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I believe my alt. is going out. While the car is running, (any rpm) my voltage will drop to about 12V and then go back to normal. This happens about every 5 minutes and for only about .5 seconds. All grounds and connections are good and I have no aftermarket ignition systems. This also happens with the headlamps on or off, although I notice it more with the headlamps on because the lights dim momentarily. With 61,000 miles, I figure I have been pretty lucky with it.

Anyone ever have the same problem? I'm probably going to swap out the alternator anyways. It is hard to troubleshoot intermittent problems and I would hate to wait until it completely goes out on me.
 

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hmm.. I have a digital voltmeter and at start ups it stays ~13.8-14.3. Once the headlights are on, AC on it drops down to 13.2 once it went all the way to 12.9! I do realize having the AC and headlights on due draw power, but what is funny is I would disconnect the battery for about 30 minutes or so and reconnect and 14.6 shows up. It stays around 14.3-14.6 for a few days, then all of a sudden while driving/ with nothing on besides the radio it stays at 13.5? Is this a sign of a dying alt? Cause my car (maybe a placebo) but at 14V+ my car feels stronger than at 13.3.
 

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It sounds like a voltage regulation problem, which means the alternator. At 61K miles, I would suggest changing the battery first, if you hane not done that already: #1, it's due. #2 batteries are cheaper than an alt. If you do end up having to change the alt, and it sounds like you do, there should't be any questions left about your electrical system for the next 61K miles.
 

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yea id say yur pretty lucky ownin a focus w/ 60k miles and never had a alternator problem. if you plan on changing it out. beware..its a bi***...if your batt. is new id leave it..if yur batt is old or original u may consider replacing it too..if the battery is crap then yur alternator will not be able to charge its full potential.
 

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Also, make sure the battery is fully charged otherwise the alternator can be taken out by the dead battery.
 
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