Problem just started and "check charging systems" keeps popping up in the instrument panel. I have replaced the alternator and it still says it. My battery does not keep a charge.
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2000 Lincoln Continental
Question: loosing power
Answer #1patrick mannion from Greg Solow's Engine Room, April 08, 2011, 10:42Master
Have the battery charged and hydrometer tested and high rate discharge tested. It could be a bad or unsecured battery ground cable between the battery and chassis or chassis and engine. Turn on the ignition switch to the on but not run position do you see an icon on the instrument panel representing a battery, if you do not see this battery icon the alternator is not seeing power to allow it to charge. Start the engine does the battery icon go out. Next check for power at the back of the alternator the heavy cable should have power all the time, at least one other wire should have power in the accessory on or run position of the ignition switch. A more complex but good diagnostic test is checking "voltage drop" on the battery ground and power cables. You can find a video on how to do a voltage drop test on Youtube. Put a volt meter across the battery terminals with the engine off, at rest the battery voltage should be 12.6 volts if the battery is fully charged. Now get a friend to start the car while you watch the voltmeter, the voltage reading across the battery should read approximately 14.6 volts if the alternator is charging correctly. Check your fuses s well and fuse links in case one is blown. For ore test procedures, there is a company that independent auto repair shops buy their information from that the same information inexpensively to do it yourselfers. The information is year make and model specific repair procedures, service bulletins, component locations, wiring diagrams ect.... Alldata is very easy to navigate http://bit.ly/AllData_Repair_Manuals_Online
Answer #2dandd April 08, 2011, 11:40Master
You have a power/voltage delivery problem in your charging system, it could be the wiring, the cluster, or even the Power Train Control Module which has a role in the charging system. Have a good shop put this vehicle on a scanner and look at the charging system values, to see if the computer is commanding the battery to be charged or not.
Also, are you sure that your battery is in good shape? If it is over 4 years old, then replace it ASAP!