Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Bibra Lake Western Australia
Re: 95 EL FAIRMONT - Starting to regret purchase
In any event , wipe a paper napkin or tissue across the bottom of the alternator case; if you get a pinkish brown stain power steering fluid has got into the alternator (usually terminal; a dismantle and clean will usually only give a temporary revival if any at all), if you get coolant (a burst hose will sometimes get the alternator) it will also usually be terminal but sometimes ,but not often, a dismantle, clean and replacement of the regulator will save it, if you get engine oil it's better news as is usually only a light contamination and a teardown, clean and new regulator will usually save it. Don't be tempted to try and clean the alternator without dismantling by saturating it with WD40, CRC or similar; it may temporarily revive it but it will also usually result in grease being washed out of the sealed bearing and ultimately failed alternator bearings. If there is no staining on the paper napkin and no other signs it has been contaminated with power steering fluid, oil or coolant you will have to test more thoroughly.