2003 Ford Escape Change the Alternator
The alternator in your 2003 Ford Escape provides the electrical power to run your accessories, when the engine is running, and recharge the battery after it starts the engine. Like many computer-controlled cars and light trucks, a weak or inoperative alternator can cause loss of computer function when the state of charge in the battery drops below 12.5 volts. Replacing the alternator in your Escape is a home-repair project that can easily be completed in an afternoon.
Change the Alternator
- Remove the negative battery cable from the battery by loosening the 8 mm terminal bolt until you can pull the cable from the battery. Position the cable so that it can not accidentally make contact with the battery terminal.
- Apply the parking brake and block the rear wheels using wheel chocks. Raise the front of the Escape until the wheels are off the ground and position jack stands under the front sub-frame.
- Remove the serpentine drive belt rotating the tensioner arm counterclockwise until the belt can be slipped from the pulley. Allow the belt to drop onto the remaining pulleys.
- Slide under the vehicle and unplug the electrical connector plugged into the back of the alternator. Unbolt the main charging cable by removing the 13 mm nut that attaches it to the charging stud on the back of the alternator. Remove the 10 mm bolts that attach the alternator to the engine and lower the alternator to the ground.
- Bolt the new alternator into place on the engine and torque the attaching bolts to 35 ft-lbs. using a torque wrench. This prevents distortion of the alternator housing, caused by over-tightening, and premature alternator failure. Attach the charge cable to the charge stud and tighten the 13 mm nut to 18 ft-lbs. to prevent damage to the internal wiring.
- Remove the jack stands and lower the vehicle to the ground. Reinstall the serpentine belt, and reconnect the battery cable. Start the engine and confirm that the alternator is charging.