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I have been reading numerous posts regarding the dimming lights, flickering bat light etc. I have a 2000 V6 cougar that has exhibited all these problems. This is my first post, and hopefully I may be able to share a little bit of my experience with you. I have had my cougar for 2.5 years and when I bought it, the car had about 30 000 km on it. Since day one the intererior lights have always dimmed intermittently. I haven't been able to identify any pattern to this, other than the fact that when I first start the car up, the intermittent dimming of the light seems more noticable. I should clarify what I see. The interior guage cluster lights, the button lights for AC, fan etc., the headlights, and the stereo lights all seem to dim and then brighten. Now when I am driving at higher speeds ( say 50 km + ) the lights seem to brighten up a bit but there is still a bit of this dimming going on. I never did anything about it because the car seemed to run fine and never gave me any starting troubles. The car now has about 90 000 km on it and the dimming is still there. In addition to this recently the battery light has started to light up intermittently. It definitely does seem to light up when I rev the car. When the car is idling the bat light is dark, but when I get moving it starts to light up and the faster I go the brighter it seems to be. Now everything I have read here overwhelmingly suggests alternator replacemet. However numerous posts have been made regarding multiple alternator replacements on the same cars. This is rather odd. Most alternators should last quite a long time, and the very fact that so many people have replaced their alternator, to only have it die again, suggests to me it is not the alternator CAUSING the problem.

So now I am going to get rid of my car, and a flashing battery light, and a dimming effect from interior lighting will not help the process. I didn't want to replace the alternator, especially if that does not completely solve the problem. Up here in Calgary, Ford wants $500 just for the alternator, and parts stores want $300 +.

I did recall my battery light only started flashing after I played with the IMRC. Immediately after I did the IMRC thing where you pull the lid off and spin the motor and clean everything inside, the battery light would do this flashing thing. When I did this, I disconnected the battery ground cable. So I figured maybe I did not put the cable clamp back on properly. I took the cable clamp off and cleaned it and the battery post really good. Then I put the cable clamp back on. I tightened it really good. As well I jacked the car up, crawled under and began examining things. There were three main cable going to the alternator. The wire harness ( I think it has three wires), the power cable (thick red wire bolted on with 10 mm nut), and the thin black wire with a plastic plug on the end. I removed the power wire ( if you do this, remove the ground cable from the battery to prevent accidental arcing between ratchet, and frame) and checked it, all good except one thing, there is a rubber boot that covers the cable connection the alternator, and it was curled upwards, exposing the terminal to whatever may find its way up there. I repositioned the boot so it would cover the terminal better. As well I noticed the black wire was covered in a mixture of grease and mud. I took this plug off cleaned it and cleaned the terminal it latches on to. Now I don't know what this wire is for but I think that the cleaning of the little connection may help. I think that this wire connects either directly or indirectly to the BAT light.

What I can tell you is that the flashing BAT light is gone. I don' t know if the cleaning of the battery terminals helped or the cleaning of the alternator black wire helped but immediately after I did this, the BAT light hasn't come back on again.

Regarding the dimming of the lights inside but I have some theories that I will try to follow up on at a later time.
I don't know if any of this helps, but I know that it is nice not to see that BAT light flashing anymore.
 
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