Dashboard warning lights won't go out in cold weather - Taurus Car Club of America : Ford Taurus Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 01:32 PM Thread Starter
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Dashboard warning lights won't go out in cold weather

2004 Vulcan 167K
It's been cold in Coastal Carolina for the past few days. Yesterday morning 20 degrees F car started OK but warning lights on instrument panel, brake, CE, etc would not go out.
This has happened before when cold. Usually turning the key off and re-starting will take care of it. Had to re-start several times yesterday.
Is this a common problem?
What can I do to fix it?
I appreciate all help.
John aka Kenneth
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 01:53 PM
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Check battery cables, connections to the battery, and major grounds. Also have the battery load tested. If the CEL was on, there will be a code stored. Get the code and report back.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-16-2016, 08:36 PM Thread Starter
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No CEL, May answer my own question

The CEL light comes on momentarily with all the other dashboard display lights when you first turn on the key. The CEL light is not on when the car is running normally.


I had searched this issue before posting this but when you post, there is a list of similar posts. See below.


I think the cause of this problem is just low battery voltage. There is a much bigger load on the battery to start a very cold engine.


the battery is several years old but has not given me any problems. The battery connections are clean and tight.


After running for a minute or so, I assume the alternator puts enough back in the battery to restore normal voltage and the problem goes away. We're back in the '60s today and no sign of the problem from a cold start.


thanks for the input. John aka Kenneth
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-16-2016, 09:14 PM
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The dash warning lights should all come on when you start the car and they will go out within a couple seconds. That's normal operation to show you that the lights are indeed functioning and the bulbs aren't blown out. How much time are we talking about the lights being on?

John
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-17-2016, 07:33 AM
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If you have access to a GOOD scan tool, like Forscan, that will read all code formats (P, C, B, U) I bet you will find a B code ( I forget the exact code number at the moment) for low system voltage and possibly a U com error code due to the low voltage during crank.

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-17-2016, 12:12 PM Thread Starter
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About 10 seconds, definitely not normal, before I shut it down and re-start.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-17-2016, 12:20 PM Thread Starter
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Jeff: Yes, downloaded latest version of FORScan night before last. Have been familiarizing myself with it. Hope my cheap ELM cable will work OK with it. I think you are right. When I get to the point I can read the codes I will post a response and perhaps some more info on the cable. I wish I had read the info on the FORScan forum before purchasing the cable, however, it didn't cost much.
Latest version of software, if I'm understanding it right is supposed to check compatibility of the cable before connecting it to the car.
If that's the case I'm OK so far.
Thanks for all the help. John
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-17-2016, 03:37 PM
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I get a B code for low voltage all the time on my 2001s and never an issue. If you get that code just don't jump to conclusions. There may be a relay to supply power at first start to test out the lamp function like previously mentioned. That relay maybe slow when cold. I will check out my wiring manual and see.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-19-2016, 09:14 PM
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It has been happening to me for over 4 years. 2004 Sable LS Premium with Duratec, 166K on the clock.

I charge my battery overnight every 5 or 6 weeks in the winter and every 2 months in the summer. It was recommended to me on this forum.

Before that: I replaced the Alternator, Battery, cleaned the cables and removed, sanded and cleaned every ground on the car. Behlinda recommended to try the charging. He knows his stuff!!

Sometimes the outside temperature would go out, occasionally the CD Player would hesitate. But in the colder weather the Air Bag Light, Emergency Brake Light and CEL would stay on. They were the "hints" the car would give me when the battery needed charging. However, the car would always start, ran fine and never left me stranded.
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