Cant run heat and lights at the same time?

Discussion in '1993 - 1997 Ford Ranger' started by Art5, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. Art5

    Art5 New Member

    I love my 1994 Ranger. That being said I'm having a bit of trouble with it and thought I'd see what the forums thought. Last week I started having a peculiar problem. Whenever I run my heat and my headlights at the same time there is a significant drain on the battery, which is apparent on the voltage gauge, and also can be identified by a dimming of the headlights, dash lights, and accessories (led floor lights, radio, etc.). I can drive it around running my heat with no issues, and I can also drive it with the lights on without any problems, but when I run them together, I'm losing a ton of voltage. So much in fact, that my turn signals wont even blink. When this is occurring, and I have minimal voltage, simple things like hitting the brakes show even more drain on the battery, pushing the volt gauge nearly into the red zone. same with the turn signals, and my power steering feels stiff. Revving the engine pulls even more power, opposed to giving more juice! There is usually a squealing sound that accompanies this, although the condition still happens without the squealing noise sometimes. The battery tests good, and so does the alternator, although my testers maybe not the best. the alternator is pumping a little bit high, and one of the connectors at the alternator the plastic clip has broken. I have ruled out the connection because when I kill the lights and heat at idle the battery goes right back into the normal zone. Indicative that the alternator is pumping. If I shut the truck off while there is drain on the battery I have to jump it to get it running again. If i run the heat at full blast and turn my brights on, It sucks so much juice that I start losing my gauges. My temperature gauge has been acting weird recently also, it goes up to the top end of normal then drops back down real quickly. Don't know if that may be related or not. Tonight on my way home from work it was 4 degrees F and I decided to heck with it and ran my heat and my lights. when I turned on the turn signal and hit my brakes to make a turn with the heat and headlights on, it was too much and she died. Me and my coworker pushed it the couple hundred yards to his place. we jumped it, and i drove it home without the heat on and just the lights with minimal problems. What in the world is going on with my truck? Any and all help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Art.
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  3. Scrambler82

    Scrambler82 Old Guy User

    As I stated on another forum thread, have the battery and alternator load tested.
    That can reveals a weak cell in the battery or weak alternator output diodes.

    Usually an Auto Parts Store will have the equipment but some garages also have it.

    Another thought start checking your wiring, battery terminals first, are they tight, are they clean, then the solenoid connections, tight and clean.
    Grounds are another soar spot, check them for clean and tight.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2013
  4. mfernandes

    mfernandes Simply...FORD

    I would proceed in this sequence:

    1- check battery
    2- check alternator (see if its charging)
    3- chech ground on anternator
    4- check connections for all the aftermarket stuff you installed
    5- remove the leds you installed :yes:

    The last one offcourse is optional.

    I dont think the starter solenoid would be the problem; I had issues with my starter solenoid, replaced it with a brazilian brand and Im in the wait for the oem motorcraft (cames from florida) as we speak

    My 2 cents would be a problem on the alternator, for sure

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