Hey Guys…please help me with this problem. I’m 73 and have no car to drive until I fix this. Thanks. :o)
I have a 2000 Ford Contour SE 6 cylinder. It has about 120k miles on it.
In August, 2017 when it was really hot, the car overheated one time. After that, it ran OK, but started leaking a small amount of oil. In early September, the alternator stopped charging, so I had it replaced. The guy who did the work told me that the leaking oil had ruined the alternator. He said that the oil leak was from the valve cover gasket.
I drove the car without fixing the leak, as the estimated cost to replace the valve cover gasket was $200, and the leak was very small. I put cardboard under the car, and the leak spot each time I ran the car was only maybe 2” in diameter. So far, so good.
Then, in about December, I was driving down a busy street, and some Bozo was going really-slow, like he was looking for something, so decided to to go around him, and I punched the gas, which I almost never do.
At that time, there was a short clunk sound, like the engine had lifted up a bit due to a broken motor mount. It has never done this previously. In addition, 2 warning lights lit up on my instrument panel. One was for the battery, and the other for the rear brakes, which were down to the metal. This has never happened before.
The question here is why they suddenly went on under this circumstance? But there’s more.
I drove the car home without incident and parked it. The next morning, the battery was dead, so I carried it to O’Reilly, where I had purchased it, and they charged it. I put it back in the car, and only drove a bit.
The next morning, the battery was dead again, so I carried it back to O’Reilly, and they had to replace it because it was bad. I then drove back up there, and they ran a test on the charging system. Their equipment showed that the alternator was putting out 18 volts, and thus overcharging the battery.
I am aware that the regulator is on the alternator, so that’s a big job to replace on this car. When I had it replaced in September, it took 2 hours for the mobile mechanic to replace it and cost me $180. Some of the mobile mechanics wouldn’t even do it.
Here are my points:
Based on my automotive knowledge, it makes no sense for the battery and brakes light to go on under the circumstances in which they did. Possibly if the motor mount is bad, when I hit the gas, the engine raised up and shorted something out.
I don’t want to spend another $300 for a rebuilt alternator and the labor, only to find out that this isn’t the cause.
Please help me to figure this one out.