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Thread: Alternator noise that went away after servicing the battery

  1. #1
    Member EaOutlaw1969's Avatar
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    Default Alternator noise that went away after servicing the battery

    Hi guys it has been awhile since I posted or even got on this forum I have been dealing with health issues.
    Anyways since I purchased my 2007 Ford Crown Vic LX Sport in late November last year I have only put just over 600 miles on it.
    When I got it I noticed a new battery and fairly clean cable ends.
    I try to start it every week or two and at minimum I let it run till the temperature gauge shows that it is up to normal operating temperature.
    A couple weeks ago I noticed a slight alternator noise that could have passed for a power steering whine ( I confirmed the Alternator was noisy with a mechanic stethoscope )

    Since I was convinced the alternator was noisy I checked the voltage at the alternator while it was running and it was just under 13 volts but the alternator was screaming like it was charging at max output.
    I noticed a little corrosion at both battery cable ends so I disconnected and removed the battery and gave it a nice slow charge.
    I also cleaned the terminals and cable ends.

    Once the battery was fully charged I put it back together started the engine and checked the voltage which was showing 14.40 Volts which seemed a little high for me and the alternator was still screaming.

    So I was going to replace the alternator but while I was waiting to get paid so I could order one I had to run to the store and the car wash.
    Once I got the car up to speed then said hell with it and kicked on the A/C immediately I thought I heard the noise go away.

    It has been a few days since this happened and the noise is still gone, My question is because the computer controls the alternator could it be the car had to get up to a certain speed or under a certain load and speed to get the computer to reset the regulator?

    I was fully expecting the alternator to get quiet immediately after servicing the battery if it was going to get quiet at all I was not ready for this delayed response.

    So will I need a alternator or some other parts as well or is all good and this is normal?

    Thanks for any help with this.
    2007 Ford Crown Victoria LX Sport

  2. #2
    Wagon Addicted Tiggie's Avatar
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    Check the voltage on your battery before starting. I am wondering if it’s a bit weak. Low 13’s is okay but I would personally expect to see a bit higher at initial start up on a normal charged battery.

    I keep my wife’s S10 on a battery tender (it sits a lot), and it still runs up to high 14’s the first ten minutes or so, and returns to 13.8 after driving.
    1988 Crown Vic Wagon - daily
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  3. #3
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    if the battery sense connection was bad, it will charge at full voltage. Poor contact with the battery makes the alternator run everything in the car with no filtering, it doesn't like that either.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
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    Member EaOutlaw1969's Avatar
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    Thanks guys I will keep a eye on it and I will double check the battery voltage now that it has sat overnight. I have a smart battery charger with a test mode and after I charged it the battery tested good and is or I should was new last year.

    I guess I will have to get a trickle charger for my car.

    So I have to assume the noise did not go away because until I got the car up to speed because the computer would not reset the charging system until it completed some sort of self diagnostics?

    I am still concerned because if I was working in a garage environment and this was a customers car I would have just replaced the alternator because I do not know enough about cars newer than 2002.
    2007 Ford Crown Victoria LX Sport

  5. #5
    Stow It! GM_Guy's Avatar
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    Make sure you buy a trickle charger that actuallly shuts down when the battery is charged, and only comes back on as a maintanence charge. Constant trickle charging will also kill a battery.

  6. #6
    Member EaOutlaw1969's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GM_Guy View Post
    Make sure you buy a trickle charger that actuallly shuts down when the battery is charged, and only comes back on as a maintanence charge. Constant trickle charging will also kill a battery.
    Thanks
    2007 Ford Crown Victoria LX Sport

  7. #7
    Member EaOutlaw1969's Avatar
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    I took the car for a decent ride yesterday and it did great so I am guessing the alternator is fine no noises or warning lights etc.
    2007 Ford Crown Victoria LX Sport

  8. #8
    Member BigMerc96's Avatar
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    I've seen all kinds of weirdness with computer controlled alternators and discharged batteries or bad battery connections. The computer wants the battery to be at a certain voltage and it will do what it can to make sure it gets there, including bumping the charge voltage as high as 15v on some cars. This, of course, causes the alternator to be under a pretty heavy load and they can make noise as a result. Once the battery is up to the desired voltage, everything goes back to normal. Because there is little in the way of feedback on battery charge state aside from voltage, a bad connection too the battery will cause them to boost alternator output as if the battery were bad.

    Related tangent: On vehicles that don't have some sort of amperage monitor on the battery cables (which a lot of newer cars do but Panthers don't) you'll see it do some weird things. Chrysler vehicles in particular, I've seen the charge voltage fluctuate down at regular intervals with a discharged/bad battery almost as if they're cutting the alternator charge voltage back momentarily to see how the battery reacts. That may very well be what they're doing, I don't know, but it will cause the alternator to fail an on-vehicle test and has probably caused more than a few alternator replacements that weren't needed. Cars with an amperage monitor on the battery don't seem to do that and they also seem to have batteries that last a lot longer than typical, I've been seeing a lot of factory batteries out of GM vehicles from '10-'12 (around when GM started adding amperage monitoring to some models) lately which is a good 3-4 years longer than the typical lifespan of a battery in Michigan. Its not unusual to see batteries last 10 years in your German cars with sophisticated battery monitoring systems. With typical car battery technology at a virtual halt in development and cars getting more and more advanced with more electrical/electronic loads, they need to do something and for better or for worse it seems more advanced charging and monitoring systems is the way they are going.
    -Steve

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  9. #9
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    its a more sensible way of charging a battery to monitor it for both current and voltage vs just dumping a basically fixed voltage into it. I can believe that with better charge control the battery life is extended.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

  10. #10
    Stow It! GM_Guy's Avatar
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    I'm not complaining about a constant 14.7 charge voltage, I've always got long life out of my batteries (typically around 10 years, sometimes longer, sometimes not quite 10).

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