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View Full Version : car trouble and need help with diagnosis


baedriver
02-21-2008, 07:35 PM
I have a 2002 ford explorer (66,000 miles V8). About two months ago I went out to the car and the battery was dead (battery was 6months old) I jumped it thinking I left something on. I was wrong two days later battery was dead again. I jumped it and took it to a buddy's shop. The funny thing is the 4*4 lights were flickering on the dash and also the door ajar lights stays on with door closed. When i shut the car off and opened the door the stereo stayed on and dome light would not go off after door was closed. The shop checked alternator and all systems were good. They said try to get the battery repalced for free and take it to ford. I repalced the battery and took the car to ford and everything was fine. Today same thing happened all over again. This time when I got to work I disconnected the battery so I could get the car started again. It worked and now everything is working normally again. Any ideas???????????????

Thanks

88 PS190
02-21-2008, 07:44 PM
Had a few GMC's that it was a circuit in the radio causing a similar run down, but not with the door ajar lights

Door switches are all good?

baedriver
02-21-2008, 07:54 PM
door switches seem to be good. I can't think of what is running the battery down. No one can diagnose the problem unless it is a problem at that time.

TMCNo1
02-21-2008, 07:58 PM
On my wife's '99 Exploder, if the rear hatch is not closed really hard it will cause the 'Door Ajar' light to burn, but everything including the interior lights will shut off after 20 minutes to prevent battery rundown if left on or open.

Jerseydave
02-21-2008, 08:27 PM
My sister's Windstar had a similar problem. As I recall the sliding side door was the problem because of poor electrical contact at the series of contact "pins" which control various lights, etc.

Of heard some Fords are a nightmare when it comes to electrical problems. Leave it with the dealer for some time if you can (a week might be necessary)

88 PS190
02-21-2008, 08:33 PM
Of heard some Fords are a nightmare when it comes to electrical problems.

That's for sure, ever had an alternator light on fire? Only in a ford...

As far as leaving it at the dealer... I wouldn't count on that doing anything.

Dealerships are not in the business of providing their full attention to your car for a week. They are going to look at it, not find something wrong, make a note in the computer, park it out back and print an invoice. A good mechanic who specialises in car electronic systems will do you right.

He's going to need to trace wires for bad connections and shorts.

ridesdirt
02-21-2008, 08:59 PM
door switches seem to be good. I can't think of what is running the battery down. No one can diagnose the problem unless it is a problem at that time.


Seem is the key word here.

I dont make a living fixing cars, but I have fixed a few. Electrical problems are the worst! From the info given, you probably have some sort of short in a door switch or door switch curcuit. If you open the door and the radio does not cut off, and your door ajar light stays on when the door is closed.....

But it could be something else, I would just start with the obvious.

88 PS190
02-21-2008, 11:33 PM
I would be tempted to focus on that 4X4 light, and figure out what triggers it on/off that is the most unusual symptom, as in interior lights etc. are attached to the door switch, which I would think is the problem.

So unless the 4X4 light is coming on due to battery failure (all the lights come on in my car when my alternator goes out)

ridesdirt
02-22-2008, 09:48 PM
good point, i didn't pay close enough attention to the original post.

Footin
02-23-2008, 03:21 PM
First thing I would look at are the "parasite" items.....aftermarket radio, CD changer and other non stock items.

Did you install any of these recently? It is suprising what electric gremlins they can cause.

jakethebt
02-23-2008, 05:24 PM
I have a 99 Windstar and a few years ago we had a similar battery problem that was linked to a bad drivers door sensor. It was intermittent and would kill the battery if we left it too ling. It was very annoying. I also changed the battery first which was 3 years old anyway. I called the dealership and they had like 20+ parts in stock, so I was apparently not the only one changing them out. It was not a technically difficult part to replace, but it was inside the door which made hard to get to. Good luck...

TOO-TALL
02-23-2008, 11:59 PM
I had this happen tonight on a 1999 tarus.On the way back from the Liquid edge(nice open house Doug).Back to the car.

Battery is only two years old.
Driving home the head lights and all the lights on the inside of the car go dull ,dash, radio everything.
Then the airbag light comes on.
Then the low fuel light comes on.
The tach quits.
The speedometer quits
All the light go out inside and out.
Car is still running.
I drive maybe half mile.Car sputters.I turn into a parking lot.car dies :mad:
Turn key to start car...nothing. I here a clicking sound and the windshield wipers come on moving very slow.
I call tow truck and my father to come get me.
Car sits for 15 minutes doing nothing
Tow truck shows up and the car starts fine all lights are bright like nothing ever happend....***!!!!!
Car is at repair shop tonight

88 PS190
02-24-2008, 12:46 PM
I had this happen tonight on a 1999 tarus.On the way back from the Liquid edge(nice open house Doug).Back to the car.

Battery is only two years old.
Driving home the head lights and all the lights on the inside of the car go dull ,dash, radio everything.
Then the airbag light comes on.
Then the low fuel light comes on.
The tach quits.
The speedometer quits
All the light go out inside and out.
Car is still running.
I drive maybe half mile.Car sputters.I turn into a parking lot.car dies :mad:
Turn key to start car...nothing. I here a clicking sound and the windshield wipers come on moving very slow.
I call tow truck and my father to come get me.
Car sits for 15 minutes doing nothing
Tow truck shows up and the car starts fine all lights are bright like nothing ever happend....***!!!!!
Car is at repair shop tonight

Yours sounds like a bad negative battery cable.

ShamrockIV
02-24-2008, 12:48 PM
we had a 99 windstar!! had to replace the puter that runs everyd@mn thing on it!!!! BIG $$$$$$ !!!!

Leroy
02-24-2008, 01:30 PM
Unless someone come on with the magic solution....

Get a wiring schematic from one of the service manuals, I know our library has them and you can copy pages there. Then with a VOM check current draw from the battery and then you will just need to go checking the different branches of wiring. You may have to check several times before you find it in the problem state and I expect it to be drawing several amps. You can also pull fuses and see when the current draw goes to nearly zero. Also check the voltage anywhere you can, you may have a loose ground or hot wire and only providing partial voltage.

I have a 2002 ford explorer (66,000 miles V8). About two months ago I went out to the car and the battery was dead (battery was 6months old) I jumped it thinking I left something on. I was wrong two days later battery was dead again. I jumped it and took it to a buddy's shop. The funny thing is the 4*4 lights were flickering on the dash and also the door ajar lights stays on with door closed. When i shut the car off and opened the door the stereo stayed on and dome light would not go off after door was closed. The shop checked alternator and all systems were good. They said try to get the battery repalced for free and take it to ford. I repalced the battery and took the car to ford and everything was fine. Today same thing happened all over again. This time when I got to work I disconnected the battery so I could get the car started again. It worked and now everything is working normally again. Any ideas???????????????

Thanks

tommcat
02-24-2008, 02:15 PM
did the dealer check all systems for codes, run oasis and check for TSBs and SSMs?