm.

Belts - tensioner and belt were changed two years ago (squeals), and now they have been changed again, this time the idler was changed too.

It actually seems worse with the new belt, idler, and tensioner - all OE gates.

I took the belt off and spun the alternator, no end play, no rattling, free spins, water pump-fan hub, spins but then you are spinning a fluid inside too.

Power steering pulley has typical Ford pump end play, newer fluid, compressor spins w/o indicating a symptom.

We are at 125k miles...

Looking for things to test check to avoid continued random changing of increasingly expensive components...

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You know I had this same problem. I checked all the wiring, etc. and it was fine. I have no idea if it coule be part of the problem, but one of the things I noticed was that the battery can slide forward and backward in the tray several inches (i.e., during acceleration and braking). I put a block of wood on the tray that tightens it up so it doesn't slide around. I don't get the problem anymore :dunno: Seems dumb but I wonder if the battery fluid sloshing around is what triggered the light.

I am sure a loose battery is not it - the battery is securly clamped in place with the original clamp.

Those are all nice and tight and clean, like new, no corrosion, but just in case, they were all reset and it did not fix the issue.

One thing to note is that when you do accelerate and it does not bleep the ccs, you can audibly hear the fan speed drop and then it 'catches up' after you have reached cruising speed.

Little surprised no one here has not had a charging system light come on...

could this be fixed by a shorter that standard belt when all the idler, tensioner have been replaced???

No powdering or glazing of the belts (have two).

Saw the older thread - focus was on battery, but only occurs on moderate to hard acceleration, never on jostling bad bumps, etc.

will go back & look at fusibles.

mine does it too, but only near Red Line. . .5k and over.
So far i've but in 2 alt, first was a rebuilt that failed which was replaced with a new one (Bosh). It also has a new belt, Gatorback (highly recommend) which fixed the A/C chirp on mine. Original tensioner on mine still.
My thoughts are Tensioner or Alt at this point. .????

I replaced the tensioner at 50k due to the belt squeal, now 50k later another tension, the idler, and that means techincally I am on the third belt. It does seem worse with the AC on...

The fusible links - easy to see and very clean, wiggled, no splits, etc, no change, worse with the AC on.

I seem to remember reading something about crank pulleys separating and making noise and slipping.

But then, I'm getting senile so it might have been my pants I'm thinking of.

do you have a v8 or v6?

if its a v6 you probably need a crank pulley. since the pulley is broken and stops spinning the alt.

if its a v8 your shutting down the pcm on accel by some other means.

4L is a V6 by definition.

Here should be the closer.

Today early on the bleeping became on almost all accelerations.

Then after wiggling the fusibles I shout it off, and then clicking - no battery, charged for a second, it starts, take it back to the AZ that tested the system that showed alt was performing OK, this time, 12.2 out put, way too low.

A rebuilt unit on and no more check charging system.

So it would seem that all that grief for the last 4 months came to a head today.

Simple job actually!

So it was the alternator, correct?

Glad you found it and thanks for the follow up.

My light came on last week. I continued driving on the highway for 10 minutes, my alternator completely fried.

YES it was the alternator. The funny thing is about 2 months ago when the problem got worses than an occasional bleep I asked the guys what the test was, 2000rpm and about 14 volts out put. I test OK, not liking it and having the hard accel bleeps, I went to AZ and the O, the AZ guys have a diagnostic code checker, the bat was ok as was the alternator. I terrplaced the belt idler and tension one at a time with no change. Implication was a FS10 compressor and I will say that will be next years part to change, I can tell now!

So the alternator was failing at rpm's higher than the test range and infrequently - at that time - is how I look at this now. When it went to an almost all low end accelerations yesterday it was obvious something was going to go fast. Fortunately its an easy part to change. And in typical fashion I had to disconnect the battery twice. Once to do the job, and the second time when after everything was reassembled OK, there was no sound out of the speakers.