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Old 11-13-2013, 15:56   #1 (permalink)
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Do I nedd a new alternator?

I have a 1997 Crown Vic LX. Turn key nothing happens.

So I jumped the battery and the car started fine. Drove around for an hour and pulled back into the garage. When I tried to start the car again nothing happened. The radio won't even come on. Do I need a new battery or alternator or both. Maybe there's something I'm missing but I'm assuming it has to be one of these two things.

Please help.
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Old 11-13-2013, 16:03   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Do I nedd a new alternator?

Could be one or both . Need to get battery load tested , if any dud cells it wont hold a charge .Get alternator output checked also .
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Old 11-13-2013, 16:39   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Do I nedd a new alternator?

do you know if the alternator is on the top or side for that year (1997) Crown Vic?
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Old 11-13-2013, 16:51   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Do I nedd a new alternator?

More than likely its a bad battery. You say you can jump start it, drive around for a bit then when you turn it off it won't start again? That's a classic symptom of a bad battery. Going by what you described the alternator seems to be doing its job supplying the power needed to keep the car running.
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Old 11-13-2013, 18:42   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Do I nedd a new alternator?

Thanks for all the help!
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Old 11-14-2013, 22:17   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Do I nedd a new alternator?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Purple88 View Post
do you know if the alternator is on the top or side for that year (1997) Crown Vic?
as far as i am aware, the 4.6L had alternator mounted in middle on top... as far as what issue could be... the car can be jumped and ran ... since it runs till shut down, the battery is shot or you have dirty and or bad cables to battery... working in shops i have seen where the cables connecting to battery are a mess and just cleaning the posts and cable ends solved issue...
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Old 12-22-2013, 14:23   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Do I nedd a new alternator?

You can test the alternator or take it to like Oreillys to have it checked. Or you can use a volt meter. when the engine is running you should get a voltage like 13.5 volts from the main wire going to the battery. If not then the alternator is probably bad. They battery reading with the car turned off should be around 12 volts. Its either the battery or alternator. Other than that is would be some electrical wiring issues. You could also check the serpentine belt tensioner. Sometimes they are too weak and at high rpms the belt will slip (not always making a weird noise) and not spin the alternator fast enough, if this was the problem you might also get some heating issues and powersteering would feel more difficult. hope this helps.
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Old 12-28-2013, 14:47   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Do I nedd a new alternator?

To test the alternator, get the engine running and with a volt meter, measure the voltage at the battery terminals. The reading should be from 14 - 14.5 volts with no lights/accesories on if the alternator/voltage regulator is good and the battery is bad. If the reading is lower, it may be from a loose alternator belt or a bad voltage regulator. When the engine is running and you turn on the headlights, the battery voltage should stay at the above voltage. If not, the voltage regulator is bad. In the above test, if you get a reading below 14V (say 12-13V) it could also mean a defective alternator. If the battery is bad, when you turn off the engine after several minuets, the battery voltage will start to drop quickly and reach below 12V within several minuets to an hour with nothing turned on.
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