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Hi my alternater and negative battery cable gets really hot after running for a short time ford Explorer 2004

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you might check your battery connection for corrosion. corrosion on the battery cable can cause excessive resistance and that would generate more heat. It could cause the alternator to constantly overcharge the system.

I have seen alternators that get hot enough to cook on but those are usually because a bearing is going out.

Check out the charging voltage at idle and with all the loads on at 2000 rpm. Should be in the area of 13.8 to 14.2. A little over or under would be okay. 15 volts or higher is going to be a problem.

Hot is also a relative thing. How hot is hot? Hot as in warmer that the positive cable or hot as in I can't put my hand on it without getting burned? Is the insulation on the cable getting soft from the heat? Do you see anything smoking?

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