Battery drained while driving: 2001 Taurus SEL, 24v - Taurus Car Club of America : Ford Taurus Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-24-2014, 12:48 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Battery drained while driving: 2001 Taurus SEL, 24v

My issue is very similar to predundant's, except my Taurus is a 2001 instead of a 2003, so I don't think my alternator is controlled by the computer... Also, the previous owner installed a new battery and alternator in May of 2013, presumably to fix the same or similar problem. Therefore, I think the damage to the battery and/or alternator may be a symptom rather than the cause...

I bought my Taurus in January 2014 and it ran fine until this week. It was raining, so I had my headlights, windshield wipers, air conditioning, and CD player going as I headed down the expressway. The first thing I noticed was my CDs started skipping and the volume cut way down. I turned it to the radio and got nothing but static. Next, I noticed the car seemed to surge and fade, as if it was getting inconsistent power. Then the windshield wipers started slowing down and the air conditioning all but shut off. Realizing that I had a problem, I exited the expressway onto surface streets and turned off the A/C and radio. Whenever I pressed on the brakes, the ABS light came on. A few seconds later, the air bag light came on, then the battery light. The tach needle went to zero and my gas gauge fluctuated from empty to half a tank. I managed to make it home and pulled into my parking space and shut down the engine. I immediately tried to restart the engine and got nothing but the clicks of a dead battery. The next day i walked up to my local AutoZone and bought a 750 amp jump starter. After letting it charge my battery for about 10 minutes, the engine started right up. It ran fine for about 2 days and the same thing happened. Again, I left the jump starter connected to my battery for about 15 minutes and it started right up and has been fine for the last 2-3 days (but I don't drive very much, i work from a home office)

I could replace the battery and/or the alternator -- just as the car's previous owner had done in May of 2013 -- but I think that's just dealing with the symptom rather than the cause. The Check Engine light hasn't come on or indicted any problems, so my mechanic can't get any code to help.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-24-2014, 12:53 PM
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I'd say you may be looking at an issue with your charging system. Bad regulator, bad wiring, etc.. Depending on how far you drive in those 2 days, the alternator may either be undercharging the battery, or not charging at all.

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-24-2014, 01:05 PM
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Go to :Napa- PCM controlled charging systems: on your home page, It gives testing procedures as well as a full breakdown of how the system operates.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-25-2014, 01:22 AM
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It's still possible that it's a bad alternator. Take it to a shop and have them do a load test on it. There used to be many stories in the past about people getting bad alternators from various places. Other possibility would be loose or corroded wires.

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