Bad Alternator/Voltage Regulator?
'97 Taurus GL, 3.0L V6 VIN U, 132K miles.
Recently noticed my headlights and dash lights occasionally flicker. At cruise speed they are somewhat dim and brighten up during mild acceleration. If you accelerate hard and bring RPM above 3500 the battery light comes on. Of course that could be just a worn tensioner.
My suspicion is alternator/voltage regulator.
1. What do you think?
2. What is the voltage with headlights on (or other accessories: blower, defroster) for this model? 14.7?
3. Can the voltage regulator be replaced? If so, is it the black module on the side of the alternator? Finally, is it worth it, or should I just go for the whole alternator given a price difference of about $50 ($110 for reman alternator; $60 for voltage regulator).