Car won't start, clicking under hood - Taurus Car Club of America : Ford Taurus Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-13-2017, 06:43 PM Thread Starter
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Car won't start, clicking under hood

It has been awhile since I posted. Well today I went out to my car just to get a few things out and when I pressed the unlock on the key fob the lights we're dim. I was like damn not again! Now see last week car wouldn't start so got a friend to jump it and started right up. Went to Autozone and got a new battery. Car has been riding fine since then. Fast forward to today. After seeing the lights dim I already knew she wouldn't start. I tried to start her and heard the clicking again. Now I changed out the starter this past summer so I am pretty sure it's not the starter. But nor am I extremely knowledgeable about cars and parts. So I called up the same friend and he said probably the alternator. I am learning as I go so any input would be great. There is a huge snow storm tonight and tomorrow so I wasn't planning on moving the car but have an appointment Wednesday. Was going to take the car to the mechanic tomorrow anyway for regular maintenance but the storm will probably put that on the back burner. Any suggestions are welcomed!

2004 Ford Taurus SE
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-13-2017, 08:01 PM
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Yes sounds like the alternator. This basically keeps the battery charged up. The part itself is about $150-$200 however I don't know about the labour involved. It's not a major issue.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-13-2017, 08:07 PM
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Just because a battery is new doesnt mean it is good. Have it load tested. Years ago, I had a brand new Sears Diehard last 3 days and then dead. Shorted cell. ANd battery quality control has gone down the toilet since that incident probably 20 years ago.

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-13-2017, 08:26 PM
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^+1
Not unheard of for a new battery to be bad. Have it charged and tested before you shell out anymore cash.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-13-2017, 08:36 PM
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^+1. Symptoms sound like batt., conn. or parasitic drain.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-14-2017, 10:21 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff K View Post
Just because a battery is new doesnt mean it is good. Have it load tested. Years ago, I had a brand new Sears Diehard last 3 days and then dead. Shorted cell. ANd battery quality control has gone down the toilet since that incident probably 20 years ago.
I will get it tested. Thanks for the advice! Should I go back to where in purchased it? I bought it from Autozone.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-14-2017, 10:24 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UKfordguy View Post
Yes sounds like the alternator. This basically keeps the battery charged up. The part itself is about $150-$200 however I don't know about the labour involved. It's not a major issue.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheila View Post
^+1. Symptoms sound like batt., conn. or parasitic drain.
Thanks for the info! I will see if it is cheaper for me to buy the part myself or have the mechanic get the part. I will also see about getting the battery tested as others have mentioned.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-15-2017, 08:56 AM
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You can't do any of your own work, right?

The alternator is pretty easy to take out & Autozone can test it for you. My guess is that if it's the alternator, it's probably the carbon brushes that have worn out and failed. Charge the battery if you can, then start the car and hook a multimeter to the battery, it should read about 14 volts DC. If it's not, tap the top of the alternator with a small hammer and see if it starts to charge again.

The battery may have failed, but this is the least likely cause of your problem. And it's also still on warranty.

Sorry for you problem(s).

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-15-2017, 09:29 AM
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I doubt it is the alternator.... Easy an inexpensive to do on the vulcan but I'd avoid doing that unless you're sure its bad. You can have that tested at some parts stores if you remove it.

Check the voltage while the engine is running. If 13-15v your alternator is likely just fine. If it's below 13v then replace it.

I'm betting is a parasitic drain issue like Sheila said. Something is pulling power while the car is off. Or the new battery is just bad.

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-15-2017, 10:13 AM
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My Vulcans run about 15.40 volts on a just started battery being charged by the alternator with no accessories on.
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