AF: alternator choices? | Allpar Forums
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

alternator choices?

Discussion in 'Minivans · Pacifica' started by thedriver, Dec 28, 2014.

  1. thedriver

    thedriver Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2006
    Messages:
    256
    Likes:
    16
    I think my alternator is going out as my lights flicker while driving-do I have to replace a 105 amp with another 105 amp or can I upgrade to the optional 140 amp?
     
  2. valiant67

    valiant67 ...

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    Messages:
    36,672
    Likes:
    19,412
    I've replaced the alternator with the higher output ones in a couple of my Chrysler cars but never in a minivan just because the vans already had the larger one.
     
  3. tomit

    tomit Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2004
    Messages:
    277
    Likes:
    163
    If the alternator is a Denso, it may be the brush, which is replaceable.
     
  4. Rick Anderson

    Rick Anderson Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2002
    Messages:
    5,412
    Likes:
    2,042
    What lights are flickering? Cause flickering lights can have all sort of causes, and the most likely cause will be different as well.

    If you're alternator is bad, it will light the "Electric System" Warning light on the Dash (the light that looks like a car battery). Either charging system volts to high or low, or the PCM recognizing something obvious wrong with the field control will cause this light to go off. Which a bad alternator will definitely cause this, but less likely, but still possible, a really screwed up battery or a really bad short, and even a simple broken wire to the field control on the alternator.

    Of course, at that point, your bad alternator might leave stranded if its at night and you have to have your head lamps on, you may only have 20 minutes to get to a safe spot before the engine dies; maybe less depending on the shape of your battery.

    What I'm getting at, definitely troubleshoot your flickering lights, just don't jump to conclusions that you have a bad alternator. I have had OEM Denso Alternators last more than 250k miles on 4 Chrysler vehicles I've owned. The rebuilt Denso from NAPA that I replaced on my '95 Cherokee, only lasted 40k miles (the bearings went).
     
  5. Bob Lincoln

    Bob Lincoln "CHECK FAULT CODES"
    Level 2 Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2002
    Messages:
    31,883
    Likes:
    5,196
    If it's headlights, make sure the flickering is not actually loose headlamp assemblies that are vibrating slightly up and down. I've seen where that can fool you into thinking that they are flickering, when the brightness is steady, but the micromotion makes you think they are flickering.
     
  6. John Wood

    John Wood Allpar Legacy

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2002
    Messages:
    11,095
    Likes:
    166
    It is best to diagnose this rather than shotgun replace the alternator. Simply a loose connection or dirty battery connector could cause flicker. You might have a corroded ground wire... or even a loose connector at the alternator itself.

    Generally speaking, a fully charged battery with solid connections to the cable and ground will absorb or minimize flickering. If the battery is discharged (or bad) than the flickering could be the alternator. I recall having a battery that almost totally failed, and my odometer display flickered from normal to dim in cyclic pattern. The alternator was fine but the battery was faulty. That is why it is best to diagnose the problem. Many autoparts stores will do battery/alternator testing on the vehicle for no cost.
     
  7. gusc

    gusc Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2004
    Messages:
    517
    Likes:
    39
    What vehicle?

    G4 vans come with 140/160 amp alt.
     
  8. thedriver

    thedriver Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2006
    Messages:
    256
    Likes:
    16
    2006 chrysler town and country. the flickering is in all the vehicle lights, not just the headlamps. the battery is less than a year old, but I will check the connections.
     
  9. gusc

    gusc Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2004
    Messages:
    517
    Likes:
    39
    Do the lights flicker with the engine off? Try this while rocking and bouncing the van. Even better, on a bumpy/rough road for a short distance if it can be done safely.

    My guess is a loose or corroded batt/ground connection.
     
  10. thedriver

    thedriver Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2006
    Messages:
    256
    Likes:
    16
    Finally confirmation the problem is in the alternator, the flickering or low power goes away when I tap on it. So, when replacing the 140 AMP do I need to stay with another one, or can I upgrade to 160 AMP? Can I tell the difference visually between them? (I am going to the pick n pull)
     
  11. gusc

    gusc Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2004
    Messages:
    517
    Likes:
    39
    I doubt any TC ever came with the 140 amp so 160 is your best bet. Even my modestly equipped '03 GC has a 160. My '06 C has a 140.

    They look the same to me, I think the only difference is internal - windings or something like that.
     
  12. ka9yhd

    ka9yhd Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2013
    Messages:
    1,322
    Likes:
    275
    I have seen batteries last 1 year all the way to 10 years.
    When your replacing the alternator make sure all connections are clean. Including the bolts to the brackets which is the ground connection to the engine block.
     
  13. thedriver

    thedriver Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2006
    Messages:
    256
    Likes:
    16
    alternator has been replaced, problems are solved. one tidbit tho, all the directions I found said to remove the dipstick tube and roll the things out that way, it is much easier to remove the EGR valve and come straight up.
     
  14. ka9yhd

    ka9yhd Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2013
    Messages:
    1,322
    Likes:
    275
    Glad to hear you got it fixed.

    I have seen some vehicles where after you remove all of the bolts and wires you need to roll the alternator around until you can get it out. Then remember the position you had the alternator in to put it back in.
     
  15. gusc

    gusc Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2004
    Messages:
    517
    Likes:
    39
    I've had the same batt experiences, had two last 10 yrs and quite a few last 6-7. Some just make it to the warranty year though!
     

Share This Page

Loading...
 We are not affiliated with FCA. We make no claims regarding validity or accuracy of information or advice. Copyright © VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.