Alternator Caught on Fire

Blackjack

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Today the Mustang stranded me on the side of the road. First time since high school I’ve had a vehicle fail me. Waiting two hours for roadside service was just insult to injury!

I’m sitting at a red light, when all of the sudden, smoke starts pouring out of the hood vents. I quickly pull to the side of the road and kill the engine. Pull the hood latch, jump out of the car and prop the hood. The entire wire harness and the black plastic housing on the back of the alternator are completely on fire. I was able to blow on it and tamp it out, but now I’m like WTF? What the heck would have caused this?

It’s sitting at dealer now, so I’ll likely not hear anything until mid next week. I have an Anti Gravity battery and I’m a bit fearful the dealer will use that to deny the warranty. I’ve had that battery in for a few months, so I don’t think it has anything to do with it. Such a random thing to happen, and wasted the better part of the day dealing with it. Wish me luck getting it sorted.
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Soulja4187

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Today the Mustang stranded me on the side of the road. First time since high school I’ve had a vehicle fail me. Waiting two hours for roadside service was just insult to injury!

I’m sitting at a red light, when all of the sudden, smoke starts pouring out of the hood vents. I quickly pull to the side of the road and kill the engine. Pull the hood latch, jump out of the car and prop the hood. The entire wire harness and the black plastic housing on the back of the alternator are completely on fire. I was able to blow on it and tamp it out, but now I’m like WTF? What the heck would have caused this?

It’s sitting at dealer now, so I’ll likely not hear anything until mid next week. I have an Anti Gravity battery and I’m a bit fearful the dealer will use that to deny the warranty. I’ve had that battery in for a few months, so I don’t think it has anything to do with it. Such a random thing to happen, and wasted the better part of the day dealing with it. Wish me luck getting it sorted.
put the stock battery in
 

Elvis67

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atleast you were safe and ok ..and hopefully a easy fix .
 

Crowd Hunter

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Did you do the battery reset so that the BCM could relearn the charge level of the new battery?
 
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Blackjack

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I had the car tuned about two months ago, so the BCM should have reset then.

I bought the AntiGravity battery because the stock battery died after 12 months. I don’t think the battery is the issue, but anything is possible.
 

Crowd Hunter

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There are several threads on here about the Antigravity batteries not charging properly because the car keeps trying to charge it to what it thinks is a "normal" level. Resetting the BMS tells the car to relearn what normal is. I can see your alternator trying and trying to get that little battery to the level it thinks is normal and burning up in the process. Hopefully they will figure it out and it will just be a faulty part.
 

K4fxd

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If they try to blame the battery laugh at them. Now if the battery caught fire.......
 

cbdallas

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Sometimes they short, instead if simply failing. It's the alternator's fault, not your battery. Hope it didn't destroy anything else.
 
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Blackjack

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Sometimes they short, instead if simply failing. It's the alternator's fault, not your battery. Hope it didn't destroy anything else.
I think this might be it. There was scorching on the inside portion of the frame where it looked like it might have shorted. At least that’s what I’m hoping for to save any dealer drama.

The Antigravity has been in for months. I think it would have fried well before now if it was a charging issue. Oh, and it isn’t the tiny version, I bought the full size Group 47. Not saying the size matters, just clarifying.
 
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Crowd Hunter

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Sometimes they short, instead if simply failing. It's the alternator's fault, not your battery. Hope it didn't destroy anything else.
It's scary when it happens too. I was using my brand new #Dewalt 60v electric chainsaw yesterday, and the motor shorted and flames came out of it, followed by a cloud of smoke. Fires are no fun.
 

jblue

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Today the Mustang stranded me on the side of the road. First time since high school I’ve had a vehicle fail me. Waiting two hours for roadside service was just insult to injury!

I’m sitting at a red light, when all of the sudden, smoke starts pouring out of the hood vents. I quickly pull to the side of the road and kill the engine. Pull the hood latch, jump out of the car and prop the hood. The entire wire harness and the black plastic housing on the back of the alternator are completely on fire. I was able to blow on it and tamp it out, but now I’m like WTF? What the heck would have caused this?

It’s sitting at dealer now, so I’ll likely not hear anything until mid next week. I have an Anti Gravity battery and I’m a bit fearful the dealer will use that to deny the warranty. I’ve had that battery in for a few months, so I don’t think it has anything to do with it. Such a random thing to happen, and wasted the better part of the day dealing with it. Wish me luck getting it sorted.
I say blame it on Newsom! He's fixing everything in California right now, isn't he? May as well fix your car too! JK.
 

Cobra Jet

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I think your S550 is the first instance of such a failure. I have not heard of any S550 alternators failing as described - not that it can't and won't happen, just saying this may be a first on this site.

Has the Dealership Service Center performed any diagnosis yet to determine why it failed?

Loose wiring causing arcs? Failed internal bearing? Failed internal voltage regulator?
 
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Blackjack

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I think your S550 is the first instance of such a failure. I have not heard of any S550 alternators failing as described - not that it can't and won't happen, just saying this may be a first on this site.

Has the Dealership Service Center performed any diagnosis yet to determine why it failed?

Loose wiring causing arcs? Failed internal bearing? Failed internal voltage regulator?
They’re closed for the holiday. I expect to hear something by Thursday-Friday. I’ll post once they diagnose the issues.
 

WildHorse

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Just a guess, could be the difference of 13.9-Volts fully charged lead-acid battery vs 14.6-Volts fully charged Lithium Batteries. Also thought you need a BIM for Lithium bats.
 

Torched10

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Just a guess, could be the difference of 13.9-Volts fully charged lead-acid battery vs 14.6-Volts fully charged Lithium Batteries. Also thought you need a BIM for Lithium bats.
Mice?? Chewing on wires
 
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