"Check Charge System"....

Post Reply
thevans1
Regular Member
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Jan 16, 2011 10:38 am

"Check Charge System"....

Post by thevans1 » Tue Sep 06, 2011 7:06 pm

Replaced the battery today.

When driving home a battery symbol appeared along with this message
"Check Charging System"

Anyone know what it means?



Ford Freestyle 2005
141,400 miles, front wheel drive


User avatar
Africa_FS_07
Regular Member
Posts: 1617
Joined: Sat Apr 09, 2011 10:57 am
Location: Africa

Re: "Check Charge System"....

Post by Africa_FS_07 » Wed Sep 07, 2011 6:38 am

thevans1 wrote:Replaced the battery today.

When driving home a battery symbol appeared along with this message
"Check Charging System"

Anyone know what it means?

it means that your Battery is not charging properly.

1.....is the alternator sending the right current to the Battery, is the alternator charging ok?

2....is your new battery the right amps?

3....i'd check the charging cables and connector too

my thoughts.
i wonder who "Voodoo Bob of the Dead Poets Society" is hounding now.....:mrgreen:

User avatar
andyf80
Regular Member
Posts: 188
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 1:40 pm

Re: "Check Charge System"....

Post by andyf80 » Wed Sep 07, 2011 11:17 am

I agree - if the battery was replaced with a stock replacement I would highly suspect a connection issue.

Also, have you had the charging system tested? The battery you replaced may indeed be bad, but could have gone bad due to a bad alternator.

If you have a volt meter and you're alternator is working appropriately the battery should read roughly 14v with the engine running. I would recommend getting the charging system checked at the local auto parts store. They'd be able to diagnose a bad alternator.

Alternatively, you can run the 'test' mode on your dash display and one of the test function will tell you the alternator output. See under 'misc.' section HERE.
2005 Freestyle 50k
2006 Honda Shadow

jfreas
New Member
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat May 07, 2011 7:11 pm

Re: "Check Charge System"....

Post by jfreas » Tue Oct 18, 2011 12:45 pm

andyf80 wrote:I agree - if the battery was replaced with a stock replacement I would highly suspect a connection issue.
It may not be the battery or the connection. I've had the same problem for awhile and just found the solution: The voltage regulator!
This one was very hard to troubleshoot because technically there is nothing wrong with either the alternator or the battery. Let me explain...

My battery is fine, the alternator is putting out 14+ Volts while the light is on (verified by a cigarette lighter volt meter) and the battery holds a 12.5 volt charge and tests OK under load.

First we replaced the alternator with a remanufactured unit and it made no difference. My mechanic called around and learned that rebuilt alternators often did not cure the problem, but new ones did. We replaced the alternator with a new unit and the problem went away. Here's why:

The Ford charging system is fairly high-tech. The Powertrain Control Unit (PCU) commands the voltage regulator in the alternator to deliver the voltage it wants by way of a pulse modulated voltage on a signal line to the alternator. The PCU then verifies that the message was received by looking for the same signal to come back from the alternator on a separate line. In our case the voltage regulator was not sending back the confirmation signal and the PCU lit the light because it suddenly didn't know what the alternator was doing.

The interesting (and frustrating thing) is that the rebuilt unit did the same thing. I can only conclude that some (many?) companies that rebuild these alternators are not testing for this function and so many units that had failed are returned to the field in an un-repaired condition.

I'm also frustrated by the fact that the actual alternator is fine. It works great. Rather, a secondary function of the voltage regulator which probably costs $5.00 stopped working and ended up costing me the price of a new alternator :cry:
2005 Freestyle Limited
Pueblo Gold

Wheelman
Regular Member
Posts: 1607
Joined: Fri May 20, 2005 9:31 am
Location: Yorkton, Saskatchewan Canada

Re: "Check Charge System"....

Post by Wheelman » Tue Oct 18, 2011 11:06 pm

As mentioned earlier the rebuild is not complete. I once had a replaced alternator on a 1977 Chev that lasted about twenty minutes. It had a faulty diode. The second rebuild was fine. So often these rebuilds a sloppy or incomplete.

Szyszka
Regular Member
Posts: 30
Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2007 5:19 am

Re: "Check Charge System"....

Post by Szyszka » Wed Oct 19, 2011 8:23 am

I also got my alternator replaced. It took 3 tries to get the thing working again. Per my shop mechanic, the alternators they received from their supplier were DOA. Reading the above, maybe it was not really the case but... oh, well.. live and learn!

jfreas
New Member
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat May 07, 2011 7:11 pm

Re: "Check Charge System"....

Post by jfreas » Wed Oct 19, 2011 12:17 pm

Szyszka wrote:I also got my alternator replaced. It took 3 tries to get the thing working again. Per my shop mechanic, the alternators they received from their supplier were DOA. Reading the above, maybe it was not really the case but... oh, well.. live and learn!
Well it might as well be D.O.A. if the light doesn't go out when they put the replacement unit in. It's just frustrating that whoever is rebuilding these things isn't checking everything to make sure it really works. It would seem to me that it would save them money in the long run on returns.
2005 Freestyle Limited
Pueblo Gold

Andky75
New Member
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:03 am

Re: "Check Charge System"....

Post by Andky75 » Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:33 am

You mentioned you tried a remanufactured alternator your 2005 freestyle. My question is was it remanufactured by Ford or was it an aftermarket alternator? My wife is having same issue and we got an alternator that was redone by Ford (motorcraft). Try that one or go brand new?

Thanks

mlacomb
Regular Member
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2017 3:36 pm

Re: "Check Charge System"....

Post by mlacomb » Sun Oct 22, 2017 7:02 pm

I've got an 05 SE that I noted the battery light popping up on my ride home. Bought a brand new one from fordparts.com shipped to my home, we'll see if that's it. I did buy a new battery a few months ago, connections are tight as a drum.

Post Reply