Since I got the truck back in business, I’ve been driving it regularly. Over the last two weeks I noticed the vehicle seemed to have a hard time getting fuel. I suspected an issue with the fuel supply but wasn’t 100% sure. Every now and then when I came to a stop the truck seemed like it wanted to stall. As I continued to drive, every now and then it seemed like it was not getting the fuel despite the fact I did not let up on the gas pedal.
I did some research on google and a lot of threads recommended changing the fuel filter. I did additional searches to get an idea of how to replace the filter and could not believe how easy it is to access and replace. The local repair shop quoted me about $75 to replace it. I bought the part at AutoZone for $9.74 which is a savings of $65.26 had I taken it to the shop.
After everything was all said and done the test drive was very smooth. There was no sense of stalling when I came to a stop and as I was driving I did not feel any hesitation. The best part is that the truck starts up right away and I no longer need to keep my foot on the gas pedal to keep it running to warm it up. All this time I thought it was just an issue with the engine being cold. You live and learn!
I’ve had this 1990 Ford F-150 since April 2014 and I’ve known there was an issue with either the battery, alternator or there was a parasitic draw that would kill the battery within 18-24 hours. I haven’t had the time to really look into it until now. I’ve done some research to get a few ideas of what to check for. I had a hunch it was the alternator after I replaced the battery and the next morning it wouldn’t even crank.
The reason that sparked this adventure was that my 2007 Nissan Frontier wouldn’t start either. I figured since I needed to head over to Auto Zone, I better make good use of my time and kill two birds with one trip. I took both batteries over and they tested them both. The battery from my Nissan turned out to be bad but the Ford’s test results were positive, so I left the battery with them overnight to fully charge it.
The afternoon of (Super Bowl XLIX) I mustered up the energy to tackle the alternator. Mind you, I am no mechanic but I managed to remove the alternator with ease. Of course I took a lot of photos to document the connections, bolts, etc… to make sure things go back the way they were removed. I also documented the socket sizes to remove the guess-work for the next time I have to perform this task. The tension and bottom bolt for the alternator used a 5/8 socket and the top bolt for the alternator used a 9/16 socket. Then there was the 8 socket for the battery brace.
The entire process including the removal of the alternator, the trip to Auto Zone to pick up the battery (left overnight to charge), purchasing and installing the new alternator took less than an hour. It cost me a grand total of $95.29 just for the part. I got a quote from a few local auto shops and it would have cost me around $375 – $440. So I saved myself around $279 – $344. A little elbow grease, a little research mixed with willingness and a can-do attitude equals big savings.